Retail spending changes as we increasingly value the social experience / The New Daily

on the eve of my heading off overseas to deliver a Future of Retail keynote to one of the world’s largest FMCG brands, David Ross of the New Daily and I caught up to have a look at Australia’s retail scene past, present and future…

It’s not news to anyone that Australians love to shop but there are some dramatic cultural changes under way that show where we spend our bucks is changing dramatically.

While previous decades were about the stuff we bought, the networked digital world seems to be making us crave social consumer experiences.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show this changing face of Australian consumers.

Despite talk of flat wages and rising living costs, we’re lashing out big time on eating out with spending in cafés and restaurants up almost 7 per cent in just one year.

Sean Sands from Monash University said the strong growth in dining spending reflects consumer connection ambitions.

“It’s driven by people’s desires to socialise,” he said.

Between June 2016 and June 2017 spending on household goods rose 6.9 per cent. But we’re getting choosy on where we buy, with spending in department stores actually falling 2.4 per cent despite spending on clothing, footwear and personal accessories up 1.07 per cent.

Dr Sands said the drop of spending in department stores reflected a return to the high street experience.

“A lot of people want to shop locally,” he said.

Retail and business futurist Morris Miselowski told The New Daily things have changed significantly in Australia’s shopping landscape since the global financial crisis in 2008.

“We’ve seen retail change dramatically over the last decade,” he said.

The arrival of international brands opening flagship stores in the heart of our capital cities has been a significant part of that.

But big-name brands aren’t finding it smooth sailing, British brand Topshop has entered administration. This is in contrast to several other imports, like Zara, H&M and Aldi which so far have been able to deliver what Australians are looking for.

Mr Miselowski said Topshop failed to understand what Australians want and so we didn’t go for their offer.

He told The New Daily that Topshop didn’t grasp that “Australians are more laid back” in their shopping and their style “didn’t make sense to our local vernacular”, he said.

Mr Miselowski said as online spending has grown, many people have started treating some big stores like showrooms, going there to check prices.

But some household names are doing well. Harvey Norman is one reporting net profits up 29 per cent to $448.9 million on the back of people buying household goods as we build and renovate at record levels.

In the post global financial crisis world many households have cut back spending on credit with the return of lay-by and other new retail functions through online platforms.

Dr Sands said one key area the recent sales figures showed was the continued growth in online shopping.

“Australians are spending more online and are purchasing from small and medium enterprises at a larger rate,” he said.

Will On, co-founder of online shipping platform Shippit, which ships products for many Australian retailers, said they were seeing a huge growth in online retailing as Australians look for flexibility.

“Australian consumers are looking for the basics,” he said. For many products “it’s a lot easier to buy online instead of picking up”.

Shippit’s most shipped items are clothing, followed by pet food, however the things Australians are looking for varies significantly during the week.

New technology companies like Shippit are able to see how spending changes across a single day.

Mr On told The New Daily that three-hour express clothing deliveries are more popular on Friday afternoon than any other time during the week as people planning to go out left shopping to the last minute.

#Bunnings going smaller to get bigger / The New Daily

2009-Kirrawee We’re all familiar with the sight of a giant green Bunnings warehouse – a sausage sizzle out the front and a car park teeming with would-be tradies.

But following the demise of its major competitor, Woolworths-owned Masters, Australia’s largest hardware operator is increasing its dominance by rolling out a growing number of smaller format stores.

The store, expected to cost $8 million and span 3000 square metres, is due to open mid-year at the Toombul Shopping Centre in Brisbane, sparking speculation that Bunnings is making a concerted foray into the shopping centre market.

Many shoppers may be unfamiliar with the number of smaller format Bunnings stores already in existence – there are 69 across Australia and New Zealand. But a Bunnings spokesperson said as the rollout continues “the smaller stores are part of our DNA”.

However, the demise of the Masters chain is undeniably opening up new opportunities for hardware giant Bunnings, which turned over $9.5 billion in the 2015 financial year.

According to an IBISWorld report released in March, Bunnings took 38.4 per cent of total revenue in hardware and building supplies. And statistics released by the National Retail Association predict that Australians’ passion for property will be a key factor behind strong growth in hardware, building and garden supplies sales.

Bunnings will open a downsized site in Toombul Shopping Centre in Brisbane.

