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Is the retailer of the future just an enhanced version of the retailer of the past?

August 06, 2017

Written by Lisa Carter, SAS Group

Multinational finance company Goldman Sachs has this week dispelled the ‘retail apocalypse’, and offered up several reasons physical retail stores can, and will, live on in the increasingly dominant digital landscape.

Analyst Matthew Fassler told the US media that many retailers are simply stuck in the middle trying to figure out what they want to be, but need to “pick sides” in order to properly leverage their physical assets, or to build them into the future.

“Retailers selling commodity goods will need to migrate their supply chains toward these hyper-efficient models. At the other extreme, stores that present a brand immersively, experientially, and interactively will still be able to battle for consumers’ attention,” Mr Fassler said.

Goldman Sachs has advised all retailers that while the store still matters, it will be the strongest and smartest driving the stores of the future – those who don’t try to be the best at everything, and instead focus on operating either as an optimised logistics machine, an ultra-convenient shopping option, or an optimised showroom. 

Data to help manage inventories, marketing that leads to better in-store outreach, optimised cost efficiencies, and a willingness to embrace a move to technology-assisted experiences will mark the stores of the future.

But above all else, Goldman Sachs has joined the chorus of voices advising that ultimately, it will still be retailers’ connections with their consumers that will take the industry forward. 

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