The New Retail Landscape in 2023: Where Every Day is Game Day

Success in the new retail landscape in 2023 requires many of the characteristics of a winning sports team. Winning teams begin with an end in mind. The “coach” or CEO develops a road map or game plan to achieve the goal, which in retail is providing the ultimate customer experience, every day of the year. The best retail teams train each day to keep sharp and connected to the company and to the customer.

Top-performing retailers hire team members based on their kindness and evaluate them based on their customer empathy. Some retailers such as the Harry Potter store hire actors with a passion for Harry Potter to engage and interact with their consumers. Companies such as Sephora and Nordstrom have formalized training programs available virtually and physically and offered to new and exsisitng team members.

Fundamentally, retail is a contact sport with many touch points, which are physical and digital and opportunities to interact with the brand on a smartphone or in a physical store.

Here are the five trends driving the New Retail Landscape in 2023:


Social media-designed stores and experiences. Winning physical stores are designed for sharable word of mouth and social media experiences. In China and in North America, stores, restaurants and shopping centers are being visually redesigned for social media sharing. and it is working. Millions of impressions are generated each day on Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok, driving shoppers to in-store and online sales along with store traffic while creating brand awareness. Kim Kardashian has generated huge awareness for the visually stunning American Dream when she visits with her children.

Family shopping places: Stores such as Camp, known as a family experience center, and the Little Kitchen Academy, which offers educationally enriching activities for children three to 18 years old, are examples of innovative family shopping places. The ABC Cooking Studio, based in Asia, which talks about bringing smiles around the table all around the world, is at the heart of the family trend in retail.

Shopping experiences designed for a five senses experience: Shopping experiences are created for touch, hearing. sight, smell and taste where all the senses are activated. The House of Rituals in Amsterdam is an excellent example, with a holistic shopping experience maximized for all five senses and spirituality. Grocery stores are at the top of the list for five senses experiences. Eataly is a master at maximizing five senses when shopping.

Meandering design: Winning shopping experiencesuch as American Dream utilize meandering design. Replacing long monotonous straight lines of stores with circular pathways is a winning play. Shoppers can discover and explore new stores and experiences and services like an outdoor food market.

Smart store and smart customer interactions: The state of technology in-store is now equal the customer’s technical prowess. RFID can be used for frictionless checkout or to find items in a store where you are shopping. QR codes can be used to launch product videos or explain the composition of an item. Salespeople with smart CRM tools can help shoppers find items and check out in-aisle.

Success in the New Retail Landscape for 2023 will be achieved by winning teams who are laser-focused on the customer and the five trends driving the new retail landscape in 2023.

Dan Hodges is CEO of CIM Tours, a global strategic advisory firm that helps business leaders anticipate the future and innovate accordingly. He is also the founder and CEO of Retail Store Tours, which creates business and consumer programs for attendees at industry conferences and other themed events. These programs help attendees navigate and network the events while encouraging them to explore and engage with the technologies and trends driving the pace of change in retail today. Most recently, Retail Store Tours has been selected to provide the store tour program at the NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show. 

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