Marketing retail: The omnichannel challenge

Colin Grimshaw

Marketing Retail

This article introduces a series of articles on marketing retail. Read more.

The commercial pressures on retailers cannot be overstated. Transformational change is needed in most parts of their business as they attempt to thrive, even survive, in a swirling world of shifting consumer patterns.

Only quite recently the shift was to out-of-town retail parks where vast hypermarkets were built to satisfy busy people who wanted an infrequent one-stop-shop expedition for all the family. Now the trend is to more regular shopping in city-centre/high-street mini-markets, leaving in its wake hectares of unwanted retail space.

Then there are frequent fluctuations in taste, contributing to the closure of once much-loved chains such as Woolworths, British Home Stores, C&A, Comet, Safeway, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Tower Records. But it is the shift to online sales that has disrupted the retail sector most. The convenience of online shopping and home delivery led by the now colossal Amazon has posed a revolutionary challenge to brick-and-mortar chains.