2016: The year of the customer

  • Opinion
  • February 5, 2016
  • Mark Johnston
2016: The year of the customer

Our friends at the National Retail Federation (NRF) in the US have just kicked off the New Year with a bang, courtesy of Retail’s BIG Show which has just concluded in New York City.  The BIG Show is the single biggest retail trade event globally on our annual calendar, with around 35,000 delegates converging on the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre in Manhattan to tap into the latest trends, insights and innovations that will shape the retail sector both now, and into the future.

This year the challenge of engaging customers across more channels has been at the forefront of many of the conversations at the BIG Show.  How do retailers continue to capture consumers ‘hook, line and sinker’, keeping them loyal for the long-haul?

Often it means looking at the world through a new lens, particularly given the ever-changing nature of mobile technologies in today’s retail environment.  The immediacy of digital channels and particularly social media have changed consumers’ needs and motivations, which means that retailers need to get better at not just understanding what their customers do, but why they do it!

Leading brands are now changing their customers’ preferences and tastes based on both exposure and experience.  The most successful retail players all have hooks that end in changed habits for their customers, and more sales for them.

Another recurring theme at the BIG Show centred around ‘Millennials’, those younger consumers who are the key to the future of retail.  Much of the discussion focused on embedding retail into communities, creating more vibrant local ecosystems in conjunction with the likes of hospitality and tourism providers.  In the US, places that have seen particularly hard times recently such as Detroit, New Orleans and Pittsburgh are at the forefront of this ongoing revitalisation.  It’s where creativity and development, in terms of products and the places they come from, are intertwined with people, generating a very real sense of pride and connectedness for merchants and their customers alike.

I’m thrilled that Matthew Shay, the NRF’s CEO will be joining us at in Auckland this month to share his thoughts on the world of retail.  To get a flavour of Matthew’s take on where retail’s at, and where it’s likely to be heading, why not watch his opening remarks from this year’s BIG Show highlights.

If you haven’t booked your place at yet make sure you jump online today and reserve your seat at our inaugural forum – we’ve got a great line-up of local and international speakers who’ve all got some great tips and hints on how to to kick-start your 2016 retail year.

I look forward to hopefully seeing you at Sky City this month.

Happy New Year!

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more

Trends analysed at Chicago's International Home + Housewares Show

Each new year for retailers is another question mark in guessing what to present to consumers. Luckily in the world of retail, trade shows can ...


Shoptalk 2019: The city of lights delivers

Juanita Neville-Te Rito shares a sprinkle of retail magic from Las Vegas retail conference Shoptalk.

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit