CART Weekly Report 10/3/19
CART, Advancing Retail
Gary’s Take: The convergence between the massive health care and food industries in the United States continues to gain momentum and retailers and brands not paying attention will miss major opportunities and risk their shoppers moving on without them.
While supermarket retailers with in-store pharmacies are right in the middle of this convergence, drug stores are in a more challenging position. Food is increasingly being viewed and understood as medicine, putting grocery retailers in prime position. Drug stores are improving their food selections but have a long way to go.
Needless to say, any retailer in the food, pharmacy, or health and nutrition space should be aware of the convergence underway and figure out how they can benefit their shoppers.
Gary’s Take: Yesterday, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, adding to a growing list of retailers closing stores and going out of business. Many of these retailers are in non-food related channels like apparel, toys, etc. but it is only a matter of time before we see an acceleration of bankruptcy filings, store closures, and acquisitions in the supermarket sector. I believe this acceleration has already started but it is occurring across the independent sector of smaller retailers where filings don’t make the news. How it shows up though is in consolidation happening at the wholesaler level as the wholesalers seek to maintain their volume through acquiring other smaller distributors.
I also continue to believe that the majority of retail executives do not yet fully understand what’s coming. I hear more execs talking about change and innovation and exponential growth of technology but its almost as if they are just saying the words. Technology and all it enables is moving faster every day, and the exponential growth of computer processing power is creating industry disruptive capabilities at a growing pace.
The challenge for the retail industry is three-fold: 1) putting in place processes like the CART Innovation Program to build discovery and awareness of new capabilities, 2) train and educate your organization to be more open to innovation, doing things differently, and moving faster, and 3) develop a strategy for where you want to go and create a roadmap identifying what systems, processes, and practices need to be developed to get you there.
Gary’s Take: That automation is transforming retail is no longer in debate. The only question is what area of retail operations are going to be automated and what retailers are going to do with the savings. I believe automating jobs that people really don’t want to do, like floor cleaning, makes a lot of sense and everyone wins. And while I believe that Amazon-Go like technology will eventually make its way to full supermarkets, I’m not sure that’s a great thing.
People are social animals and shopping has been a social activity, seeing your neighbors, family, or friends at the local supermarket. Removing human interaction through automation can transform the shopping experience to a sterile, people-free transaction but eliminates a massive opportunity for retailers to actually foster and grow relationships with their customers.
WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY:
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UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS
More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon!
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X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando
- Store Design in the Age of “i” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm
THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon
SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas
Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.”
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Quote of the Week: Innovation is not the product of logical thought,
although the result is tied to logical structure ~ Albert Einstein
About the Author
CART is Advancing Retail by connecting the industry to innovation. Retailers, wholesalers and brands utilize CART to find, research and connect with solutions appropriate for their businesses. Solution providers use CART as a go-to-market tool that connects them directly to their target retail audience, all the way into the brick and mortar store itself. CART has unparalleled insight into what’s next in retail and shares this information regularly through multiple channels.
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