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10+ Predictions for 2019

(excerpted from the Robin Report and written by David J. Katz)

In 2019, regardless of size, tenure or segment of business retailers, brands and suppliers must recognize that they can no longer navigate the new landscape with their old maps. Tomorrow’s winners will be nimble, data-driven, fast to market, and highly efficient.

Tomorrow’s champions will have the foresight, fortitude and fearlessness to disrupt their own identity and historical path to success to succeed in the rapidly evolving retail environment.

Do or do not. There is no try. The rate of change will continue to escalate. There is no time for deep contemplation. Winners will leap, measure and then optimize. Failing fast will be a requirement. Succeeding fast will be a requirement, too.

10 Retail Predictions for 2019

1. After a strong 2018, the retail industry will slow down in 2019.

2. “The Retail Apocalypse” will be exposed as “fake news” for math-challenged, headline-grabbing media.

3. “Network Effects” will yield a winner-takes-all retail playing field.

4. Off-Mall will outperform In-Mall.

5. In 2019, we will still have too many stores, too much retail space and too much inventory.

6. The battle for tomorrow’s consumer will make enemies of friends… and friends of enemies.

7. Online commerce will be costlier than ever to execute.

8. In 2019, “Brand Relevance” will beat “Brand Authenticity.”

9. Retail will Pop-Up everywhere.

10. Experiential retail gets real.

Bonus! 13 More Prophecies

11. Sustainability moves from “buzz” to “ding,” the sound of cash registers ringing.

12. Checkout-free technology will expand, quickly.

13. Artificial Intelligence will be widely used to influence and aid in purchasing, and shopping experiences.

14. Virtual Influencers, artificial digital beings, will grow in popularity and impact.

15. Social and text messaging will become more important as data and trust become a currency of great value.

16. Privacy issues will reach an inflection point.

17. Augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) will begin to show positive retail ROI.

18. Shopping via voice…will still not be ready for primetime.

19. Image Recognition will become a meaningful, widely-used, tool for consumers and retailers.

20. Robots will be critical for supply chain efficiency. Yet they will remain behind the curtain… R2D2 is not ready for consumer interface.

21. Mobile Payments will become the de facto standard.

22. Products will replenish themselves and subscription models will proliferate; some will even succeed.

23. 2019 may see the “Death of Free Trade.”


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