Retail Trends 2022

Beyond Retail
Retail Trends 2022

2022 is set to be an interesting year for retail as the sector looks to shake off the challenges of the last two years and take a big step forward to defining what the future shopping experience will look like.

The future is exciting, with new technology paving the way for a more immersive online experience, new consumer behaviour driving both product and business model innovation, and the world’s biggest brands putting aside local competitive pressures to tackle the biggest issues facing our society and planet.

However, 2022 won’t be plain sailing for all. There are plenty of headwinds to keep retailers’ minds focussed on the here and now; COVID-19 remains a concern as long as new variants are emerging and parts of the world remain unvaccinated, the supply issues of 2021 – especially those caused by the semi-conductor shortage – aren’t completely behind us, and household finances will come under increasing pressure as a squeeze on the cost of living takes hold for many, putting a dampener on the ability of the consumer to spend.

Here are six major trends for retailers to look out for in 2022:

Generation Z starts to splash the cash

Generation Z as consumers

Attracting Gen Z becomes more important as they become both customers and employees. The generation born between 1995 and 2010 has now joined the workforce. Not only do they have their own spending power and are no longer reliant on parents, they also have strong and distinctive wants and needs that retailers and brands need to provide for.

The retail empire strikes back

Retail in a digital world

The online and digital retail world is no longer the sole preserve of the agile startup or online pureplay business. We have begun to see the major established retail businesses fight back by embracing digital themselves. The modern retailer’s journey into digital sees them adapting their core, exploring digital products and experiences, and exploring the metaverse​.

Shop and Go Go Go…

Convenience scales up

With consumers demanding a frictionless and often contactless retail experience, checkout-free stores, ultra-fast and autonomous delivery are rapidly becoming mainstream. ​

Tales of the unexpected

Retailers diversify their businesses

Conscious consumerism and a challenging market is encouraging retailers to diversify and move into completely new businesses to utilise their assets better and find new sources of growth.

Virtuous circles

Circularity and traceability in demand

Circularity is on a fantastic growth trajectory with the second-hand clothing sector expected to grow faster than fast fashion. Meanwhile consumer attitudes towards sustainability means that traceability is a critical capability required to deliver on climate promises​ and achieve science-based targets to reduce emissions.


Collaborate with meaning

Through progressive and distinctive collaboration retailers can achieve something greater than the sum of its parts. In the year ahead, retailers and brands will collaborate to create brand distinctiveness and to tackle the biggest issues in society, such as climate change.

Priorities for retailers in the year ahead

Explore how you can drive social commerce and attract the Gen Z customer
Make use of your existing assets and brand strength for new high margin opportunities
Fight inflation and cost pressure by maintaining a lazer focus on all operating costs and scaling automation across the organisation
Consider circularity in the context of your business and how it can drive greater customer engagement before, during and end of product life
Experiment with the metaverse to learn how it can enhance the customer experience and add value to your business
Work with industry peers to co create transformative solutions to address major societal issues such as climate change
Engage at all levels to build an inclusive workforce strategy and develop more rewarding jobs

Find out more

Talk to a member of our team

Contact us

Key contacts

Ian Geddes

Managing Partner for Consumer and Retail across North and South Europe

Oliver Vernon-Harcourt

UK Retail Lead Partner

Dr. Bryn Walton

Consumer Insights Manager




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