Its figures suggest sales will increase 6.9 per cent this financial year – up from the long-term average rise of 4.7 per cent.

Scott Wiseman, CEO of national industry body Hardware Australia, said the word is that Bunnings are expanding into smaller format stores, mostly in more regional areas.

“It’s quite an interesting model. They’re sort of shifting focus or shifting tactic to try to capture what the independent hardware retailers have got, in terms of that personal service, that expertise or knowledge.”

He said while many independent retailers remain, it is difficult for them to compete with the mammoth marketing budgets of players such as Bunnings. However, he said more of the smaller players are changing tack and offering price matching to try to compete.

“The reality is there’s not much of a price difference between the big boys and the little guys,” Mr Wiseman said.

Hardware consultant Geoff Dart of DGC Advisory said it would make sense for Bunnings to increase its focus on smaller stores. 

Other stores like David Jones and Myer are also looking to establish smaller sites.

“If you look around, Kmart, Target and Big W don’t sell anything that’s reasonable. They’ve got token tools, but there’s no paint or wallpaper or anything,” he said.

Mr Dart said products such as paint, hinges, picture hooks or lightweight tools would be obvious areas of demand for smaller stores, where people are prepared to pay for convenience.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski said many retailers around the globe are mixing it up when it comes to size.

“Many large box retailers across the planet are experimenting or moving to a small box size. It’s not instead of – it’s generally as well as,” he said.

He cited the example of Woolworths’ ‘Metro’ format stores.

Under the ‘small box’ model, a retailer would generally take 20 to 25 per cent of its top-selling products, and place them in a convenient, smaller-sized store, he said.

Meanwhile, in February, Bunnings completed its buy-out of Homebase, the second-largest home improvement and garden business operating in the UK and Ireland and concerned British hardware group Kingfisher has sent “spies” to Bunnings stores to see what sort of competition it is likely to face when the Aussie brand hits the UK.

original article

 

E-tailing chat apps may be buzz, future / Times of India

E-commerce

reprinted from The Times of India Technology Section,

CHENNAI: Connect with a homemaker 500 miles away to buy a customised brocade potli bag through a chat app or order your favourite grande latte with skimmed milk from Starbucks by simply typing ‘coffee’.

Conversational commerce’ – through spin off technology on chat apps for e-tailing – is emerging as the next big thing in ecommerce.

Consumers and companies, both ecommerce and essentially brick and mortar firms, are increasingly using messaging apps to discover content, browse merchandise, discuss business ideas and negotiate deals. Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced last week that it would do away with its $1 subscription fee so people could “use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight”. Which, essentially , is to allow businesses to connect with customers.

Chinese success story WeChat is already in the game. Instant messaging was WeChat’s earliest core function, but users can now use it to chat, search for people nearby , distribute or collect money , pay restaurant and utility bills and order groceries. report by Ericsson suggests that A smartphone users in India spend 47% of their time on communication apps. Players in the space are riding on this habit to engage with their customers. Flipkart has introduced ‘Ping’, an inapp chat feature that allows users to share product images and chat with each other while shopping.

Several startups and firms with a proactive online presence have chat op ions on their websites. A handful of start ups are using the technology as the primary medium for business, harnessing he power of chat apps.

Bengaluru startup Goodbox uses a chat-based app to connect small and medium enterprises with customers. Goodbox, with a partner app and a consumer app, acts as a liaising enabler. Businesses hat use Goodbox pay the company a commission; it’s free for consumers.

“Not all businesses have an apps and Goodbox offers this service to that segment so they can reach out to more customers,” Goodbox cofounder Mayank Bidawatka said. Shoppo, a zero-commission service from Snapdeal, helps connect individuals and micro-businesses from over 868 cities, giving these firms an online presence.

“Shopo acts as medium to take specialised not available on regular e-commerce websites,” Shopo senior vice-president Sandeep Komaravelly said.

Some startups help small businesses get on the app bandwagon, others offer to be personalised assistance like Bengaluru-based Joe Hukum, a chat-based order taking and concierge service.

The startup uses technology to offer hyper personalisation.

“The consumer today is very clear about what he wants but does not give much thought to where it is coming from,” With fading brand loyalty , satisfying consumers is about delivering a product or service at the right price with maxi mum convenience,” Joe Hukum co-founder Arihant Jain said.

From local shopping to movie ticket booking and delivery , the startup provides end-to-end services through a chat app that customers can customise according to their preferences.

Delhi startup Helpchat partners with cab aggregators, ecommerce websites and food brands such as Mast Kalandar to provide customers a one-stop app for all their needs.

“We’ve added an intelligence layer that anticipates a customer’s order based on previous orders,” Helpchat VP (marketing) Kali Charan Shukla says. ” A customer looking for a product on an ecommerce site will get the price options on all websites that the product is available.”

Shukla says the app offers hyper-personalised search results and a variety of options, with comparisons on the deals and offers available.

A combination of chat-based e-tailing apps and hyper-personalisation: That’s where experts see the future of ecommerce. “This new world of hyper-personalisation, precision retailing or me-tailing,” `full-stack’ business futurist Morris Miselowski of businessfuturist.com notes, “recognises that a consumer’s mobile device is increasingly at the centre of any retail interaction.”

What’s over the job and career horizon?

future careerThere’s a lot of conversation going on around the future of careers and jobs, given recent manufacturing and mining redundancy announcements and it has everyone asking what careers and jobs are future proof and which are not.

Firstly many of today’s and yesterdays professions will still be around including – teachers, doctors, health professionals, retailers and many others will still be around in 50 years, but how they do their jobs, where and when they do it and how important it may be, will evolve over time.

The foresight issue is that today’s Grade 1 student will finish high school in 2025 and if they go on to further education, will eventually enter the workforce in the late 2020’s or early 2030’s. What will the world of 2030 look like? What career choices will there be? What will work be and mean to them?

If we already know with certainty that 2030 will be significantly different from today then how how do we get our children safely and competently between here and then? How do we educate them today for a world of tomorrow that we can only guess at, a world in which they’ll live to 120 years of age, work in well into their 80’s, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and work project and task driven, physically and virtually in a mixture of solo activities, in teams and across the globe.

What are the career choices of tomorrow. What and how do we teach our children so that are nimble, flexible and ready for this new evolving world? How do we cope and deal with the industries and jobs that will fall away between now and then and how do we evolve, find, accept and champion the industries and jobs of tomorrow?

This topic ran hot on ABC Radio Local and Australia and here are some of the other interviews I did Around Australia on similar themes and questions so for my views on all these questions and more have a listen now and then share your thoughts on what’s waiting up ahead for our children.

Jill EmbersonJill Emberson – Mornings ABC Newcastle – Monday 13th February


 

Ron TaitRon Tait  Breakfast Program ABC South West -Western Australia – Monday 17th February

Kate O'TooleKate O’Toole – Afternoon Program ABC Darwin – Monday 17th February

Sonya FeldhoffSonya Feldhoff  – Afternoon Program ABC Adelaide – Tuesday 18th February

 

 

 

 

 

 

Careers and Beyond

future-jobs-jpgEver wanted to know what the best career choices are? Here’s a great article, hot off the presses on future career paths and it even has some choice quotes from your favourite business futurist.

reprinted from Careers FAQ

The A-Z of top jobs for 2014 and beyond
09 Dec 2013
By Marni Williams

Where are the shortages?

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), employment is set to grow by 820,100 jobs, or 7.1 per cent, to November 2017 across most industries and occupations in Australia. That’s decent growth, but if you want to get a job in 2014 you need to know where the demand will be.

DEEWR says the biggest areas for job growth will be healthcare and assistance (13 per cent), retail trade (8.9 per cent) and construction (10.1 per cent): ‘Together, these three industries are expected to provide nearly half of the total growth in employment over the next five years’.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski suggests we will have six careers within a lifetime, so if you’re thinking about which direction to take next it would pay to consider one of the golden opportunities below – because this is where the jobs will be.
Top jobs in 2014:

Accounting and finance
Aged and disabled care
Business bankers
Community engagement and community development
Construction
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…
Dental technicians
Digital marketing managers
Education
Health technologists and medical device reps
Mobile developers
Online retailers
Programmers
Project managers
Senior leasing executives
Tourism and hospitality
Website content writers
3D printers
Accounting and finance

Jobs for accountants are still going strong and are set to increase by 12.6 per cent to 2017 (DEEWR).

There will be demand in the financial and wealth management areas, specifically for senior financial planners, multilingual financial planners and financial paraplanners.

