consumers | August 01, 2012

Retail Splits in Two: High-Fidelity Experiences vs. Convenience: Doug Stephens

Consumer spending habits are drastically evolving, says retail speaker Doug Stephens. As he tells The Globe and Mail recently, "What we're seeing is that the marketplace is bifurcating into two very distinct sort of propositions." The first is something called “super-high fidelity experiences," such as exclusive or limited products and concierge-level services such as Holt Renfrew. The second is "super high-convenience experiences," where everything is available at the press of a button, like on Amazon. Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet, who diligently tracks retail changes, cites technological advances and a shifting economy as prime motivators for this change.

The danger with this new reality, for traditional retailers anyway, is that they are caught in the middle ground. Stephens predicts that this radicalization of the market may leave the great middle ground of retail barren—and a lot of customers will lose out. On stage, Douglas Stephens speaks on the importance of this new retail landscape: how to adjust, anticipate, and benefit from a constantly-changing business ecosystem.