Lean in, learn and improve your retail model

Retail Sector

Access our trends and research

As Covid-19 forces the world to collectively recalibrate, the retail sector must use this moment of crisis as an opportunity to create more resilient and agile systems.

Our retail research explores how brands are rethinking the customer experience to fit new online formats, recognising the long-term value of connecting with their customers by putting service before sales. Discover the key trends that are transforming digital touchpoints.

Image credits: Carolina Carballo for The Future Laboratory 
Video credit: Newgold for The Future Laboratory, voice-over by Sophie Sanderson & sound by BCN Sound


Flagship Fulfilment:

As consumers continue to value speed, retail brands are doubling down on the ways supply chains, logistics and fulfilment can enhance their identities.


Discovery Grocers:

Online grocers are putting personalisation at the heart of their offering, from curated shopping baskets to SMS advisers.


Eco-ambitious Retail:

Brands are self-imposing sustainability goals on their businesses that – while initially financially impactful – validate them as fundamental to future success.


Enlightened States:

The experience economy is pivoting towards personal transformation as the public imagination looks inwards, favouring self-discovery over shared spectacle.


Community Commerce:

A new wave of decentralised retail concepts are transforming e-commerce as consumers look for alternative ways to access and exchange products and services online.


DTC Directories:

A crop of third-party platforms are offering new ways to filter through the growing number of digital and direct-to-consumer brands.


Feedback Frontiers:

As communications with consumers become more circular and conversational, brands are treating every micro-interaction as a valuable opportunity to lean in, learn and improve their model.


New Report

Download our Retail Futures 2021 report

2020 prompted retail Darwinism at its most impactful, yet brands have evolved at speed, adjusting to changing expectations of access and more conscious mindsets.

Now, retailers must respond with Eco-venience Retail, a fresh framework for supply chains, logistics and consumer reach, as convenience and care for the environment become ever-more intertwined.

Our new Retail Futures report is packed with practical insights and inspiring case studies for your brand to harness these shifts. This report is your guide to the trends defining the retail sector, from best-in-class campaigns to emerging innovations.

You can also access this research via our on-demand video presentations, designed for you and your team to engage with both the macrotrend and trends rising set to radicalise the retail landscape. Access these today and receive our Retail Futures PDF report for free.

Image credit: Rainstore by Only Only Studio

circulose_1 copy-1

Download Our Trend Reports

Our trend reports include market analysis, trends rising, case studies and consumer insights to help you mitigate risks and seize opportunities for retail success in the years ahead. Become a member of LS:N Global to access all reports.


Retail Futures : Eco-venience Retail

Retailers must respond with Eco-venience Retail, a fresh framework for supply chains, logistics and consumer reach.

Discover Now
Retail Futures : Feedback Frontiers

We explore how retailers can stimulate meaningful consumption as people self-isolate at home.

Discover Now
Retail Futures : Community Commerce

Create a more interactive and impactful online shopping experience.

Discover Now
Retail Futures : Storefront Salvation

Transform your relationship with your customers in-store and deliver Return on Inspiration.

Discover Now
Retail Futures : The Future of Service

A toolkit to build winning strategies from the endless possibilities of Total Retail.

Discover Now
Retail Futures : Destination Retail

From high-tech to hands-on, a range of services, delivery systems and business models are re-inventing retail in the digital era.

Discover Now

Strategic Services

Take our 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.

At The Future Laboratory, our strategic solution is a simple one: to equip you with the tools, techniques and cultural insights that allow you to navigate change, unlock opportunity and thrive in a world of continuous uncertainty.

Our strategists do this by harnessing the combined power of LS:N Global and our Foresight Research System to better understand future consumer behaviour and how you can implement these insights in ways that drive short-, medium- and long-term growth.

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


Virtual Presentations

Looking for ways to engage and motivate your team from the comfort of your own home? Book one of our world-class speakers to deliver a virtual presentation or workshop for your business. Discover our retail presentations below or get in touch to book something bespoke.

Eco-venience Retail
Sway_Bag Challenge_Press 2 copy (1)-1

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.

Feedback Frontiers

As communications with consumers become more circular and conversational, brands are treating every micro-interaction as a valuable opportunity to lean in, learn and improve their model. Brands are realising that they must reconsider how they connect with their customers and fundamentally alter their perception of them.

Understanding that every piece of information can provide insights to improve business, this presentation will help your brand to create conversations with future consumers, forging ahead across the multiple interactions and touchpoints that are emerging as the next frontiers of retail.

Community Commerce

Retail is undergoing a paradigm shift as consumers look for more meaningful interactions with companies. Meanwhile, new models of engagement continue to transform access to goods and services, radically altering brand-consumer dynamics. Many retailers have been slow to respond to these changes, missing valuable opportunities to thrive in this fast-changing landscape.

From the latest developments in consumer data profiles to new sustainability initiatives, we explore how retailers are adding value to their offerings. By reconsidering all aspects of the customer journey, this presentation will inspire your team to establish impactful new retail strategies.



The writers, researchers, analysts – and brains behind our research. Get in touch with our retail specialists if you are interested in discussing the research in more detail.

Book an expert

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.

Kathryn Bishop
foresight editor

Kathryn joined The Future Laboratory in 2016, and is foresight editor of LS:N Global. Specialising in luxury, she also works on its fashion content and leads commissioning internal and external articles. She has previously written for publications including Adorn Insight, VO+, Retail Jeweller, Professional Jeweller and CityAM.

Abi Buller (She/Her)
foresight analyst

Abi joined The Future Laboratory in late 2019 and writes across LS:N Global, including the daily Need to Know section. She has a background in fashion and continues to track industry shifts relating to sustainability and digital innovation. As well as leading the Fashion sector, she also contributes regularly to the Youth and Media & Technology verticals.

Livvy Houghton (She/Her)
senior creative foresight analyst

Livvy joined The Future Laboratory in early 2018 and oversees LS:N Global’s Need to Know section. Working closely with Holly, she manages the content and constructs the visual elements for the daily news stories. She also supports the team, researching and visualising, for various other sectors across LS:N Global.

Rachele Simms
head of strategy

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.

Victoria Buchanan
futures director

Victoria specialises in future thinking and consumer research. She uses her creativity and strategic thinking to develop bespoke foresight projects for leading brands, such as L’Oréal, Spotify and Google, so that they can prepare their businesses for the future. She also regularly contributes to industry panel discussions and publications in the futures field.

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.

Gursharan Panesar (She/Her)
junior futures analyst

Gursharan is responsible for generating research that shapes our foresight pieces. Her support in identifying and building trends provides clients with a comprehensive understanding of their futures. Since joining The Future Laboratory, Gursharan has worked on projects for a variety of clients, including Colgate, eBay, Microsoft and Spotify.

Future-proof your retail strategy

Learn more about the strategic foresight retail services that we offer


Request more information: