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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Physical retail isn’t dead

Wait, physical retail isn’t dead? The death of brick-and-mortar retail is effectively ‘conventional wisdom’ in many circles — but if you read closely enough, it’s clear that the future of retail is “clicks-to-bricks.” Online retailers are opening physical stores (and sometimes using them to showcase collections that haven’t yet been released online) and ‘traditional’ retailers are upping their online games.

Case studies: Witness Young shoppers love real stores full of real stuff, wherein an FT columnist writes with amazement about a family trip to a Walmart. Or Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores, courtesy of the NYT. You read that you may be surprised to hear that restoration hardware is doing great (perhaps we would, if we cared about the brand) and that “uniqueness and experiences’ seem to be paying off” for France’s grands magazins. TJMaxx, you will be told, offers you a masterclass on how to survive the retail crisis.

The granddaddy of them all: The future of retail in the age of Amazon in Wired, from late last fall. The takeaways? Amazon, its local skirmishers (hello, Souq) and its imitators (hi, Jumia) will pressure many outlets, but successful retailers will:

  • feature products that customers can’t get elsewhere
  • deliver a satisfying experience
  • challenge the fundamental assumptions of commerce
  • resurrect the art of selling

You know veganism has gone mainstream when it makes the Financial Times. We love steak in these parts. A juicy hamburger. Lobster. Even the humble chicken breast. We would also rather not cook in our own juices as the planet warms — and thoroughly despise factory agriculture. If you’re curious about vegetarianism taken to the next level, the FT’s package on Vegan food and drink includes:

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