Making predictions about the future of retail can be tricky. Five years ago how many people thought shoppers would pay for their morning java using a smartphone?
Who among us could have foreseen that shoppers would buy an item from an established main street retailer in the afternoon and pick it up the next morning at the local supermarket? And did anyone expect women to embrace the idea of renting a designer dress for a special occasion — or that designers would actually back the premise?
It brings to mind the tagline of a recent Amazon Kindle commercial: “What once seemed wildly impractical is now completely normal.” And as STORES looks at what lies ahead for our industry in 2014, it appears retailers will continue transforming their businesses, their cultures and their systems in the quest to serve the new normal.