The most current research (Hurst, 2007. Fine Food Network) has developed four plausible scenarios for the future (2022) of retailing/ marketing. Each of these scenarios has been developed by incorporating all current trends and developing the possible outcomes that would be internally consistent.
My way – an individualistic society with the internet and other technologies held in high regard; consumers are demanding and unpredictable, often buying directly from producers rather than big chains.
Sell it to me – buoyant economy with confident people, happy for big business to take the lead in meeting their needs and expectations rather than taking personal responsibility, handing over personal information so that they can be supplied with products tailored to their specific needs and preferences.
From me to you – subdued, uncertain economy with people concerned about climate change; young people building debt, older people worried about surviving on small pensions resulting in less disposable income, a contracting retail sector and an increase in co-operative behavior, growing and swapping goods rather than buying.
I’m in your hands – low consumer confidence, high reliance on government and big business for security and solutions resulting in a highly structured, centralized, supervised society with many of their needs supplied automatically and shopping done online with bricks & mortar stores primarily turned into showrooms.
· The obvious question is to ask which scenario is most likely.
· The interesting question is to predict the actual outcome that will realise which may be an amalgam of any/all of the above.
· The million dollar question is whether you are prepared for any of these futures?