Sears rise and fall as nation’s top retailer
Late last year Sears Holdings – one of the biggest retailers in the United States filed for bankruptcy. One factor that stands out is Sears’s ineffectual adaptability to changing retail trends.
The once giant retailer antiquated practices heralded their reduced market share and customer relevancy. Along the way they forgot to stay innovative.
This is more so in the face of technological innovation compared to Amazon and Walmart.
Late last year Amazon’s market capitalization briefly rose to over $1 trillion marking, making it the second company after Apple to reach the historic marker and its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man with a net worth of US$137 billion.
This is in contrasts to companies like Walmart and Target who in 2018 had to slow down on investments in their brick-and-mortar shops.
Future of retail in Kenya
Kenya is headed in the direction of the USA and other first world countries. The UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report shows as of late September 2018, Kenya’s number of active Internet/data subscriptions increased to 42.2 million up from 41.1 million from June 2018 marking a growth of 2.7 percent. The number of active mobile subscriptions in the country is at 46.6 million. The country’s mobile penetration stands at 100%.
Big retail chains need to start thinking about how to take their businesses online. Some traditional international big-box retailers have filed for bankruptcy as they grapple with the reality in the rise of online shopping and falling foot traffic in stores.
Technology has an immense influence on consumer behavior. As technology evolves, so do consumers. For Kenyan businesses to stay relevant, they need to keep up with the developing trends through adaptability and innovation.
“The future of the retail market (or any business) is online. Companies that are not adopting are dying.” Anthony Ndirangu, Research Director at Research 8020.
I trust Tuskys and Naivas are listening.