The surprisingly bright future of Retail.


One thing that is going away: The Instagrammable store. In 2018, in the aftermath of so many stores shutting down, many brands felt they needed to get creative to woo customers into stores. One strategy was to create stores that would look good in selfies. “Stores wanted to give everybody the chance to feel like an Instagram influencer,” says Lauren McGrath, vice president at Activate, an influencer marketing platform.

That included things like Glossier’s pop-up in San Francisco’s Rhea’s Cafe, which was entirely covered in the pink that Glossier is known for. There was eyewear brand Prive Revaux, which created what amounted to a series of backdrops optimized for Instagram. There were what looked like elaborate art installations at Yankee Candle’s Candle Power Pop-up in New York. There were even stores–like the Museum of Ice Cream and Candy-Topia–that had no other purpose but to provide photo ops for Instagram.

It was fun while it lasted, but all these Instagrammable stores are blending into one another, and consumers are getting bored with the concept. In 2019, brands will need to think of other ways to get consumers into stores. Like, you know, developing great products, or having great customer service. “I think we’re over the flower walls,” says McGrath.

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