retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Inc. has a fascinating story saying that while the anecdotal evidence suggests that these are tough times for bricks-and-mortar retail, a broader look suggests that things are not so bad.

"Apple's stores have been a hit," the story points out, "and a number of digital companies, like Amazon, Warby Parker and Bonobos have been opening brick and mortar locations. Sure, e-commerce is growing, but the Census Bureau estimates that it still accounts for less than 10% of total retail.

"As Darrell Rigby explained in an article in Harvard Business Review, every 50 years retail goes through a major disruption. The rise of urban centers led to department stores. Automobiles created suburbs and shopping malls. Then category killers and discount stores challenged that status quo. Today, retail is in the process of being reinvented once again."

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
The piece makes the point that retail always has been defined by how it defines, interprets and caters to convenience, spontaneity and experience ... but the mistake for many retailers is that they fail to adjust when shoppers redefine those things in their own lives. Old assumptions and old tactics need not apply.