11 Things That Will 100% Happen in Retail in 2018

11 Things That Will 100% Happen in Retail in 2018

The start of April - what better time to do a “what will happen this year” blog post? Well, maybe the start of January but we were very busy then and we wanted to see what happened in the first quarter before making any predictions.

After much pondering, much input from our team of retail experts and much staring out of a window looking at the Scottish rain/snow we’ve managed to whittle our list down to the 11 things that will happen this year in retail - it’s an eclectic list featuring GDPR, bankruptcy, avocados and Nike...

One High Street Fashion Giant Will Go Bust
We’ve seen a long list of household names go bust in the last 12 months but whilst we have seen store closures, job cuts, re-financing and restructuring, no major UK fashion company has gone bust since BHS back in 2015. Sadly we expect this year to see at least one big name brand disappear from our high street.

Whatever Meghan Markle wears will be an instant sell out
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are destined to be this year’s fashion icons. Whatever Meghan wears in the run-up to ‘the wedding’, on her big day and then on their honeymoon will be instant sell outs and catapult the brands involved to a new level.

This has already proven to be the case with sunglasses brand Finlay&Co, after Meghan wore their sunglasses on her first outing with Harry at the Invictus Games they not only sold out but made Finlay a household name in fashion circles.

We’ll hear that this will be the year of personalisation - for the 4th year running...
Personalisation, personalisation, personalisation, personalisation and personalisation! It’s all I heard on the retail innovation circuit last year and it’s all I’ve heard again this year. Whilst there are clear benefits from personalising your offering to consumers I’m yet to see any companies really winning through with this strategy but hey…this might just be the year.

Someone will blame lower consumer spendings on millenials buying avocados
Why hold yourself responsible for your own actions when you could blame someone else and who better than the young and their love of avocados?

Nike will overtake Adidas as the most popular trainer brand in the UK
Nike lost out to Adidas in 2017 big style but they’re back and they’re fighting. Their recent London advert is a great example of the work being done by the brand.

Direct to Consumer will become every brand’s focus
Owning the customer will become more and more important for companies and with the release of new Instagram shopping tools it will become easier for brands to remove the retail middle man from the process.

Consumer spending will continue to drop until Brexit day
The Brexit spending bite is already happening and we’ve got at least another year of consumer purse strings being held tight. With such strong economic headwinds being created by Brexit don’t expect people to be splashing the cash any time soon.

Discounting rates will be higher in 2018 than they were in 2017
53.3% of all products were discounted at some point in their lifecycle last year according to our data. 53.3% of products… let that sink in a little bit!

There is no doubt this rate is too high to be sustained but without serious attention it only go in one direction. There is a continual hunt for newness, leading to poor stock decisions and then quick discounting in the market.

The brands that win big will be the ones that understand and harness data
The companies that challenge the status quo and really harness data in their decision making processes will be the ones that win big in 2018.

Data allows companies to get the most for their investment and ensure they sell the correct product at the correct price - something that for far too long has been neglected.

Expect to hear everyone talking about their ‘big data’ project - when they just mean reorganising their CRM.

GDPR will make a lot of Consultants and Lawyers very rich
It kicks in next month but already I receive a sales pitch daily about GDPR and how it’s going to ruin my business unless I pay someone a day rate to sort out.

GDPR is a huge change for a lot of companies and challenging if you hold a lot of historical personal information but with a clear strategy and a desire to offer a fair service to customers then it’s more than manageable!

There will be a firesale of Private Equity Brands
With so many challenges facing retailers this year we’ll see their Private Equity owners trying to stem their losses and exit the market as quickly as possible. Expect to see a lot of bargains around - if you have tens of millions to invest of course.

What do you think will happen in retail in the remaining three quarters of 2018? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Cally Russell


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