Shopping is part of all cultures. At times it’s the way we meet the basic needs required to get through our daily lives. At other times, it’s an exciting adventure of discovery and fun. This is as it has been for over 100 years. Throughout that time retailing has evolved from local, specialized “mom and pop” stores to enormous global corporations operating big-box stores offering everything from food to fashion. Along the way retailing has become a huge part of the global economy. In the US, for example, consumer spending today represents 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
As retailing evolves, it impacts everyone. We have seen this in the past as retailers moved from large emporiums in cities to specialized shops in suburban malls and then to big-box formats offering large selections of goods at discounted prices. Today we are in the midst of the most profound change that the retail industry has ever gone through. We are seeing significant changes in the way consumers shop, where they shop and when they shop. These changes will, once again, change the retailing landscape, as consumers shift to those retailers that evolve while others are forced to liquidate.
This paper offers a glimpse into what retailing will look like in 2020 and outlines the implications for retailers today. In order to succeed, retailers will have to rethink their strategies and their points of differentiation; the customers of 2020 will require it.
Are you ready for these changes? You have no choice.