business news in context, analysis with attitude

There’s a story in The Star up in Toronto that is almost guaranteed to know your socks off. Here’s the lede:

“To succeed in the Internet age, North American retailers need to embrace new ways of doing business, a Canadian retail industry conference heard.

“‘There’s a fundamental shift going on,’ said Dan O’Connor, president and chief executive officer of RetailNet Group, a Waltham, Mass.-based consulting firm.

“Comparing it to the impact of the rise of the chain store in earlier decades, O’Connor told the annual convention of the Canadian retail industry in Toronto Monday that the Internet is changing the way people shop.

“They’re surfing the web and finding the product they want at the price they’re willing to pay before even entering a store, O’Connor said.”
KC's View:
Okay, maybe I’m a little harsh in my characterization of this story...but it seems to me that in a lot of ways, this story could have been written a decade ago.

Of course, part of the problem is that a lot of retailers simply don’t get it. They still think that “getting back to fundamentals” is the most important priority, ignoring the reality that the fundamentals of consumer behavior have changed. Retailers ignoring this reality do so at their own peril.