Last year, there was a huge shakeout in the UK’s retail landscape. Long-established names disappeared, hobbled by pandemic pressures, while a swath of digital-first players gained new customers. Though many digital (and some fast-adapting physical-first) players benefited hugely from the pandemic, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll remain relevant.
The UK is one of the world’s most mature retail ecommerce markets: This year, 36.3% of total UK retail sales will be digital sales, a share second only to that of China. Physical retail still has an important role to play, though, with some digital-only players beginning to see reduced demand now that in-store shopping has resumed.
We have identified five key trends that retailers should act on now if they want to remain relevant and thrive post-pandemic. While each trend is important, there’s a hierarchy of relevance and immediacy. We have ranked the trends as follows, giving each trend a “temperature check”: