Bye-bye, silo retailing, hello, omni-channel. Retailers are combining their selling platforms with a central aim in mind: pleasing shoppers, a novel idea.
THE OLD ADAGE that retailing has to evolve to survive needs updating. In the last three months, retailers are embarking on a new strategy that many are calling revolutionary, not evolutionary. Change today has to be rapid, not gradual, and those retailers not joining the revolution, not making the investment, could be left far, far behind.
Driven by smart phones (projected to reach 140 million by the end of this year), ecom- merce, Amazon and free shipping, shopping options have dramatically expanded and the retailing landscape is undergoing a rapid sea change. This significant shift in shopping patterns has prompted a brisk embrace of omni-channel, which has exploded as a major focus for retailers this year, particularly those trying to build relevancy with the Millennium generation.
During recent earnings calls and investor conferences, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Chico’s, Deckers/Uggs, Finish Line, Gap, Guess, Kate Spade, New York & Co., Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Signet/Ultra Jewelers, VF, Zales and other brands extolled the omni-channel strategy. In short, through the simple task of giving customers what they want, when they want it and where they want it, these companies are driving revenues.