The retail sector is changing fundamentally and structurally. Developments in technology, socio-cultural and demographic trends as well as changes within the retail domain itself present many businesses and other stakeholders, like municipalities, the real estate market and ancillary suppliers with major challenges.

The application of new information and communication technology is leading to new ways of reaching and serving consumers. The upsurge in online shopping and the necessity for retail to reposition in this new configuration represent the biggest innovation in this sector in decades. Digitalisation is also changing the relationship with other parties in the retail value chain. Such as the deconstruction by online suppliers of the intermediation of traditional retail: producers are increasingly retailers. In their turn, physical retailers are getting other functions and services on board that actually lie outside their own domain.

In addition to these new possibilities, trends play a significant role in retail: consumer wishes change in the light of socio-demographic trends like ageing and globalisation or the value consumers ascribe to products like fairtrade or sustainability. So it is only logical that these trends should throw up new business models.

All these kinds of trends and developments have reduced the overall shopping floorspace, with vacancies in some regions and a decline in the level of local provision. At the same time, retail is concentrating in the larger cities where the battle for consumers is intensifying. Exciting developments in which the creative industries can help.