Thursday, February 23, 2012

A coming crisis of relevance of "stores"?

Is the concept of “store” obsolete? Now that consumers can shop the world anytime from anywhere, the expectation of having every need instantly satisfied is sky-high. Product searches begin “in the cloud,” largely unattached to a physical store of any kind.

Shopping is not an isolated event. Like our lives, it now streams simultaneously online, with our thoughts and decisions publicly shared and reviewed by our personal networks.

This new flow of life has led to a different idea of what constitutes a store. People no longer distinguish between physical and virtual channels. Today, a retailer must think of itself as a moveable feast—an engaging entity with values, moods, and emotions, as well as commercial, social, and educational aspects.

For that reason, the idea of leading by brand—the values and meaning that define how a retailer does business—is a highly relevant business model that is stable yet adaptable to these fast-paced times.

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