2014: Year of the omnichannel “tipping point”?

While the CEO of Starbucks has less to worry about than the heads of more traditional retailers, he made the point recently that the industry in general needs to figure out multiple platforms for selling to consumers — and figure it out fast. Here’s my brief comment on RetailWire:

Howard Schultz is absolutely right about the shift, and he has a right to be concerned about the strength of his mall-based locations although his business is less vulnerable than a conventional retailer selling general merchandise.

Part of the “omnichannel” challenge is for retail executives to figure out how to leverage their tangible assets (storefronts and inventory) more effectively, given consumers’ migration to e-commerce. For some stores (Macy’s, for example), their forward-looking strategies are delivering results. For others (such as Best Buy) it’s a continuing struggle despite their efforts to execute the fundamentals better.

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