retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how some video rental stores continue to buck the streaming video trend, offering options to consumers that they can't get elsewhere.

"Owners and customers of the more than 100 independent and nonprofit video stores still kicking throughout the U.S., often in places with strong locavore food scenes, say the stores offer variety film lovers can’t find elsewhere," the Journal writes. "It might be a deep roster of anime films by Hayao Miyazaki, or one of Dario Argento ’s more obscure grindhouse efforts. They allow a browsing experience impossible online and serve as libraries for movies and TV shows that will likely never transfer to an online format."
KC's View:
The story make a very important point for any retailer looking to compete with e-commerce giants (or even bricks-and-mortar giants) - you have to be really, really consumer focused, with a deep knowledge of what consumers want, an ability to predict how they'll respond to recommendations, and a willingness to not do business according to old constructs.

I think it is very interesting that video stores tend to be successful in places with strong locavore movements, but I also believe that one cannot simply wait for movements to emerge. One can help seed them by being aggressive about promotion and product selection.