Global recruiter Hays says: ‘In accountancy and finance we expect to see new jobs created within the area of business and IT transformation … so that an organisation can adapt to growth and make cost savings. It is also important for audit/compliance purposes, particularly if the company plans to become ASX listed or has been acquired by an overseas head office’.
Aged and disabled care

Aged and disabled care has seen growth of over 102 per cent over the last five years and it will only continue to grow exponentially as preventative care, residential care, therapeutic treatments and hospital services will be required by large numbers of ageing baby boomers.

Business bankers

Business banking is a growth area, with new roles created in specialist areas. Credit assessors with a strong mortgage background and a DCA or equivalent will be in high demand as new teams are created in major banks. In addition, candidates with front-end retail experience will be sought as banks change their approach to business banking.
Community engagement and community development

With our cities needing to cope with growing populations, housing shortages and changing demographics, local councils are getting serious about community engagement. So, too, are businesses as they understand the importance of community outreach and really engaging with customers, residents and businesses.
Construction

The ongoing shortage of surveyors continues as students shy away from maths and science. With many bound to retire, it’s not just an area of opportunity, it’s vital to a strengthening construction industry.

Hays highlights a ‘historical’ shortage of estimators encompassing the residential, commercial and civil sectors. They are also seeing demand for civil estimators in response to recent restructures.
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…

Business futurist Miselowski is excited: ‘We have spent the last 30 years feeding information about ourselves and the world into the digital ether, without getting much wisdom back. The next frontier is mining this information and turning it into purposeful knowledge. A new breed of employee is emerging called data scientists, who are tasked with the job of refining data to enable good decisions’.

Hays agrees, saying that employers are increasingly looking for applicants with a Master in Information Systems. This is one job that can translate across many sectors.
Dental technicians

With our ageing population, the fact that most of us retain our own teeth much longer, and an increase in demand for cosmetic dental work, dental technicians will be in high demand alongside a range of health professions. According to the Australian Dental Association, demand for dental prostheses is down, but specialist areas such as crowns and bridges are up.
Digital marketing managers

When I asked her about trending jobs, Director of Hays (NSW & ACT) Jane McNeill put digital marketing high on her list:

‘Digital marketing managers are in demand as growth and investment in digital marketing is creating a “digital disconnect” in which the jobs market in digital marketing technology is hungry for skilled workers. The evolution of digital marketing is set to continue over the next decade and this will have a huge impact on the skills employers need. As this continues to be a growing area candidates with technical knowledge or digital expertise are in high demand.’
Education

We’ve seen impressive numbers turn to online education all over the world, but will there be jobs to follow? Fairfax’s Employment Forecast says that population growth will see the education sector continue to rise, having ‘shrugged off the weakness in the international student sub-sector to record continued jobs growth, with positions up 4.6 per cent’.

A recent government report indicates that the international student sector could grow by 30 per cent by the end of the decade. With continued population growth and the investment in skills and training programs, the outlook for the sector is bright.

It has also noted a surge in pre-school teacher positions and ‘a significant shortage of early childhood teachers’. Positions in the tertiary education sector are also up 3.4 per cent.
Health technologists and medical device reps

You may know that healthcare is experiencing the biggest growth of all sectors, but it’s also changing. With developments in everything from genetics to wearable technologies and robotics, a plethora of new jobs are expected. Miselowski expects new titles such as ‘genetic counsellor’, ‘telemedical practitioner’ and a range of medical device reps to appear.

Anyone who works in the allied health profession but also understands computers and technology will find plenty of opportunities on the horizon. And a range of medical device reps are already needed, as Hay’s Jane McNeil says:

‘In life sciences there are new products coming to market and companies are keen to employ medical device reps with like-for-like experience so that they can hit the ground running. An increasing number of roles now also require clinical backgrounds.’
Mobile developers

Technology recruiter Greythorn is optimistic in its report: ‘With mobile access to the web growing at an exponential rate, and the way in which we interact with the web being driven more and more toward mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, mobile developers are becoming a highly sought after entity’.

Expertise across Android, iOS and HTML 5, coupled with e-commerce integration skills, social networking and API knowledge will set you up to take advantage of this growth area.
Online retailers

It’s hardly ground-breaking news: according to the Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping Market 2013 report, online retail is growing strongly.

