CART Weekly Report 7/18/19
CART, Advancing Retail
Gary’s Take: A recent report from Coresight Research states that 2019 store closings are already ahead of last year by 20%; they estimate store closures could reach 12,000 by the end of the year. UBS Securities estimate that 75,000 stores could close by 2026 if ecomm sales rise to 25% of retail from current level of 16%. The supermarket channel has largely escaped any significant closings thus far but I do not expect this to continue as online grocery continues to grow and disruption continues sweeping the industry. As happened in the mid 1990s when Walmart entered grocery, triggering a wave of consolidation as bigger players sought to scale up to compete, independent and smaller regional retailers are going to take the brunt of the hit as they can’t keep up with tech innovation and investment. Smaller retailers must quickly find a way to truly differentiate themselves if they have a hope of surviving. The alternative is either going out of business or becoming a glorified convenience store as primary grocery sales are rolled up by the bigger players.
Gary’s Take: Personalization in retail is rapidly becoming a customer expectation and a need-to-have by retailers. Like other terms that become ‘hot’, personalization is the latest overused buzzword. The scary part is that many retailers are not experts in this space and can fall prey to 'personalization’ capabilities that are really not. I would suggest that retailers should really be focusing on providing contextual relevancy that goes beyond pure personalization and focuses on providing meaningful messaging (recipes, savings, new product intro, etc.) to each customer. And, like some of the examples in this article, state of the art is realtime relevancy. This is very challenging to do and is dependent on deep integration between digital touchpoints and a relevancy engine that processes in realtime.
Gary’s Take: Data privacy? Really? A recent investigation by ABC affiliate has just found that Florida’s DMV has been selling license data to bill collectors and data brokers. This while governments - from state to federal - are increasingly inserting themselves into the ongoing privacy debate. Data privacy is an issue that continues to percolate, boiling over periodically as malfeasance by Facebook or assorted app providers comes to light. I do believe that privacy is going to become an increasingly important issue that is going to threaten digital advertising and marketing initiatives. Retailers would be well served to really focus on driving comprehensive digital engagement with their shoppers ASAP to build their repository of first-party data for the future.
Sterling’s Take: Having a CEO that exemplifies what the company stands for and puts themselves on the line for significant positive change is key to culture. And culture is the key to everything (what it’s like to work there, why everyone is there and what new ideas come up/are embraced, etc). Supporting those same traits amongst the team is a success recipe that transcends any strategy, technology or trend.
Sterling’s Take: The responsibility for customer service comes down to the person standing in front of the customer (or on the phone with them). It’s definitely a growing issue with all the co-branding and partnerships and ultimately retailers need to ensure great customer service, no matter what agreements are in place behind the scenes. The co-branding can only be as great as the service and customer experience they can provide.
FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK:
I have often written about the growing innovation gap - the divide between the exponential growth of new tech fueled capabilities and the much slower deployment of new solutions in brick & mortar retail. This growing innovation gap is a major challenge to traditional retailers…READ MORE>>
UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS
- FOOD CITY - July 25, 2019
- WEIS MARKETS - August 8, 2019
- WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019
- IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019
- CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019
- RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019
OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC
The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey.
C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power
REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas
GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas
Minding the GAPS - CGA Strategic Conference 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019
GMDC Self-Care Summit - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN
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
SPECS Show 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas
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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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