previous recessions, this large generation
saw household wealth—in terms of 401(k)/
retirement plans and home values—
pummeled by stock market declines, the credit
crisis, and subsequent housing market
bust. As Baby Boomers postpone retirement or re-enter the workforce in hopes
of recouping lost wealth, the onus will fall
on the almost equally large but otherwise
vastly different Gen Y cohort to propel the
Entering household-formation years,
the leading edge of Gen Y represents a huge
opportunity for those retailers and brands
that are able to connect with this highly
diverse and tech-savvy generation.
6 The growing prevalence of digital media and technology
will fundamentally alter the role
of the store in the coming years.
Online retail, social media, and mobile technology have wrought an enormous amount
of change on the shopping experience in
a short amount of time. As a result, the
very nature of the physical store is in flux.
Purchases are no longer confined by the four
walls of the store; they can “live” anywhere
as consumers are now empowered to shop
at home or on the go. The store is now one
of multiple avenues of brand interaction.
That said, it is likely that stores will take on
a more immersive, experiential role in addition to simply a place to buy goods.
7 The pressure for innovation is rising, and performance will
require greater flexibility.
Shoppers’ behaviors are evolving faster, and
cohorts with new demands are emerging.
Retailers’ demands are also increasing, and
their private label continues to encroach.
The pressure for consequential and constant
product innovation is heavy. Companies
prepared to approach tasks creatively, invest
in larger bets, and constantly measure to
adopt the successful facets and retool the
rest are poised to generate the most inventive solutions. Under these circumstances,
thinking broadly across functions, tolerating greater outcome uncertainty, and
responding swiftly to feedback will become
more important than ever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kantar Retail is a global retail insights and
consulting business that works with leading
retailers and branded manufacturers to
transform the purchase behavior of
consumers, shoppers, and retailers. Kantar
Retail is headquartered in London, with offices
around the globe. For more information,