Retail’s Shifting Shopping Trends

Retail’s success has been stirred up with turmoil the past few years. If you’ve noticed, malls have closed, major retailers have closed hundreds of locations, while others have filed for bankruptcy. But the economy isn’t in a recession and unemployment is low. So why is this happening and why should retail not be concerned?

There are a number of reasons. The easiest explanation to the decline of brick and mortar would be the growth in ecommerce in recent years. Online shopping has become an effortless process for consumers in recent years with new innovative technology such as mobile apps and wallets. Return policies and shipping expenses have also become more affordable and easy for shoppers. Shoppers still love the appeal of a physical store with an enticing collection of products to be able to physically touch and see. The growth towards online shopping behavior however, causes a need for businesses to assess new approaches to drawing in customers to their stores.

In fact, Zara has created a futuristic innovative pop-up store that is digitally focused. The opening of this pop-up store is “another milestone in our strategy of integrating stores with the online world, which defines our identity as a business” says CEO, Pablo Islas.

Another reason for the closings of many malls and other retail locations is that there are too many. “The number of malls in the U.S. grew more than twice as fast as the population between 1970 and 2015, according to Cowen and Company’s research analysts” (Atlantic). Also, the design of malls is codependent. If one anchor store closes, there is the resulting consequence of less foot traffic brought to the mall that would’ve come from said anchor store. One failure could result in a mall’s fatality. The Natick Mall in Massachusetts by GGP is actually utilizing lost JCPenney space with installing a Wegmans to open in April.

There has been a shift in spending less on materialism in replacement of more experiences. Consumers would rather enjoy a meal with friends than spend their money on material goods. This is in part because of millennial shopping habits. Considering the shifting shopping trends, perhaps a Wegmans is the right move to draw new foot traffic to the location. The “new Wegmans in Natick is 146,500 sq.ft. devoted to a grocery store with two restaurant concepts: a Burger Bar and Blue Dalia, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar” (Wegmans). The supermarket also implements the use of technology through a mobile app to allow customers to create shopping lists, estimate the total of their items, and save time.

Shifting trends show that we are moving closer to the digital age but they also reveal that we as consumers will continue to need physical retail locations for shopping. It is simply up to businesses to find new, innovative ways to integrate digital technology and online shopping into their physical store fronts.

It is important to be up to date on the shifting shopping trends and understand your consumer.

There are many ways to accommodate these changes. Consider the use of technology and be sure to research what locations might best support your store’s growth. Pop-up stores are one of many ways to begin this transition for your business. Our company allows you to seamlessly integrate the use of technology, promote your products, and find the right location. You can learn more buy downloading our free eBook or inquiring for more information.


“Natick, MA Open Date: April 2018.” Wegmans Food Markets,
Thompson, Derek. “What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Apr. 2017,
Thompson, Derek. “What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Apr. 2017,