The retail industry may face pulverization. Stores are about to become entertainment centres enabled by technology. In a study published in 2019, the GDI in cooperation with KPMG outlines The End of Consumption as We Know It. The report outlines a threefold revolution driven by the power of data and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as artificial intelligence or even neurotechnology.
"Banking is necessary. Banks are not." Bill Gates’ prediction for the financial industry in 1994 is prescient for the retail industry 25 years later.
According to the GDI’s provocative report, the music industry is a case study for the future of the retail industry. It has basically been wiped out by services such as Spotify or iTunes. Consumers do not see themselves any longer as owners, but as users. This pattern can be applied to other industries, notably department store retail.