Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes believes the Australian retail sector is in the midst of its third “revolution” in 50 years and it’s more important than ever for local retailers to integrate their physical and online offerings. Ragtrader reports the retail veteran, who plans to step down from Myer’s top job in August, outlined his view of the retail landscape at a NAB event in Melbourne this week.

The first revolution, according to Brookes, happened in the 1950s and 1960s, when retail went from a model in which shopkeepers generally selected items for their customers, to a preference for consumers to pick their own wares. This was followed by a second “revolution” in the 1980s, in which new technologies such as price scanning and electronic payments, transformed the retail space, says Brookes. Brookes says the third revolution, which we are in the midst of now, is all about digital and retailers must focus on “establishing a point of difference”. Read the full article at SmartCompany.com.au

Brian Walker, Founder & CEO of Retail Doctor Group, told SmartCompany he “absolutely” agrees with Brookes’ comments. “Digital technology is revolutionising the consumer experience, so in turn, it is revolutionising retail,” says Walker. “We’re in the phase of ‘customer in control’,” says Walker, which he says is being driven by global transparency about brands as well as consumer feedback being fed through social media communities. “The supply chain has shortened … and lines of classic supply chains are being blurred,” he says. “Manufacturers are becoming retailers and retailers are becoming manufacturers. Everything is up for grab.” Walker says the “fourth retail revolution” will be about predicting consumer behaviour through neuromarketing. “In fact, it’s already starting to happen.” However, Walker believes the physical retail experience is “still the jewel in the crown”. “The difference now is stores are much more experiential than ever before,” he says. Read the full article on SmartCompany.com.au