Retail consumer trends: Insights for action
Convenience matters—now more than ever. And forward-thinking retailers are setting high expectations for rest of the industry. In the 2020 retail trends outlook, we explore convenience, what it means today, and how retailers can position themselves to take on the challenge in the year ahead.
Predictably, 2019 was a year in transition. There was stability in the positioning of the top five retailers and a few notable bankruptcies. The emphasis on understanding what consumers really want continued to expand the gap between the leaders and everyone else who followed. For retailers, understanding how consumer expectations are evolving has never been more important, especially with the convergence of supply chain, digital technologies, and other innovations.
But when it comes to how the next 12 months will play out, uncertainty is the name of the game. With a possible recession and potential fallout from tariff tensions looming, retailers should have a strategic plan that can handle adjustments when and as needed. While the overall economy might be losing its shine in 2020, it presents retailers an opportunity to review their playbook for riding out a downturn.
The retail industry should be prepared for changing economic conditions in the coming year. The economy slowed last year, with real GDP growth declining to 1.9 percent in Q3 from 3.1 percent in Q1. With the outlook for global growth dimming and the uncertainty of trade tariffs unlikely to go away soon, we expect real GDP growth to slow to 1.6 percent this year from 2.3 percent in 2019.
Retailers will likely have to be more judicious with investments and flexible with their plans–ready to adapt to both foreseen and unforeseen scenarios. It seems that for the year ahead, those retailers who prepare for the worst will likely fare the best.
Rodney R. Sides
Deloitte Consulting LLP