Had a chance to sit down with my brother Drew over thanksgiving and discuss the state of American retailing. My brother works for a Chapel Hill retailing institution. Southern Season (http://www.southernseason.com/ ) is a magical place especially at this time of year. The store brings a sense of North Carolina and the south to the world and the store's smells and tastes are AMAZING, a true "foodie" paradise.
We first talked of the absurdity of opening on Thanksgiving. We both agree some tradtions are too valuable, they must be left in tact. To create distraction, to destroy the little time Americans have with family, to destory one of our most cherished traditions is to hasten your own end.
This morning I tweeted, "Note to American retailers, Keep Hands OFF Thanksgiving" and it resonated. We both admire Everlane's going dark on Black Friday to make a statement (http://www.scoop.it/t/ecommerce-revolution/p/3448687271/brilliant-black-friday-disruption-everlane-goes-black-on-black-friday-techcrunch ).
My brother pointed out a web retailer isn't as tied to Black Friday as his store. He was getting ready to work a long hard day and was sure Black Friday would be one of Southern Season's biggest days of this year.
"Shopping Southern Season on Black Friday is a tradition too. We see some of the same people year in and year out. They come, shop, have lunch at the Weathervane and make it a day," my brother Drew told me.
I brought up the Retail predictive analytics. I shared a study statistical study showing where salespeople stand, displays are constructed and when sales should end. Big data is coming to a store near you soon. In fact, soon the store is simply physical manifestation of the web. Here are a few of the implications of Big Data and predictive analytics in retail we discussed:
* Store sets are more fluid changing daily if needed.
* New kinds of fixturing will be needed.
* Firewall between web and store won't exist.
* Showrooming will be made moot.
* Pricing with intelligent RFID-like tags will be dynamic.
* New in-store tech to facilitate pricing arbitrage.
* New in-store GPS will help shoppers find what they need.
* Promotions go real time and mobile via predictive analytics.
* Payment becomes more phone less credit card and NO cash.
* Intelligent merchandising systems fuse web-like reviews into retail.
Going to be Minority Report cool and all brought to you by a startup company near you.