Business journalists who want a solid overview of what’s happening in the retail world have a web of resources to untangle. We’ve identified six articles and pieces to read before heading out on your own retail reporting.
Predictions and patterns
Fortune.com asks ten of the biggest retail questions of the year in its January 3 article addressing everything from books to broccoli to blue jeans. Industry challenges include fast fashion and the problem of groceries (specifically, Target’s problem in the food aisles).
Amazon’s ever-evolving retail strategies are explored in a New York Times article that hit the streets of Seattle to investigate the company’s experiments in shopping. Turns out Amazon is testing drive-up grocery stores, order-ahead shopping, brick-and-mortar bookstores, DIY check-out, Amazon Go prepared meal shops and a roaming delivery truck dedicated to flash sale merchandise.
The CPC Strategy Blog asked six retail market strategists for their 2017 predictions. While some of the forecasts are obvious (mobile will dominate) it’s worth a look for the trends that experts agree on—loyalty program growth—and the ones on which they differ (whether in-store retail tech will ever take off).
From the horse’s mouth
Straight from the January gathering of the National Retail Association, this recap of convention highlights is noteworthy for its focus on the Internet of Things, the future of mobile and mall prognostication. Don’t neglect the links to podcasts and videos, in particular this video featuring the conference’s economic panel discussing the wealth effect, interest rates and U.S. consumer spending.
An opinion piece by Bloomberg columnist Conor Sen is a quick but sobering assessment of local mall mortality rates. The trend isn’t new, but it has repercussions that have not yet been realized. Sen also touches on the profound differences in malls based on their location.
E-tail drives the bus
E-commerce is such a huge part of the retail scene, its trends are starting to drive the entire industry. This quick report from RIS (Retail Info Systems News) is an at-a-glance update on what will impact consumers in the year ahead.