Animator – Career Profile #animator,employment #trends,salary #trends,types #of #jobs,california #animation #schools,education/training #requirements,careers #in #animation


Animator – Career Profile

What does an Animator do? Where does an Animator work? ACR takes a look:

Animators create animation and visual effects for films, video games, television, mobile devices, and other forms of media using illustrations and software programs. Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Autodesk3ds Max, and Autodesk Maya are just a few leading software programs for animators. Animators also create graphics and develop storyboards, drawings and illustrations. They create, plan, and script animated narrative sequences, and assist with background design and production coordination.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics combines multimedia artists and animators into one career group. According to the Bureau, “multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (CGI) may include taking images of an actor’s movements, which are then animated into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design scenery or backgrounds for locations.”

The Bureau reports that multimedia artists and animators work primarily in the following industries:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services
  • Software Publishers
  • Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
  • Specialized Design Services

The Bureau also mentions that a staggering 57 percent of animators were self-employed in 2012. This is the most current figure for self-employed animators. These professionals, not just the self-employed, often work from home. Others work at film, animation or video game production studios, cartoon networks, advertising agencies, web design firms, graphic design firms, and mobile technology companies. Some work in office settings.

Programs to Consider:

At the end of 2014, the median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $61,370 per year. The lowest paid multimedia artists and animators earned less than $34,860. The highest paid earned $113,470 per year. At $72,680, multimedia artists and animators working in the motion picture and video industries earned the highest median annual wage of the top five industries for this profession.

It is important to keep in mind that salaries for multimedia artist and animators may vary by experience, type and size of company, and even geographic location. For example, California-based multimedia artists and animators average $88,150 per year—the nation’s highest average salary for this profession, while Arkansas-based artists average $40,890—one of the lowest.

The top five highest paying states for multimedia artists and animators were California ($88,150 per year), Washington State ($76,900), District of Columbia ($76,110), New York ($72,530), and New Mexico ($70,310).

Becoming an Animator

There are so many paths to becoming an animator today you’ll lose count. Just a few options include a Bachelor of Art (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and/or a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) in Animation, Animation Digital Arts, Media Arts Animation, Computer Animation, Computer Graphics, Media Arts Science, Fine Art, and even Computer Science (with an Emphasis in Animation). Courses common to these degree paths and other related programs include Drawing, 2-D Animation Production, 3-D Animation Production, and Stop Motion. Animators also study anatomy to study how animals and humans move in order to make character movements more realistic.

In addition to a 4-year degree, many employers look for at least two years’ experience in the industry, and advanced technology skills. Entry-level positions may require only a degree and experience through an internship or other support position. Senior level positions may require at least five to seven years’ professional experience in the industry and possibly an advanced degree. In fact, more schools than ever before now offer Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in Animation, Animation Visual Effects, Animation Digital Arts, and more. Some schools in the U.S. (and many in Europe and Asia) even offer PhD programs in Digital Arts Animation, Multimedia Animation, Computer Science with an Animation Emphasis and more.

Job Trends for Animators

Employment for this group is expected to grow six percent from 2012 to 2022. Projected employment growth for animators and multimedia artists will be the result of increased demand for animation and more realistic visual effects in video games, films, and television. However, job growth may be slowed by companies hiring artists and animators who work overseas for lower wages. The increasing demand for computer graphics for mobile devices may counter slow growth by creating more job opportunities in the massive mobile industry.

Despite slow job growth, competition for job opportunities in animation will remain strong. The Bureau says, “Opportunities should be best for those who have a wide range of skills or who specialize in a highly specific type of animation or effect.” Still, in 2014, the U.S. was home to an impressive population of 68,900 multimedia artists and animators, making it the third largest career field in the world of Art and Design. At 259,500, graphic designers represent the largest group.

Job opportunities for animators and multimedia artists can be found all over the U.S. However, five states have the highest employment levels. California has the highest, followed by New York, Washington, Texas, and Illinois.

Awesome Animation Fact. Animation has been around for a lot longer than you think. According to Computer Science for Fun (published by Queen Mary, University of London), a 5,200-year old bowl found in Iran features an early precursor of animation. Along the bowl’s side are five drawings that, when viewed in a sequence, depict a wild goat leaping up to eat leaves off a tree.

