Winter 2017
Top 10 Industry Trends of 2017

3: Retail curation

Picture a store where every single item from the inventory is laid out in a haphazard way and one where just a few select items are artfully merchandised. Which one would customers gravitate to? Which one creates more intrigue? Curation, where a retailer either edits out brands/products from a category for various reasons or merchandises categories into sensible solutions for their shoppers, is increasingly becoming a go-to especially for high-end name brands.

“We live in an internet-saturated, 24/7 culture, where the world and the choices within it have become overwhelming. Curation simplifies our decision making, and if a retailer makes our lives easier, we are going to feel more favorably towards them,” says Craig Elston, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Insight & Strategy, The Integer Group, a retail and shopper marketing agency. Merchandise curation, he says, helps to ensure that shoppers are inspired; that they can easily get all the products they need and that the retailer can capture sales they might not ordinarily capture.

“It’s something that fashion retailers have done forever—think of the mannequin onto which retailers place an entire outfit, one that is designed to show the clothes (how trousers fit with shirts, with a jacket etc.), which inspires the shopper and tempts them to try on the merchandise,” Elston says, “We are seeing this in many other areas of retail today, on and offline.”
The curation is not limited to products within a store either. Shopping centers are increasingly “editing” or curating their mix of merchants to deliver just the right mix to customers. See the feature article on retail curation in this issue (page 70).

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Patricia Norins

Patricia Norins serves as VP of Specialty Retail & Publications at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Considered the authority on specialty retail, she has been tracking the industry for the past thirty years. Norins is Publisher of Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and pop-up stores). SRR has a readership of more than 75,000 each quarter.

Poornima Apte

Poornima Apte is a Boston-area freelance writer and editor specializing in retail and the book publishing industry. Learn more at
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