March 25, 2014

The Robin Report

Give this little ditty about retail a read (click here) about retail "demassification".

Yes, you'll see the phrase "omnichannel" mentioned a couple of times, but it is mentioned as an operational capability and not as a strategy - in other words, it's proper place in the landscape has been identified by somebody other than me.

Just read the article.

Notice the comments about Jasmine (40% of retail $ coming from Jasmine by 2020). Notice the comments about providing a great entertainment experience. Notice the comments about the retail center (not the individual store within the mall) recognizing best customers via technology.

The author was also on CBS Sunday Morning (click here) - predicting that half of all malls will close in the next ten years - "why go to a mall when the mall is in your pocket?"

Don Libey called malls "those cities of the dead" back in 2006.

When you think about this stuff, you can see what trade journalists and consultants would dive in, head first, swimming about in the omnichannel pool. You want to believe that what you love doing will survive, who wouldn't want to believe that?

Now, will the author of these essays be proven right? Who knows? I recall being at Nordstrom in 2001, reading the experts in the trade journals, listening to these pundits suggest that Nordstrom couldn't survive in a modern world with 144,000 square foot stores, telling everybody that department stores were dead. Since then, Nordstrom generated ten billion dollars in profit. Experts are always wrong.

Regardless, this is quite an interesting inflection point in retail, isn't it?

Most interesting, right now, is the trend where new customer acquisition in stores is being chopped off by e-commerce and mobile. The same thing happened to catalogers ten years ago. History has a way of repeating itself, don't you think?

Watch the video from CBS Sunday Morning ... it only takes six minutes of your time. Think entertainment. Retail is not omnichannel - retail is entertainment.