The future of retailing: never mind the quality, feel the personalisation

Alan Giles
Said Business School, University of Oxford

It's a sobering time for the retail industry as it faces challenges that range from the relentless rise of discounters to the explosion of e-commerce, the latter globally up 20% in the past year. Alan Giles assesses the road ahead and analyses how retailers are innovating against the changes.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers are having to contend with the focus, agility and sheer investment of pureplay competitors – most notably Amazon, where capital markets continue to support its relentless drive for growth, clearly still believing the Jeff Bezos napkin sketch of his twin flywheel business model 22 years on.

Amazon is at the forefront of innovation, spending 10% of its revenue on R&D, creating products such as the Echo handsfree, voice-controlled speaker control that connects with its Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports and, of course, shop with Amazon.