Hyper-connectivity is one factor propelling the paradigm shift at retail.
Shutterstock / Slavoljub Pantelic
The year America celebrates its 250th birthday — 2026 — will be a period where demographic shifts, changing values and hyperconnectivity will have changed the retail landscape from an affluent model to one that is influencer-based.That’s according to a new report from A.T. Kearney, the global strategy and management consulting firm, on “America’s Next Commercial Revolution: Influence vs. Affluence.”The report said the “unprecedented number of store closings, dying malls and retail bankruptcies” are all foreshadowing major shifts on the retail front. The multiyear data analysis of demographic and “personagraphic” research on what American consumers and business will look like indicates that brands and companies will no longer be able to rely on the affluence-based model that allows them to scale production. In the new paradigm shift, where influence from a single voice can affect a large company or entire market, it will be the values-based brand or brands that master personalization that will enjoy the fastest rate of growth, according to the A.T. Kearney report.“As a result, the mass market of the future will thrive on three fundamentally different principles: influence, personalization and trust,” the report said, noting that consumer brands and retailers that can appeal to future consumers will be those that take advantage of new technology-enabled ways to influence and sell. That makes engaging consumers in the digital world “more critical than ever,” according to Greg Portell, lead partner at A.T. Kearney’s retail practice and the principal author of the study.Portel said that under the new influence model, individual consumers can effect change and build community by influencing his or her peers, as well as retailers, consumer products goods manufacturers, media and governments through social media to both amplify the power of their voices and facilitate the formation of ad hoc coalitions to address different causes, regardless of the individual’s financial position. That’s far different from the affluence model where consumers believe their self-worth has a direct relationship to what they buy. Portell calls that the mantra of “I am what I own.”By 2026, there will be six generations, including four high commercial impact generations. The two at opposite ends are what the report has dubbed the Silent Generation, those born between 1928 and 1945, and the Alpha Generation, those born between 2017 to 2023. With the oldest at 81 and the youngest at age 9, neither has major buying power. The four in the middle are Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. Collectively, these four generations are older, less traditional, more diverse and more urban. Not only will living arrangements and domestic identifies be different, the households will be more centered around urban areas, and income inequality — the gap between the top 1 percent of U.S. earners and the bottom 90 percent — will continue to grow.And the changing consumer base will mean the concept of value will incorporate more than just the product itself to include factors such as ethics, trading partners and sourcing of raw materials, and even the political position of board members of public companies, the report noted. The report also said that currently 25 percent of Gen Zers actively look for brands and retailers that do good for the world, and another 26 percent said they would avoid brands or retailers that did something that violated their moral or ethical code.The study noted that food and beverage firms are the earliest and most successful adopters and beneficiaries of the new personalization model. It concluded savvy retailers and manufacturers are the ones who will quickly focus on “who” a consumer is than on what he or she “does.”And with consumers becoming “critical data feeds” as information from social network participation replace traditional buying and browsing histories, trust will become the new consumer currency. Under this scenario, consumers will trade personal data in exchange for what they consider “value-added” personalization.The report provided five suggestions on what companies can do: Use data to understand your customers on their terms; create new models and metrics to describe your target market; redefine scale; think about trust as your customers do, and maximize the value of your workforce.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)