Retail market trends that will influence retail design in 2023 and beyond

Retailers and brands are emerging from a pandemic that has essentially lasted three years. The retail market has been challenged by supply chain disruptions, inflationary prices, economic uncertainty and geopolitical factors. The retail market is adapting to the “NEW ABNORMAL” and seamless experience and hybrid shopping are shaping the future of retail.

What retail industry trends are expected in 2023 and beyond that will influence retail store design as we “say goodbye to traditional retail?”

Consumers will continue to shop offline

The death of brick-and-mortar stores has been greatly exaggerated. Consumers returned to brick-and-mortar stores as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Physical retail stores will support sales and fulfillment

Reliance on BOPIS (buy online buy in store) and fast delivery remains. That’s why it’s essential to have an attractive storefront that facilitates the offline shopping experience.

Experiential retail will continue to grow

People want the experience of going to a store and picking out items they like. Successful stores will offer experiences that retail customers won’t find anywhere else. The survey found that 59% of consumers expect retailers to devote more space to experiences and that 81% of shoppers are willing to spend more in retail stores that offer a rich shopping experience.

Increased focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility

Sustainability will continue to be ‘Top Of Mind’ in 2023. Retailers will be expected to continue to improve their sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives by selling ethically sourced products, implementing green business practices and more. Today’s customers want to align with brands that share their values.

Retail will penetrate other industries and vice versa

More retail stores will evolve from retail-only stores to become hybrid locations that offer more than inventory in 2023. Retail stores will set up services, event spaces, and even coffee shops within their locations.

Companies in other industries will continue to add retail components to their operations to maximize retail revenue. Hybrid retail locations provide unique experiences and this trend is likely to grow in 2023 and beyond.

The store design will change to include mixed-use spaces

Store design has been a critical element during the pandemic as retailers adjust store sizes and engage in retail. For example: Walmart and Target have tested smaller formats such as Target Campus stores or Walmart’s Neighborhood Markets. At the same time, Target recently announced plans to invest in larger stores that offer 20,000 square feet more than the average store, including new store design features. Features continue to be added to support new shopping initiatives such as curbside pickup, in-store fulfillment, and in-store pickup.

Mall developers and community leaders are moving toward implementing mixed-use space concepts that offer shopping, living, dining and other community spaces that serve a specific market.

A final thought

Designers of future retail stores must recognize and understand retail trends and develop designs to meet the needs and challenges these trends present. Agility, flexibility and sustainability will certainly be the buzzwords for retail space designers in 2023 and beyond.

Glenn Ebersole is a registered professional engineer and is the director of business development at JL Architects, a West Chester-based architecture firm serving clients locally, regionally and nationally. He can be reached at or 717-575-8572.

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