Gone are the days when a bricks and mortar shop front symbolised retail. Today an increasing proportion of retailers have no physical presence, their trade conducted online, across borders and time zones and with an increasingly savvy consumer base.
Retailing is now etailing. Bricks and mortar has been replaced with clicks and mortar. Couple this with the modern consumer who demands goods are customised to their needs and available immediately, and it is clear that retail has become one of the most challenging yet dynamic industries globally. Future success will be defined by those retailers who provide a seamless shopping experience that is buoyed by a tightly knit supply chain and shopping experience.
The rapid evolution of the industry has seen a number of archetypal retail brands close their retail doors in the past few years. Many struggled to grapple with high labour costs and store rents secured pre GFC, and many others failed to embrace technology to enhance their business.
Some of the most common issues facing retailers include the profitability of traditional bricks and mortar stores and the advent of ecommerce, ongoing store and divisional/brand profitability, maintaining or enhancing competitiveness in an increasingly global industry, and meeting/keeping abreast of increasingly high consumer expectations for customisation and immediate access to goods.