It was a big week in news. Just looking at our weekly flash report, the headlines include the Federal Reserve rising rates, Disney’s takeover of Fox, and the FCC net neutrality vote.
Let me draw your attention to a less-flashy story you might otherwise overlook – the purchase of grocery delivery “Shipt” by Target. We’ve spent a number of blog posts and two monthly articles taking about the massive changes in retail (The New Retail, Part 1, Part 2). With Target’s purchase of the startup grocery delivery service, they have matched the service model spearheaded by Amazon and Wal-Mart, combining local stores and quick home delivery. A new reality in retail is becoming crystal clear: deliver or die. In other words, your store better have the ability to get products directly onto consumers’ doorsteps or you’re going to be left behind. Consumers no longer have to go to a store (of any type) to see the available options when they can do the research online. Waiting for delivery is no longer a matter of weeks, but often hours or minutes for common goods. Even smaller businesses can team up with widely available driving services (like Uber or Lyft) which mean that just about every restaurant, grocery, storefront, or major retailer now has to match consumer expectations of delivery or face competitive obsolescence. The old mall-outlet model, wherein consumers go to your store, will linger, but they’ll forever be fighting with consumers who have changed their purchasing habits and expect goods and services to be delivered to their doorstep.