It is easy to get drawn into the negative headlines about retail. One article, for example, suggests more retailers are headed into bankruptcy than at any time since the Great Recession. It often seems the retail industry is in crisis. However, the reality is that every industry, including retail, is going through massive change.
These changes, which include the rise of the smartphone, the internet of things and a globalized marketplace, alter how customers want to interact with retailers and how retailers get merchandise into customers’ hands. Retailers used to follow a prescriptive formula of planning inventory, buying merchandise, moving it to retail outlets, and selling it to consumers on a particular schedule at a particular price. Now, however, retailers need to deliver seamless customer experiences across channels.