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Video Game Designer – Career Profile #video #game #designer,employment #trends,salary #trends,types #of #jobs,education/training #requirements,careers #in #animation


Video Game Designer – Career Profile

Video Game Designer Jobs

Video game designers perform a number of tasks as a part of the design process. They design user interfaces, create storylines and characters, and role-play mechanics and gameplay prototypes. Video game designers collaborate with artists to fine tune the visual style for games. They map out missions, puzzles, and other challenges for players to face during game play.

While most video game designers work in gaming studios, some work at advertising and design firms, web design firms, multimedia companies, mobile technology firms, and software development firms. They may hold titles such as lead designer, game developer, game designer, interactive designer, lead mobile game designer, lead game developer, senior game designer, and many others.

Video Game Designer Salaries

Video game designers belong to the broader career group “Applications Software Developers.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for applications software developers is $90,060 per year. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $55,190 per year, and the top 10 percent earn more than $138,880 per year, says the Bureau. Several employment and salary websites report that video game designers (as a single career group) average between $70,000 and $90,000 per year.

While video game designers are among the highest paid professionals in the world of entertainment, individual salaries vary greatly depending on experience, education, area of expertise (video games, mobile technology, interactive games for education), company, benefits, industry, and geographic location. For example, the top five highest paying states for developers are California (average $112,180 per year), Washington ($111,380), Maryland ($110,160), Virginia ($103,680), and New York ($103,390).

Becoming a Video Game Designer

If you are interested in becoming a video game designer, there are several paths to take. A bachelor’s degree or higher in games and interactive entertainment, game design, game development, game design and development, game programming or computer science, software development, software engineering, computer systems, animation, or mathematics with an option or focus in games.

In addition to a degree in any of the fields listed above, employers require a minimum of two years’ experience for intermediate positions. For upper level positions, employers typically require an advanced degree, plus three to five years’ professional experience in the industry. For entry-level positions, a degree plus experience through an internship or other support position is acceptable.

Job Trends for Video Game Designers

Employment growth in the software development industry is projected to grow 22 percent overall for the 2012-2022 decade. This is much faster than average for all occupations. Even more promising is employment levels in some states are higher than others. Further, 10 metropolitan areas currently offer the highest employment levels of all metro areas across the U.S. The top five states with the highest employment levels for developers are California, Washington, Texas, New York, and Virginia. The top five metro areas for developers are Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA.; New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA. and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main reason for the rapid growth in the software development industry is a large increase in the demand for computer software. Mobile technology requires new applications as well. Further, consumers will continue to demand more realistic video games as studios continue to push the envelope. The result? The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Economists Incorporated report that the game industry is growing four times faster than the U.S. economy and annual job growth increased more than 13 times the rate of the U.S. labor market between 2009 and 2012.

Awesome Game Fact. Did you know that games began to appear almost as soon as computers appeared? In the late 1960s, Spacewar! was created, partly as a way of experimenting with one of the earliest computers, the PDP-1, developed by Digital Electronic Corporation.-Gale Cengage Learning, Macmillan Reference

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BYOD: data protection and information security issues #data #security #trends


BYOD: data protection and information security issues

ncberns – 16 Jul 2015 8:38 AM

It’s good to see this finally being addressed in a reasoned, systematic way. in this era of personalization, BYOD is definitely here to stay. The answer, of course, is improved security, not fewer devices.

When cars first grew popular enough to slam into each other, the response was not banning cars. It was building better roadways. That’s the approach we need now in our high tech offices.

Jeff Cutler – 2 Nov 2015 10:04 AM

If you’ve decided to allow BYOD, then you’ve also decided to be responsible for some level of support and access for these devices. That can of worms is a moving target depending on the brands and capabilities of the devices you’re allowing. And it also depends on the training and capabilities of your IT team. Good luck.

AlbertHoward – 23 Oct 2016 3:15 PM

Great article to read on a Sunday night while I am researching on my undergrad final year project.

