Retail is not going away- but it certainly is being transformed. Check out a recent article For Retailers and Retail Consultants, 2020's Holiday Shopping Season is Like No Other in Consulting.com to hear from consumer and retail experts across leading consulting firms.

A&M's Consumer Retail Group Managing Director and Practice Leader, David Brown, discusses how to get ahead of what is happening so that you can be "on your toes" versus "your heels" and how we can help you with YOUR transformation. 

Key points from David's interview with Consulting.com can be found below.

“We expect a fundamental breakdown in the logistical system five to 10 days before Christmas. With the explosive growth of eCommerce, traditional logistics partners–like FedEx and UPS–will not be able to meet consumer/retailer demand and there will be an extended period of time where many retailers will not be able to deliver in time for Christmas,” he says.

The ongoing transformation among retailers we’re seeing currently goes way beyond boosting investment in ecommerce, says A&M’s Brown.

“Beyond expanding eCom capabilities, retailers are looking at category management/product portfolio shifts, store labor model re-engineering, landlord negotiation, and inventory management. All retailers really need to think about how they are going to deliver both top-level in-store experience and services, while also delivering ‘pick-up-in-store’ logistics, which then can’t take away from the in-store experience,” he says.

A&M’s Brown points to emerging opportunities for growth in retail-adjacent industries that have pivoted to serve the consumer directly, such as Consumer Packaged Goods.

“We are seeing an increasing [number] of CPG brands that are going direct to consumer. This is really the convergence of CPG and retail, with small and large CPG companies effectively becoming retailers through the introduction of direct to consumer. To do that, CPG companies need expertise in reinventing their supply chains,” he says.

A&M’s Brown says moving forward he expects retailers to embrace a longer Black Friday/Cyber Monday seasonal shopping period, as opposed to a one or two-day blitz that tests the limits of supply chains.

“In many ways, the pandemic simply further exacerbated challenges retailers had felt for years. We expect that some, but not all, of the innovative responses will be here to stay. Specifically, we strongly believe that will continue to see an extended Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotional period versus one to two days. Inventory challenges associated with these two huge sales spikes had long caused supply chain headaches. Given customers have lived a longer cycle, we expect these promotions to be longer enabling retailers to smooth out their supply chain,” he says.