by Eric Klein, with David Krebs, January 2016
A consistent theme in many of the conversations and briefings we had at NRF's 2016 Big Show was that following several years emphasizing their digital presence and ecommerce investments, the investment pendulum had swung back to store-specific agendas. While the threat from online-only ecommerce giants continues to mount, retailers are recommitting to their primary differentiation, their physical location. This will clearly create some compelling opportunities to challenge and transform today's in-store retail experience. However, there was also a strong sense that many of these initiatives will be borne out of necessity. As we enter 2016, the retail landscape is under immense pressure to not only redefine itself, but to do so profitably and patiently.