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Analysis of Retail Industry in Light of Bankruptcy Filings

Last week Sears filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In class, I talked about how Warren Buffet saw this coming more than a decade ago (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. The discussion progressed to Toys R Us exploring a comeback (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. from bankruptcy, as well as warning signs for Walmart (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. The goal of this extra-credit assignment is for you to analyze the current retail landscape and make predictions about what the future of the retail industry will look like in the near future. More specifically, I would like to see a comprehensive analysis of the retail environment, as well as supporting examples. The analysis should include all of the following components:

o How will customers be alerted to product and service offerings? Include privacy concerns with information sharing and tracking, shifts in social media, targeted direct advertising, shopper experience, etc.
Point of Sale/Payment
o How will companies change the point of purchase? Will it continue to be driven by at-the-store credit card purchases or will technology shift the point of purchase, (e.g., RFID, bitcoin)?
Supply Chain & Distribution
o How will globalization trends (e.g. tariffs, foreign relationships) adjust companies’ make/buy & sourcing decisions?
o How will companies address the last mile problem (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.? Drones, crowdsourcing, blockchain, automated vehicles, delivery partnership (e.g. with Amazon), etc.
Your submission must include:
• Identification of three to four trends in the consumer market (e.g., people want and expect same-day delivery)
• External analysis of the retail industry as it relates to the identified trends (e.g. same-day delivery is expensive and can be extremely inefficient)
• Examples of companies (in retail or otherwise) that are currently capitalizing on the trends or investing in these areas (e.g. Amazon, Uber, etc.)
• Recommend how the average retail company should respond to the trends and explain they should go about implementing their strategy (e.g., with technology R&D, strategic alliance/acquisition/partnership, risk avoidance, other diversification, etc.)
• Structure: Consider using BOLD HEADERS to identify each item of your analysis.

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