Retail Transitioning to “Wall-less” Omnichannel Future, Report Says



NEW YORK-The future of retailing lies in its evolution from a supercenter-dominated industry to one in which digital retailing will take the lead, according to a report from PwC US and Kantar Retail.

Titled “Retailing 2020” and based on analysis of findings from Kantar’s consumer practice, the report said retailers, in order to be successful in the years to come, will need to transform themselves to a model consisting of more online and mobile shopping options, along with smaller store formats. Susan McPartlin, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer industry leader, said retailers will have to prepare for what she described as “a wall-less omnichannel retail world, one where shoppers will come to expect a seamless brand experience online, in-store and across multimedia touch points.” This multi-format portfolio—combined with the proliferation of small, urban, alternative retail formats—will pave the way for future growth, dismantling the mass homogenization and scale assumptions that propelled two decades of retail growth.”

By 2020, according to the report, the growth of supercenters will have ended, while non-store retailing—driven by online, mobile and tablet commerce—will be the fastest growing retail channel.

Regarding shoppers, the report said the nation by 2020 will divide into two distinct consumer groups: the “over 50s,” which are more financially conservative; and the “under 30s,” who will be more willing to spend money. Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer of Kantar, said that to meet the differing expectations of both groups, retailers must move from their “one-size-fits-all” approach to a model that considers the two groups’ diverging needs. “Forward-thinking retailers should diversify format portfolios, test smaller footprints and offer niche products targeted to specific shopper segments,” Gildenberg said.

Posted in News, Retail.

Last updated: September 28, 2012