2023 truly highlighted the resiliency of those in our industry. While economic conditions like inflation and a tight labor market carried the potential to slow business growth, operators around the world found innovative ways to find success.

So, what can we expect in the new year? Here are 3 unattended retail trends to watch in 2024 that will help you grow your business.

More Favorable Economic Conditions

The high inflation and interest rates that we saw in 2023 are expected to ease in 2024. According to NAMA’s Economic Trends Tracker, 2024 is described as “cautiously optimistic” with easing inflation, a more efficient supply chain, and lower interest rates

Unattended Retail Trends

As a result, operators can expect product prices to stabilize and customers to have more money for impulse purchases. Plus, the improved supply chain and lower interest rates should make it easier to purchase much-needed equipment and invest in your business.

Return to Work

Since the pandemic, hybrid work has been a popular trend in many workplaces. However, the hybrid work bubble might have burst. Statistics show that only 26% of US households have someone working remotely at least once a week – a large drop from the peak of 37% in 2021.

The push toward in-person work is a huge benefit for our industry. Workplace amenities, including micro markets, will be essential to persuade workers to come into the office. As workers return, make sure to keep up with inventory levels in current placements to account for increased sales. Plus, keep your eye out for new accounts that might be profitable due to returning workers.

Innovative Products

Another year leads to another batch of new products in our rapidly changing industry. Just as vending made way for micro markets in many locations, operators are embracing new technology like smart stores to increase revenues and capture new accounts.

Smart stores combine the security of a vending machine with the product diversity of a micro market – allowing operators to service new locations like gyms, car dealerships, hotels, and more. Smart stores come in different formats like AI-powered coolers or cabinets. With these new products at hand, operators can boost sales at existing accounts or secure profitable new ones.

With more favorable economic conditions, increased return to work initiatives, and innovative products, 2024 is shaping up to be a successful year for unattended retail operators. Get in touch with 365 Retail Markets today to learn how we can help you capitalize on these upcoming trends.

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