Keeping up With Change

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Keeping up With Change

One of the messages I have been passing on this week is the challenge of change. Generation X and Baby Boomers, for example, are still dedicated to moving around in cars whilst Generation Y prefer buses and trains. In fact over 30% of public transport users in Perth are Generation Y, and they do have driving licenses. Having said that young Asians from overseas that come to our city and use our public transport get frustrated. Why? Generation Y use public transport to keep in contact with their friends via there smart phone and other mobile systems. They feel driving is a waste of time and does not allow them to stay online and in the moment. Why do Asians get frustrated? In our public transport system we do not have sockets for them to “plug in”. They have to rely on batteries to keep them online. Trends like this will change the way we retail in the future. These same consumer go to the shopping centre and want to meet their friends or find out what is on offer. In many shopping malls they have to text their friends to stay on contact. It does not have to be that way. Imagine them going on line and having an GPS of the shopping centre, geo- location to use the correct words. A system that shows where they are, where their friends are and the best place to meet and how to get there. Plus as they walk past stores that can receive instant offers from retailers en route. The process is already available with Insiteo who are installing the system at present in a Catalonian shopping centre. Check out this new way of communicating in shopping centres at www.insiteo.com. I recently spoke at the W.A. Property Council Shopping Centre Conference in Perth. One of the other speakers was Annie Macbeth, the Futurologist. She asked the audience what was the biggest mega trend of 2011, the answer…PEOPLE. People are driving change at an accelerated speed. Yes, they are concerned about technology, unpredictable climate change and peak oil. All are having an impact on people and they are driving change, not institutions, governments or retailers. We have seen the changes due to people power in the Middle East. But, it is happening outside your retail store and you need to keep up. If you are an under 20 change is a natural part of everyday life. If you are over 50 you have to do the best you can. Keeping up with change is the real challenge for all retailers.