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"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life." -  Federico Fellini

 
 
 

ZaraMilanStore1This past week had the pleasure of visiting the new Zara Concept Store in Milan, Italy. Located near to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest retail malls in the world, this Inditex owned location is the perfect bridge to the future of retail.  

What do you do when you decide that a major flagship location in the fashion capital of the world needs a physical upgrade? If you are Zara, you close the majority of the store and leverage the elegant entrance to test a new retail concept. 

Walking through the entryway you can very quickly visualize the intersection of online and the physical retail store. Uncluttered physical clothing racks are overshadowed by a large digital screen displaying the latest fashions. Simplicity meets digital innovation. 

 

"A sea change is clearly taking place in the retail market with major upheaval, but it is surely not the retail apocalypse. In our view, the retail industry is strong, but it is undergoing a major renaissance, a renewal akin to the renaissance that took place between the 15th and 17th centuries." - Deloitte, The Great Retail Bifurcation, 2018

2018to2019Success

New research and the continuous digital disruption of retail inspired this re-examination of the retail success formulas published in a post late last year. Discussed in the original blog, I remain an advocate of the McKinsey consumer personalization value equation. 

McKinseyValueEquation2

"Customers see value as a function of how relevant and timely a message is in relation to how much it "costs", meaning how much personal information has to be shared and how much personal effort it takes to get it. Importantly, trust in the brand will boost overall value, though that can grow or recede over time, depending on the customer’s satisfaction with various interactions with the brand."

Time is not Your Friend

 

Customer First Cashierless Shopping and Self-Checkout Theft

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The announcement of Amazon Go in December 2016 sparked the Western imagination on the potential of frictionless cashierless shopping. Roughly 18 months later, we are still on the road to the fully autonomous retail store. 

This post summarizes the opportunities and challenges of this global innovation journey. Primary focus is on the state of self-checkout, mobile scan-and-go adoption, and an update on global autonomous store deployments. 

Back to the Future of Automated Stores

 

Coming soon, the new Sensormatic Global Shrink Index. The most comprehensive shrink survey to date from countries representing 73% of global GDP and 80% of global retail sales.

First is the sample infographic shared last week focusing on Europe.  Second, for the global audience, below is an additional peek at the data. More in April.

ShrinkIndexPart1

 

SmartCar3

Mercedes-Benz Smart Car Concept - Would Gottlieb Daimler Share this Vision?

The spark for the growth of the modern gasoline powered automobile was an innovation race. In the early 1890s,"Le Petit Journal, a French newspaper with a knack for publicity stunts, decided to hold a contest to discover the best method of propulsion: steam, electricity or petrol engine. It invited entrants to drive from Paris to Rouen, a distance of 79 miles. Their vehicles would be judged not by their speed but whether they were safe, easy to use and economical to run."

"The clear winner was not a direct participant but an inventor: Gottlieb Daimler, whose internal-combustion engine had powered nine of the vehicles, including the four that shared first prize. He had, the judges proclaimed, “turned petroleum or gasoline fuel into a practical solution” for self-propelled vehicles, which were starting to be referred to in French as “automobiles”. Daimler’s victory helped establish the supremacy of petrol-powered cars in the 20th century, and the term automobile soon spread into English and other languages."

What's in your Smart Car for 2018?

 

ConnectedStores

Not too long ago, many including myself were forecasting major consumer changes for the year 2020. That magical year is just around the corner and it is now time to simplify the digital future of retail.

Big Data is Bot Food for AI

Information or more specifically data has been the power engine evolving the retail industry.  For much of its history, the store, the forefront of the consumer moment of truth, was under-sensored.

With the connected consumer able to instantly choose alternative products or brands, retailers need to integrate a greater number of data sets inside their stores. Welcome to the Internet-of-Things for Retail (IoT):

 

GlobaLeadership

Every National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, Deloitte publishes updated research on the top 250 global retailers. This favorite annual retail report summarizes industry / economic global trends and dissects the shifting sands of the world's largest retailers. This post summarizes my favorite insights from the 2018 edition.

Transformative Change, Reinvigorated Commerce

The rules of retailing "are being rewritten in this time of transformative change. Innovation, collaboration, consolidation, integration, and automation will be required to reinvigorate commerce, profoundly impacting the way retailers do business now, and in the future." 

The 2018 retail industry trends identified by Deloitte include:

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