Nearly 60% of EU internet users now shop online and in ten years’ time 20-25% of all retail spend is expected to be generated online. Retailers across Europe need to start future proofing their businesses in order to remain competitive and profitable in the next decade, according to a new report from Megatrends.

The report forecasts that the store will be as relevant as ever in the next decade as people of all ages become ‘omni-consumers’ switching back and forth between the online and offline world.

Eri Mitsostergiou, director of European research at Savills, explained: “It is now imperative for businesses to cater to the principles and lifestyle of both the rapidly growing ageing population and the dynamic young consumer. We have seen how the most successful retailers in Europe have kept in step with these cultural changes, and have merged the digital and physical models of their businesses in an integrated channel.”

The report has predicted that the high street will be still be popular for consumers still wanting to visit a physical destination to shop. Therefore making the in store customer experience an essential part of a customer journey. Stores will become a place not just to sell products but to offer solutions, service and an engaging experience. Big data and technologies such as beacons and facial recognition will enable retailers to offer real time personalisation in stores offering tailored product offers.

Savills says the proliferation of Omni-channel retailing across Europe is set to have a positive impact on the retail and distribution sector. According to the EC, employment is forecast to grow by 6.2% by 2025, almost double the rate of all other sectors.

“This is a pivotal time for the industry,” added Brennan. “Not all types of retail space in Europe will survive the changes in the sector but businesses must now streamline their marketing strategies in line with tech innovation and changing consumer demand in order to stay profitable and expand over the next 20 years.