Welcome to the last In-Store Insights of 2018. Unbelievable, isn’t it, how quickly 12 months can fly past? As ever, the world of retail doesn’t disappoint when it comes to hitting the headlines, as we look back over a rollercoaster year and look forward to – who knows what?!

Talking of looking back this year, we have launched our Reilly Archives, which offer some fascinating insights into the P-O-P industry from the 1950s to the 1990s, and our Shopper Snapshot service, providing bespoke insights to find out more about shopper habits.

Healthy habits certainly seem to be making their presence felt in-store. Shopper focus on healthy eating is matched by a passion for sports and exercise, which is reflected in rising sales in this category. Find out more about the shape of our sports stores on page 5.

Meanwhile, our focus on all things digital continues, as we disseminate our recent research to discover more about how retailers are using digital screens. With big opportunities to exploit new capabilities, our report on page 13 asks: just how switched on are our retailers?

And while Christmas is the big news in the retail calendar, it seems that Halloween is also one to watch. The spooky season is becoming more and more popular in the UK, with sales of fancy dress, accessories, pumpkins and party food booming. On page 19, we check out which retailers are offering up treats, and which are missing a trick.

It’s no secret that traditional store formats are becoming somewhat tired, and retailers are constantly seeking new ways to inspire shoppers. In our era of ‘everything now’, could the concept of ‘come to me retail’ really work? Taking retail outlets directly to the people may sound out there, but it’s already happening as our report on page 27 explores.

And finally, these are uncertain times with the economy not sky rocketing and footfall is in decline. The mighty Roald Dahl once said: “Lukewarm is no good.” How right he was. We must all be the best we can be, at all times. As a trade association, it’s our role to celebrate the power of physical retail, from experiential to leisure to product demonstration, using the work the industry is doing to put the discipline of shopper marketing firmly on the map. With this in mind, we’ll be launching our POSitivity report in 2019. Here, we’ll focus on best practice, trends, analysis and good news stories from the dynamic and diverse world of physical retail. We’ll be asking for your input, too, so look out for more updates in the coming weeks and months.

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