I am going to do a project that looks at the security side of BYOD. You article mentions having an AV on these devices but I am looking at a bigger picture? How about a host checker.

You can perform this on a VPN (Pulse, Barracuda, Juniper will all do that before allowed on a network) but what if you want users to connect directly to your network? A host checker will check the device is not jail broken, has got the right anti-virus, firewall is turned on, has the latest updates and service packs, is encrypted and most importantly configured with a password/passcode.

If a device passes all these checks then it is allowed on a network. The user is however notified of failures and advised to resolve then and attempt reconnection.

I think this will be great innovation in BYOD

Retail industry trends #retail #experience

#retail industry trends


Monthly Turnover, Current Prices Trend Estimate


  • The trend estimate rose 0.1% in August 2016. This follows a rise of 0.1% in July 2016 and a rise of 0.1% in June 2016.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.4% in August 2016. This follows a relatively unchanged July 2016 (0.0%) and a rise of 0.1% in June 2016.
  • In trend terms, Australian turnover rose 2.6% in August 2016 compared with August 2015.
  • The following industries rose in trend terms in August 2016: Cafes restaurants and takeaway food services (0.7%), Food retailing (0.2%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing (0.5%) and Other retailing (0.2%). Household good retailing (-0.3%) and Department stores (-0.7%) fell in trend terms in August 2016.
  • The following state and territories rose in trend terms in August 2016: Queensland (0.4%), New South Wales (0.1%), South Australia (0.3%), the Australian Capital Territory (0.2%) and Tasmania (0.2%). Victoria was relatively unchanged (0.0%). Western Australia (-0.1%) and the Northern Territory (-0.3%) fell in trend terms in August 2016.


This issue includes updated online retail turnover estimates for the August 2016 reference month. These estimates are provided and explained within the appendix section of this publication.

There are no revisions to the original estimates. Revisions to seasonally adjusted estimates are due to the concurrent methodology for deriving seasonal factors. For information on seasonal adjustment and trend estimation please refer to the explanatory notes of this publication.


Data available from the Downloads tab of this issue on the ABS website include longer time series of tables in this publication:

  • Monthly retail turnover by state and 15 industry subgroups in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
  • Monthly retail turnover completely enumerated and sample sectors, by six industry groups and also by state in original terms
  • Monthly retail turnover completely enumerated sector, total level in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
  • Quarterly retail chain volume measures by six industry groups and also by state in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
  • Quarterly retail turnover per capita in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
  • Quarterly sales to households by selected service industries in original terms.

Inquiries about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

These documents will be presented in a new window.

Retail Industry Trends – Consumer Information – Consumer News #tmobile #retail #stores

#retail companies



NBA players spend more money at Express than Apple, Wal-Mart and Best Buy combined. 32 min ago 10:47 a.m. Oct. 24, 2016

The Federal Reserve only needs to raise interest rates by 25 basis points even though it is close to its target on inflation and unemployment, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Monday 10:13 a.m. Today 10:13 a.m. Oct. 24, 2016

This is not the October we’ve come to know. And that’s not just because of the Chicago Cubs are still playing. No, these just haven’t felt at all like October markets. That could all change this week. 9:24 a.m. Today 9:24 a.m. Oct. 24, 2016

Retail Headlines

The careful selection of dividend stocks can pave the way to a growing income stream, says Phil van Doorn.

7:51 a.m. Today 7:51 a.m. Oct. 24, 2016

A report that Coach is in talks to acquire Burberry has some experts wondering whether it would yield more than just cost-cutting benefits.

7:15 a.m. Today 7:15 a.m. Oct. 24, 2016

VF Corp. shares are down 2.1% in Monday premarket trading after the apparel, footwear and accessories company slashed its annual guidance. VF Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $498.5 million, or $1.19 per share, up from $459.9 million, or $1.07 per share. The FactSet consensus was $1.15 per share. Revenue for the quarter was $3.49 billion, down from $3.53 billion last year and below the FactSet estimate of $3.63 billion. Jeanswear revenue, which includes the Wrangler and Lee brands, was down 6%, while outdoor and action sports, which includes the Vans and Timberland brands, was up 2%. The company raised its quarterly dividend 14% to 42 cents per share, payable on Dec. 19, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 9, 2016. VF Corp. expects 2016 revenue to increase 2% to about $12.2 billion compared with the previous estimate of 3% to 4% growth. Earnings per share are expected to rise 3% to $3.13 compared with previous guidance of a 5% rise to $3.20. VF Corp. shares are down 12.2% for the year to date while the S 2016 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved.
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5 cutting-edge retail technology trends #retail #coupons #online

