Remember that old saying “hang out your shingle”? It meant to start up a business because the only type of business that could be conceived was one that required a physical place. The saying derived from truth back then and lots of companies were born into that world as shingle owning retail locations. Physical stores. All those years ago it was how business was done.
We all know that has changed in incredible ways – for the consumer. For those retailers that still cling to the shingle part of the equation, these last few years have been somewhat of a challenge (understated for effect). At one point we were all roaming the digital streets with virtual pitchforks waiting to celebrate the death of traditional, shingle’d retail. Well, that did not happen. Sure, retail has taken it on the chin. Sure, some of the oldest, most legacy-filled shingle’s have become landfill. But the most heinous word ever spoken underneath a shingle – one that sent little kids running for cover and store owners cowering in discount fear – no longer carries the same weight. Amazon is no longer the boogyman to all and to many, they are a new way of doing business.
One such business just happens to be the oldest retailer in North America – the Hudson’s Bay Company up here in Canada and Lord & Taylor down in the United States. They started experimenting with beacons early in their lifecycle and, in so doing, started putting the innovation and cool back into the shingle business. The guy that spearheaded the beacon initiative and watched it roll out across North America is Ryan Craver and he’s the guest for this episode.
To understand the flight of the beacon, you must first understand the plight of the retail industry and Ryan is our guide as we get a pretty amazing behind-the-scenes look at a retail giant as it arms up to fight the battle of its life.
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. How did you end up at the oldest retailer in North America? 2:45
2. What was it like inside a big retailer when Amazon was a scary term 6:00
3. Why is this the most exciting time for consumers? 10:45
4. How did Lord & Taylor react to all the panic in the industry? 13:15
5. Did you ever think that Amazon would open physical stores? 15:15
6. What has the impact of ecommerce been on traditional retail 19:15
7. A look at the various types of retailers around the world 23:15
8. What has the impact of mobile been on retail 26:30
9. A calculated bet on beacons 30:20
10. What were the results of the initial beacon rollout 34:30
11. Do you worry that beacons just become like email spam? 35:45
12. Was it hard to convince people internally to go with beacons? 37:50
13. What features will we start to see roll out through beacons? 40:30
14. What are your predictions about where retail goes 46:00
15. What gets you very excited about the future or retail? 49:35
16. Will anything really ever change retail? 52:40
17. What is grabbing your attention right now 54:40
Transcript coming soon!
iTunes Audio iTunes Video Soundcloud
About Ryan Craver
Retail and digital exec building brands fueled by retail tech startups. Former @lordandtaylor and @accenture strategist.