Chasing the Customer … Surviving the Changes Coming to Retailing


Breaking News – 05/13/2014:   ‘U.S. retail sales were unchanged for April missing Wall Streets anticipated pick up of 0.6%.’

Changes in the retail environment are clearly accelerating, and retailing is facing its toughest challenges since the turn of the century.

Willard Bishop, Phd and I had a discussion last week concerning the present and future state of retailing. Our thoughts appear in the just published edition of Brick Meets Click. “New Tools, New Rules: How to Survive the Changes Coming to  Retailing”.

Click here for blog: 

“New business formation has declined by about half since 1978. In the last three years, more new businesses failed than were created – a first according to a just-released Brookings Institute study.

In addition:

  • Sears Chairman Eddie Lambert, told shareholders this month that “store closings will continue to be part of Sears’s future.”
  • Office Depot has announced that it will close a quarter of its stores.
  • Twelve major retailers have announced the closing of more than a thousand stores earlier this month.
  • Some predict that 30% to 50% of brick and mortar retail space in the U.S. will be shuttered by the end of the next decade.

DominicksFormer retail greats, national, regional and local,  like  Dominick’s Foods of Chicago, Woolworth, Circuit City, Montgomery Ward, Blockbuster are no longer with us.
Against this backdrop, we asked Ron Lunde for his thoughts because he is one person we know who can confidently straddle grocery merchandising and how digital is changing the way we communicate. He believes the growth of “behavioral data” and the ability to target customer-specific messaging are the likely keys to retailer survival and growth in the coming years.

In this interview, he provides provocative perspectives on retailing careers, convergence and divergence, homogeneous vs. heterogeneous markets, how retail competition will change, the significance of targeted messaging, and what he thinks of the term Omnichannel. Ron sees new rules evolving, and new tools to address them. He might be wrong ─ but what if he’s right?’

Bill Bishop / Ron Lunde


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