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2014 Dubbed ‘The Year of Retail Contradictions

Daymon Worldwide, Stamford, Conn., released its eight “Global Retail Trends Predictions for 2014 and Beyond” to help retailers successfully address the contradictory, challenging realities facing the industry in 2014. The company forecasts 2014 to be “The Year of Retail Contradictions.”

Each trend was identified through the lens of Daymon’s Global Trendwheel, a proprietary tool that tracks 72 consumer microtrends across eight megatrends that impact global retail success. The 2014 trends, Daymon Worldwide noted, include:

1. Big vs. Small: The Redefinition of the Hypermarket/Supercenter (Megatrend: Cultural Ecology) – There will be a shift from the large supercenter culture to a retail landscape where smaller formats prevail. This shift is driven by increasing urbanization, a rise in smaller households and the consumers’ changing notion of convenience. These smaller formats will become category killers, stealing share from supercenters and mass merchandisers.

2. A Sharing Retail Economy (Megatrend: Conscious Raising) — Consumers are more interested in sharing, renting and reusing options rather than owning bulky, rarely used items. This trend will have significant implications for global retailers in fashion, home improvement and office supply.

3. The Muddled Middle (Megatrend: Current-CY) — The middle class in the United States is shrinking, creating a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. Retailers with low-price positioning such as discounters ALDI or dollar stores will grow, as will premium retailers and specialty stores such as Whole Foods. Retailers without a clear position are at risk of becoming less relevant and losing traction.

4. The War on Obesity Escalates (Megatrend: B-Well) — Companies and governments will begin to take even more aggressive steps to promote healthful diets, leading to the rise of high-quality “cook and assemble” meals and stricter guidelines such as “no GMOs” becoming the cost of entry in retail.

5. The Kitchen Has Left the House (Megatrend: Always On) — Grocery trips are mission-based and no longer about stocking up. Grocery stores will become the kitchen. With the rise of snacking and component cooking such as heat-and-eat, retailers will need to cultivate an even closer relationship with their customers.

6. Local Becomes ‘Personal’ (Megatrend: YOUniverse, All for One) — The idea of “locally sourced” products will change from foods and products sourced in the immediate area of each market to offerings available throughout the broader community, city, state and country. It will be more about personal interaction, authentic experiences and interest versus just geography.

7. Retailers Amplify Branded Experiences (Megatrend: JOYment) — Brick and mortar stores need to provide shoppers with even more unique experiences and not just in flagship locations. For grocery, food theater such as cooking demonstrations and sampling must become a greater part of the shopper experience.

8. A New Way to Service the Aging Population (Megatrend: YOUniverse) — With a growing aging population, retailers will need to reach out to these consumers with products, services and in-store services (such as ergonomically friendly shopping carts) that cater to their lifestyle.

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