The future looks bright for retail in 2024

Retail Outlook 2024

2023 was a mixed bag for retail. And as we head into 2024, signs of optimism are being tempered with what could still be a bumpy ride.

Consumers became more optimistic towards the end of last year about their finances, with inflation levels and interest rates falling, giving many people hopes that they will have more disposable income during 2024.

However, for retailers, there is much talk about rising commodity prices as we head into 2024, especially with regards to paper costs. Also, sea freight costs have already started to increase due to the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

With such a balancing act, it’s crucial that buyers and planners stay in control of their stock forecasts and costs. Where possible, work with your supply chain partners to use data and analytics to manage these elements so you’re covered, no matter what’s on the horizon.

Here’s our take on some of the important things to focus on for retail success in 2024.

2024 supply chain stability

2023 began to see supply chains return to some level of normality. With many retailers having spent the last few years diversifying and stabilising their supply chains, it was good to see stability set in. But war in Ukraine and in Gaza mean that there is still potential for disruption and retailers need to be prepared for change.

And of course, it’s not just supply chain disruption that you need to prepare for, but changes to regulations and directives that could have an impact on how you import and export. Shipping specialist Maersk has pulled together new regulations that retailers need to be aware of in 2024 that have the potential to impact your supply chain. Be prepared and continue to be agile in your thinking and speak to your supply chain partners. We’re here to help with our Service with Guts!

It’s also worth remembering that sustainability in your supply chain sits at the heart of carbon initiatives and legislation, and your reputation with your customers.

The supply chains of 2024 are going to be driven by great relationships. In order for you to fulfil your sustainability obligations, great relationships with suppliers and buyers will be key to track your emissions across the whole lifecycle of your products and processes.

These relationships will also cement the resilience you’ve built into your supply chains during the last three years and help your transparency with customers – something that’s both legislated and in-demand from consumers.

Retail sales & omnichannel

It’s predicted that European online and offline sales will stabilise at pre-pandemic levels in 2024 - increasing from €2.3 trillion in 2023 to €2.7 trillion in 2028. During 2022, offline retail sales grew faster than online, showing clear signs that the future of retail sales is omnichannel. And online and offline working seamlessly is still a match made in heaven.

“As inflation cools and the economy stabilises, we expect both offline and online retail sales to grow at pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 2024,” says Jitender Miglani, Principal Forecast Analyst at Forrester.

Recent research from McKinsey & Company shows that 64 percent of European consumers said they made apparel purchases across a retailer’s channels in 2023. The same report states that the omnichannel experience is becoming more important across categories beyond apparel, including for consumer electronics, jewellery, skincare and beauty, and furniture. To build on your success in 2024, investing in omnichannel and creating seamless experiences for your customers is key.


Sustainability needs to be high on your agenda in 2024. Now is the time for action if you want to set yourself up for success.

Clothing has been a huge area of focus for sustainability in retail and you can learn a lot by focussing on the circularity of your products, the manufacturing processes and materials used. Beginning the process of exploring and experimenting with sustainable swaps and eliminating as much waste as possible is vital to being prepared for EU deadlines to meet your sustainability obligations. And that goes for Goods Not For Resale too. If you want ideas on how to make simple swaps that have a big impact, then read our Greener Store blog.

Showing your green credentials is also crucial for your brand reputation and continued success with your customers. European consumers haven’t let economic problems dissuade them from shopping sustainably – it’s still high on their priority list which means it needs to be high on yours.

For 2024, there are some key areas you need to focus on to make progress with your sustainability agenda including: packaging, circularity, products (buying and selling), in-store and warehouse emissions and transparency.

2024 is off to an optimistic start. By focussing on some key areas, you’ll establish a solid foundation to put your brand in the best place for success in 2024 and beyond.

Start 2024 off with a smarter supply chain. Speak to our team on +31 (0) 88 494 20 80 or email us at

David Mines
Business Development Director

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