The Future of Retail UK

To better understand where the industry is heading, we have surveyed over 500 retailers and 1,000 consumers to find out how business has changed since 2020.

Future of Retail

Retailers have always been at the forefront of change, but meeting the consumer craving for connection and convenience during the pandemic has prompted store owners to respond faster than ever before. Shopping has been reimagined as new technologies and procedures prompt stores to reconsider and evolve, including selling wholesale. The success of community and camaraderie from brands during the pandemic has shifted the retail landscape. The future of retail, influenced by emerging business trends in 2023, is bold and innovative, and it belongs to local, independent retailers.

To better understand where the industry is heading, we surveyed over 500 retailers and 1,000 consumers to find out how business has changed since 2020.


of UK consumers now make monthly retail purchases online from both third-party and brand-owned sites.


of UK stores now offer same-day in-store pick-up, making it convenient for your customer without diminishing the importance of your bricks-and-mortar.


of UK consumers consider the safety measures imposed during the pandemic to be critical when shopping indoors.


of UK consumers have bought products directly from social media in the past few months, indicating that they remained connected with their favourite brands’ communities online.


of UK retailers are looking into inventory management technology to improve efficiency.


of UK consumers would like to see businesses donate food or supplies to local community organisations and charities and expect more from their chosen brands.

“Local shops offer many advantages over the warehouse approach of retail giants, like Amazon and Argos. Being physically close to their customers creates opportunities to shine, by understanding their wants and needs, and offering faster access to high-quality selection of products.”

— David Rusenko, Head of eCommerce at Square

In this report, you’ll find:

Industry insights from retail experts at Square

Megan Karande and David Rusenko, our resident retail experts, evaluate what some of the most innovative and important trends mean, how they will evolve, and their best advice for local retailers to capitalise on these for their businesses.

Practical examples and insights from innovative Square retailers

Discover how Square retailers across the UK employ new trends such as live streaming, virtual reality shopping, and creating hybrid shopping experiences.

From shops and outlets that serve multiple consumer needs (multi-hyphenate retailers) to social-first selling and hybrid solutions, learn about the successful trends that are changing the face of retail now and far into the future.

Tools and strategies to help you integrate these ideas into your business

Integrate these ideas and trends into your business, no matter your size or location.

To get the rest of these insights and trends, download the full Future of Retail report.