Amazon wants to view your selfies, location and calendar to recommend outfits for you to wear today, displayed on a virtual avatar of you.
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 old maps.
Tomorrow’s retail winners will be nimble, data-driven, fast-to-market and cost efficient. They will have the foresight, fortitude and fearlessness to disrupt their own identity and legacy models.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
The rate of change will escalate. There is no time for deep contemplation. Winners will leap, measure and then optimize.
Failing fast will be a requirement, not an option. Succeeding fast will be a requirement, too.
The Alchemist’s Retail Prophecies for 2019:
Warning: One can identify prognosticators who use a crystal ball to predict the retail future. They’re the ones with glass shards in their bleeding hands and smoke issuing from their charred eyebrows.
$1 billion in the first 85 seconds. Not a bad start to the world’s biggest shopping day. China’s largest company,
Alibaba Group, used televised entertainment featuring Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Mariah Carey to drive awareness. It is reported that Xiaomi Technology, Apple and Dyson products were the top three brands in early sales.
The e-commerce giant is on course to rake in over $25.5 billion in online retail sales today during Singles Day 2018, already ahead of last year, with a few hours to go. That’s more sales than the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. And, it’s greater than Macy’s or Kohl’s annual sales volume.
Celebrating “bachelors” and others not in committed relationships, Singles Day occurs annually on November 11th (11/11) or “double eleven,” because the four numerals “1” represent single people.
Singles Day has already generated 1.5 billion transactions, at a peak rate of 350,000 orders per second. Over 90 percent of sales came from mobile devices.
This year’s event may provide insight into consumer sentiment as a slowing Chinese economy and tariff trade war threaten to dampen the world’s second largest economy. Alibaba reduced its revenue forecast by 6% earlier this month.
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
The “Eureka” effect is based upon an ancient myth regarding the Greek mathematician Archimedes, who upon discovering how to measure the volume of an irregular object, supposedly leaped out of a public bath, and ran home naked shouting “eureka,” (I found it).
Most of us would agree that there is still much to be invented and discovered. We tend to think these new “inventions” will be more extraordinary, advanced and innovative than those which preceded them. This is not entirely true. Many prior advances were revolutionary and extraordinary. An invention need not be revolutionary, or even unique, to be significant. Finally, many “new” inventions are derivative of their predecessors.
From door locks to light bulbs, shovels to toilets, and the classic mouse-trap, innovation comes in many forms and from many directions, often right under our noses. Sliced bread? Bottled water?
Nothing is so basic, or so great, that it cannot be made better. Continue reading “Everything That Can Be Invented Has Been Invented”
“Last year, Randa created a division devoted to honing its digital offerings, optimize data collection for its direct-to-consumer operations, as well as to assist retail and brand partners.
Randa Digital Labs is responsible for, among other projects, online content for each of its products, provided to retailer partners free-of-charge, establishing a basic standard for content when an online retailer sells a Randa-made product.
“If someone is putting Levi’s belts as a third-party seller and taking horrible photography, RDL assures that adjacent pages are populated with wonderful storytelling and great photography,” David J. Katz, Randa CMO said.
If Randa’s recent bid for Perry Ellis is any indication, the company is aiming to write the rules itself and remain on the prowl for M&A targets that could further elevate its enterprise to beyond just manufacturing.
“There’s an awful lot of unknown out there,” Katz said. “What’s not healthy is trying to hold onto an old model.”
– Excerpt from Business of Fashion
“Brands and the licensees that make their clothes are rewriting the rules of retail as they work together to court the modern consumer and compete online.” BY CATHALEEN CHEN, AUGUST, 2018
I’m not a doctor, but I really did play one on TV.
25 years ago, I sold consumer products, mostly luggage, to HSN and QVC. I hired a “guest host” to appear on-air, to work with the network “show host” and to demonstrate our products. One day the guest host was delayed, and I ended up with make-up on my face, a microphone up my shirt and an IFB in my ear. Continue reading “What I learned from playing a doctor on TV”
Today corporate innovation is all the rage. Large companies host accelerators, launch internal startups, and court potential startup partners in a quest to harness young companies’ innovativeness and energy for themselves.
But large legacy companies shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater by neglecting their core business and assuming it has minimal room to grow.
In this article, I will detail how our company, Randa Accessories, grew from 25 to 50 percent market share in several categories and channels by focusing on its core business and adjacent “bridge” categories, and offer some takeaways for other businesses based on that experience. (I will also describe how Randa launched its own successful internal startups — I’m not saying corporate innovation isn’t useful, just that it needs to be one part of a broader strategy to excel.)
First, a little about Randa. You many not know our name, but you know our products. Our products are available under 50 brands, and are sold at over 20,000 points of sale, and millions of digital touch points.
We’re the world’s largest men’s accessories company. We sell ties, and belts, wallets, bags, hats, slippers and luggage.
Randa is completely vertical, business-to-business and direct-to-consumer, with 4,000 employees working from 23 global offices.
Our culture emphasized growth and efficiency and led us to success in revenue, margin, penetration, and market share.
For example, we’re the leading supplier of belts to Nordstrom… and to Walmart, to Kohl’s and to Amazon, and The Hudson’s Bay, Liverpool, Printemps, El Cortes Ingles, David Jones, John Lewis and to Costco.
We spent over $50 million to assure that when a consumer walks into a retail store for pants, they immediately see our belts nearby. Dress shirts? There are our ties…
And then, we hit a wall.
Once upon a time… business success was based on providing a narrow segment of consumers with a narrow segment of products, uniquely suited to their needs, sourced and advertised locally, and sold at a local store.
Over time, the spread of mass media — TV, national newspapers and magazines — along with the expansion of national retail stores, and the growth of a global and highly efficient supply chain, led to a world of mass marketing, mass production, and massive retailers. The retail world moved from personalized products for localized, niche markets to mass-produced products for mass markets.
Mass marketers thrive on “must-have” items — huge volumes of single styles, sold across many market segments to an audience of consumers eager to have the item they saw advertised in mass media, and which, in turn are produced in great scale and efficiency.
This strategy worked. Until it didn’t.
The best performing retail stock this year is no surprise: Amazon is up 54% so far in 2018.
But you may be surprised to learn that Macy’s, often considered a casualty of Amazon, is the retailer that comes in second. Shares in Macy’s are up more than 50% year-to-date, making the department store the 10th best performing stock in the S&P 500.