On the Horizon—What’s Trending in 2020

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A new year. A new decade. There’s so much to look forward to—the Summer Olympics, the presidential election, design trends and yes, alcohol abstinence, are all trending as we begin 2020. Here’s a short list of some of the major trends and events in store for us this year. For a look at business trends in the eyewear and eyecare world, check out VM’s January Cover Story, #PERSPECTIVES 2020.


The Presidential Election


To say that the country is divided when it comes to politics, and specifically the upcoming election in November, is an understatement. According to a recent feature from the Pew Research Center, “Partisanship continues to be the dividing line in the American public’s political attitudes, far surpassing differences by age, race and ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, religious affiliation or other factors. Yet there are substantial divisions within both parties on fundamental political values, views of current issues and the severity of the problems facing the nation.”

Pew went on to say “The issues that divide the partisan coalitions are different for Republicans than for Democrats. Age differences are generally wider among Republicans than Democrats—particularly in opinions about foreign policy, immigration and homosexuality—while educational attainment is a bigger divider among Democrats.”

Pew concluded, “Yet it remains the case that the differences between the two parties are starker than those within the two parties. Across 30 political values—encompassing attitudes about guns, race, immigration, foreign policy and other realms—the average partisan gap is 39 percentage points.”

As to who might win the presidential election, here’s what Politico had to say in their 2020 Election Forecast: “In the race for the White House, President Donald Trump can lose up to 36 electoral votes and still win. But his low approval ratings make this race a toss-up.”

To learn more about the dueling partisan coalitions in the U.S., check out PBS’ Frontline two-part Special Series titled “America’s Great Divide.”


Tokyo Summer Olympics


From July 24 to Aug. 9, Tokyo and Japan will be at the center of the world’s attention as the next hosts of the Olympic Games. With 339 events in 33 sports, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will have plenty of sporting highlights this summer, according to an announcement on the website. But even before the games have begun, there is already “an unprecedented level of excitement” for the games, said John Coates, coordination commission chair International Olympic Committee (IOC). Some 8.8 million applications for Olympic Games tickets have been received since domestic sales started, with 3.6 million tickets being sold in the first phase of sales alone, exceeding the organizers’ expectations, according to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Delegation.

As in the past, NBC will be home to 2020 Summer Olympics coverage. They will broadcast on TV and also have a home for all Olympics viewing on their Olympic Channel website, with events available to livestream.

Click here to read more about the Summer Games via Time Magazine.


What Are the Next Steps for Brick-and-Mortar ?


The national news has been filled with stories about the demise of brick-and-mortar retailers, but such closures are part of a natural evolution of this sector, according to a Ball State University researcher. Steve Horwitz, Professor of Free Enterprise for Ball State, “is not surprised that more than 1,700 stores are expected to close as part of ‘retail apocalypse.’

“These closures are part of an ongoing larger process of economic transformation as we move from old-school brick and mortar retail to firms who can best figure out how to leverage not just online but the platform economy type processes—pick up at the store and/or quick delivery to the home—for their specific industries,” he said. “We are living through a major transformation in the way people buy things and some companies haven’t figured out how to meet the way people want to shop now. Target and Costco are thriving. Kroger has figured it out. They win.

“It’s also on ongoing part of the ‘dematerialization’ of the economy as consumers seem less interesting in ‘things’ than experiences. Horwirz also points out that while Pier 1 Imports, Sears, Kmart and Walgreens are slashing retail stores, other smaller companies are opening in larger numbers in other sectors—particularly technology.

The retail industry is indeed undergoing a major transformation in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar, according to a recent eMarketer analysis. The era of inventory-led retail is ending, and the shift toward brands and the customer experience is emerging, the report noted, and these changes are set against a backdrop of heightened economic uncertainty.

