Retail trends to watch in 2021

The events of 2020 fueled a thirst for innovation

NRF’s virtual event, NRF 2021: Retail’s Big Show — Chapter 1, is happening now through January 22. Register here to view this session and more on demand.


The year 2020 may be behind us, but the events of the past year will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the retail industry. To learn how retailers are coming out of an unpredictable year and what 2021 holds for the industry, NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast team chats with Susan Reda, vice president of education strategy at NRF, about her annual retail industry predictions.

The events of 2020 fueled a thirst for innovation. Reda believes 2021 will be another challenging year for retail, requiring the industry to continue to “dig in, figure it out, innovate.” And while the pandemic may have been an accelerant for innovation, consumers’ demand for convenience and services such as curbside pickup, buy online, pickup in store and shopping by appointment will not subside with the virus.

“We've opened up, in so many ways, a Pandora's box,” Reda says. “And we're not going to be able to put things back in that box and return to whatever normal was. I hate that word now because ‘normal,’ ‘new normal’ — whatever, we just have to move forward.”

Listen to the full episode to learn about what to watch in retail in the coming year, and read Reda’s full article of 2021 retail predictions.

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