Top 5 trends in retail and franchise before we end this year


The year 2020 was a never before year for businesses across spectrum of industry. Each day we witnessed a challenging story – of survival, hope and lost opportunities. There was learning from each story.  While few continuing trends of 2019 were halted, there was rise of new trends in 2020 in the retail and franchise space.  Common was working from home, zoom meets and social distancing in malls and stores.

Apart from that, businesses in retail domain remained cautious. Cost cut across the board, job loss and store shut downs became the new normal. Midst all the challenges, expandnext saw a mix of past trend and rise of new trends which could become mega trends and follow 2021.  Among few, we noted the top five below:

1:  Products (including luxury) are transforming from being exclusive to inclusive. Social values expressed through luxury products now include gender equality, size inclusion, design diversity – look around – products are silently going unisex, brands no longer what to type caste for a certain section in society

2:  We will see more Cloud Kitchen adoption – 70% cloud and 30% brick and motor. QSR space need to adopt and transform into different business model, and accordingly the franchise model likely to change

3:  Fast Retail – We believe brick and mortar retail will continue to become more flexible, shorter lease terms, more pop-up stores near to consumer (including the digital brands, ex – Lenskart, Zivame), we will see more collaborations – in terms of space sharing, partnerships

4:  Anti- experience –  This is not negative trend, but wanted to use this term as precaution for brands who genuinely wanted to make it big in retail / franchise / distribution. What exactly is Anti-experience – it is phenomenon where in any point of time there will be distractions to invest / spend in wrong partners/ advisors/ brokers. Brand should avoid such distractions where franchise brokerage firm in India pretend to help but instead leave them in the middle without right help/ handholding

5:  Alt retail – Alternative retail models such as rental, resale and service-driven formats are moving retail beyond its traditional focus of selling (new) products. Collectively, it called “alt. retail”.  We expect these models not only to expand their reach to more consumers, but also to mature in 2021 and 2022.  Subscription and rental models – we likely to see traction in auto sector, also in furniture market.

Each trends has the potential to disrupt the franchise market in many ways. Brands need to operate with fresh objectives, keeping the cost minimum way forward and optimise the culture within!
(photo credit: Evonne Yuwen Teoh)