#retail technology


5 cutting-edge retail technology trends

As retailers rev up for their busiest shopping season, they know some things never change: Holiday deal-seekers will race like mad through store aisles for the best Black Friday deals. Last-minute shoppers will wait until December 24 to make their purchases. Crowds will swarm stores the day after Christmas in a whirlwind of gift returns.

The shopping experience itself, however, has undergone massive changes over the past two decades, especially as ecommerce has won over consumers and smartphones have become the must-have accessory. These days, retailers work around the clock to navigate a digital world that continues to evolve at a dizzying pace, while tech-savvy consumers have increased their demands for seamless experiences and personalized touches, wherever and however they shop.

“In today’s increasingly connected world, brands and retailers are struggling to find ways to appeal to omnichannel shoppers,” says Mike Paley, executive vice president of shopper marketing at agency The Marketing Arm. “Technology advances have created an environment in which the line between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce is blurred and fading fast.”

Here are five cutting-edge technology trends taking retail to the next level:

1. Beacons

With millions of shoppers toting smartphones in their pocket or purse, it’s no surprise that proximity marketing, through the use of location-based technologies such as Bluetooth-connected beacons, is becoming more than a flash-in-the-pan – as retailers look for ways to provide more personalized, real-time messages, offers and promotions. Macy’s, for example, recently rolled out beacons to 4,000 stores using Shopkick’s offering, and Swirl’s platform and hardware is being used by clients including Lord Taylor and Urban Outfitters. According to Business Insider, beacons will directly influence over $4 billion in U.S. retail sales this year and climb 10 times that next year.

“Beacons were a novelty 15 months ago, but this year retailers are starting to take them more seriously,” says Scott Bauer, U.S. Retail Consumer Partner at consulting firm PwC. “There’s more experimentation about how to treat users in their stores with mobile phones.” The question is how to use them, he cautions, “so it doesn’t seem creepy or annoy customers.”

2. Biometrics

Biometrics, which uses technologies like fingerprint systems, facial recognition, iris scanning and voice identification, seems like a natural fit for retailers. Brands and banks that want to improve targeted marketing efforts and boost security. Biometrics Research Group predicts the global biometrics market to soar to $15 billion this year, up from an estimated $7 just three years ago. And, technology consulting firm Frost Sullivan forecast that nearly a half-billion people will be using a smartphone equipped with biometric technology by 2017.

“iPhone users everywhere rejoiced when Apple added the passcode fingerprint scan,” says Paley. “Expect more in this area as marketers embrace the potential.” Ecommerce security can particularly benefit from biometrics, he says – MasterCard, for example, is working to allow customers to complete ecommerce transactions with just a selfie, he explains, while Visa has introduced a specification that can authenticate EMV chip card transactions using multiple forms of biometrics.

3. Mobile ecommerce boom

Mobile phones may not be no longer be cutting-edge, but the boom in mobile e-commerce certainly is, thanks to improved technologies and strategies. By the end of 2016, 25 percent of all retail ecommerce sales in the United States will take place via mobile devices, according to eMarketer.

[Related:9 ways mobile and social tech improves the retail shopping experience]

“The real estate on the device screen has gotten bigger, particularly in the iPhone 6, driving increased success for retailers,” says Elana Anderson, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at omnichannel commerce platform Demandware. Mobile smartphones – not tablets – drove 94 percent of the growth in shopping visits and 74% of basket creation growth, according to Demandware’s Q2 Shopping Index. “Also, retail strategies are now focused on a mobile-first consumer experience, whether it’s responsive design or increased speed,” she says. “All of that is contributing to the growth.”

