Did retail set itself-up for disruption?
In Australia we’ve heard alot of talk over recent years of how tough life is for retail brands. There’s no doubt the category is under pressure as competition increases and consumer behavior and expectations shift. In a recent interview, Bonin Bough (a consumer packaged goods expert with experience at Mondelez and Pepsi) spoke about his perspective on retail gained from working pioneering CPG response to technology and changing consumer needs. In an interview with PSFK, Bough’s view on the disruptive Amazon Go retail concept provided a fresh and critical perspective on how the retail sector has been its own worst enemy.
In the interview, when asked his view on Amazon Go Bough responded; “I think you’re only going to see shoppable assistance that moves into different types of retail. For a long time, I’ve been talking about the future of retail and where it’s going, and I think at the end of the day, Amazon is one of the few players that are fearless enough to make a change.
What we should be asking ourselves is why aren’t any of the other grocery players rolling out stores of the future? For example, why are we just now announcing shelves that can change over the price? Why are we now just able to dynamically do that and those kind of shelves are just now coming to the marketplace?
At the end of the day, it takes a player like Amazon to say, “Hey guys, the consumer does not love to shop. Why do you think e-comm is growing and growing and growing?” Retailers lie to themselves , and they don’t really actually pay attention to consumer behavior.
The reason why the consumer shops is because we have forced them. That was the only way that they can get that product.”
I’m sure Bough’s comments will have our retail brand owners and managers feeling unfairly done-by, but they are a powerful reminder that as much as we might feel we’re doing all we can to stay ahead of the curve;
• Pain is usually an indicator that we’re not doing enough, and
• A category in pain is often ripe for disruption.
Photo: Jessie English; Set Designer: Wunderkind; Grooming: Kay Louro]