National Australia Bank’s latest online retail sales index tells us that online sales have hit 6.2 per cent of retail spending. What’s more, the average annual spend for Australian online shoppers is expected to hit $1750 by the end of this year and 90 per cent of online shoppers expect to maintain or increase their spending over the next year.
Programmers

For a moment there IT might have looked like it was having a slow patch, but the industry is still growing strongly and more growth is expected with the continued rollout of the NBN. However, programmers are now working on short-term contracts and this is set to continue. As Greythorn says, ‘project-based recruitment will be one of the pillars of growth and activity for our industry’. Java and PHP skills are, and will continue to be, highly valued.
Project managers

It’s a broad field, but DEEWR predicts contract, program and project administrators to increase by a whopping 16.4 per cent to 2017. It might be time to really work on those project management skills.
Senior leasing executives

McNeill cites several large new shopping centre developments and upgrades as a driver of real estate jobs in some regional areas – ‘there is more vacant space to fill with tenants. This has created demand for senior leasing executives in the retail space’.
Tourism and hospitality

According to the Fairfax Employment Forecast, the sector is turning around, with jobs once again growing. Burgeoning areas include medical tourism, ancestry travel and sustainable tourism.
Website content writers

As Google declared ‘content is king’, journalists couldn’t believe their ears. Fairfax agrees: ‘In a surprising turnaround, positions for journalists and other writers continue to grow, thanks to the spurt in online content at the expense of more traditional media’.

The journalism and media category actually grew by 3.1 per cent in 2013, which is above-average growth. With the exponential growth in online content production, those with the skills to write it will find themselves in high demand.
3D printers

Ok, so this one might not exactly be ready for 2014, but it’s not far off and is one of the most exciting developments to come. St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne will be trialling 3D printing of human body organs within five years and expect that printing human spare parts could become normal within 10 years.

The CSIRO has even initiated the Australian Additive Manufacturing Network to link research organisations with industry to make the use of 3D printers commercially effective. Get involved in 2014 and you’ll be ready for the next set of top jobs coming our way!

Hyperpersonalised Retail

meHere’s an article I wrote for Stockland Retail November Newsletter:

In the analogue 20th century we ventured out into the world to discover, to buy and to engage.

In the digital 21st century the world comes to us through a myriad of always-on mobile devices that constantly scour, interpret and filter what’s around us, searching for relevance and opportunity and bringing it back to us in the palm of our hand.

Retail has borne the brunt of this seismic shift and where once physical and tangible were paramount, connected and digital are now equal partners.

Forrester predicts that by 2016, 44% of all retail sales will be influenced by connected retail – a shopping environment that encourages and provides an enhanced link between consumers, their devices and data and seeks to minimise the differences between their bricks and mortar and digital offerings.

This new world of hyperpersonalisation, precision retailing or me-tailing recognises that the consumers mobile device is increasingly at the centre of any retail interaction as it fulfills its mission to learn about your store,  your offerings and interpret this generic raw data into custom-made consumer centric knowledge.

British luxury fashion retailer Burberry‘s Regent Street store has designed their new store to mimic the online experience and houses the world’s largest retail screen that can playfully show a rain storm or digitally transport the store to anywhere on the planet, has 550 hidden speakers to fully immerse the shopper with and a set of change room screens that can show the garment being tried on by the shopper walking on the catwalk before turning itself into a traditional mirror, all aimed at enhancing the customer experience, product discovery and cross selling.

John Lewis’s full line flexible format department store in Exeter brings digital and physical retailing together by physically merchandising more stock variety in a smaller space and digitally encouraging the customer  to use either their own or in-store technology to engage and purchase.

Marks and Spencer and Tesco have both recently experimented with customer engagement through interactive kiosks and targeted in store offerings activated online.

Neiman Marcus recognises digital as an opportunity, not a threat and has developed an in store location positioning app to ensure every customer can find and be digitally guided to exactly what they want in-store with a minimum of fuss and effort.

Brazilian retailer C&A uses Facebook likes on their coat hangers to bring the online social world directly to their garments.

Nike offers hyperpersonalisation both in store and digitally by allowing customers to customise and design their own shoes.

Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas use interactive store windows and window displays to spark store and brand discovery.

Bloomingdales provides flat screens that allow passersby to see themselves digitally wearing the latest sunglasses and then go in store to purchase, or print off a picture for later purchase.

These are trends not of technology, but of people using technology.

