An insightful review of the collapse of the traditional retail sector in the West, and a roadmap for its potential recovery.
Almost weekly, the news is full of stories about disappearing retail chains. From House of Fraser and BHS to Toys'R'Us and Sears, recognised names are vanishing overnight – as such large organizations disappear, so the malls, shopping centres, high streets and main streets become emptier and less appealing to visit. No name is safe: in September 2019, Marks & Spencer lost its place in the FTSE100 Index - a sign of just how far its fortunes have fallen.
But the retail sector remains hugely important in terms of job numbers: in the US, it employs around 30 million people (directly and indirectly); in the UK, around 10 million. As such, anything that jeopardises the retail sector will have a deep and lasting impact on millions of lives, as well as on public policy. While many blame the 'Amazon effect', this is an oversimplification. Deeper forces are at work that are changing people's relationships with brands, the balance of power between producers and consumers, and the whole nature of the supply chain that has existed since the industrial revolution.
Retail Therapy offers a comprehensive analysis of these forces and their impact on the world of retailing. More importantly, it presents a cogent analysis of the longer term trends that are shaping retailing, and outlines a clear road map for sustainable success in the future.