RETAIL STRATEGY

In the face of economic growth and radical economic volatility at home, the most attractive retailing options may lie in Asia. Although few domestic retailers are positioned to capitalize on international opportunities, virtually all retailers will be affected by the emergence of the one-world marketplace. As the international borders and barriers come down and the free flow of products goes up, even the smallest mom-and-pop store will be swept up in change.
The main trends in the retail industry include fragmentation, specialization and differentiation. Increasing cultural diversity and ethnic insulation lead to market fragmentation. Certainly a number of established retailers are poised to capitalize on the one common denominator that cuts across racial and ethnic diversity–the persistent emphasis on bang-for-the- buck, or value. However, currently most retailers are ill equipped to capitalize on the new opportunities promised by market fragmentation because they do not have access to the expertise required to understand the behavioral manifestations of cultural heritage and ethnic identification (Levy and Weitz 2004). The leading retailers of the 1990s will be those that shore up the knowledge gap by recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting people or by employing outside consultants from cultural and ethnic backgrounds corresponding to those market fragments that promise the greatest profit potential (The Committee for the History of Retailing and Distribution 2009).
Although the UK market has grown in absolute terms, the 1990s promise smaller targets of opportunity, both in sheer size and in duration. The factors fueling population growth are conspiring to produce what some have termed "the death of the mass market–and mass marketing" (Levy and Weitz 2004). Although birthrates continue their downward trend,