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It’s likely that the retail apocalypse is fake news

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By: Mike Giambattista, CLMP |

Posted on September 3, 2018

Before explaining how we came to that conclusion, let me first acknowledge that retail can be a scary place these days, and it would be easy to assume, as some have, that the sky is falling.  And as bonafide members of the media community, we can appreciate the value of a good, scary headline to get people’s attention. But the broader view of retail presents a different story.


But the broader view of retail presents a different story. 


As just about every retail executive will attest, the past few years (ok, the past many years) have been, let’s say … trying.  The industry as a whole has had to respond & react to changes they never could have anticipated, and they’ve had to do so at a pace that no industry before had ever even attempted.  For some, the magnitude of these changes has been cataclysmic.  For others, the changes became a years-long rallying cry for innovation, creativity, tenacity and moxy.  It’s that latter group that gives rise to our revised conclusion that retail is not only NOT dead, it is well into the process of becoming a more agile, vibrant – and effective version of itself.


Take these recent headlines from Bloomberg:


But as Steve Dennis recently wrote in Forbes, “Physical Retail Is Not Dead: Boring Retail Is.” And facts like these belie a very stubborn truth:

  • Physical store openings actually grew by more than 50%.
  • About 91% of all retail sales last year were transacted in a brick-and-mortar location.
  • More than 80% of all retail sales will likely still be done in actual physical stores in the year 2025.


But we’re not here to debate the merits or semantics of these clearly radical changes.  Instead, true to our mission, The Wise Marketer will present unbiased news, research, opinion and insight on the world of retail during the month of September.  And we’re doing so with the newly-recruited help of some big names in the industry (more on that announcement later).

What else can you expect to see in The Wise Marketer this month? Here’s a quick look ahead:

2 very exciting webinars, several new partner announcements, new event appearances around the world, the debut of some very forward-looking research, and lots and lots more.

As well, we would like to highlight 2 of our media partners with whom this month’s theme will resonate strongly.  RetailWire, if you’re not familiar, is effectively retail’s boardroom, facilitating high-level discussions between many of retail’s brightest minds.  And of course, our friends at CRMC who host the most important event of the year for retail marketers.

We invite you to join in the conversation.  Because September is retail month at The Wise Marketer and we have a stake in dis-proving the retail apocalypse.

Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).