Welcome to The Backroom, your window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
At the end of 2019, "retail prophet" Doug Stephens and I had an in-depth discussion on what 2020 would bring for the industry. However, not even an analyst as prescient as Stephens often is could predict what ended up happening — a pandemic that roiled retail and damaged the global economy.
The disease outbreak has served as an accelerant for so many changes in retail that were already under way, from the decline of malls to the advance of e-commerce. But there are many innovations in the customer experience whose trajectory is less clear, mostly because we don't really know how the pandemic — which despite the arrival of vaccines is ongoing — might affect consumer behavior longer term.
We thought that called for another meeting, this time via our podcast, The Backroom. Thanks for listening.