Fresh off a tour of European brands and retailers, Jane Hali, chief executive officer of Jane Hali & Associates LLC, found sustainability narratives and product attributes to be a prominent trend along with experiential offerings.
Hali said in a research notes to clients that “sustainability, beauty, wellness, inclusivity, skate, sneakers and home” were key trends in stores while “retail experiences were offered across the board.”
In her report, Hali noted that department store Selfridges and brands such as Nike “and many others have dedicated spaces to educate the consumer about sustainability and how their products [with indicators of which products] are made in a sustainable way.”
“Selfridges is focused on its launch of Selfridges Project Ocean,” Hali said. “The retailer has removed single-use water and carbonated drink bottles, plastic straws, plastic carrier bags and plastic delivery packaging. Selfridges is also promoting beauty brands which are plastic-conscious.”
Meanwhile, Nike stores carved out exhibition space for educating shoppers “on how their fabrics such as Nike Flyleather and Nike FlyKnit among others are created in a sustainable way.” At Tommy Hilfiger, vending machines are set up to accept their old branded denim while offering 20 percent off shopper’s next denim purchase.
Beauty and wellness were also prominent, and Hali said Selfridges and Harrods “both are heavily focused on the categories” with Selfridges continuing to add to its brand assortment with Pat McGrath branded beauty products. “Selfridges has added wellness through its Body Studio concept, a wall on the third floor dedicated to wellness, body care and other beauty products,” Hali added.
At, Harrods the retailer recently opened its newly revamped beauty floor. “The revamp is extensive and covers a variety of new DTC brands as well as traditional luxury beauty brands,” Hali said. “The new beauty space is 53 percent larger than the original. Each floor has some sort of beauty push. Harrods is also offering skin services through its wellness clinic.”
Hali said the skate culture has gained also momentum in Europe. “We noted a significant number of skaters on the streets and in South Bank skate park,” she said. “Although London has always had the South Bank skate park, it has never been as busy and used by skaters of all ages.”
Meanwhile, Carnaby Street has “become the mecca of streetwear, denim, outdoor brands and activewear,” Hali said adding that both The North Face and Columbia have new stores in the area while Timberland opened on Regent Street. “We also notice the department stores carrying the transitional and winter lines from Canada Goose and Moncler,” she said adding that The North Face Store on Carnaby Street “is special because it is the first store to carry both the upper tier Black and Purple Label lines.”
With experiential efforts, Hali said it is key to drawing in shoppers. “We are seeing more stores with great experiences,” she said citing Selfridges, Harrods, Nike and Lululemon as those doing it right while retailers “we felt lagged in experience were Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman and Lee.”