THOUGHTS & INSIGHTS FROM NRF 2013 "Now, you know the rest of the story." - Paul Harvey
Over 27,000 people from 70 countries gathered in New York this week to attend the NRF 2013 retail "Big Show." Post the holiday season, this trade event is the wrap up gift to close the previous year, think about the new year, and more importantly filter through the messages on the long term trends of the global retail industry.
As we are near the end of 2012, let's start this week's discussion by revisiting the Apparel Magazine 2013 RFID retail predictions that were published in the October personal post "RFID's Moment of Retail Truth" (1):2013 will be the year of the "Specialty Retailer" with a noticeable proliferation of RFID implementations.
"Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it." Alan Perlis (*)
Last week's post was focused on predicting the 2013 top 10 retail trends for retail. This week want to expand this discussion with some additional insights from some other sources on how technology continues to add both complexity and opportunity to our mutual futures.
"With high hopes for the future, no prediction is ventured." - Abraham Lincoln
On March 4, 1865, the above words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln in a short, yet very powerful speech given on the day of his second inauguration as President of the United States. As backdrop to this speech, Lincoln had just won a major legislative win in passing the 13th Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery (as dramatically depicted in the current Steven Spielberg movie) and the Civil War raged on taking over 620,000 lives (the most of any war in USA history) by the time it ended in April 1865. The same month the war ended, roughly one month after this speech, Lincoln was assassinated.
" The (RFID) industry got out in front of its headlights and over invested in a phenomenon that just wasn't ready to take off yet—and that, by the way, happens all the time. The RFID industry, in general, has underperformed, because it was impatient and tried to drive toward a tornado too quickly. It is easy to see that in hindsight. There are real problems to be solved, and in the current market's state of adoption, end users want to give RFID companies money, but not for tags and readers. They want to give them money for solutions to their problems. If the RFID industry responds to that, it will be successful." -- Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm, as quoted in RFID Journal (June 4, 2012)
To promote excursions and products from the country, the India Ministry of Tourism has been running a marketing campaign with the brand line "Incredible India." My favorite post this past week was a reminder that this same tag line "Incredible India"can be applied to the nascent modern organized India retail industry.Favorite Weekly Post: Government of #India opens #retail supermarket sector to foreign chains. http://ow.ly/dJask Good news for global retailers, eg #Walmart
For the last several weeks, Time magazine has been running a series of articles on the "Future of Retail". Following are the four topics highlighted to date:(Retail) Companies That Profit By Investing in Employees - http://ow.ly/dK1rQ Will Amazon Take Over the World? - http://ow.ly/dK1uu Reports of the Shopping Mall's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated - http://ow.ly/dK1wB
Meet Michelle Phan, a retail consumer turned YouTube video star by simply going shopping. Follow this link to see her "$20 Makeup Challenge Haul (video)" http://ow.ly/dzhdI that has gone viral with almost 1 million views from around the world.
Eighteen months ago, ran across an article highlighting a new YouTube phenomenon labeled "Haul Shopping Videos". Always keeping on eye on the future of retail, pondered at that time whether this was a fad or a trend of the continued industry evolution.
The current pace of RFID retail expansion and its historical roots sometimes reminds me of that age old question that an innocent child always asks on that long car trip - Are we there yet?
Contemplating that question led to the selection of the following as my favorite post from this past week: