2018 is over…finally! It was a long and difficult year. The year started with the Winter Olympics (yes we had the Olympics this season) and ended with high schoolers eating Tide Pods. We said goodbye to Toys“R”Us and hello to oatmilk, and Best Buy was here to stay.
Medallion Retail wants to share our top picks from the past year as we reflect on the highs and lows. We thought it would be a great way to kick off 2019: take a look back at our top 2018 retail trends.
Favorite Retail Trend: Marketplace pop-ups
Our subsidiary MR Pop-Up is all about the growing trend for pop-ups within retail. These pop-ups are fun, user-driven and great for testing new ideas. This trend encourages creativity and constant disruption. The marketplace pop-up was this year’s most original idea. It is a shell that houses a variety of products and acts as a store.
Story shows this well. Retail innovators have a brick-and mortar shop that constantly changes product offerings to suit a changing theme. This “story” is what ties products together. It creates a market of goods that excites consumers and encourages them to return. Macy’s recently purchased the concept shop Story.
This trend will continue on a larger scale in the next chapter. This “story’s” next chapter will require flexibility and innovation.
Macy’s is the favorite retail revival
Over the last few years, the “retail apocalypse” has taken many victims (Blockbuster and Toys”R”Us as well as RadioShack, Sears, Sears, RadioShack, Sears). There are some who have fought back, and that is what the best of the best can do. We’d like closing the year to mention Macy’s, which is one of the most remarkable cases of turning around a possible death spiral.
The department store did what department stores do for a while. The massive chain has completely redesigned the customer experience over the last year. Buying Story, the launch of a BuzzFeed product range, and the introduction of an experiential space in selected stores (hello AR!) ), increasing personalized offers – the list goes on.
We were blown away by their amazing holiday displays this year. At Herald Square‘s flagship store, eight floors were decorated with stunning displays that were all designed to create a jaw-dropping customer response.
This is all very impressive and speaks to the larger trend of providing memorable shopping experiences for consumers.
We are so infatuated with Macy’s revival, that we wrote a whole post about it. Keep an eye out for our detailed look at 2019’s successes.
Favorite holiday campaign: Hersheys Halloween
Holidays are the heart of retail, especially candy. There are so many options that you have to choose from that make your displays stand out. Hershey’s Halloween display did exactly that.
It was more than a display. This display stood out from the rest with its immersive 10’x10’x12′ walk-through that provides a 360-degree experience, and more than one ton of candy. It was memorable, fun, and on-theme for both children and adults – exactly what holiday season is all about.
Favorite Hyped Product – Reusable Straws
An attractive product that looks great, and helps the planet? We are sold! Reusable straws were a huge hit this year. People stopped using plastic straws at all costs.
Many companies tried to get in on the act. There are many types of straws: glass straws; silicone straws; bamboo straws; stainless-steel straws; and stainless-steel/silicone-fusion. Regardless of the material used, sustainability and eco-friendly consumer practices are the main trends.
In 2019, expect to see more green products. It’s great for consumers as well as the environment. It gets two fishtails up from us!
Favorite retail tool: HappyOrNot Button
Plumbers have wrenches and plumbers have paintbrushes. Referees use whistles. Every industry requires the right tools to do the job. Retail is no exception. Retail is no different. We saw an increase in customer happiness measurement strategies this year. The HappyOrNot button was a simple but effective tool.
It’s simple: Ask customers to rate their experience. It’s been done so many times. Receipts that include surveys are thrown out because they ask too much of your customer. And forget about the time it takes for customers to respond to emails with afterthe-fact satisfaction surveys. We expect more retailers will adopt this easy-to-use and effective in-the moment ranking.
Alex Carleton is my favorite retail quote
We are privileged to have the opportunity to learn from hundreds of retail experts. Every year, we take stock of our learnings. Alex Carleton, Filson’s Chief Creative Director, wins the award for best retail quote. He was interviewed by Gear Patrol.
This is not only an excellent quote, but also highlights the most important trend in retail right now. Retail theater is the best form of retail. It’s impossible for brands to continue using the same old sales strategies in an ever-changing field. Retailers that offer authentic and innovative experiences to their customers will be the ones who succeed.
Retail is an exciting industry. In the coming year, we look forward to more visionaries trying out new and disruptive ideas. We are thrilled to be part of this retail revolution.