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Prepare for the Worst and Plan for your Future Professional Best

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Having a substantial part of my family south of the red zone in Italy, I have been following very closely the progression of COVID-19. As of March 17, Italy had over 31,500 cases of Coronavirus with 2,503 people now deceased. To put that in perspective, Italy with 60 million people has already reached nearly 78% of the fatalities in China with a population reaching 1.4 billion. 

"Italy has one of the oldest populations in the world, with a median age of about 46 years old. Nearly 60% of the population is aged 40 and over, about 23% of which is over 65." The data from China confirms that fatalities increase with age. 

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As exemplified by panic buying, COVID-19 feels overwhelming. Protecting your family and your health should continue to be paramount.

This article summarizes lessons for retail in China and where the industry transforms next. Several projected economic scenarios are also presented. Finally, we will explore the unforeseen new 'normal' that will emerge from digitally transformed stale business models. 

The Retail Apocalypse Wanes

 

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At the recent annual conference of the International Supply Chain Protection Organization (ISCPO), it was a great pleasure to deliver the latest edition of my continuously updated 'Disruptive Future of Retail' presentation. As it is top of mind for everyone, my opening remarks focused on supply chains and the growing global concerns with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Timely to the conference was my last article, 'The Coronavirus and Its Predictable Future of Retail'. As I expressed to the audience, the end of the health crisis is uncertain but multiple historical lessons point to eventual retail recovery and stabilization. 

"By stimulating (more aggressive China) demand for online shopping, the outbreak has highlighted the broader need for traditional retailers to keep moving away from a reliance on brick-and-mortar stores to an omnichannel model." As my futuristic presentation explores, China on multiple levels was already leading retail disruption. COVID-19 will accelerate digital transformation trends to the rest of the world. 

This article summarizes just a few of the NEW charts from the 2020 edition of the Disruptive Future of Retail. 

The $30 Trillion Retail Opportunity

 

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This week, I was invited by Rethink Retail to speak about the actions retailers should be taking in response to the growing global concerns with the coronavirus. In this article, I will summarize some of the information shared in the podcast plus additional post analysis insights with focus on major economies and retail.

The new coronavirus, officially renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), is thought to have jumped to a human from a yet-to-be-identified animal host. "Based on current estimates, scientists say the new virus has a reproductive value of between 2.24 to 3.58, meaning an infected person could pass on the pathogen to between two and four people. In order to contain the outbreak, that value has to be reduced to below 1."

The Global Impact of Coronavirus

A new study indicated that the coronavirus could impact over 5 million businesses worldwide. Dun & Bradstreet research found that "51,000 companies worldwide, 163 of which are in the Fortune 1000, have one or more direct or 'Tier 1' suppliers in the (primary China) impacted region."

 

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This is the second article covering the innovation leadership activities around NRF 2020. My previous post summarized the three most impactful perfect vision takeaways of NRF 2020.

Just prior to the New York NRF Big Show, a favorite activity every year is to attend the information-packed RetailROI SuperSaturday. This industry leading event brings together "retail’s most prominent thinkers for revealing discussions on Digital Transformation, Unified Commerce, Marketplaces and best practices for being a Retail leader in today’s fast-paced world—all for a greater cause".

From this year's 11th SuperSaturday edition, here is a summary of the altruistic work of RetailROI and the latest research on the strategic 2020 retail digital transformation technologies. 

A True RetailROI Human Difference

The purpose of the RetailROI is to raise awareness and provide real solutions for the more than 400 million children vulnerable worldwide. In just ten years, RetailROI has made substantial progress in making an appreciable human difference to the world by helping over 250,000 children in 25 countries. 

 

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 40,000 Attendees / 800 Exhibitors / 99 Countries / 60,000 Personal Walking Steps

This is the first of multiple articles covering the Retail Big Show NRF 2020. As others have summarized the insights of the sessions and speakers, my primary focus in this post will be the futurist innovation trends from the trade show floor.  The next article will cover the key takeaways from RetailROI SuperSaturday, the place to be for inspiring and exclusive industry intelligence just prior to the start of NRF. 

Thematically, artificial intelligence (AI) was the passport to innovation entry to NRF 2020. Winning demonstrations were focused on identifying and delivering competitive advantages in the deployment of differentiated immersive consumer experiences across channels. 

