Retail winners in 2023 will combine ’New Thinking & Processes’ with ‘Old Values & Channels.’

My own Top 5 predictions for the year ahead…

1. The ‘Pureplay bubble’ will continue to burst.

2. Physical retail, in one form or another, will almost always be essential.

3. The convenience and reliability of Click & Collect will become even more widespread as a game-changer.

4. Traditional retailers will continue to decisively get their digital heads & houses in order.

5. Classic customer names will establish themselves as the new, old, ‘Guardians of Trust!’

The top of Retail Week’s ‘Christmas trading 2022 league table’ had a strangely familiar feel to it, featuring the likes of JDSports, Greggs, Next, B&M, M&S, Boots, Sainsburys and Tesco.

The ‘Cost-of-living’ crisis, of course, fuelled sales in value retailers such as Aldi, Lidl and Poundland. But value certainly does not have to be the main proposition. Well-known names such as Boots and M&S have grown their value ranges, Tesco & Sainsburys have been smart with price-locking, Halfords has created loyalty through its membership scheme.

The importance of physical real estate is being seen everywhere, with growth from precisely located new shop concepts, and footfall driven my events, workshops and community activities.

Click & Collect has also added new relevance, reliability and convenience to physical shops, as Argos found its commercial feet inside a myriad of Sainsbury stores, with retailers like Hobbycraft and the Perfume Shop saw double digit growth.

In 2023, the biggest winners and ‘retail revivals’ will be driven by the digital transformation of business cultures & processes, that put customer data at the heart of their omnichannel models.

Traditional best practices have already been supercharged in M&S and Boots, to hame but two, through digital team coordination, and end-to-end customer personalisation.

In 2023, the brands that people always wanted to trust, will consistently deliver on their promises, through whichever touchpoint the customer wants to use. The fruits of much unseen hard work and painstaking operational re-management now coming to fruition for some of our most famous retailing brands. 

It seems that the ‘old dogs’ have been decidedly better at learning ‘new tricks,’ than many of the glossy, superficial pureplays ever gave them credit for!

In 2023, retail gold will increasingly be found where ’New Thinking & Processes’ are combined with ‘Old Values & Channels.’

In the meantime…

Creating Digital-first retailing businesses is featured in the new book – ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’

If you’d like to read my book for many more retailer insights and best practice. And to here my thoughts on retail’s future, then that’s an excellent idea.

'Meaning in the Retail Madness: How to be an Essential Retailer' Out now. Available worldwide across amazon and popular online booksellers

I hope that the sections on how to flourish in the ‘The life and times of the Essential Retailer’ how to evolve ‘Agile Organisations’ and excel in ‘Astute Strategies’ may be a source of inspiration and guidance. You will also find 70 action plans and 90 retail best practice insights that may help you to assess your current weaknesses and opportunities.

Enjoy your read.