The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, provided an outlook on the future of retail.
- Retail won't go away. The industry experiences disruption and transformation every few years, but it's happening at a more rapid speed than ever before. Leaders in the industry must be willing to not only accept and react to change, but also transform their growth model.
- Retail will be digital and physical. Technology and digital are already mainstays of today's retail, however, in the future of retail, customers will not spend meaningful time thinking about physical vs. digital. Customers will always choose the shopping modality that will deliver anything, anytime and anywhere.
- Retail will offer new solutions to customers. Retailers will create solutions on customers' terms. That is why Kroger is building an ecosystem that offers a variety of modalities, including brick and mortar, delivery, pick-up and Kroger ship.
- Retail will be purpose-driven. Retail will solve problems not only for customers, but also for communities and the planet. Stakeholders are increasingly deciding which businesses to support based on shared values and clarity of purpose. Because of Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitments by 2025, the company decided to phase out use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags and transition to reusable bags in its stores on the same timeline.
- Retail will disrupt the ad industry. Advertisers spend billions of dollars annually, and retailers are uniquely positioned to know how customers behave and react to those marketing messages. That is why Kroger introduced Kroger Precision Marketing, powered by 84.51°. Kroger Precision Marketing provides consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers the ability to reach Kroger's customers through its ecosystem more precisely with measurable results.