Shopping center developer Westfield has identified five trends that it believes will shape retail in the coming years. And, we agree! The five trends are:
1. Rental retail: Shoppers - particularly Millennials - are interested in renting more things, rather than owning them (for example, renting a high-end handbag for a special event rather than buying one).
2. Retail "classrooms": Shoppers want to learn things from the stores they patronize.
3. Enhanced reality: Shoppers (again, particularly younger ones) like using Augmented Reality to learn more about the products they're considering buying.
4. Good-choice loyalty programs: Shoppers increasingly gravitate towards loyalty programs that not only reward them for repeat purchases but also for good lifestyle choices, like recycling, volunteering for nonprofit organizations, and walking.
5. Sensory retail: Being able to see and touch a product is good, but shoppers prefer shopping environments that engage all their senses - not just sight and touch, but also sound and smell.