Many of the stores that once filled the malls of America have become “zombies,” while online retailers capture ever more of the most valuable consumers—the young and affluent.
Data is King
For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor thin. For example, Unilever might buy store sales data to figure out which products are in high demand and when people buy them.
.. Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers?.. In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first... Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.