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Five Reasons FREITAG Epitomizes the Future of Retail 

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Retail inspiration can be found in every corner of the world and for this blog post we visit Switzerland. FREITAG is the quiet Zurich based fashion accessory brand selling over 300,000 of its unique products across the globe every year. 

"In 1993 graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for a functional, water-repellent and robust bag to hold their creative work. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that rumbled through the Zurich transit intersection in front of their flat, they developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and recycled car seat belts.” Their first core product became a designer bag with a conscience. 

 

GeolocationGPSFrictionless secure commerce coupled with immersive customer experiences have been on my mind for some time. Engaging with an in-store geolocation security company and new updated data on internet connectivity, growth of smartphones, and the Internet of Things (IoT) inspired this post.

Future consumer in-store interactions will include autonomous digital conversations with physical products. As discussed in a previous post, increased digital interactions will create brand ambassadors of both consumers and store associates.

For those individuals focused on securing commerce, that same digital exchange will lead to innovative applications such as geolocation solutions that will dramatically reduce retail crime. As an example, the geolocation security company mentioned above has so far in 2018 taken nearly 600 criminals off USA streets and led to the recovery of over $5 million of in-store physical assets.

 

The Dubai Mall by Emaar Malls 11

Welcome to Dubai or as CBRE calls it, the key stepping stone for international brands entering the Middle East. Over the next three years, more than 1.5 million square meters of new retail space could be delivered to the Dubai market, adding roughly 50% to existing inventory. 

Being on the Board of Advisors for the upcoming Dubai Smart Stores Expo and having personally experienced the vibrancy of Middle East on multiple occasions, it is time to revisit this region and explore its global retail possibilities.

The Digital Transformation of the Middle East

 

The State of Retail RFID

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Retail is not dying. Today's consumers are being presented by an increasing number of shopping options. Online versus in-store engagement trends are converging and technology is increasingly the differentiating element. 

A recent IHL research study titled "Out-of-Stock, Out of Luck - How Retailers Alienate Customers and Lose Billions Due to Poor Inventory Practices" prompted this relook at retail RFID. The top answers as to why consumers still prefer to shop in-stores include:  want / need the product immediately, desire to touch and feel the item (try it on), don't want to pay expedited delivery charges, support local retailers, and convenience / easier than online.

Fast checkouts and products being in-stock are the two most relevant components of positive instore experiences.

A Different Kind of Amazon Effect

 

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Future of Retail with the Top 5 Apparel, Luxury, and Technology Brands

Being a firm believer that branding is a critical component to the future success of all companies, every year I look forward to the latest edition of the BrandZ Top 100 global brands report. Disruption, disintermediation, and differentiation are the three words that stood out in the nearly 300-page 2018 edition.   

2018 Global Top 100 Brands Highlights

With an increase of 21% in 2018, the BrandZ global top 100 brands added a record $748 billion, to reach $4.4 trillion in total value, an increase of $2.9 trillion since 2006. 2018 set a record as the largest one-year value increase in the 12 years publishing the global report. 

Every industry category had an increase with retail rising the most and for the second consecutive year in a row. The brand value of the retail sector rose 34% as e-commerce brands spiked in value and the category adjusted to disruption. 

 

Welcome to Retail Shrink Reporting Week

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With the USA NRF Loss Prevention Trade Event taking place this week, it is time to revisit the new Sensormatic Global Retail Shrink Index published earlier this year.  Covering 14 countries representing 73% of global GDP and 80% of global retail sales, it is the authoritative document on worldwide loss prevention trends. 

In 2017-2018, the cost of retail shrinkage was $99.56 billion for the countries surveyed. This post focuses on my two favorite charts from the entire study.

Highest Shrink Rates Across Verticals and Countries 2017-2018

 

ZaraMilanStore1This past week had the pleasure of visiting the new Zara Concept Store in Milan, Italy. Located near to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest retail malls in the world, this Inditex owned location is the perfect bridge to the future of retail.  

What do you do when you decide that a major flagship location in the fashion capital of the world needs a physical upgrade? If you are Zara, you close the majority of the store and leverage the elegant entrance to test a new retail concept. 

Walking through the entryway you can very quickly visualize the intersection of online and the physical retail store. Uncluttered physical clothing racks are overshadowed by a large digital screen displaying the latest fashions. Simplicity meets digital innovation. 

 

Customer First Cashierless Shopping and Self-Checkout Theft

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The announcement of Amazon Go in December 2016 sparked the Western imagination on the potential of frictionless cashierless shopping. Roughly 18 months later, we are still on the road to the fully autonomous retail store. 

This post summarizes the opportunities and challenges of this global innovation journey. Primary focus is on the state of self-checkout, mobile scan-and-go adoption, and an update on global autonomous store deployments. 

Back to the Future of Automated Stores

 

Coming soon, the new Sensormatic Global Shrink Index. The most comprehensive shrink survey to date from countries representing 73% of global GDP and 80% of global retail sales.

First is the sample infographic shared last week focusing on Europe.  Second, for the global audience, below is an additional peek at the data. More in April.

ShrinkIndexPart1

 

ConnectedStores

Not too long ago, many including myself were forecasting major consumer changes for the year 2020. That magical year is just around the corner and it is now time to simplify the digital future of retail.

Big Data is Bot Food for AI

Information or more specifically data has been the power engine evolving the retail industry.  For much of its history, the store, the forefront of the consumer moment of truth, was under-sensored.

With the connected consumer able to instantly choose alternative products or brands, retailers need to integrate a greater number of data sets inside their stores. Welcome to the Internet-of-Things for Retail (IoT):