It’s easy to bemoan the end of brick-and-mortar retail when faced with continued waves of job cuts at companies like Sears and the decline of household names such as Radio Shack and The Limited. Watching the powerful forces on the internet slowly taking over our physical spaces with impersonal efficiency, it’s only natural to feel that traditional retail is heading into history.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Total retail sales have grown an average of 4.57% year over year since 2010, and show no signs of flagging. With that growth comes new competition and new investment. Besides spawning successful new players like Bonobos and Glossier, this environment is prompting larger retailers like Sephora to invest more heavily in technologies that bridge physical and digital shopping, while Target is partnering with Techstars to discover and accelerate its innovation in technology-driven startups. (Full disclosure: Bonobos and Sephora are Narvar customers).
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