Shoppers in heaven as retailers struggle for attention

Author: Robin Bevan

Categories: Future of Retail, Future of the High Street
Tags: Javelin Group
Robin Bevan: "Shopping is getting better, retail is getting tougher.  And I’m talking about one from the consumer angle.  So from a consumer angle, retailing has never been better and it’s only going to get more and more interesting and exciting a place to be a consumer, all be it perhaps constrained with money given the economic situation we’re in.  So very exciting times for consumers, they’re leading the way in terms of pulling retailers with them in terms of how they want to interact with those retailers.  For retailers getting tougher and tougher as a retail environment for many different reasons, so one of the things that this sort of multichannel revolution does is it multiplies the level of competition that retailers face.  So in days gone by, if you were a traditional retail store you faced competition from the other stores on your high street, now you face competition from those guys.  But because of the ability of consumers to interact with brands all over the world and throughout the country almost instantaneously you’re facing competition from international brands, from dot coms as well as from national chains who aren’t necessarily in the locations where your stores are located.

So it’s completely upgraded the level of competition retailers face.  It’s also clearly added a level of complexity in the way in which retailers need to organise themselves around many different aspects of their business model, right the way from how they’re organised to distribute merchandise through to how they effectively market to their customers as well, through to how they plan stores and how they plan their store format.  So it’s having major impacts on the complexity of retail.  And in many ways, whilst retailers are well positioned to adapt to that change, because retailing’s always been about change, I think this is a period probably unlike any other in the history of retail in terms of the speed of that change and its fundamental restructuring of the industry."

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