Top Retail Trends for 2021


The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a huge rise in online sales, but as life begins to return to normal, the design of a traditional brick and mortar store is more important than ever. In a post-pandemic world, it’s crucial for businesses to ensure they’re catering to every customer by taking the best of both their online and physical stores and blending to create a successful omnichannel shopping experience. Considering some of these retail trends in your fit out will help take your store to the next level.

Contactless Technology

As stores begin to welcome customers back through their doors, retailers need to ensure health and safety is at the forefront of their design. Technology like self service kiosks and tap & go pay are popular options. QR codes can also be used for discount codes, for feedback or to enter your customers into a competition or giveaway. Many chain stores have apps or websites that can help customers find stock availability before they even leave the house.

Natural Lighting

If you can find a way to incorporate natural light in your design, do it! Natural light is ideal in a retail space as it enhances the appeal of your products and allows customers to get a better sense of colour. It also makes people happier! Natural lighting is most flattering in fitting rooms and there is no space more crucial than this when it comes to making a sale.

Sustainability and Environmentalism

Very on trend in 2021 is the issue of sustainability. This could mean using environmentally friendly materials throughout your design, such as composite timber or low-VOC paint. Green fittings like energy efficient lighting and water efficient taps are both better for the environment and your wallet in the long run. You could consider upcycling elements of the previous tenant’s design (which might also save you some money!).

Another aspect of a sustainable retail design could be incorporating greenery into your design. Research has shown that natural elements like natural light and greenery not only draw customers into your store, but encourage them to spend more time in there, in turn allowing them to spend more money.

Minimalistic Layout

A popular trend at the moment is the idea of minimalistic merchandising – refining your stock display to minimal products, to allow the customer to really focus on one thing at a time. In a retail store, space conveys value. This is why many high-end boutiques might display only one or two of each of their range, while discount stores overstuff their shelves with products.

Social Media

By now we all know the power of social media, and it’s only getting stronger as a marketing tool. During the pandemic, social media was an easily accessible way for customers to get news on how their favourite brands and retailers were adapting to the challenging times, including changes to business hours or click and collect information, for example. Now that retail stores are beginning to reopen, one clever way social media can continue to be used to market your brand is by designing an Instagram worthy store. Install eye-catching features that people want to photograph, such as neon signage, a green wall, or a mural background for that Instagram-able opportunity. The value that social media posts can bring to your brand is unlimited.