Open Access Opinion

Redefining the Future of Retail: Millennials and Gen Z Envision a More Sustainable Retail Culture

Rebekah L Matheny*

Department of Design, The Ohio State University, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: AuAugust 23, 2019  Published Date: August 26, 2019


Retail environments play a significant role in contemporary consumer behaviors. Decades of progressive capitalism has led to fast fashion and an abundance of consumer waste. Millennials and Gen Z still value physical environments, however their desire for experience has changed. Recognizing this shift, retailers are looking at insights from both of these generations’ behaviors to inform the future landscape of the retail store experience. They focus less on products and more on the company’s purpose towards environmental and social impact and are driven by their ethical responsibility toward environmental and social sustainability. These generations demand authentic and transparent retail storytelling to create a connection between their beliefs and the value they place on the products they purchase. Driven by these generations documented ethical concerns towards environmentally and socially conscious decision making, it is critical that the purpose of the retail store be redefined. As an emerging field of study, sustainability in retail design requires more research to understand how to leverage the physical environment’s design to foster environmentally conscious consumer behaviors.

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