4. Social networks as shopping platforms

Turns out social networks are about more than just spreading the word. Over the past year, social giants Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have all experimented with direct “Buy” buttons on their website. For instance, Twitter tested their “Buy” button in September with a small group of sellers and are now said to be teaming up with Shopify, which has about 100,000 merchants, and other ecommerce software companies.

Pinterest’s “buyable” button, launched with Demandware, recently launched on the iPhone and iPad, allowing users to purchase without leaving the Pinterest app. “We literally had our consumers lining up, there is a lot of excitement regarding social commerce,” says Anderson. “Retailers and consumers want to remove as much friction from the buying process as possible.”

5. Digital in the store

You don’t need to leave a physical store to get your digital fix. Instead, retailers are leveraging a wide array of in-store technologies meant to draw consumers in the door. “The physical store is on the cusp of significant transformation and disruption,” says Demandware’s Anderson.

For example, retailers and brands such as Ugg Australia, Uniqlo and Neiman Marcus are using “magic” or “memory” mirror technologies, using RFID tags, which allow customers to try on virtual outfits in different colors and styles. Rebecca Minkoff has added text messaging and touch screen features in her stores that allow consumers to order drinks, browse the store catalog, and easily interact with store associates. Finally, Bloomingdale’s has experimented with mounting iPads in fitting rooms to allow customers to ask for help, read reviews and see what sizes are in stock.

“There’s a ton of experimentation with digital across the board,” says Anderson. “It’s really about serving the customer from the online experience out of the store all the way through the store.”

Sharon is an award-winning B2B magazine editor and writer (DMNews, COLLOQUY, Adweek, Shopper Marketing) with more than a decade of experience reporting in the retail and B2B space.

Retail Consulting – Consumer Trends – Analysis #specialty #retail #industry

#retail consulting



Change in the retail landscape is nothing new—retailers worldwide have always had to adapt to shifts in customer behavior and competitive threats. What is new is the frequency and scope of change, and how fundamentally these shifts can disrupt established retailers. Regardless of region, retailers who no longer offer a strong value proposition for their customers will lose. Yet retailers that pursue new opportunities and capitalize on these shifts can win and position themselves to grow.

Retailers today can capture a wealth of data—including detailed customer transaction histories—but most don’t have the analytics capabilities required to make the most of that information. Success requires sifting through data to discern what the numbers really mean, and then translating that understanding into tangible actions that improve the company’s financial and operational performance.

Across all retail segments—from grocery to fashion—promotions are one of the most effective tools for driving traffic and improving margins. BCG’s holistic approach uses rigorous analytics to give a more granular picture of the performance of past events and then applies those insights to create more effective promotions for the future.

BCG helped a grocery player return its overall and online businesses to profitability by increasing operational efficiencies, enhancing its online model, and tailoring its local strategies.

Retail and POS Software Industry Performance – Trends #retail #promo #codes

#retail pos software


Retail and POS Software Industry Performance Trends

Industry Performance Summary

The Retail and POS Software industry is expected to grow in line with the economy during the next 3 years to 2017, and is undergoing a period of consolidation, as larger industry players look to increase market share through acquisition. Advancements in technology have contributed to drastic changes in the industry and these have helped to stimulate sales and innovation in an industry that is largely mature and stable. Revenue for the Point of Sale Software industry is expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower annualized rate of 1.9% to $1.5 billion in the five years to 2019.

Technology Impact

The wider adoption of both mobile and cloud computing systems have forced industry operators to create Retail and POS software that incorporates traditional, web-based, and mobile platforms. Cloud systems have also forced Retail and POS software developers to take data and system security into account as SaaS (software as a service) systems become increasingly adopted. SaaS solutions have increased as a proportion of industry revenue during the past five years as cloud computing has continued to gain traction in the business world.

Other new technology developments in Retail include POS software for mobile devices that are enabled with near field communications (NFC). NFC-enabled devices allow consumers to store credit card and loyalty information on their mobile phones.