Surprised this year in being able to identify 36 distinctive technology innovation trends on the trade show floor. After a very busy NRF 2020, here my three summarized most impactful perfect vision takeaways of NRF 2020.  

Computer Vision Discerns the Center of the Retail Store

 

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Retail Future Can You Hear Me Now

Welcome to the continued age of digital transformation. The contenders for being the number one innovation disruptor of the last decade includes the explosion of e-commerce, the growth of cloud services, 3.5 billion people using social media, the mobile internet with 61% of the global population connected, over 9 billion Internet-of-Things (IoT) connected devices, ever efficient lithium ion batteries. the expansion of biometrics such as facial recognition, billions of RFID labels in use especially in retail apparel, and voice devices such as Alexa coming into our homes.  

The number one disruptive technology of the last decade was the smartphone. Technically, Apple kicked-off the successful launch of this solution in the prior decade (2007), but few could have foreseen the consequential impact in the 2010s. 

Augmenting the recent "Perfect 2020 Mobile Vision Future of Retail" post, this article summarizes the chain-reaction smartphone elements underway in the new retail decade. As a recent 'Retail 2030' report pointed out, in the 2020s we are in unchartered territory. 

"As consumers delegate tedious and transactional shopping to bots and virtual assistants, choice will be firmly in the domain of the algorithm, with minimal consumer intervention. When bots do the buying, the connection between retailers and their consumers, and the ability to influence them, will be broken. Appealing to a bot will be unchartered territory involving new skills, techniques and platforms."

Smartphones Already Represent 34% of All USA Ecommerce Sales

 

"Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the future, and from the present to live better in the future." - William Wordsworth

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In multiple cultures, the New Year is seen as a time to reflect on the past, think about where we are, and dream of the potential to start anew towards achieving new personal, family, and professional goals.

Why do we start the New Year on January 1? Where did this idea of setting goals / resolutions for the New Year come from?   What are the most common resolutions set for the New Year? How does one achieve those New Year's resolutions?

The History of New Year's Resolutions

 

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While sitting in the Delta Sky Club in Atlanta observing both weary and excited holiday travelers, four plus million personal air miles later, the realization that another decade is about to end entered my mind. In just a few more days, we begin the perfect vision year 2020.Quotes art Tony

Welcome to the new roaring ‘20s.  In preparing for the new decade, here are three simple exemplary leadership motivational reminders for ultimate success.

Take that Leap of Faith

Roughly 18 months ago I retired very early to pursue opportunities in private equity portfolio companies, startups in Silicon Valley, and continuing to explore the future of retail and emerging technologies. The progress to date decisively reveals that ‘very early’ was not early enough.

 

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Post-World War II, technology has been the primary engine driving the retail industry's transformation through three powerful megatrends. As we approach the perfect vision year 2020, this article summarizes the state of the third and most important megatrend: mobile communications and the smartphone.  

The term 'smartphone' first appeared in 1995, three years after IBM introduced Simon which was the first phone that combined a cell calling capabilities with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Simon was on the market for six months and only 50,000 units were sold. 

Fifteen years after Simon, in 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone by saying, "Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."  Apple and all the other competitive smartphone variations are forever disrupting multiple industries including retail.  

Mobile Eats the World

According to the latest GSMA Mobile Economy 2019 research, "by the end of 2018, 5.1 billion people around the world subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population." Over the next seven years, 710 million people will join the mobile revolution, bringing to total to 5.8 billion (71% of the global population).  

 

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My last article summarized the positive (green shopper) digital consumer transformation trends from the latest edition of the "Disruptive Future of Retail" presentation. As the audience from the recent keynote was primarily from loss prevention, in appreciation of their positive response and engagement, this post expands on the retail shrinkage industry data, including multiple new charts not presented due to time constraints. 

The continued renaissance of the global retail industry will require increased innovation to protect employees, customers, and products. Traditional security solutions that typically increase friction to deter theft are counter to the new digitally empowered consumer that progressively wants to just scan and go. 

The $51 Billion USA Retail Challenge

The latest NRF national shrink survey, "tells a story of a dramatically changing retail risk landscape, with new threats and challenges being met at each turn with new loss prevention tools. Progress is being made, but LP teams continue to face setbacks and challenges with new and expanding areas of threat."