What’s the Future of Traditional Retail?

Did the events of 2020 and the associated changes in shopping behavior break the classic brick-and-mortar retail model?

The combination of Covid-19 lockdowns, supply chain problems, and economic woes accelerated digital retailing in several areas of the economy. While some experts believe this will result in more individual retail businesses, it may indicate that the traditional retail model will not work or at least not work as well in the near future.

“Let’s start with the model that just doesn’t work,” said Bloomreach CEO Raj De Datta, who is also the author of the book “The Digital Seeker: A Guide for Digital Teams to Build Winning Experiences.”

“What doesn’t work anymore is ‘I’m a retailer. I’ve got a certain level of selection. I source all my products. I work with all my brands. I deal with the supply chain. I open a bunch of brick-and-mortar stores — that’s my distribution. I market online and offline. I’m dependent on the number of people that walk into my store and buy the product that I bought from someone else and mark it up a bit to cover my margin and call it a day.’