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Retail Therapy


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An insightful review of the collapse of the traditional retail sector in the West, and a roadmap for its potential recovery.

Table of Contents

Introduction - an overview of the crisis Part 1: Retail A!pocalypse Now! 1.A tale of two bankruptcies 2.The great stores meltdown 3.No longer a nation of shopkeepers 4.Dark Satanic Malls 5.My kingdom for a horse - the knock-on impact on branded suppliers 6.The next big short? 7.Killing more jobs than China 8.A global problem 9.The impact of public policy Part 2: The Causes of the Crisis in Retailing 10.The classical retailing model 11.The rise of e-commerce 12.The broader impact of the technological revolution 13.The generational revolution 14.The death of brands 15.Passing peak consumption 16.Conquering the final mile 17.The dawn of a virtual world 18.This is your fridge talking 19.Algorithm'n'blues 20.Veni, Vidi, 3D 21.See you later, incubator 22.Direct is best 23.Retail derailed 24.Bankers away! 25.Can the last one out switch off the lights? Part 3: How to Save Retail 26.The importance of simplicity 27.Go with the flow 28.Cannibalise, cannibalise, cannibalise! 29.Lean and mean 30.Brand theatre 31.The third space 32.Re-tech 33.Becoming the conversation 34.The price is right 35.Inclusive is the new exclusive 36.Virtuous reality 37.The hacker way 38.Reinventing shared shopping spaces 39.Advice to governments 40.Summary - the new rules for survival

About the Author

Mark Pilkington is an experienced retail chief executive and strategy consultant, based in the UK. After graduating from INSEAD, he joined Courtaulds, later becoming CEO of Gossard where he was responsible for initiating the huge global success of Wonderbra. He then founded - the world's first direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand, with the backing of Marks & Spencer.


Retail Therapy bristles with alarming numbers. Before I finished the book I was recommending it to others, particularly because of his powerful analysis of the crisis. It is worth listening to the fixes - some of them controversial - he believes will cure the industry's ills. -- Anne Ashworth * The Times *
This is the book that many people will have been waiting for - an explanation of what is happening to retailing, and what can be done about it. For entrepreneurs, policy makers and everyone who has a strong interest in where and how they buy things, it will be fascinating reading. -- Lord Hague of Richmond * Former UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs *
If you want to understand just how serious the crisis facing retail really is, look no further than Retail Therapy. For those who really care about the future of retail, this book is compulsory reading. Mark tells it how it is and doesn't pull any punches; a must-read. -- Andrew Busby * Founder & CEO of Retail Reflections; Forbes Contributor; Founder of the Retail Advisory Board *
The most current, most thorough review of retailing I have read in a long time . . . a must-read for every retailer or wannabe retailer out there, whether a millennial or baby boomer. Read it now - you won't regret even a minute of this juicy story. -- Terri Fisher * President & CEO, Platinum Coast Retail Consulting; Former Vice President of Merchandising, Macy's/Federated *
Retail Therapy is crammed with telling insights, and Mark Pilkington provides a to-do list that every investor, retailer, employee, supplier and customer should read, learn and inwardly digest. -- Jonathan Story * Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy, Insead *
An experienced retail operator and a very clear thinker, Mark Pilkington has described where retail is today and why and how it should adapt to rapid change. -- Maurice Helfgott * Executive Chairman Amery Capital; Chairman Brightpearl; Former Director of Marks & Spencer PLC *
A well-written book, which offers a factual and insightful account of the retail landscape as it stands today, and importantly brings to life realistic and actionable solutions for tomorrow. A great read . . . I am convinced it is a winner! -- Ray Nadeau * Principal, White Space Marketing; Former President of Vanity Fair Brands and Playtex Apparel *
This book is a fascinating and timely approach. It is clear that the traditional high street is suffering, and some aspects of government policy are making things worse. -- Sir Vince Cable, MP * Leader of the UK's Liberal Democrat Party *

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