Category Archives: Retail

Driverless cars will change everything about retail hotspots

In his autobiography Sam Walton described why he preferred a small propeller plane to a jet.  He could fly closer to the ground and see how America’s towns and cities were growing.  Having scouted out the traffic flows and selected … Continue reading

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Avoid the tyranny of choice

The gloomy Danish philosopher Kierkegaard found much of life to be painful, but it can be assumed he would have harboured a particular ennui for online shopping.  Too many options, especially when combined with the stress of information acquisition, create … Continue reading

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Why you are not a digital retailer

In all the retail digital transformations I’ve been involved in over the past two decades, a simple truth has emerged. The successful ones brace themselves for a breakneck pace of change – to move at digital speed. And they see … Continue reading

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Retail is not transforming, it is dissolving

Many commentators, myself included, have shared their thoughts in Retail Week’s Opinion column on “the future of retail”. We all conclude that retail is undergoing rapid transformation. And yet, I think, we have all missed the point. For retail is … Continue reading

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Fairtrade ensures supply chain security as well as trade justice

The aroma of a coffee plantation in full bloom is sweetly intoxicating. Jinaldo encouraged me to sniff the white flowers on the tall, delicate trees and compare their complex bouquets.  “Vanilla, fruits, honey, perhaps chocolate?” I suggested.  Good, he responds … Continue reading

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A question of trust

We often hear that we are in a general crisis of trust.  Not only among brands, but also bankers, politicians, the media, and nearly all institutions. Should retailers be concerned about this? On the one hand, yes: each year, OC&C’s … Continue reading

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Improving is not winning

The roll call of failed or struggling retailers is growing: Toys R Us, Maplin, Poundworld, Carpetright, Mothercare, House of Fraser.  Many more will be added. In the long view, retail has always been an industry of creative destruction. Assets have … Continue reading

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Remodelling the brand / retailer deal

It’s not easy to spot retail history in the making.  WalMart’s acquisition of Asda in 1999 was perhaps less seismic than predicted at the time.  Almost no one mentioned shopping when Apple launched the iPhone in January 2007. But 25th … Continue reading

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The future of retail: You ain’t seen nothing yet

For some time retail has been “omnichannel” and then “mobile first”. But mobile is moving into the maturity phase.  As one S-curve of adoption slackens off, the next one picks up. So what’s next? Rather than a single answer to that question, … Continue reading

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The grocery market is not Amazon’s true target

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is not about stores.  Or even about grocery. Most commentators have portrayed Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods as a drawing of the battle lines in the grocery market.  Amazon, it is assumed, wants to become … Continue reading

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