After 15 years at two of the world’s leading retail analyst firms, I’m beyond excited to transfer those skills over to my new venture: NBK Retail.
I have always been captivated by retail and the way we shop. I have fond memories interning at a Connecticut shopping mall, where my career in retail started out by counting cars in the parking lot and, on Black Friday, making sure the store managers had access to endless donuts and caffeine ahead of the 6am craze.
Even in the quietest of times, retail is a fascinating sector. It is always evolving, becoming more convenient, more connected, more customer-dictated. But today, the scale and pace of change facing the sector is unprecedented.
A decade ago, Amazon was the 47th largest retailer in the world. Today, they’re number 3 – and could very well become the world’s first trillion dollar company.
A decade ago, online retail was the holy grail. Today, pure-play e-commerce is dead. As technology breaks down the barriers between physical and digital retail, having a bricks & mortar presence becomes vital for both brand engagement and ultimately driving online sales.
A decade ago, multi-day lead times were acceptable. Today, Amazon wants same-day delivery to become the norm.
A decade ago, we put the success of the discounters down to temporary effects of the recession. Aldi and Lidl’s share of the UK market has more than doubled in that time.
A decade ago, click & collect was just something Argos did. Today, virtually every high street retailer offers click & collect, as it enables shoppers to marry the benefits of online shopping – assortment and price – with the convenience of collecting instore.
A decade ago, the purpose of the bricks & mortar store was predominantly transactional. Today, the store is being reconfigured as a hub for both experiences and fulfilment. It must become a place not only to buy but also discover, play, eat, work, and collect.
A decade ago, the thought of food in our cupboards being automatically restocked sounded like science fiction. Today, frictionless commerce is becoming a reality thanks to the rise of voice technology, simplified and auto-replenishment capabilities.
And the list goes on.
I’m looking forward to sharing my views on both UK and global retail via this blog. In the meantime, if you’re attending the Summit E-Commerce Scorecard event this morning, I’ll be there taking part in a panel debate. Please come say hello!