Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024 – Thematic Intelligence

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Explore trends and insights from the following data in our best-selling ‘Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024’ thematic report:

  • Top themes that are expected to impact the global retail and apparel industries in 2024.
  • The report defines; highlights trends and opportunities; and offers key considerations for brands and manufacturers, for each theme.
  • The major themes that will impact these sectors in 2024 – inflation, globalized retail, mergers and acquisitions, ESG, artificial intelligence, and channel shift.

How is the ‘Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024’ thematic report different from other reports in the market?

“Themes are disruptive, so it’s easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders who invade your sector. Understanding the themes ecosystem will get you ahead of the curve.” Getting access to the ‘Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024’ thematic report today will help you to:

  • Understand the themes emerging in 2024, allowing you to grasp a wider view of changes in consumer behavior and how they will impact your markets.
  • Explore how emerging themes in retail and apparel are allowing industry leaders to evolve, so you can better position yourself for long-term success.
  • Track themes across all companies in all sectors with an easy-to-use framework.
  • Invest in the right themes as those who invest in the right place become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures.

We recommend this valuable source of information to anyone involved in:

  • Retail and Apparel Leaders and Startups
  • Apparel Suppliers/Merchandisers/Distribution Value Chain
  • Business Development and Market Intelligence
  • Investment Analysts and Portfolio Managers
  • Professional Services – Investment Banks, PE/VC firms
  • M&A/Investment, Management Consultants, and Consulting Firms

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Top Themes in Retail and Apparel Overview

GlobalData’s ‘Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024’ thematic research report takes a holistic view of the big themes that will shape the global retail and apparel industry in the coming year. These themes are classified into tech themes, macroeconomic themes, industry themes, and ESG themes. The report defines each theme and highlights trends, opportunities, and gives key considerations for brands and manufacturers.

Report Pages 16
Regions Covered Global
Top Themes ·        Mergers and Acquisitions

·        Globalized Retail

·        AI

·        Inflation

·        ESG

·        Channel Shift

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Retail and Apparel - Top Themes

The top themes that are likely to influence the retail and apparel industry in 2024 include mergers and acquisitions, globalized retail, AI, inflation, ESG, and channel shift.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Consumer expenditure on non-essential products has declined significantly, limiting the retailers’ ability to achieve organic sales growth. In this situation, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) can increase the revenue and consumer base of brands and retailers. It can also help them achieve economies of scale to help counteract rising operating costs. Additionally, partnership with, and acquisitions of smaller retailers is a popular tactic for retailers to extend their market reach. They can build an exclusive brand portfolio and achieve vertical integration in the supply chain.

Online pureplays saw sales growth during COVID-19 when consumers were confined to their homes but with the relaxation of restrictions post-COVID, consumers want to get back to the in-store shopping experience. Hence, online pureplays are facing challenges. As a result, more established (often omnichannel) retailers are acquiring some or all the collapsed pureplay’s assets, often integrating the pureplay’s branding into their offering.

Globalized Retail: Social media has been providing brands an opportunity to reach consumers and access new markets globally. The temporary closure of stores across the world during the COVID-19 lockdown accelerated the growth of online retail and saw a rise in the popularity of affordable global online retailers. With the growing popularity of e-commerce, brands can operate in new geographies and take on established retailers.

For instance, Shein has achieved monumental growth due to its low prices and exceptional social media marketing. Another China-based online retailer, Temu, was launched in the US in 2022 and has followed a similar path to Shein. It now has operations in Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Artificial Intelligence: AI is not only being used for tasks such as inventory management and forecasting, but has advanced to other areas of operations such as personalized marketing, customer service, price optimization, and supply chain management. The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 sparked the popularization of generative AI. Generative AI-powered chatbots and assistants will be revolutionary in dealing with customer inquiries as they will be able to respond instantly to questions and complaints. For instance,

global grocer Carrefour is implementing AI to give consumers an optimized shopping experience. It has launched a chatbot, Hopla, which can create shopping lists and recipes for consumers. It can also provide information about private label products, helping consumers make better choices when shopping for food & groceries and limit their food waste.

Retail and Apparel Theme Map, 2024

Retail and Apparel Theme Map, 2024

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Key Highlights

Macroeconomic conditions during the post-COVID era have so far been defined by persistently high levels of inflation. The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced food and fuel prices up as supply has been restricted, while elevated savings levels have pushed up the level of core inflation, due to elevated consumer spending power stimulating total demand in the economy. Whilst high inflation has been persistent over the past two years, it has started to ease, and we expect it to continue to ease across most markets in 2024.

While artificial intelligence (AI) has been used by retailers for some time for tasks such as inventory management and forecasting, advances have been made in other areas such as personalized marketing, customer service, price optimization and supply chain management. As e-commerce continues to become more popular and data-driven decision making becomes more important, the implementation of AI in retail will accelerate in the coming years.

In an environment of low growth, rising costs, and lower margins owing to high inflation, non-essential consumer spend has fallen as consumers make less frequent purchases and are trading down. As this limits retailers’ ability to achieve organic sales growth, they must look to other means of increasing their revenue and consumer base. Mergers & acquisitions (M&A) can be a key way of achieving this, and it can also help retailers achieve economies of scale to help counteract rising operating costs.

The hyperconsumption of content on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube has opened a world of opportunity for brands to reach consumers and access new markets, with consumers increasingly willing to order items from abroad. E-commerce has become a relatively low risk and capital-light way for brands to gain global scale, operate in new geographies and take on established retailers.

Cath Kidston
Forever 21
Frasers Group

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. 2024 Theme Map
  3. Mergers & Acquisitions
  4. Globalized Retail
  5. Artificial Intelligence
  6. Inflation
  7. Environmental, Social, and Governance
  8. Channel Shift
  9. Glossary
  10. Further Reading
  11. Our Thematic Research Methodology
  12. About GlobalData
  13. Contact Us

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