Retail Industry Predictions for 2018

Top 3 Predictions for Retail in 2018

With constant changes and improvements, here are our top 3 predictions for the retail industry.

Journalists just love to spread the message of doom and gloom or write shocking headlines hoping that you’ll pay attention. Either the world is going to end or Amazon is going to kill bricks and motor.

While Amazon has joined the Australian market, they certainly haven’t killed retail, they’re just changing the landscape. If anything, their entry into the local market will push retailers to make changes in their business. And we all know that some need more than a nudge.

The fact is that retail is here and here to stay. People will always want to touch and feel before making a purchase. They won’t ever buy 100% online. The latest stats show that less than 7%* of total sales were made online, leaving more than 93% of sales made in bricks and mortar stores.

With this information in mind, how has retail performed over the last 12 months?
  • Retail sales have increased by 2.83%, seasonally adjusted
  • Department Stores were the only category to decline this year
  • Restaurants, Café’s and Takeaway food category recorded a 4.33% increase, seasonally adjusted

Regardless if you’ve got a head for numbers, you can plainly see that it’s not all bad. While not everyone is has had a great year, it’s not all about to come crashing down around us.

Retail continues to change and adapt to the consumer’s needs. Regardless of the new players, or the new technology, if your retailers aren’t adapting to their surroundings, they’re not likely to survive. It’s a harsh reality, but you can help them by staying ahead of the game and know what trends are likely to affect them.

Here are our predictions for the retail industry for 2018.
  1. Artificial Intelligence – with the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google, AI continues to gain momentum, but it’s not about robots taking over the world. By understanding consumer behaviour, you and your retailers will be able to provide customers with what they need, and possibly even start to predict them.
  2. The Experience – This one has been around for a few years, but more and more shopping centres and retailers will implement experience based functions during 2018. Being more than just bricks and mortar will not only increase the time they spend at your centre, but they’ll also spend more while they’re there.
  3. Experimentation – Retailers will be spending more time testing new ideas and to see what works and what doesn’t. How will you and your retailers know if it works, or doesn’t unless you play around a little bit. Now I’m not encouraging retailers to completely change their core business, but by experimenting with technology, new stock or just by doing something different may just change sales for the better.

To keep up to date with how the retail market is shaping up and check out our regular Retail Industry Analysis here.


* NAB Online Retail Sales Index report – June 2017
# Retail Trade Results based on information provided in the 8501.0 Retail Trade Statistics by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – Nov 2015 to Oct 2017

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