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NRF2017NRF 2017 opened on good news that USA 2016 retail holiday sales increased 4% over the previous year to $658.3 billion, exceeding initial National Retail Federation forecasts. Number includes $122.9 billion in non-store sales which were up 12.6%. 

For the106th Annual Convention & EXPO in New York this past week, NRF forecasted 35,000 attendees. The 2017 edition will exceed the over 3000 retail companies from over 90 countries attending the previous year.

On both personal and professional levels this was one of the best NRF events ever. Always enjoy participating in the motivational and educational RetailROI event on Saturday. During NRF, the group raised over $500,000 in support of global Retail Orphan Initiatives. 

 

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For the past five years, Ford has been publishing a list of global micro trends. The company calls it "a compilation of the most compelling movements across the globe that are shaping how we live, work, and engage with the world around us." 

As we begin the New Year, thought would share my favorite global highlights from both the 2016 and 2017 editions.

Social Media is Hard Work

 

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The past couple of weeks were filled with the delivery of regionally customized presentations on the future of retail in Spain, UK, Portugal, and Switzerland.  As we are in the middle of the paramount shopping season, special focus was on three important retail holidays.

Black Becomes Cyber While Overtaken By Singles

Black Friday

Over both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, 2016 brick-and-mortar net instore sales dropped 5% and the number of transactions fell 7.9%. Shopper visits to physical stores declined 1% during the same two day period. UK 2016 Black Friday shopper traffic fell a significant 8% which follows a drop of 4.05% in 2015.

 

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Summarizing the first three ingredients driving the age of disruption from Part 1 of this post: 

Geopolitical Risks Ahead

The Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, all have key elections in the next 12 months that could potentially join the global populist disruptive wave manifested in Brexit and the surprise USA presidential ballot. Geopolitical turmoil carries risk for global brands and must be carefully navigated for continued success.

Need for Technology Speed

Today is indeed the slowest day of technology change for the rest of your life. Each new disruptive technology is finding its expanded global audience faster. 

Is the Data Economy the New Oil?

 

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For a transformational 2017, five key ingredients need to be closely monitored and navigated in building a successful global business formula.

Geopolitical Risks Ahead

"Dawn of a new age. Populism rules. Status quo - R.I.P." - Australian investment bank Macquarie

A family argument throughout the 2016 USA presidential election was my prediction of a Donald Trump win. As with Brexit, too many pundits were taking for granted the underlying disruption of an increasingly number of people questioning the world order.

 

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Two weeks ago, had the pleasure of speaking to the Board of Directors at two major Brazil apparel retailers.  An updated view on "The Disruptive Future of Retail" was the message. Very pleased that audience was engaged, embracing of the disruptive trends discussed, and had lots of questions on their direct impact in the Brazil retail market. 

The Disruptive Future of Retail

 

"We want people to be able to use those (Frequent Flyer) miles not to fly for free but to control your experience." - Glen Hauenstein, Delta Airlines President (March 2016)plane 841441 1920

American Airlines is credited with the development of the first loyalty program in 1981. "What distinguished the airline program, and made them the most successful marketing program ever, was a winning combination of the psychological and the financial - the lure of travel (quintessentially aspirational) and the return-on-investment value of the awards (because they awarded unsold seats, the real cost to the airline was miniscule)."

Retailers were not far behind in adapting loyalty programs to increase brand value. 

Thirty five years later, it's interesting to contrast the evolution and current state of loyalty programs in both the airline and retail industries.

 

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Have been debating for some time the top 3 retail technology inventions of all time.  From history, a few of the candidates considered:

Shopping Mall - The first shopping mall was built in Milan between 1865 and 1877.  The Galleria is named after the first King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.

Coupons - In 1888, Coca-Cola created the first coupon that could be redeemed for their new beverage.

Loyalty Card - American Airlines is credited with the development of the first loyalty program in 1981.

CCTV - Germany used CCTV systems in the development of V-2 rockets to monitor launches during World War II.

Credit Card - John Biggins, a New York Banker, introduced the "Charge-It" card in 1946.

 

The Innovation Ascendancy of Asia 

Chinesewoman 1409108 1920A favorite annual report is AT Kearney's Global Retail Development Index (GDRI).  The 15th annual edition is titled 'Global Retail Expansion at a Crossroads'.  

2016 GDRI Emerging Markets Insights

"Retail in developing countries has seen excellent growth. While the developing world population has grown 21% to 6.2 billion, retail sales in those markets have grown more than 350% and now represent more than half of total global retail sales." China, India, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia are the top five countries in the 2016 GDRI index. Driven by large populations and high growth, four out of the top five countries are in Asia. 

 

50thAnniversary1Last week had the pleasure of being the Master of Ceremonies at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Sensormatic. Over 300+ current employees and a large number of alumni gathered in Boca Raton to honor the legacy of a very successful retail loss prevention brand.

I must admit that I was initially skeptical on the need to celebrate the past as my focus has always been on driving a positive future. This hesitation was reinforced by a recent article titled 'Why Steve Jobs Turned Down The Idea Of A Big 30th Anniversary Party.'  "Apple is focused on the future, not the past," said Jobs. 

50 years is a major milestone. Reflecting on the history of Sensormatic and its impact on retail loss prevention, it's an important time to assess the lessons of the past and celebrate the promising future ahead. 

Vision, customers first, and teamwork are the strategy elements to the Sensormatic brand successful first half century.  

Vision