Top Retail Themes in 2023 – Thematic Intelligence

Pages: 17 Published: January 03, 2023 Report Code: GDRT-TR-S042

In 2023, the major themes impacting the retail sector will be: inflation, market polarization, mergers & acquisitions, ESG and omnichannel.


GlobalData breaks down the top themes expected to impact the retail sector in 2023.

Key Highlights

While we expect inflation to fall in 2023, it is not forecast to fall to below pre-pandemic 2019 levels even in 2025. The cumulative impact of inflation means that it will take significant time for retail to recover, as it needs real earnings to make up the lost ground.

With inflation set to remain above average levels, consumers’ discretionary incomes will be squeezed in 2023 and beyond. This means that consumers, and therefore the retail market, will become increasingly polarized. The gap between those with higher savings and discretionary incomes, versus those dipping into and then running out of their savings, and racking up debts, will widen significantly.

Consumers’ concerns about the environmental, social and governance impacts of their retail purchases are rising, meaning it is crucial for retailers to take action to retain appeal. As well as implementing obvious strategies like the incorporation of recycled or sustainable materials into products, players are beginning to offer more innovative initiatives too, such as furniture and clothing rental and the launch of their own resale platforms.

With non-essential retail spend set to remain under pressure over the next few years as global inflation continues to be high, mergers & acquisitions offer the opportunity for growth for those companies with healthy balance sheets. The benefits can be a quick route to diversification, enhancing technology prowess and acquiring customers, which in turn should boost sales.

Reasons to Buy

“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.”

Understand the themes emerging in 2023, allowing you to grasp a wider view of changes in consumer behaviour and how it will impact your markets.

Explore how emerging themes in apparel are allowing industry leaders to evolve, so you can better position yourself for long-term success.

An easy-to-use framework for tracking themes across all companies in all sectors

Companies who invest in the right themes become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures.

Key Players

Marks & Spencer
Frasers Group
Gieves & Hawkes
boohoo group

Table of Contents


2023 Theme Map


Market Polarization

Mergers & Acquisitions


Omnichannel: The Post-Omnichannel Era


Future Reading

Our Thematic Research Methodology

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