It’s no secret that retailers across the country are in trouble. Formerly strong brands such as Sports Authority, Hancock and EMS are shutting down entirely and countless others, such as Macy’s, Penney’s, Sears, Office Depot, Men’s Wearhouse, Staples, Target and Walmart have been closing stores for the last few years. It’s easy to believe the gloom-and-doomers’ proclamations of retail death, accusing e-commerce of the murder.
But I would argue that retail is alive and well, and changing rapidly! Retailers who embrace that change can thrive – omni-channel retail is not just a buzzword, it’s a necessity. Consumers can and do cross-shop; across retailers, brands and distribution channels. Retailers who provide them with that opportunity are growing, allowing consumers to browse and/or purchase online, then try-on and/or pick-up in store. Supply chain overhauls are working, providing fluid inventories to fulfill orders quickly from warehouses, suppliers or store floors. There are great examples of retailers such as Home Depot, Nordstrom, PetSmart and, more recently, Target and Walmart who have embraced the change and have the numbers to prove it.