To drive to a store for shopping or just go online, click and order? That is the question many consumers face on a daily basis.
When it comes to eCommerce, it looks as though Alibaba is taking the lead in reshaping the retail industry with its various activities over the past year. The company privatized Chinese department store Intime Retail this past January, which will serve as the basis for exploring Alibaba's New Retail concept. Introduced last October, Alibaba's founder and chairman Jack Ma said, "Pure eCommerce will be reduced to a traditional business and replaced by the concept of New Retail — the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain."
While Alibaba works to integrate technology into the Intime Retail locations for the purposes of enhancing the consumer experience, this will be the first time the New Retail concept has been executed on a large scale. Whether or not this move is a success, the retail world will likely be watching and waiting with bated breath.
The battle between brick-and-mortar and online shopping has been fraught with back-and-forth decisions for retailers about how to best proceed. While some retail giants like JCPenney, Macy's and HHGregg have announced plans to close several physical stores, many are questioning what the future will be for retail. Alibaba's founder is throwing a new idea in the form of New Retail into the ring.