In an increasingly challenging market, retailers must seize new opportunities and offer unmatched experience, stresses Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson during his keynote address at the National Retail Federations (NRF) Big Show 2017.
“Retail is tough,” he emphasises, having seen how tough retail can be.
Back in the 1990s Virgin Megastores was present in numerous locations globally, which dwindled with the rise of digital music. Branson had to shit most location except in the Middle East and North Africa.
The brand reinvented itself and launched new businesses.
“When we saw the writing was on the wall for music retailing, we looked at what was selling well in stores… It was mobile phones…so we said ‘Let’s get out there and start a mobile phone company’. Video games were doing well, so we started a gaming company. Those products became much bigger than our retail stores ever could have been,” Branson recounts.
In the face of digital onslaught, retail brands should consider a similar approach, he opines. “People who own retail stores should not think of themselves as retailers forever…Be entrepreneurial, and spin off businesses to survive.”
Watch this space for more updates from NRF’s Big Show 2017