Piers Fawkes: Is Retail Undergoing A Music Industry Style Change?
Like the entertainment industries, retail is witnessing the impact of 'On Demand' and 'Peer-to-Peer' services.
After all the research and analysis that my team and I did on our 2012 version of the Future of Retail report, I sense that retail is already undergoing the same sector-wide change that the music industry went through over the last 10 years – and parallels can be drawn. While the speed of change has been slower coming to the retail sector because of the legacy realities of shopping and fulfillment, a mix of social and mobile tools are overcoming this friction to change.
Let's consider what happened in the music industry: the sector was making money with a closed distribution model for its products until a change-maker entered the market to take advantage of technology. Napster showed music lovers that they could get their fix when they want, how they want – and at the (zero) price they want. Napster and a set of similar services set off an industry wide restructure that saw the value of sales halve in 10 years.