A few weeks ago had the pleasure of sharing a great evening with 100+ retail attendees at the world famous Walnut Room in Chicago. Opening in 1907 and currently located in a Macy's, the Walnut Room was the first ever restaurant in a department store. The elegant interior is surrounded with Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and features Austrian chandeliers.
The celebration was part of our two day ShopperTrak Retail User Summit. My role for this particular evening was to deliver the official welcoming toast to our special guests. Taking my endless curiosity to the next level, decided that this particular moment required a special "Chicago Way" salutation. Verbatim following are the words shared with the audience.
Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the World Department Stores Forum 2017 in Toronto, Canada. Forty five retail CEOs joined 300 attendees in an industry event titled "Digital and Brick-n-Mortar: One Magic Experience".
The host for the 5th Annual Edition was the Canadian luxury department store chain Holt Renfrew. The Forum is co-organized by the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS), the largest association for department stores worldwide. IGDS has 41 members from 38 countries on all continents generating $89 billion in total sales in 2016.
The stage for the 24 hour retail discussion was set by Craig Wright, SVP & Chief Economic of the Royal Bank of Canada when he said that the "Last time interest rates stayed low for so long was in 3000 BC." We are living in extra-ordinary age of disruption.
This post summarizes my favorite insights from this year's IGDS event.
"What a tough industry (retail), the consumer has changed more in terms of their demand preferences in the past three years than they have in the past thirty years." - Home Depot CFO Carol Tome
For the past two weeks, my youngest son was in France attending the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
As part of an extended university project, he participated in a week long "producer's workshop." By the end of the week, he was instructed to throw away all his notes for the era of major studios driving the movie industry is over.
This past week had to pleasure of speaking at the Retail Risk Conference in Singapore. The audience mostly consisted of loss prevention professionals responsible for major retail brands across Asia. The customized presentation was an opportunity to reassess the state of Asia in the global retail economy.
A Brookings Institute study noted:
-- 3.2 billion people were in the middle class at the end of 2016
-- 140 million people are joining the middle class annually and this number could rise to 170 million in five years’ time
In an article published in November, we discussed the following five ingredients driving the age of disruption: geopolitical risks ahead, need for technology speed, data as the new oil, next generation consumers, and shopping till you drop. Reverse globalization is a subplot of these trends impacting many industries including retail.
Recent publications highlighted the following challenges facing globalization:
Welcome to Euroshop 2017, the largest retail trade show in the world.
In early March, over 100,000 visitors from 60+ countries tracked to Dusseldorf to view 2,000+ exhibits on everything retail. The visual retail feast in Germany that is Euroshop is only held every three years.
At the conclusion of the event, the organizers cited the continued digitalization in retail, tailor-made onmichannel solutions and the emotionalization of the shopping experience as the dominant themes for Euroshop 2017.
A recent LP Magazine study, sponsored by Tyco Retail Solutions, highlights key technology trends around video, EAS, and exception reporting. The research also provides insights into future LP investments and the evolution of the Loss Prevention function.
Decision makers rely on a variety of tools in their LP portfolio. In the United States, CCTV/Video Surveillance and Exception based reporting were ranked the most critical technologies, while in the UK, CCTV/Video Surveillance and Data Mining were ranked most critical.
It was an early brisk morning. My tired tourist family was still asleep. It was my turn to venture out to our favorite bakery in Florence
The sun was still hiding behind the Tuscan hills. The sky was a mixture of darkness, red, yellow streaks of light, forecasting another great Italian holiday ahead.
I was the first to arrive at our special bakery and found the door still locked. The culinarians inside were busily filling the bakers’ racks with the sweet treats. An amazing delicious sugared aroma permeated the air outside the store.
Impatiently I paced outside. One minute, three minutes, past opening time. When are you going to open this door? The family has a busy day ahead.
For those that have seen me speak around the world, you will recall my passion for sharing innovative videos that with few or no words convey powerful messages.
The days of busy PowerPoint charts are over. For my entire career, the mantra has been "less words, more graphics". In a world where our attention span is down to 8 seconds, even 140 or less Twitter characters are too much to actually read.
Video is the new medium required to package successful branding. The following are my current favorite future predicting retail technology videos.
2017 is the year of the Rooster. Anyone born in the following years - 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017 - shares the characteristics and personality traits of this tenth of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle.
While in Shanghai in early January was fascinated by the amount of innovation discussed in the China Daily newspaper. The news clips were additional confirmation that all industries in both developed and emerging markets are being digitally disrupted. On multiple fronts, China is advancing faster as they are bypassing traditional legacy technology cycles to new platforms.