Automation, customisation and big data are some of the trends expected to change the retail industry and the way consumers shop in the future. CBRE, the world’s leading real estate services firm, today revealed a series of new insights for the retail industry in 2030.

CBRE’s Future of Retail | 2030 examines 40 “futurist” insights on how the world of retail will look different in the future - fuelled by changes in consumer lifestyles, urban environments, retail operations, logistics and other trends impacting the industry. The insights will encourage thinking about the many possible situations facing retailers and investors, and by identifying these challenges, how the retail industry can prepare for the future.

The first eight insights were launched today at MAPIC, the international retail property conference in Cannes, France. CBRE will reveal the next 32 insights over the coming weeks.

Andrew Phipps, Head of Retail Research, EMEA
The future of retail is going to change more than we could ever imagine. At CBRE we have taken the time to think about what will change and what it will mean for consumers and the retail industry as a whole.  Physical real estate remains important as a sales channel and increasingly as a communicator of the brand and a demonstrator of experience.
Andrew Phipps, Head of Retail Research, EMEA

The first eight insights by CBRE include:

Robotics and automation - Retailers will increasingly invest in new technology and automation. robotics and automation will change the number of jobs available in the retail sector by 2030. Automated processes will replace some of the human interface in the retail environment.

The power of prediction – As the Internet of Things becomes the new normal, the advanced integration of trillions of connected sensors will provide deeper insights into the buying patterns of consumers. This will enable retailers to anticipate consumer requirements before they can themselves, allowing the supply chain to become far more refined and efficient. This will allow customers to achieve full transparency about what they’re buying and help retailers to fulfil orders more effectively.

Buying what you want, where and how you want, is the norm – Advances in smart device technology will allow consumers to literally buy what they see: anywhere, any time. Simple, real–time image capture analysis makes everything ‘shoppable’ from any source.

Customer experiences are specific not generic - Personalisation will be the key differentiator in retailing of the future. Knowing a customer’s buying habits, their leisure interests, their style and colour preferences means that retailers can present a uniquely personalised experience.

Personal ownership of cars will dramatically decline – The first step on the journey to autonomous vehicles is releasing ourselves from the shackles of the ownership cycle. Personal ownership is the exception rather than the norm. These new vehicles are produced by co-creative partnerships between technology companies and car manufacturers.

Stores will increasingly become showrooms and brand ambassadors - Physical stores of the future will focus on delivering brand experiences. Shopping has become an immersive, sensory, brand engagement, because, despite the speed and ease of access to online merchandise, the shopper in 2030 still has the desire to visit a physical store.

Pure play (online only) is no longer an important part of retail - Retailers recognise the integral and critical role the physical store has to play. Major pure play retailers will become key owners of physical store real estate.

Competition for people’s disposable income will increase - Consumers have a desire for new experiences. Retailers will embrace this making the consumer experience more engaging and educational. Creating a connection with the consumer will be integral to ensuring future success.

To learn more about CBRE’s Future of Retail | 2030 go to: