Traditional retail store formats to become obsolete because of changing customer expectations, rising retail costs, predicts U.K. expert; best retailers will be able to merge online, in-store retail platforms

LOS ANGELES , March 27, 2012 () – Richard Cuthbertson, Oxford Institute of Retail Management Director at Oxford University’s Saїd Business School, predicted that traditional store formats will become obsolete because of changing customer expectations, rising retail costs, and the need to revitalize both out-of-town stores and town centers, Internet Retailing predicted March 27.

Cuthbertson added that many retailers are considering the relationship between traditional retailing activities and digital endeavors and rethinking their business models.

The bankruptcies, redundancies and takeovers that we have seen in the retail sector are a result of the players’ attempts “to adjust to new channels and formats, reduce costs, improve efficiency and survive,” Cuthbertson said.

Digital media will transform both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales, Cuthbertson predicted, as customers increasingly use smartphones to compare prices and products before making in-store purchases. Loyalty programs and store-owned mobile devices will also facilitate the in-store impact of online channels.

Cuthbertson forecast that the best retailers will be able to merge their online and in-store retail platforms, and provide customers with richer in-store digital experiences.

Cuthbertson recently launched an 18-month study that will chart the retail landscape via discussions with policy makers and people currently working in the retail sector.

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailing, Chicago, Illinois, on March 27, 2012.

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