Monday, November 22, 2021

Retail Recovery: How Creative Retailers are Winning in Their Post-Apocalyptic World (Mark Pilkington)

Much has been made of the term “retail apocalypse”, which alludes to the demise of many conventional retail establishments and the slow decline of shopping malls over the past 15 years. This trend accelerated in the run-up to the COVID pandemic and then increased more as the pandemic developed. While many traditional retailers declined in sales or went bankrupt, not all of them did so. Mark Pilkington writes on the innovation taking place in the retail industry in Retail Recovery: How Creative Retailers are Winning in Their Post-Apocalyptic World.

Pilkington’s rapid-fire writing brings short chapters and brevity in describing events but provides an effective story in showing that retail is not being swallowed in total by the Amazonian behemoth. Using examples from large bigbox to innovative upstarts, the author shows how numerous retailers have taken creative approaches, used social media and influencers, and have heavily invested in their customers as advocates for their brand to help build loyalty and sales. Some upstarts tapped into millennials’ and Gen Z’s beliefs that they want to support brands and products that are socially conscious or environmentally friendly to help build their brands.

Retail, as the author points out, is far from dead. Will it be different in the years to come? Absolutely. The smart retailer - the one that ultimately survives in the future - will be savvy with technology, adaptable to changing consumer tastes, and will be able to build loyalty and a “movement” with its brand.