Insights

The retail transformation

Cultivating choice, experience, and trust

This report explores emerging trends affecting both businesses and consumers, and considers the ways these trends are manifesting in the retail space. We will discuss possible options for established retailers in light of these changes, then describe small, smart steps these retailers can take to help position themselves well for the future landscape.

Today’s retail landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically. Driven by the Big Shift’s forces, consumers are becoming far more informed, and product choices are proliferating rapidly. Technological advances and public policy liberalization are contributing to new flows of information, knowledge, and resources.

As a result, retailers face new pressures:

  • Lowered barriers to market entry are bringing in many new small players and fragmenting the retail landscape.
  • Online marketplaces are transcending geographic proximity and expanding market demand for highly specific offerings. Small niche players can reach consumers regardless of physical location.
  • Technologies such as on-demand fulfillment are changing how and where retailers hold inventory.
  • New retail models are arising out of new technologies and new ways to connect with consumers.

To compete effectively, traditional retailers should reimagine how they create and capture value, thinking past omnichannel positioning to examine, and find the best uses for, their assets.

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