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Emerging global retail concepts

A  new report has canvassed the emerging retail trends changing the way consumers shop.

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The world of retail is always changing as retailers big and small try new things to add value to the standard shopping trip. As competition increases and consumer preferences evolve retailers continue to advance the way consumers, browse, shop and buy.

Euromonitor International’s What’s New in Retail Edition 3: Emerging Global Concepts, highlights the evolution and reinvention of the retail environment around the world as consumers continue to seek time-saving shopping measures.

It delivered a comprehensive view of the global retailing landscape to help business uncover new opportunities, identify how shopper behaviours are driving change and understand the forecast growth and decline in this highly fragmented industry. Using seven criteria, ranging from innovative omnichannel strategies to new hybrid formats, Euromonitor identified top concepts from across the globe within four categories: grocery, non-grocery, non-store and digital.

Within the digital category, innovative concepts continue to be focused on mobile commerce in the context of omnichannel retailing. Empowered by advances in technology and developments in offline retailing, innovations focused on providing seamless and personalised shopping experiences, while integrating both physical and digital realms, are likely to prevail. A continued focus on customer convenience will be the driving force behind developments in the digital category.

Here are four of the winning concepts said to represent the future of retail.

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Walmart, the largest retailer in the world by value sales, is investing in grocery to fight off Amazon. It is striving to be on the cutting edge of the omni-channel wave in the US, by introducing click-and-collect curbside grocery pick-up. To pick up the order, the customer drives to the designated kiosk at a predetermined time and scans the order bar code. The customer retrieves their order from the vending window without interacting with an employee.

A new vending machine, Bolf, emerged in Chile, offering customers the ability to print photos from their phones. By connecting to the machine via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, customers can select photos from their mobile phone photo gallery and Instagram accounts to print in traditional Polaroid style. Alternatively, customers can take and print a selfie with the vending machine, much like a photo booth. Located in busy shopping malls, these machines offer a convenient service for the tech-savvy consumer.

The largest internet retailer in the Czech Republic opened its first ‘Store of the Future’. These small format (60m2) stores are open 24 / 7 and serve as a locker pick-up location for click-and-collect purchases. Future Stores also offer the option to purchase a limited selection of electronics, gadgets and sports equipment via the in-store computers. Online orders and in-store purchases are collected through designated lockers. In-store navigation with LED lighting leads the customer to the correct locker.

Alibaba Group has launched ‘Smart Baby Care Rooms’ located within department stores and shopping malls in China. An intelligent speaker, Tmall Genie, allows customers to control lighting, milk mixers, the humidifier and music through voice assistance. Cloud Shelf, a smart vending machine scans QR codes for purchasing products such as baby formula. It also allows customers to use the Tmall platform and make purchases for home delivery while payment through facial recognition allows for a hands free experience.

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