It's not 2017 anymore.
After an unexpectedly strong holiday season closed the door on 12 months of "retail apocalypse" headlines, the retail industry is showing signs of confidence not seen in a year or more.
But the confidence stems from something more than Christmas sales. Rather, the industry appears to have embraced the idea of consumer-centricity and moved on from the mindset of forcing a specific purchasing journey.
“There is [a] building confidence that the industry is now pivoting” away from separate silos for in-store and digital sales, said Carrie Ask, executive vice president of global retail at Levi Strauss & Co., during a panel at Shoptalk in Las Vegas. “We don’t think of it as either/or anymore—it’s just shopping.”
This was echoed by others at Shoptalk. Ken Worzel, president of Nordstrom's ecommerce site, said the department store is moving away from separating its ecommerce and brick-and-mortar business because the fragmented perspective is not an accurate view of how consumers shop. Instead, Nordstrom looks at business performance on a local level, examining local assets like people, product and place, then ties those elements into how it serves consumers digitally.
“That’s how [consumers] shop; they don’t think about shopping our website or shopping our stores,” Worzel said. “They think about shopping Nordstrom.”