Westfield has unveiled a vision for a ‘hyper-connected micro-city’ fuelled by social interaction and community. Destination 2028 predicts the key trends in retail.
Destination 2028 has been developed with the vision of a panel of experts. Westfield consulted a futurologist, a fashion technology innovator, and a retail specialist alongside experimental physiologists. The result shows consumers how retail may develop over the next ten years.
Westfield London will have been open for ten years on October 30th.
“As we celebrate ten years of pioneering retail in London we’re already looking forward to the next decade,” Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer at Westfield UK and Europe said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work closely with brands to deliver innovative retail spaces that create the ideal environment for them and our visitors – including developing technologies that converge digital and physical shopping to enhance that Extra-perience in state-of-the-art surroundings.”
CGI images show the new concept. Westfield recognises that consumers are going to place a growing desire for a more rounded retail experience, that brings in leisure, wellness, community and experience, alongside shopping. It’s a debate that is on the minds of everyone in retail with malls and shopping centres vying to find ways to attract consumers away from online shopping with retailtainment.
Destination 2028 predicts the following trends in retail:
- New tech personalises the experience. New technologies will be key. Walkways have artificial intelligence included in their construction. Eye scanners on entry will call up a visitor’s previous purchases and will offer recommendations for personalised fast-lanes. ‘Magic’ mirrors and smart changing rooms allow shoppers to see virtual reflections of themselves in possible outfits. Smart toilets will detect hydration levels and nutritional needs.
- Focus on health and wellness. Wellness continues to be a huge story for consumers. So the new vision contains a ‘betterment zone’ offering mindfulness workshops. Green space, both indoors and outdoors, is vital. The concept shows allotments and farms where visitors can pick the produce for their meals. A network of waterways not only gives access to watersports but also gives customers a different route around the centre. The environment is lush, with hanging sensory gardens to captivate all the senses.
- Classroom retail. ‘Classroom retail’ will offer customers the chance to learn from retailers. Designers and makers will interact with visitors, showing how items are made. Craftspeople will work in front of a live crowd. Resident artists will paint in a live gallery. New stage areas will host a series of showpiece interactive activities and events.
- The sharing economy. Destination 2028 highlights the rise of the sharing economy. Rental-retail promises to become the norm for post-millennials who will rent rather than buy everything from clothing to exercise equipment. Experts say the future of retail will include pop-up spaces, temporary retail, and co-working spaces.
These trends are already being incorporated into Westfield London. Westfield Square, a new outdoor space, will launch this summer. It will be the focal point of the centre’s £600 million expansion and will bring together dining, entertainment and experience.
Westfield Corporation was acquired by property group Unibail-Rodamco for $24.7bn in 2017. Recent mega mall mergers like the Westfield acquisition and the takeover of GGP Inc deliver consolidation benefits to combat the threat of online shopping.