They are deliberate retail strategy enablers that focus on the customer and not the device and that stimulate the trinity of retail perfection – improved service delivery, personalised customer experience and enhanced brand engagement.

They are digital tools to be used alongside traditional retail tools and when placed in the hands of great sales people allow them to reach beyond their physical four walls to find stock at alternate branches, to share knowledge,  show digital product beyond those physically merchandised, to research with and on behalf of customers, to transact and complete sales and to turn opaque physical walls into transparent digital retail environments that extend the boundaries of retail possibilities and profitability.

 

Australian Retail Outlook 2013

Aust Reatail Outlook cover photoHere’s an excerpt from this year’s Australian Retail Outlook magazine with my thoughts on the year ahead for retail:

Aust Retail Outlook 2013

Tomorrow’s Shopping

The retail industry is dealing with an economic downturn and simultaneously going through a revolution, the problem is that we are over hyping the economic and under valuing to the revolution.

We are definitely facing difficult economic times and pragmatically we have do everything we can to keep the doors open (that makes short-term sense), but unless we understand that retail is going through its greatest upheaval in the last 60 years, when we moved from strip shopping centre to malls and forever changed the way we shop, the where, the why, the how and the what we shop for we are missing the medium to long-term profitable possibilities.

There are great retailers large and small coming to terms with this new retail landscape and finding innovation and profit amongst the emerging possibilities.

This week David Dowsett of Radio ABC Wide Bay and I pick up on this and chat about the future of retail, what it might become, how we might shop and what new technologies are on the horizon.

The future of Retail under moonlight

Wow, last night’s segment on Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC Local radio was a hoot.

We stripped back the hype, doom and gloom to take a look under the hood to see what is really going on with retail to discover that we are living through an evolutionary phase, like many industry’s across our planet, in which new elements of purchasing and retailing are emerging such as online, and as we transition through this we are experiencing the usual change mentality of “in my day this would never have happened” and “the world as we know it, is over”.

We will have casualties in this journey and nothing good can be made of that, but we will also have new heroes and experiences come out of it and in a few years this brave new retail / consumer world that we are building will seem ordinary and the way we used to shop will be another folk story we tell our children.

Online retail, even in the most ambitious statistics, is set to only account for about 15% of all retail purchases in the next 10 years, this leaves much buying and selling to be done in a physical store and in this newish world, the physical store will still account for the majority of retail experiences, but within that store there will be totally new expectations and interactions.

We are currently taking our first tentative steps into this new retail experience with mobile device apps, QR (quick response codes), NFC (near field technology) and in store technology such as magic mirrors.

Consumers will come laden with these new technologies, at first in their mobile devices and then beyond into other devices and discreet objects they carry on or with them as well as new in-store technologies. They also come laden with information, insights and prejudices provided by their online social networking tribe.

We are also seeing crowdsourcing websites such as groupon, scoopon, catch of the day and many others that have an initial flurry of excitement and success and are now having to rebuild their business models and broaden their offerings for long-term sustainability.

We also put shopping into context to see it as an 8 stages process, only one of which is the actual purchase, and that it is the way the consumer travels through these stages, using a blend of traditional and virtual engagement, that is changing.

We also chatted about the changing consumer, consumption patterns, global / national / local markets, bespoke and hyper-personalised purchasing.

A tonne of interest and great questions from our many call in listeners, so all in all a great interview and well worth a listen if you want to make sense of what lies ahead in retail (47 minutes):

The evolution and revolution of retail

Retail is going through an evolution on the back of a revolution.

In line with the rest of the planet and on the back of the internet, retail is going through its awkward teenager like years full of pimples, self doubt and uncertainty about tomorrow and what may be ahead.

Like a typical prepubescent the 10 years prior to the economic downturn many retailers were full of self importance, saw themselves as invincible and the centre of attention.

Come the economic downturn, consumers had less to spend and became very determined to spend it wisely.

The days of spending excess are in hiatus. Retailers have to work hard now to prove their worthiness to us and many couldn’t and can’t.

Mixed into this backdrop is the evolution of online shopping; the growing number of online shopping business models, sites and opportunities and hey presto we have a new retail environment growing out of the virtual ground.

These two factors, what’s in it for the consumer and what retail might evolve into are the topic for this weeks discussion between ABC Radio Australia’s Adelaine Ng and myself as we explore the evolution and revolution of retail.

Listen now: