2019 will be a watershed year in retail, writes contributor Christopher Walton, and the industry should revel in (and be prepared for) the change that is coming.
Headlines abounded -- from Amazon Go's going, Toy "R" Us's leaving, to Walmart's, Macy's, and many others' constant searching for the fountains of youth.
Amazon has already opened Amazon Go stores this year at a rapid pace across Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago, and very soon will be opening installations in NYC too.
Amazon could license the Amazon Go platform to entrepreneurs or other mom and pop retailers anywhere in the world, just as Amazon did with its web commerce portal back in the early part of the millennium.
The Next Dominant Toy Retailer Is A YouTube Celebrity 2018 was all about the big guys -- Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and others -- jumping into the fray to grab the share Toys "R" Us left behind, but 2019 will give rise to even more formidable new players in the space as well.
While many admire and are pulling for both Doug McMillon and Jeff Gennette (myself included), it is difficult, amid all the noise, to understand why shopping in a Macy's or a Walmart store is better than it was a few years ago, and it is really hard to understand why consumers will still want to shop at either retailer five to ten years down the road too.