Retail Industry Trends and Insights

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Our Services

The Future Laboratory offers trend forecasting subscriptions and bespoke strategic foresight consultancy services to help you stay ahead of developments in the retail industry.

LS:N Global is our trends platform that provides members with original research, trends, analysis, market intelligence and qualitative insights to help them make informed decisions about the future.

We also offer retail trend presentations delivered by our world-class presenters, bespoke foresight reports to help you drive your marketing and spearhead your PR, as well as a suite of strategic foresight services, delivered by our in-house strategy department.

Find out more about our services below, or please click the link to book a meeting with our team.

Image credits: Photography by Stephane Boubert for The Future Laboratory; Set Design by Prop it; Styling by Chloe Cammidge.

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New Report


In retail, where a growing number of technologies and disciplines – AI, data mining, OpenAI and algorithms included – are all converging in ways that make retail less about a transactional journey and more about a predictive, proactive and, if we get it right, positive conversation.

Our new Retail Futures report details nascent trends in physical retail, from brands using Open-door HQs as a retail platform and a new era of decentralised taste-making, to the high street’s sustainability experience hubs and the emergence of Meta-phygital Retail.

Alongside rising trends for retail, this report also features our latest sector macrotrend, EQ-Commerce, which explores how innovative retailers are using technology to create EQ-Commerce journeys where every touchpoint is
a learning opportunity, and AI caters for customers’ idiosyncratic needs and wants at scale.

This report is exclusively available for members of our trends intelligence, consumer foresight and futures innovation platform, LS:N Global. To gain access, book a meeting below.



Innovative retailers are using technology to create intelligent, empathic commerce journeys – where every touchpoint is a learning opportunity, and artificial intelligence is catering for customers’ idiosyncratic needs at scale.


Open-door HQs:

Retailers are opening their HQs to the public, turning them into destinations for storytelling, transparency and deeper customer connections.


Digital Display Futures:

Online visual merchandising faces structural challenges as customers simultaneously seek aspirational relatability, quality and entertainment.


Gated Retail:

As the race to court very important clients (VICs) heats up, luxury brands are opening private boutiques for their top-spending customers.


Budget Bots:

With consumers financially challenged due to global inflation they are turning to financial apps and services that automatically streamline their spending.


Hyperphysical Stores:

In a post-Covid landscape, changing consumer needs are driving retailers to rethink bricks-and-mortar stores to be more engaging, sensorial and memorable.


Membership Retail:

A wave of apparel brands are shunning mass selling in favour of membership models, in turn reducing product waste and cultivating stronger communities.


Retail Therapy:

Stores and retail experiences are leaning into mental healthcare in order to de-stigmatise, elevate and boost the accessibility of conversations and care.


Next-door Commerce:

Having re-engaged with their local communities, neighbours are inspiring new retail models based on hyper-local trading and sharing of goods.



With more consumers investing in virtual assets, bricks-and-mortar retailers are exploring ways to market and sell NFTs in physical shopping spaces.

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Strategic Consultancy

Take our retail trends one step further

For those of you wondering what retail trends are going to have the biggest impact on your business over the coming years, our Strategy team are here to help.

The Future Laboratory’s Strategy department works directly with global brands and businesses to turn our LS:N Global foresight into a strategic decision-making tool that aligns clients’ current business objectives with these future scenarios. 

The aim: to equip clients with the cultural insights, strategic implications and solutions that enable them to navigate change, unlock opportunity and thrive in a world of continuous uncertainty.

Find out how you can use our Strategic Services to future-proof your retail strategy.


Futures Presentations

Book one of our world-class speakers to deliver a virtual or in-house trend presentation or workshop for your business. Discover our presentations below or get in touch to book something bespoke.

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As brand loyalty dwindles, retailers are seeking new hyper-personalised, bespoke and omniscient relationships with their customers. A shift in attitudes to personal data from privacy to privilege means people expect more from personalisation.

As AI and algorithms become all-seeing, our new presentation explores how human beings will do what they do best – seek out serendipity and a bit of magic in their experiences, both online and offline.

Book your presentation today to follow in the footsteps of innovative retailers using technology to create intelligent, empathic journeys.

Hyperphysical Stores
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Companies across the retail sector have been demonstrating resilience despite a turbulent start to the Transformative Twenties.

In a post-Covid landscape, changing consumer needs are driving retailers to rethink bricks-and-mortar stores to be more engaging, sensorial and memorable.

Our new Hyperphysical Stores macrotrend presentation explores how e-commerce is accelerating to offer multi-layered and sometimes confusing experiences for customers and brands, while bricks-and-mortar shops are becoming bastions of extraordinary, sensorial moments.

Eco-venience Retail
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Accelerating e-commerce and demands for expedited delivery are forcing a new retail framework that puts eco-conscious practices central to brands’ operations.

This comes amid global online growth for retail over the last 12 months. Yet, as shoppers shift their spending online, strain on supply chains and the effect of expedited shipping and returns are exacerbating retail’s environmental impact.

From global supply chains to augmented brands, find out how convenience and care for the environment are becoming ever-more intertwined.


Retail Experts

Get in touch with our specialists if you are interested in discussing the research or if you have a press enquiry. Speak to our experts

Chris Sanderson (He/Him)

Chris is co-founder of The Future Laboratory where he is responsible for delivering the company’s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and LS:N Global Trend Briefings, which he co-presents with the team globally. Chris presented Channel 4 TV’s five-part series Home of the Future and is a SuperBoard member of The British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust.

Martin Raymond (He/Him)

Martin is co-founder of The Future Laboratory and editor-in-chief of LS:N Global. Martin is a well-known trend guru, having written several best-selling books on trend forecasting, including The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook and The Tomorrow People. Martin contributes regularly as an expert on trends and business for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Fiona Harkin
foresight editor

Fiona joined The Future Laboratory in 2022, having spent 20 years working in leading forecasting and insight agencies as a content director and a journalist, delivering strategic foresight and creative content to forward-thinking businesses. Fiona brings considerable cross-sector expertise to her role leading the LS:N Global site, ranging from the digital commerce and tech sectors to the fashion and media industries.  

Olivia Houghton (She/Her)
deputy creative foresight editor

Olivia joined The Future Laboratory in early 2018 and is responsible for leading the creative development of LS:N Global. As Deputy Creative Foresight Editor, she ensures the platform’s written and visual content sets new standards for the digital communication. Olivia is also known as The Future Laboratory’s go-to expert for consumer trends in Beauty, Health & Wellness.

Savannah Scott (She/Her)
senior creative foresight analyst

Savannah leads the research and design for food and drink and retail content for the LS:N Global. With a background in creative strategy, anthropology and graphic design, Savannah curates and contributes to the visual narrative of LS:N Global, alongside leading visual research for a number of annual macrotrends and sector reports. Savannah is a regular contributor to LS:N Global’s daily news and weekly articles, as well as being the team’s regional expert for Africa.

Rachele Simms
director of strategy and planning

Rachele plays a pivotal role in nurturing the Strategy team and developing the quality of our strategic thinking. With nearly 15 years of experience, she combines her creative background and strong commercial acumen to define and realise future strategies for brands such as Shiseido, lululemon, Jameson and The Chalhoub Group.

Louise French (She/Her)
strategy director

Louise is one of the lead strategists at The Future Laboratory. With over 12 years’ experience in brand and innovation strategy, she works closely with clients such as Dell, Sony, Selfridges and Gulfstream to identify inspiring and revolutionary opportunities for change, and to develop practical strategic frameworks that provide the blueprints for putting the future first.

Adam Steel (He/Him)
strategic foresight editor

Adam leads the team that creates bespoke reports and thought-leadership content for brands including Adidas, Volvo, Nespresso and IHG. Working across sectors, from retail and travel to finance, media and sport, Adam creates inspiring content that enables brands to develop leading strategies and disruptive innovations.

Darian Nugent (She/Her)
senior strategic foresight writer

Darian creates tailored reports and thought-leading content across diverse industries. Unlocking future-facing strategies and new brand directions, Darian has written bespoke foresight reports for Jägermeister, Samsung and UBS. Before joining The Future Laboratory, she forecast fashion and youth lifestyle trends for Stylus.

Rachael Stott (She/Her)
senior futures analyst

Rachael joined The Future Laboratory in 2014, and is responsible for leading research to identify and visually communicate global cultural trends across the lifestyle sectors. With a personal interest in conscious business, Rachael’s strength lies in translating our strategic foresight into creative visual outputs to help inspire clients to apply this thinking.

Future-proof your retail strategy

Learn more about the strategic foresight retail services that we offer


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