Mobile POS devices allow for storewide promotion opportunities, with various sections of retail stores holding demonstrations and promotions, marketing and selling to customers instantly and sending email receipts. Consumers are responding positively to these changes through increased sales. When fashion and beauty retailer Nordstrom revealed its mobile POS devices (i.e. a modified iPod Touch with a merchandise scanner and credit card slider) throughout their full-line stores, retail sales increased 15.3%.

Consolidation Expected to Continue

Demand for POS software is expected to increase as corporate profit rises. Rising corporate profit will ultimately cause businesses to make the computer and software purchases they delayed during the recession. Companies’ confidence in their financial ability to invest in computers and software is anticipated to cause private investment in computers and software to increase at an average rate of 6.0% annually in the five years to 2019. A portion of increasing software expenditure will stem from retailers, wholesalers and hospitality companies purchasing POS software, bolstering the industry during the next five years.

In spite of this growth, the Point of Sale Software industry is expected to continue undergoing consolidation during the next five years as large multinational conglomerates acquire smaller companies to increase market share and gain access to patents and niche markets, such as the growing POS software market for healthcare. Furthermore, the prices of products designed for niche markets are expected to fall as the markets mature and more options become available. In the five years to 2019, the number of companies operating in the industry is expected to decline 2.0% per year on average as a result of this increased consolidation. In spite of this, industry consolidation will ultimately contribute to a marginal increase in profit margins, as the largest companies cut down on their operating costs.

Lower middle-market firms should heed these industry markers. Competitors will become larger and more dominant as they continue to acquire, revenues may be harder to grow as increased competitive offerings become available, and the overall slow growth of the market as a whole will make it very challenging for Retail and POS software companies to continue to achieve solid top-line growth.

Industry Life Cycle

The Retail and Point of Sale Software industry is in the mature phase of its life cycle, with industry value added (IVA), a measure of its contribution to the overall economy, expected to grow slower than GDP during the 5 years to 2019. During that time, IVA is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 1.9%, compared with forecast annual GDP growth of 2.7% during the same period

In the five years leading up to 2014, it is estimated that the number of industry enterprises decreased at an annualized rate of 2.1%. This decline is attributed to the ongoing consolidation seen in this market as large operators have acquired smaller firms and niche providers to increase their market share.

M A Impact

M A deal value and volume are at their highest levels across all markets since the recession, and the appetite for acquisition and consolidation in the POS and Retail software market, coupled with increased confidence in the economy, is driving greater numbers of transactions in this sector and creating a window of opportunity for potential sellers.

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What s Next – Top Trends in Retail, shopping & leisure #jobs #retail

#retail trends


Top Trends in Retail, shopping & leisure

1. Self serve

Customer service costs money and is notoriously difficult to do well, so why not get customers to do it themselves? Everyone saves money and your customers think they re in charge. Current examples include self check-in kiosks in airports, self-scanning machines in supermarkets and DIY check out services in hotels. Similarly, expect to see a boom in very intelligent vending machines very soon. If you prefer your service delivered by someone else, there s even a car dealership in Japan that employs robots as salesmen.

2. Cost polarisation

By 2015 the middle class will have disappeared in most developed countries taking mid-price retailers with them. Hence most consumer markets are already polarising between economy and premium sectors (low price versus luxury). However, customers can happily live in both segments buying $15 T-shirts one minute and $500 jeans the next.

3. Blurring of sectors

Bookshops selling coffee, coffee shops selling music, supermarkets selling loans, Ralph Lauren selling white paint and water companies selling gas. Just how far can you stretch a brand these days before it snaps?

4. High speed retail

24-hour banking, who s got time for that? Like most good jokes this one, from US comedian Steve Wright, is close to the truth. People are leading increasingly hectic lives. Back in 1900 people slept for 9.0 hours every night. Now it s just 6.9 hours. This is driving trends like drive-by dining, mobile banking and it s also killing giant malls, which take too much time to shop. Equally, people are getting increasingly bored with the same brands in the same places, which in turn is driving pop-up retail and limited time only products and offers. Also links with the Zara effect .

5. Brand experience

A significant number of (lucky) people have got all the stuff they need, so they are now, increasingly, looking for experiences not products. Research suggests that this is especially true for women. Examples include WHSmith (a UK stationer) selling cooking courses, hot air balloon lessons and Ferrari drive days. In theory this trend should benefit flagship retail, but the jury is still out on whether these temples of brand experience are really anything more than expensive poster sites.


Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) are essentially glorified barcodes – tiny microchips with an antenna attached which retailers can use remotely to manage inventory and stop theft. They can also be used to trigger promotional messages when you pick up a product in store (like in the Prada store in New York). In the future RFID readers could scan your bags as you leave a store and automatically take the money from a suitably enabled mobile phone (or a tiny chip located in your forearm or teeth) which is linked to your bank or credit card. RFIDs have a myriad of other uses too, such as remote monitoring (healthcare) and baggage tracking (transport). In Japan a school even used RFID readers to tell parents that their children have arrived safely at school. Expect a major surge in RFID adoption in 2006+

7. Brand politics

We ve already got sweat-shop-free clothing brands, the return of neighbourhood retail and anti-supermarket sentiments, but we still haven t seen anything yet. In the future customers will be interrogating brands online and scanning products in supermarkets with mobile phones to check on the ethical policy of brands (you can already do this in Japan). Ethically based retail concepts (think Body Shop or fair trade coffee) will grow in the future although customers willingness to pay high prices or suffer inconvenience will naturally limit growth in this area.

8. Generational crossover

It s someone s 50th birthday every 8 seconds in the US, but retailers are still obsessively focussed on young people. A study by Credit Suisse First Boston, for example, found that in the US there 7,700 clothing chains selling to the teen market (with a theoretical sales of US $5.8m per store) but only 1,800 (with theoretical sales of US $19.2m per store) targeting baby boomers. As populations age more people will want to spend more time at home and they will want to make their lives as comfortable as possible. The implications of this demographic shift include everything from a boom in gardening to employing seniors (B Q) and designing food packaging that people with old hands and poor eyesight can actually open.

9. Women

Women are the biggest market on earth but they are largely ignored – because most of the world is run by men. Nevertheless, we ve already got women only floors in hotels, women only nightclubs, women only gyms and women only department stores. Given that women buy 65% of cars and make 81% of financial decisions, how long before we see women only garages and women only banks?

10. Mass customisation

As we have already noted, we are moving out of the era of mass and cheap into the age of luxury and made for me . For the fortunate few this means bespoke (tailor-made) products (sold in brand experience stores with concierge level service), while for others it means limited run products or mass customisation (products created for specific niches or groups, often with the help of the customers themselves). Mass customisation is a trend created by commodification, which has in turn been created by globalisation.

Top 5 retail trends to watch in 2015 #online #shopping #sites

#retail trends


Top 5 retail trends to watch in 2015

The retail landscape is changing more rapidly now than at any point in history. As technology and customer demands evolve, retailers and their supply chains must be increasingly flexible and adaptable.

Let s take a look at the top 5 trends for the retail supply chain in 2015.

1. This year will be omnichannel s time to shine.

As much as the term omnichannel is overused and overhyped, there s no denying that the concept of integrated, silo-free customer experience is a reality that s here to stay. The difference in 2015? Retailers are getting smarter about it.

The past few years have been full of instances of retailers scrambling to adopt so-called omnichannel strategies and capabilities, sometimes with less up-front analysis than such significant changes usually warrant. Often, goals were unclear and retailers were unsure how to accurately measure ROI or define success.

In early 2014, almost two-thirds of retailers stated they had undertaken particular omnichannel initiatives solely because of a perceived customer expectation, rather than supporting data. The result was sometimes a patchwork quilt of roughly-executed capabilities, limited customer insight, and legacy systems ill-suited to enable the new approach.

Fast forward along the learning curve to 2015: While no retailer would say it has this whole omnichannel thing entirely figured out, many leading retailers are now really hitting their strides. Those that are succeeding in the space have been figuring out what s working and what isn t, how to measure it and how to improve it. And others have been following that lead. The dust has begun to settle, and the early mania surrounding the buzzword of omnichannel has given way to the reality of data-driven, incremental steps toward the realization of omnichannel.

2. Transportation issues will get worse before they get better.

It s no secret that these days, retailers face challenges on virtually all fronts when it comes to getting products from origin to consumer.

