One retailer leveraged the most cutting-edge technology, sold every product available, and innovated the way goods were sold across the US. The company was Sears and the year was 1886. Sears used the railroad and the mail-order catalog to sell to customers in the comfort of their homes. They opened their first brick-and-mortar location in 1925 and, until they were surpassed by Walmart, dominated retail sales until 1989. Sears, like Macy’s and Kmart are now on the edge of extinction in what the media are calling a Retail Apocalypse.
Society itself is changing and that can bring about catastrophic changes for retailers who are not innovating and adapting to the new business model.