Shopping centre landlords and developers will increasingly start to focus on delivering what consumers want and where they want it and will begin to create integrated communities in which to live, work and shop.

CBRE also foresee that the focus of the traditional fuelling stations will change as they become important mini-logistic hubs as sites of fuel retailers will make ideal locations for collection points for online shoppers. Ownership of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles will also become more common and there will be an increased need for fast-charging points, this is especially true for city dwellers without access to a designated parking space or charging point at home.

Andrew Phipps, Head of UK & EMEA Retail Research at CBRE, commented: “It’s all about change. The roles of the shopping centre, of the fuel station, and of retail itself.  The speed of change may catch some people unexpectedly, as the mindset and requirements of the consumer will evolve more quickly than the industry can adapt.  This means that investors and occupiers need to prepare and be ahead of the changing trends and not wait to adopt them as they happen.”

CBRE’s Future of Retail 2030 examines 40 “futurist” insights on how the world of retail will change in the future - amid changes in consumers ‘lifestyles, urban environments, retail operations, logistics and other trends affecting the industry.

Other insights outlined by CBRE include:

Smartphones will no longer exist but mobile commerce will grow
As the technology of augmented and virtual reality matures there will be a decrease in the overall dependency on smartphones. Instead smaller and wearable gadgets will connect people to the Internet of Things and will provide access to most information and services. Retailers and landlords will need to prepare to provide digitally enabled environments that can leverage consumers’ connectivity. These environments will need to complement, not compete with consumers’ digital access.

Independent stores and F&B operators will be more prevalent
Retail destinations will feature unique offerings curated towards the local catchment. Retail chains will recognise the opportunities that exist and will begin to further develop ‘local’ concepts and brand names to give the appearance of independence.

The in-store check-out desk will be replaced by faster cashless ways to pay
Many retailers have already taken away the physical check-out desk and this is likely to continue as technology will play an increasingly important role as an enabler of retail sales. This will result in a reduction in the number of retail assistants required in this part of the consumer journey.

Fitting rooms will help as opposed to hinder the shopping experience
Technology will allow customers to try on an outfit in a virtual environment and show items already owned in combination with the item being considered to buy. Fitting room technology will also allow the customer to request a different size or style via touchscreen. This will negate the need to leave the fitting room.

The number of wellness establishments will grow
The ‘Instagram generation’ will continue to evolve and will have an even greater ‘need’ to look and feel good. Fitness centres will become commonplaces in malls, urban areas and in new-build residential properties.

Retail will be leisure
As stores become showrooms, in-store leisure elements will dramatically increase. The divide between retail and leisure will become blurred as retail brands address the need for an experience in their store.