Mark Pilkington, Part I: A Retail Therapist's Diagnosis of the Industry's Maladies

If you are wondering how to navigate the ever-changing world of retail, where reports of mergers, closings, and bankruptcies are far too frequent, then you’ll appreciate Fashioncast’s® exclusive interview with Mark Pilkington, author of Retail Therapy--Why the Retail Industry is Broken--And What Can Be Done to Fix it.

In Part I of this two part series, with no holds barred, Pilkington broadly explains exactly how the worldwide retail industry ended up “on the ropes” pre-COVID19, and where it stands now in the midst of the pandemic.

Although the author lives in England, interviewing Pilkington via Skype from Dubai, a region of the world he worked in as a retail executive for years, was fitting as his book intelligently covers the international scope of the retail industry. Pilkington has earned his “retail stripes” with experience inside and outside the industry for decades and it shows.

Typical of Fashioncast® interviews, the conversation is wide-ranging but fashion focused. In particular, the author details the retail industry’s culture, bureaucracy, and indifference to the explosion of online retailing that has forever changed retail and its impact on the world of fashion. For fashion, the fallout is a montage of lower costs and deeper consumer relationships mixed with startling competition.

While the economic pros and cons of a rapidly changing retail landscape continue to play themselves out, one thing is certain, the human toll is stunning. Millions of job losses related to e-commerce and the broader technological revolution impacting retail on a global basis are problematic both short-term and long-term. In addition, COVID19 has sped the pace of retail labor disruption exponentially.

Lastly, when asked how one of the world’s premier retail consultants would launch their own retail company, Pilkington was quick to impart his wisdom. The company would sell dominantly through the online channel, be mission-driven, deeply connected to its “community” (target market) and more personal in terms of rectifying errors and extending rewards or incentives. By far, a mission-driven model seemed most important. Amongst all the competitive e-commerce noise, a company must be able to authentically differentiate itself and touting a mission beyond profits is an attractive value proposition.

Fashioncast® was honored to interview Mark Pilkington, and we eagerly look forward to Part II in the Spring of 2021. Enjoy!

Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken – and What › Retail-Therapy-Industry-Broken-...