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Expert Forecasts Future Of Retail At GMDC’s GM Marketing Conference


During the Global Market Development Center (GMDC) General Merchandise Marketing Conference in Orlando over the weekend, Dan O’Connor, president and CEO of RetailNet Group (RNG), looked ahead through 2020 and discussed the future of the consumer and retail industries, the key drivers of change and the initiatives that leading retailers are investing in today to be 2020 ready.

O’Connor’s presentation, “Re-Discover Retail,” highlighted scenarios focused on the “why” and their implications.

“There are several very powerful economic, societal and political changes that will fundamentally reshape the consumer expectation,” said O’Connor.

Among these is the overall long-term movement to accelerate spending on experiences while reducing overall merchandise share of spending growth. Another factor is the changing U.S. age distribution paired with different economic expectations across generations and social strata.

“Think about the impact on sales of the average Millennials aging into peak consumption, while the Boomers age out,” said O’Connor.

These drivers paired with the technologic future will continue to change consumer behavior, expectations and retail vitality at a breathtaking speed, he noted.

“Digital marketplace and other direct-to-consumer models will move about 25 percent of today’s retail sales from a store-based, self-service model where the consumer does the work; she comes to the store, picks the product, packs it and delivers it home. In the new world we retailers will do the pick, pack and ship,” said O’Connor.

RNG sees a winning model emerging: a three-legged structure blending revenues and profits from stores, digital retail and—perhaps the most critical capability—an automated marketing platform.

O’Connor, GMDC’s VP of Member Services Keith Wypysynski and GMDC President and CEO Patrick Spear also announced during the conference a new partnership tool, the GMDC/RNG Insights Portal, which helps member companies accelerate merchandise planning, benchmark retail performance and answer critical questions when building their businesses.

Spear explained how the new GMDC/RNG Insights Portal provides a framework for year-round retail innovation.

“This remarkable partnership between GMDC and RNG goes beyond sharing retail knowledge into motivating members to be marketplace catalysts,” said Spear. “Dan’s presentation here at GM15 should spark and inspire members to think about their current marketing process and determine how they should adjust future strategies.”

GMDC will host its 2015 Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference Oct. 1-5 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2016 General Merchandise Marketing Conference will be held June 10-14 in Orlando.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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