What's driving the industry in 2023?

The retail and consumer sector is showing resilience despite global economic uncertainty, but what opportunities and challenges might lie ahead? Explore 70+ issues that should impact your decision making in 2023 with our latest edition of the R&C Horizon Scanner.

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Shaping Trends


In a world where there are four internet-connected devices for every person on the planet, the retail & consumer sector will take real-world regulatory issues with them as they expand online and on into the new frontier of the metaverse.

What can I do with consumers' data? Data collection must still be transparent and legitimate.
Marketing in the metaverse. Avatar interactions between business and consumer will attract payment, privacy and promotional challenges.
Protecting the person from the machine. Do AI development ethically now and be ready for new AI regulators and regulations in future.


Constant political change. Ongoing economic volatility. Rising employee expectations. In a year where the only certainty is uncertainty, the retail and consumer sector must navigate workforce challenges on the fly – and continually find fresh ways to attract, engage and retain their people. 

 Where’s the workforce? Resourcing in the wake of Brexit, COVID-19 and new hybrid expectations.
 From picket line to bottom line. How ongoing industrial action will impact business.
 The diversity drive. Why prioritising equality makes ethical and commercial sense. 
 Turning up the heat on deregulation. The impact of the ‘Brexit bonfire’ on employment law.


Supply Chain

Recovery on the way in 2023. Success will be found where operations are adapted to build resilience and embrace new technologies to overcome the continuing interconnected impacts on supply chains from Brexit, climate change, war and other geo-political tensions. 

Future proofing. Adaption and agility is the key to navigate through geopolitical tensions.
Anticipated fall in inflation, less volatile energy market. Time to assess energy efficiencies while securing production and transportation.
Digitally operative ecosystems. Data is enabling more collaboration at all levels.
How well do you know your supply chain? Companies have a responsibility to conduct thorough due diligence throughout the supply chain.

Bricks and Mortar 

After a period of consolidation retailers are looking opportunistically.

Re-energising space. Why it is important to get the right utilisation and mix for success.
Business Rates reform. Disparity between business rates for physical stores and online stores set to continue.
Building Safety Act. Is it relevant to you?



Net zero. Sustainability. Greenwashing. Push from regulators and pull from informed consumers; the retail and consumer sector must evolve credibly and transparently in response.

Powering up. Sourcing green or low carbon energy (from hydrogen) to power manufacturing and the last mile of distribution.
Producer responsibility… for sustainable supply chains and post-consumer waste.
Products and practices: expect greater accountability to regulators and consumers for green claims about products and business practices.