Alfredo Muccino delivers talk on retail at The Center for Retail Excellence.
May 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm
The “2020 Retail Conference”: Exploring the future of retail.
The conference was the brainchild of Jerry O’Brien, the Executive Director of The Kohl’s Department Stores Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A former Target executive, Jerry has made a career of helping move retail forward and now is focused on preparing a new generation of people to tackle the challenges of building successful retail models. “We wanted to create a conference that inspires dialogue during a time when the industry is seeing some of the biggest changes that have ever happened in retail”, said Jerry when asked about the drivers behind the conference. “I am hoping that the topics discussed here will help inform and inspire not only our students but also the many professionals who have attended the conference”. The current plan is for the conference to take place on an annual basis.
A star-studded line up of retail experts.
The event was attended by marketing executives as well as marketing professors and students. The conference was kicked off by Krista Berry, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin who has gone on to build a successful career in retail working at companies like Target, Nike, and today is the Executive Vice President of Multi Channel Commerce at Kohl’s Department Stores. Other presenters included: Robin Lewis, publisher of The Robin Report, one of the most influential opinion leaders in the retail industry; Aric Rindfleisch, Associate Dean for Research at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Steve Coffey, the Chief Research Officer at The NPD Group – a company that focuses on developing insights about retail trends and consumer behavior; Jeff Inman, the President of the Association for Consumer Research, and a number of professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who shared the latest thinking from an academic perspective, including Rajeev Batra, Nancy Wong and Raj Veeramani.
Retail needs to deliver more value to shoppers.
Alfredo’s presentation focused on the fact that in today’s marketplace shoppers have more choices than ever before, and they are empowered thanks to the internet, mobile technology, social media, apps, etc. In a world where shoppers can order products online or evaluate other offers through mobile technology while in a physical retail environment, retailers and brands need to find ways to engage and delight shoppers and give them better reasons to visit the store and make purchases there. Alfredo advocates that stores need to be a little more like a “theater” (by which he means they need to create opportunities for entertainment and delight); a little more like a “laboratory” (which is his way of saying that retailers need to create opportunities for engagement with brands and products through demos, classes, support, etc.); and a little more like a “town square” (which is a metaphor for a place that encourages a sense of community where people with similar interests get to connect with each other and the brands and products that they love).
The New Retail Model: Download the presentation.
Titled the “The New Retail Model”, Alfredo’s presentation includes several real life examples of how some brands are creating more interesting (and ultimately more effective) experiences at retail. Apple is featured in several examples because the brand has built the most successful retail operation in the US in terms of sales per square foot. The average sales per square foot in the US hovers around $300, while Apple recently reported sales of around $6,100 per square foot across its stores. Other examples include Adidas, Intel, Lego, Starbucks, IKEA, and others. We’ve made the presentation available for download, so take a look if you are interested, and let us know if you have any questions or comments. It’s always great to keep the dialog going, so don’t be shy and let us know what you think.