Frontier(less) Retail, a new report on the state of the retail industry, marks the Innovation Group’s partnership debut with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), the leading authority on fashion, beauty and retail.

Inspired by what Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group, observes as a retail landscape that is becoming “borderless, blurred and amorphous,” Frontier(less) Retail dissects these changes, and offers predictions on how these shifts will evolve in the years to come.

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“Frontier(less) is an apt description for retail right now,” said Greene. “The digital and physical worlds are blurring in new ways, as interfaces for retail are moving beyond the smartphone and into our home environments. When it comes to the consumer, some would say their expectations are becoming limitless—whether it’s instant delivery, intuitive commerce or compelling store experiences.”

Ed Nardoza, Editor-in-Chief of WWD, commented further: “The best retailers don’t really differentiate physical from digital shopping. They need to offer whatever experience and convenience the shopper demands, when they demand it.”

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The report includes original consumer data from the UK, US and China markets, surveying a total of 3,000 consumers about their shopping and purchasing habits across all channels. Key findings include:

– 89% of US Millennials and 91% of Gen Zers say that if they’re looking to make a purchase online, they typically look at Amazon first to see if it sells the item
– 96% of Chinese respondents are worried that items they buy online might be counterfeit, while 94% worry about payment security
– 43% of UK Millennials and 53% of UK Gen Zers say that when they order an item online, they expect it to arrive in no more than two days
– 80% of US Gen Zers are more likely to visit physical stores that offer entertainment

WEB_Gentle Monster x Quantum, Seoul, Korea
Gentle Monster x Quantum, Seoul, Korea
Have Fun by Your Story in collaboration with Pepsi, New York City
Sephora Flash, Paris

The report also includes in-depth sections on:

Digital frontiers: We’re now contemplating a world in which retail is everywhere. As e-commerce grows more dominant, and internet access is viewed as more of a public utility like water or electricity, retail becomes ubiquitous in our urban spaces and everyday lives.

Experience frontiers: Retail is dividing between online shopping for pure utility, and shopping as an experience, in which physical stores remain a crucial touchpoint. We explore the implications of experientialism for retail, with six in-depth experience case studies.

WEB_Future Fashion installation by Westfield and Inition, London, 2015
Future Fashion installation by Westfield and Inition, London
WEB_Adidas at SoleDXB, Dubai. Image courtesy of Lightblue
Adidas at SoleDXB, Dubai
Samsung 837, New York City

China: We explore emerging Chinese retail trends, from heightened demand for premium food, to luxury brands investing in Chinese e-commerce platforms, to China’s approach to virtual-reality shopping.

Key retail markets to watch: The latest retail outlook from Seoul, Bangkok, New Delhi, and Dubai/Abu Dhabi.

Click here to purchase the full report.

Dior Boutique in Seoul, Korea.-Architecture by Christian de Portzamparc. Photography by Nicolas Borel
Emquartier mall, part of EM District in Bangkok, Thailand. Courtesy of Leeser Architecture
SND Fashion Store in Chongqing, China. Photography by Shen Qiang