Guest Series Part 1: The Blurring Lines Of Retail Verticals - The Impact On Workforce And Inventory ManagementSource: RedPrairie
By Dawn Andre, retail industry expert, RedPrairie
With the US unemployment rate at 9.5% and 14.6 million less people able to contribute to household income, those who are employed are focused on savings strategies and paying off credit cards. The post-recession era leaves us with a consumer who is savings-focused and smart, cautious about spending as they return to the marketplace, and intently focused on value. The challenge for retailers, is to capture a greater percentage of that smaller consumer spend, and build customer loyalty. This has caused retailers to look for other avenues to engage consumers, causing a blurring of the lines between retail vertical segments.
These blurring lines make it harder and harder to tell the various retail vertical segments apart — drug stores are looking more like convenience stores with fresh foods, tobacco, and alcohol. Convenience stores are looking more like quick service restaurants with prepared meals, made-to-order foods, and specialty coffees. Big box discounters are now competing directly with grocery stores, and supermarkets have elements of all of these. This four-part series will look at some of these blurring lines and the impact on your workforce and inventory strategies. We'll start with the big picture of multi-channel retailing.