retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Media Post reports on the new study by Deloitte saying that the volatility in the bricks-and-mortar retail business stems not from online competition, but from broader fragmentation.

"We call it death by a thousand paper cuts,” says Deloitte's chief innovation officer, Kasey Lobaugh. “For the past 100 years, we’ve seen this path of consolidation. But since 2009, we’ve been on a path of fragmentation, and these smaller, more nimble retailers have entered the market. The conventional wisdom — that e-commerce is hurting retailers and that big brands are overpowering smaller ones — just didn’t stand up to our analysis.”

According to the story, the study suggests that "focusing on either e-commerce or physical sales is less important than aligning the retailers’ strategy and value proposition with the right channels. " Retailers that focus on being "cheapest, fastest and easiest" may find their margins under pressure, while companies that focus on competing based on " experience and exclusivity of product" may have greater success, higher sales, and healthier margins.
KC's View:
It is the rare company that only can differentiate itself with price ... increasingly, these stores have to have something else that makes them special.

This actually makes the point that I try to make here a lot - that MNB is not anti-store, but rather pro-relevance. People who whine about e-commerce being intrinsically evil, or bad for society, or unfair to community based businesses, are just missing the point. Compete is a verb, and differentiating action is required of everyone in the marketplace.