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Future of Retail 2042 Vision Report

This guide is a PSFK future of retail report for brand and retail executives trying to course a visionary, future-forward journey for their business.

Executive Summary

Celebrating over ten years of impact in 2022, PSFK’s flagship annual report, The Future of Retail, takes a provocative approach in this edition and provides a multifaceted vision of the trends and themes informing what the retail industry might look like in the year 2042.

PSFK’s research lab has found that today’s rapidly evolving contemporary landscape can provide holistic insights and weak signals that will shape and define the future experience of shoppers, retailers, and brands decades from now. It is critical for all stakeholders, from brand owners and ecommerce companies to technology providers, to be aware of, and properly activate against, the emerging forces shaping tomorrow’s shopping habits and behaviors.

Report Overview

In this report, the PSFK iQ research team examines the future truths driving the evolution of retail, exploring the nascent implications, scenarios, trends, and technologies that we see becoming pervasive over the next twenty years. PSFK has identified 16 key trends across three 2042 Commerce Scenarios that paint a provocative picture of our collective retail futures.

What You’ll Learn In This Report

  • Why we expect to see significant disruption throughout all aspects of the retail landscape—from how shoppers access products and services, to what stores look like, to where they operate, and even who owns them.
  • Why many leading players in the retail sector are embracing disruptive business models, and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are finding it necessary to integrate next-generation innovations into their business operations.
  • How the emergence of virtual spaces and other explorable, immersive digital worlds is creating new possibilities and opportunities for retailers to integrate themselves into the lives of their future consumers.
  • How the widespread adoption of digital technologies is increasingly changing the way those future consumers will look, live, and behave within the ever-evolving retail ecosystem.
  • Why the future “omniconsumer” expects a seamless experience between online and offline environments, and wants to interact directly with brands, their peers, and members of their online communities via social networks and other forms of direct engagement.
  • Why the rise of the Meta-Mall and On-Demand brands will provide a breadth of future landscapes across which consumers and retailers can engage in new and exciting ways.
  • How real-time insights will lead to personalized, real-time brand and product availability; while the layering of digital landscapes atop physical ones, and the building of entirely new, standalone virtual worlds & metaverses, will create fully immersive and vertically comprehensive experiences for shoppers.

What’s Presentations of this Research & Expert Opinion

What’s In This Report?

To help our members envision a distant future that is already being shaped by the building blocks of today, PSFK has identified 16 key trends driving the evolution of retail, exploring the nascent implications, scenarios, trends, and technologies that we see becoming pervasive over the next twenty years. PSFK has identified 16 key trends across 3 2042 Commerce Scenarios that paint a provocative picture of our collective retail futures.

This 51-page PSFK Future of Retail report includes:

  • 16 trends across three 2042 Commerce Scenarios that paint a provocative picture of our collective retail futures.
  • 47 best-in-class examples from organizations leading the way through innovation
  • Consumer insights around changing behaviors and expectations around retail and consumer experience
  • Case studies from JD.com, Amazon, Snap Inc., Roblox, Balenciaga, Nike, and more

Who Prepared This Report?

This PSFK Future of Retail report was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.