Retail is changing. We are used to hearing this. After all, we heard a long time ago that warehouse style stores were beating the pants off smaller stores with higher prices and less inventory. The rise of the Borders book chain seemed to confirm this. And it was followed by many others. Then we heard that e commerce was beating the pants of bricks and mortar stores. The demise of the Borders book chain seemed to confirm this.
So is physical retail a dead duck? You might think so, but it appears that this ignores a basic fact. People like to go shopping. They like real stores. Apple proved this when it designed its retail spaces in ways that people really liked, and made a big pot of money. So now the discussion is how can retailers make the shopping experience more fun for customers? One thing they can and are doing, is coming to the realization that this requires information about what customers want. That means the most valuable thing in a store is not the merchandise. It is data about the customer preferences.
And here is my input. This implies that retailers need to get better and digital interaction with customers. Advertising is no longer enough.