Trends in Retail for 2024

Small Town Main Street

Taking the Bad with the Good

Predicting the future is hard, and that’s never more true than in a presidential election year. While not everyone focuses on politics, it does affect the stock market and all the business activity that descends from it.

A recent article by details 7 retail trends to watch in 2024.

Trouble on the Horizon? It Depends…
About 20 large retailers were forced into bankruptcy in 2023, the largest being Bed, Bath and Beyond, which was subsequently acquired by, which should be able to remedy the weak online presence of the well-loved retailer.

One good thing is that the market has reached equilibrium after the upheaval of the pandemic shutdowns and supply train disruptions, but consumers are still adjusting to the impact of inflation. Add to that soaring credit card balances and increased delinquencies and you have a recipe for a tightening market. Consumers continue to spend cautiously on nonessentials.

Trying New Things
Advancements in technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and experiments with new store formats made some prognosticators optimistic.

Dealing With Crime
Changes in policy among big-city prosecutors has led to a growing crime problem, which we have addressed before. Retailers are faced with finding their own solutions where politicians are unwilling to act.

Revolving Doors in the C-Suite
Big retailers have been seeing departures in upper management when boards have sought to improve stock prices and profitability. Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Levi’s and Costco have all replaced CEOs (or will soon). Changes have also affected CFO, CIO, COO and president at many big retailers.

Cost Cutting
Layoffs are increasing as retailers work to cut costs and streamline their operations. This could be good for small retailers, as the available talent pool of experienced retail workers may grow.

“We’re also seeing layoffs stemming from the closures of brick and mortar that are struggling either financially or with other issues such as theft.” says Catherine Lepard, global managing partner of retail and direct to consumer at Heidrick & Struggles. “Outside of the fiscal drivers, layoffs have recently been the result of retailers rethinking their larger business strategy — right-sizing their footprints to align with consumer behaviors shifting from physical to online shopping.”