So, once again we have the old argument of where retail is going but this time thankfully we are ready to admit that the emperor has no clothes. No expert is standing up to say it’s going one way or another. The ‘clicks’ folk defend their territory as do the ‘bricks’ folk. I was trying to look at the underlying drivers. For many of us the convenience of online shopping is great, saving time, saving a trip into town, not having to deal with the hustle and bustle of daily life and yet I wonder if we have been missing something. For those of us who live in Europe or Asia the open market is still something that many of us have an experience of. We must not forget that the market has been part of our social existence for thousands of years, the US model emerging just after the Second World War. So if we look at things from a cultural perspective we (as social beings) still need some kind of physical interaction when we exchange goods and services. The behavioural scientists confirm that the process is a intricate one where we have strong emotions associated with the act of exchanging goods and money.
I may be missing something but I have a feeling that although digital will continue to grow, the rate of growth will stabilise as the bricks and mortar retailers take their offering from a sales one to that of providing experiences.