Little Rock

The ground has been shifting under the world of retail, but in my opinion, the real quake hasn't hit yet. There are three major factors causing this upheaval: economic uncertainty that's begun to split the middle class, the increasing share of wallet moving online, and the shift from the boomer generation to millennials as the driving force. While there's no "magic bullet" to address these changes, a deeper examination of these factors brings to light consistent themes and provides a jumping off point to ward off a real quake. There are immediate, low-risk changes that every retailer should consider implementing as soon as possible.

Last week while traveling I found myself in line at a Starbucks. The woman behind the counter knew just about every customer's name and, amazingly, what they wanted. For example, she would say, "Hi Stacy! An extra-hot caramel macchiato with soy?" I made that up, but you get the idea; she knew her customers and their preferences. People like that barista are worth their weight in gold in the retail world.

Anyone who has attended a retail industry conference in the past two years to three years has likely seen a shift in focus. Where once it was all about merchandising, which led to shopper marketing, it's now all about mobile and big data. Many retailers are struggling with both of these ideas; they know they should be taking action, but exactly what action is unclear.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Alexa Latimer Dillard, wife of Dillard's founder, the late William Dillard, has passed away. Born in Nashville, Arkansas on Oct. 30, 1916, Alexa Latimer married William T. Dillard on June 9, 1940. Dillard was known for her quick wit...

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