I was pleased to share the State of Washington Retail today at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s membership luncheon in Kennewick. It was the fourth chamber presentation I’ve made the past few months including Gig Harbor, Greater Grays Harbor and Kelso/Longview.
These speaking engagements have provided the opportunity to communicate the impact of the retail industry on our local communities, our state economy and across the nation.
Today’s presentation focused on economic impacts and addressed how retailers today are responding to the disruption of the past few years with innovation and creativity.
I also covered:
- Retail’s top current trends including omnichannel sales; the digital transformation; experiential retail; social media strategies; and the broad variety of retailers, from those selling essentials to local artisans selling specialty craft items.
- How different generations generate different retail trends. While Baby Boomers may shop with their laptops, their grandchildren in Generation Z are using apps on their smartphones.
- Legislation that’s affecting consumers, from charging sales tax for online sales to transforming the immediate sales tax break some out-of-state shoppers enjoyed in Washington State to making them apply later for a tax refund.
Though technology is driving much of retail’s transformation, it remains a business about consumers and meeting their needs and tastes in ever-expanding ways.
As we change together, we know the future of retail is strong! We are experiencing a retail renaissance as retailers respond to the demands of consumers and the pressures of new technology.