While many U.S. seaports moved record volumes of freight in 2014 an almost 7% increase over 2013 in many ways it was a troublesome year, with ongoing congestion issues and, in the case of the West Coast, ominous uncertainty surrounding labor negotiations.

While negotiations between the ILWU and the PMA continue to drag on, larger port issues would remain even if a labor agreement could be reached immediately. Alliances, bigger ships, operational shortcomings, infrastructure limitations and more will continue to make for a rocky road ahead. While ports, carriers, and terminal operators realize the problems exist, figuring out the best way to address them and then actually addressing them isn t an overnight endeavor.

Things aren t much easier once cargo begins its domestic journey, either. While highway infrastructure continues to age and the funding to improve it remains elusive, the shortage of truck drivers is increasingly acute. Though Congress recently voted to suspend the Hours-of-Service restart rules that FMCSA instituted in 2013, it s only a temporary stay, and will be revisited in September of 2015. The ever-tumultuous world of transportation will continue to keep retailers on their toes in 2015.

3. Cyber-security and the supply chain grow closer.

Retailers continued commitment to cyber-security was thrust into the spotlight over the past year, with a series of data breaches capturing the attention of the public and the media. Historically focused on maintaining the security of their own systems and networks, the scale of the threat has caused many retailers to look outside their virtual four walls.

In 2014, several leading retailers reached out and joined forces to create the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC), an industry-wide entity dedicated to sharing leading practices and actionable intelligence in the fight against retail cyber threats.

In 2015, expect to see retailers continued focus on their own systems, but also greater attention to the much larger ecosystem throughout the supply chain. An average mid-size retailer can have thousands of suppliers and vendors; larger chains have tens of thousands. Each of those suppliers has its own network of suppliers, creating an enormous web of electronic interdependency and data exchange.

Often considered to be solely the purview of the IT guys, supply chain execs will find themselves playing a larger role in their companies cyber-security measures.

4. Brick and mortar is back with a vengeance.

After many years of pundits heralding the end of brick and mortar, the store is reasserting its importance as a vital part of retail commerce.

A recent study indicated that 82% of consumers had made purchases online in the past year, and e-commerce sales have been growing by more than 19% a year.

E-commerce is getting bigger, not going away, but it s not putting a stake in the heart of stores either. Instead, as retailers learn more about how to move toward true omnichannel integration, the physical presence and the online presence will be more intertwined. Previous years rampant fears about showrooming are giving way to success stories around leveraging stores in support of omnichannel strategies.

Many chains have found big wins with pilot programs that employ their existing network of physical locations as order fulfillment centers, and retailers are really learning how to maximize the benefit of buy online pick up in store. Indeed, if omnichannel centers on a richer customer relationship, then in-store interactions are a critical component of the experience.

Expect to see more tailored, personalized shopper experiences, enabled by technology. E-commerce isn t killing stores, it is compelling stores to get better and become more relevant, and we re finally beginning to see more results of that effect.

5. Smaller footprints, greater impacts.

Big boxes are getting smaller and moving to the city. Several major retailers have recently stated plans for smaller-format stores, usually in more urban locations.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced last year that urban population growth continues to dramatically outpace the country s overall growth rate, as more people move to cities. Hand-in-hand with urbanization comes smaller household sizes; these and other factors have shifted many retailers focus to smaller stores in urban locations.

Along with this move comes a new set of supply chain challenges, ranging from managing localized product mixes, to the urban distribution challenges of navigating an 18-wheeler through city traffic, tight docks, and vigilant parking enforcement officers.

More than ever before, retail supply chain professionals will find themselves grappling with the usual challenges of moving product from origin to consumer now with an added layer of urban complexity on top. 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year in retail supply chain, with many new developments.

All these topics, and more, will be highlighted in sessions at the Retail Industry Leaders Association s upcoming Retail Supply Chain Conference in Orlando on Feb. 22-25. With a program developed by and featuring many of retail s top supply chain executives, the longest-running supply chain conference devoted to retailers is focused on top issues, leading practices and actionable takeaways. Visit for more details.