2017 is the year of “New Retail” for Innovators

In 2012, the Kodak Camera company declared bankruptcy. The rise of the digital camera had ultimately driven the company into the ground. What some people are surprised to learn is that, Kodak actually invented the first digital camera in 1975. It wasn’t about Kodak’s technological abilities, but rather a mindset that ultimately doomed the company. Their lack of commitment to push innovation and a philosophical path of slow and iterative change allowed their competitors to best them.

The story of Kodak should serve as a cautionary tale to today’s retailers who are currently being pressured by highly innovative and disruptive pressures from Amazon. Competing with Amazon will certainly be the focus of much of the discussion at the NRF Big Show and there’s good reason.

We have come to a point where the Year 2017 will be an inflection point for retail, where retailers who can commit to innovation have the chance to thrive, while those who continue the stolid path of incremental change year after year will fall by the way side.

The seeds have already been planted, as one does not need to look far to see the writing on the wall as store closings and bankruptcies continue to pile up. Macy’s, Kmart, The Limited, need I say more. Simply put, in 2017 those retailers that are willing to lead as innovators will be wildly successful, and those who play by the typical rules will likely fall by the wayside.

Those innovators will form a “new retail.” These are retailers who stop trying to play catch-up with Amazon and innovate in ways that bring value that Amazon cannot. It’s time retailers leverage their core assets, their stores and all their power, to fight back where Amazon cannot, at least not yet.

However, in the “new retail” paradigm the store must drive innovation beyond becoming simply a fulfillment center for online orders. Omnichannel deployments and inventory management are the minimum bar to participate in this future. To innovate, retailers will need to use the inherent value of the store to create a greater connection with their consumers.

If you’re ready to participate in “new retail” and use your stores as centers of innovation, Radius8 can help you drive innovation by converging your online presence and the unique context of local markets to enhance the customer experience ultimately driving more value to both channels. By providing locally-sourced experiences, retailers can increase customer engagement and drive greater sales online and in-store.

We would love to meet you at NRF (http://lp.radius8.com/nrf2017) or setup a meeting to discuss how Radius8 can help you innovate in 2017.

2017 will be an inflection point for retail. Will you innovate or fall by the wayside?

-Sandeep

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