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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

 

Last week, I had the pleasure to attend a two-day Executive technology briefing at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond. A highlight was the retail technology tour where the latest PokemonGotechnologies were integrated into a mock multi-store mall. In each of the store formats, lots of digital sensor solutions were feeding a growing computing cloud. 

Concurrently to my visit to Microsoft, Pokemon Go continued its meteoric rise in becoming one of the most successful mobile games of all time.  As of Monday, July 11th, Pokemon Go was seeing about 21 million daily active users, making it the biggest mobile game in USA history.  

Just as impressive is the amount of time that each individual is playing with the app. The average iPhone user spent 33 minutes on the Pokemon Go app, "whereas only 28 minutes on the Facebook app, 18 minutes on Snapchat app, 17 minutes in the Twitter app, and 15 minutes in the Instagram app."

The Psychology of Pokemon Go

 

Highlights from Two New USA Retail Theft Studies

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NRF's National Retail Security Survey

The 2016 USA National Retail Security Survey (NRSS) is jointly conducted by the Dr. Richard Hollinger of the University of Florida and the National Retail Federation (NRF).  This year's survey had responses from 80 retailers.

In 2015, the average overall shrink rate was 1.38% of sales which cost the USA retail economy $45.2 billion. For the grocery sector, retail shrink increased from 3.2% to 3.6%.  Specialty men's and women's apparel shrink was at 1.2%.  Discount, mass merchandise, or super center retailers shrink was at 1.1%. 

 

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain

Over the last several years, I have embarked on a focused journey to develop a global personal brand.  The initial inspiration was Apple's discerning attention on simplicity in both their hardware and software which disrupted multiple industry sectors and revolutionized personal computing. 

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The insight was transitioning Apple's level of continuous innovation to the personal level. Formula elements that coalesced to shape my brand definition included constant career re-assessments, an interesting mix of personal passions, global leadership skills, and the recognized importance of staged goals for success.

 

Internet

As the internet is the primary foundation for industry disruption, every year I look forward to Mary Meeker's latest trends report. 

Global Internet Growth is Slowing

The internet global population is now at 3 billion. Overall growth is flat at 9% year on year.  Excluding India, global internet growth was only 7%. This contrasts to 2009 when the internet was growing at over 15% per year. 

India now has 277 million people on the internet, growing at 40% in the last reported year. In 2015, India passed USA to become the number two global user market behind China. 

 

brand 1027862 1920 thumb"A business based on brand is, very simply, a business primed for success" - David F. D'Alessandro

Forbes recently published the latest list of the Top 100 World's Most Valuable Brands. By the numbers, following are key insights from the 2016 edition:

Top countries: USA (52 brands), Germany (11), Japan (8), France (6), Switzerland (4).

Top Industries: Technology (17), Financial Services (13), Automobile (12), Consumer Package Goods (10), Luxury (8), Retail (8).

Biggest Gainers: Facebook (44%), Netflix (31%), Google (26%), Amazon (25%), Citi (19%).

Biggest Losers: IBM (-17%), Coach (-13%), Caterpillar (-11%), Siemens (-8%)

 

"Customers attach value to a product in proportion to its perceived ability to help solve their problems or meet their needs. All else is derivative...There is no such thing as a commodity. All goods and services are differentiable. Though the usual presumption is that this is more true of consumer goods than of industrial goods and services, the opposite is the actual case." - Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School

Profit

The future of retail requires:

Immersive interactive customer experiences across all channels, both virtual and in the store. Store associates as passionate brand ambassadors that engage a mobile educated shopping consumer.

Back to retail basics, this means that store employees need to spend the majority of their time on the actual sales floor interacting with consumers. All tasks that detract from the actual retail selling process need to be either totally eliminated or highly minimized. 

Recently, I had the pleasure of introducing a new Tyco evolutionary technology solution branded "Source Tagging as a Service" (STaaS).  On multiple levels, this new innovative service delivers a secure and profitable future of retail.   

What is Source Tagging?

 

Are Department Stores the Dinosaurs of the Digital Age?

printemps 535685 1920In March, I had the pleasure of speaking at an Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS) industry conference in Amsterdam. My topics included a retail industry update, the future destiny of the department store, and the sector's RFID adoption trends. 

A November 2015 article proclaimed "The long, painful death of the American department store."  

Are department stores stuck in the middle trying to serve all consumer segments? Are the stores too big and missing the industry trend of stores getting smaller? Is retail sales growth possible for department stores? How can department stores evolve and thrive in the future of retail?

 

Key Insights from the 2016 Global Powers of Retailing

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Every January, Deloitte publishes an updated view of the Top 250 largest global retailers. Following is a synopsis of my favorite content from the 2016 19th edition. 

Navigating the New Digital Divide