The world has witnessed the extraordinary evolution of the retail industry. From the rise of eCommerce sites and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to the emergence of retail media networks and shoppable social media, the landscape has transformed like never before. Consumer spending habits continuously shape the industry’s trajectory, leading us to wonder: what lies ahead for this ever-evolving industry?
Meet Adam Blair – editor of Retail Touchpoints. With a wealth of experience in writing and editing, Adam has honed his expertise in various facets of retailing. Join us as we delve into the realm of cutting-edge retail trends and captivating insights, and get to know a little bit more about Adam.
How did you get your start as an editor covering the retail industry?
I worked as an editor for a business publication covering the optical industry and started to realize how many different types of “retailing” there were, each with its own peculiarities. Then working for Supermarket News and Executive Technology I became interested in the varieties of technology and solutions needed to create a great customer experience that also allowed the retailer to get a reasonable profit margin.
What makes a compelling news/op-ed pitch?
Good pitches indicate that the “pitcher” has done some research into our publication and audience to see whether the topic or treatment is likely to be of interest to them. It also takes into account the nature of business publishing, in the sense of going beyond the “basics” that you might see in mainstream news and media. For instance, a pitch that technology is an important element of today’s retailing would be way too basic.
What retail topics/themes do you find particularly interesting right now?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and its practical applications; efforts to unite (or align) the physical and digital aspects of retail; unique ways brands and retailers have been able to harness the power of community; and experiential/immersive retail, whether in the physical world or online/in the metaverse.
Retail is a rapidly evolving industry. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments? Are there any specific sources or industry events that you find particularly valuable?
Our own event, the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, is a great resource, as are National Retail Federation events.
What are some of the most pressing challenges or issues currently facing the retail industry?
The pandemic revealed how precarious worldwide supply chains are, and it’s not certain enough has been done to make them flexible enough to respond to the next global crisis, whatever it may be. Inflation and economic uncertainty are never good things for the majority of the industry, although dollar stores and value discounters may benefit. And there’s concern that sustainability efforts by the industry and its partners may not be enough to forestall major negative environmental impacts.
Retail Touchpoints covers a wide range of topics within the retail industry. How do you ensure a balance between covering established brands and emerging companies or startups? How do you decide which stories to prioritize?
In terms of retailers, we’re certainly always interested in what the big legacy retailers and “movers and shakers” (Amazon, Alibaba, etc.) are doing because that affects not just their own customers and partners but so many others. However, the smaller startups are often the ones doing the most interesting things, so we try to keep track of those as well and see how their experiences and results might be translated into success for other retailers.
If you could have an exclusive interview with any retail industry leader, past or present, who would it be and why?
Jeff Bezos. It would be interesting to see if he really knew how revolutionary Amazon’s investments in web services and its commitment to building a distribution network 20+ years ago were smart hunches or part of a grand master plan.
Adam – Thank you so much for being our guest and sharing your insight!
Interested in learning how we can leverage our connections to help your brand tell smart stories? Reach out today!