MIB Defending Against the Onslaught of Amazon

Enough with the Retail Apocalypse! So says Barbara E. Kahn, Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, author of The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption. She explains that retailers can – and have – responded to the challenge posed by  Amazon via an “Omni-channel experience.”

She offers Target (TGT), Macy*s (M), Home Depot HD) and others as examples of Omni-channel – online, big box stores, but also with much smaller urban stores (with a different product mix) and services like curbside pickup, store delivery from online, and order in-store for home-delivery approaches.

The Kahn “Retail Matrix” analyses the four factors that impact retailers: brands, experiential, frictionless and low-cost. These add up to “Customer value” and “differential advantage” as the driving force for success in the brutal retail competition.

Kahn explains how “Digitally native vertical brands” have become big sellers. Niche brands like Warby Parker, Casper and Allbirds and other brands are creating a very different shopping experience – and competing successfully against the retail behemoths.

Her favorite books are here; transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Jim Millstein, Co-Chairman of Guggenheim Securities, and former Chief Restructuring Officer at Treasury, where he was the principal architect of the restructuring of AIG after its collapse.