A Deep Dive Into Retail
It's hard to hide from the news these days. While I can understand the feeling, it's important to stay engaged in a balanced, educated and sustainable way.
My approach is pick a topic or two of special interest and seek out related materials. I'll collect articles from different perspectives, maybe checkout related history, biographies - really anything that seems like it adds to my understanding of the situation.
Right now, I have been reading A LOT about retail. There's so much happening in that space, and since it's especially relevant to what we do, I thought I would share with you the articles and materials I've found so far:
- "America's Massive Retail Workforce Is Tired of Being Ignored" by Sarah Jaffe
She sets up a compelling parallel between factory workers during the Industrial Revolution and retail workers today. I highly recommend you start here. Honestly, it was nice to finally read an article about the people working retail, rather than large sweeping trends or how technology is changing the landscape.
- "What in the World is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?" by Derek Thompson
This is a well organized and well presented outline of how we got to where we are. While I don't believe that it's an exhaustive examination, it's a solid foundation.
- "Why Retail is Getting 'Experience' Wrong" by Doug Stephens
I feel like I hear a lot about how social media and technology are forcing retailers to change their approach and make it more about the experience, but rarely is there any specificity to go with that broad statement. I liked how Doug broke it down.
- "Growing Up With - and Away From - J.Crew" by Samantha Powell
If you're in the mood for something more light hearted, I think that many of us can relate to Samantha's relationship with J.Crew, even if J.Crew wasn't that brand for us. I think it's interesting how once you connect with a clothing company (or any brand) that you love, it sort of becomes a part of your identity.
If you've read anything recently about retail, please share! I'd love to hear from you, and get it up here for others to read and enjoy, as well.
This is a working list that will continue to grow as the conversation evolves.