But what are the changing fundamentals of the retail sector and the most important trends that will shape the year ahead? How much will U.S. consumers spend on retail and ecommerce in 2020?

eMarketer has forecast a moderation in growth rates vs. previous years, with total retail sales expected to grow 2.0 percent to $5.574 trillion and e-commerce sales expected to grow 12.8 percent to $666.28 billion. But which retailers will succeed, and which will struggle? Click here for answers to key retail trends for 2020.


Americans Are Drinking Less (Wine)



In 2019, Americans drank less wine, according to this recent feature from USA Today. “For the first time in 25 years, wine consumption has declined, falling in 2019 by nearly 1 percent in volume, according to global alcohol tracker IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. While wine drinking is on the decline, Americans are still spending more overall on alcohol, with $167 billion going to buy booze. It's a 2.5 percent increase over 2018, IWSR said.”

Brandy Rand, IWSR Drink Markets Analysis chief operating officer for the Americas, told USA TODAY, "The challenges facing the wine industry have been looming for years, as Baby Boomers age out and Millennials show more of a preference for spirits and hard seltzers. With the rise in low- and no-alcohol products and consumer trends toward health and wellness, wine is in a tough place to compete." But what about alcohol consumption in general? It seems Americans may be drinking less with a certain portion of the population swearing off alcohol all together. Here’s what WebMD had to say about the taking a break from alcohol trend.

“According to the market research firm Yougov, more than 1 in 5 Americans plan to take part in Dry January this year. The campaign began in the United Kingdom in 2013 with 4,000 people, and by 2018, 4 million took part there. The sober-curious movement, which includes people drinking less in general, shows up in other research: Nielsen reported that 47 percent of American adults tried to drink less alcohol this year.

“Add to that new lines of nonalcoholic craft beers, zero-proof spirits that mimic the real thing, alcohol-free dance parties, and bartenders and mixologists creating ‘mocktails’ every bit as inventive as their hard-liquor cousins, and you have the makings of a trend. Whole Foods Market even named ‘zero-proof drinks’ as one of its top 10 food trends for 2020.

“Younger consumers want to be in more control. That’s what’s leading it,” says Eric Schmidt, director of alcohol research at the Beverage Marketing Corporation. “Also there’s a health perception driving it. Hard seltzer isn’t nonalcoholic, but it’s lower in alcohol and gives the impression of being better for you. It’s leading a lot of the growth.”

Read More About 2020 Trends



Everyone it seems, has a prediction for the year 2020. Check out these articles to see what may be coming our way when it comes to new trends, ranging from interior home design to marketing techniques.

Prediction Consensus: What Experts See Coming in 2020

In the modern era, data and media are the new magic 8-ball. The jury is still out on whether we’ve gotten any better at anticipating the forces that will shape the coming year, but that certainly hasn’t stopped people from trying. Of the hundreds of forward-looking pieces of content published in the lead-up to 2020, how many of the expert predictions lined up? Was there a consensus on any particular trend, or were predictions all over the map? During the month of December we analyzed over 100 articles, whitepapers, and interviews to answer that question.


Connecting the Dots: Consumer Trends That Will Shape 2020

With the advent of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), telehealth, and robotics, health care—as we know it—is changing. Using consumer data, this trend explores the role digital technologies and AI will play in reshaping the health care system.


10 Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know for 2020

Marketing expert Michael Brenner has 3 Quick Takaways when it comes to 2020 marketing trends: 
• The marketing trends that will dominate in the next 12 months will include Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Content Visualization.

• The definition of what we consider as “marketing” is constantly changing and becoming broader.

• Marketing has moved beyond branding and advertising; marketers must work together with other departments to focus on building great customer experiences and engaging them for long-term relationships.



Interior Design Trends Going Away in 2020

In 2019 we saw lots of interior design trends change. We said goodbye to dark wood cabinets (finally) and bid adieu to grey. But now, it’s officially the end of a decade of design. Whether you’re planning major renovations in 2020 or buying a new home, it’s important that spaces don’t look as if they belong in the early aughts. Here are the interior design trends and styles that will look dated in 2020.