A few months ago, Amazon.com surprised the tech and retail worlds by announcing plans to acquire Whole Foods. For those of us who have been watching Amazon’s increasing dominance, this development is nothing new. In fact, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.
Traditional brick-and-mortar retail outlets have long been struggling to figure out how to best integrate modern technology. Whether it’s mobile applications, e-commerce or even just online advertising, the prosperity of large retail outlets like Sears, Payless ShoeSource and Gymboree has been seriously undermined by the internet — to the point where many have been forced to downsize or even go bankrupt. Coupled with the growing influence and sheer logistical power of internet retailers, some may wonder why more stores haven’t ended up like Borders or RadioShack. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, retail stores have plenty of resources at their disposal that Amazon simply does not … at least not yet.
With market volatility increasing every month, three real choices are open to retailers that are serious about long-term survival: