Noted future-caster Morris Miselowski, told Toy & Hobby Retailer last week that the current economic climate will probably continue for the next 12-24 months, with business confidence returning in around 18 months.

Miselowski was the featured speaker at The Future Summit – Inspiration for Industry, a travelling breakfast seminar presented by The Australian Shop & Office Fitting Industry Association (ASOFIA).

The seminar aimed to clarify and highlight future retail business trends that are expected to manifest over the next 12 months to 10 years.

Miselowski spoke exclusively to THR and said that retailers should look to inject theatre into their stores and the consumer’s shopping experience.

“Strangely enough customers are not looking to purchase the end item – that’s a given they know they’re going to come home with that item – what shoppers around the world want is an experience. They want theatre, to be taken out of their everyday lives and enter a different environment which will entertain them, and yes, the end result might be a purchase,” he said.

“If the toy and hobby industry can’t inject some theatre into the retail space, what chance does anyone else have?”

According to IBIS World figures presented by Miselowski, in the 2010-2011 financial year, $121 billion were spent in physical retail; online retail accounted for $10 billion.

“The most significant figure I have read during the past few weeks suggests that online retail will only account for 20 per cent of the total retail marketplace by 2015.”

“At no stage have I ever read or been told by anyone around the world that physical bricks-and-mortar retail will disappear as a result of on-line retail. What we have now is an augmentation to the way we shop. The two are not mutually exclusive; they are more like kissing-cousins. It is another opportunity to engage with a retailer.”

Miselowski also contends that the days of “price-driven, deeply discounted, offensive type of retail” are coming to an end “in around 6-12 months from now” and that “some newer sites will come to the fore and compete on a different basis.”

The rest of the interview with Morris Miselowski will be published in the Toy & Hobby Retailer August edition.

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