Today the top trends forecaster in the world just made two astonishing predictions.
First, a look at Celente’s first prediction
Brick-and-mortar retail poised for On-trend comeback
By Gerald Celente, Publisher of Trends Research
October 5 (King World News) – Brick-and-mortar businesses, emphasizing quality and value delivered with a human touch, will grow stronger in the months and years ahead as chains continue their downward spiral…
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The dramatic decline of shopping malls, a trend we forecast in 1997 when we warned that mall culture would degenerate in coming decades, often is attributed to online shopping’s rise. But as the Trends Research Institute has been forecasting, shifting demographics, a stagnant economy and an overbuilt retail sector – created decades ago for a thriving middle class that has dramatically shrunk – also have fueled the trend.
As the “bigs” struggled to survive during the last decade, mergers and acquisitions swept the retail landscape. Cutting costs to enhance profitability and focusing on a one-size-fits-all corporate strategy, rather than producing diverse and creative products, have resulted in a deeply homogenized retail landscape.
CHOICE IS DEAD
After years of consolidation, product choice has been sharply limited throughout the broad business spectrum… retail, manufacturing, services, communications, etc. As products are eliminated from shelves because they don’t drive profits hard and fast enough, and services fall victim to the same logic, new opportunities emerge for savvy OnTrendpreneurs® who identify the underserved market gaps left by the “bigs.”
From grocery stores, whose mainstay brands like Hormel Foods and Campbell’s Soup have lost appeal with younger audiences, to clothing retailers like Macy’s and JCPenney, whose sales continually decline, major chains have sacrificed new-product development.
In the big-box world, profit pressures compel major corporations to repurpose, aggregate and target-market essentially the same product multiple ways. These pressures have pushed major corporations further away from aggressive research-and-development pursuits. After years of frantic nonstop merger/acquisition and corporate-takeover activity, the available pool of original products, services and content is greatly diminished.
And while struggling retailers may be closing brick-and-mortar stores and malls at a record pace, mom-and-pop businesses on Main Street will experience a revival. OnTrendpreneurs® who understand how to create consumer environments with a personal touch and unique product lines will be on trend to stand apart from the bottom-line merger/acquisition culture so pervasive today.
Yes, online shopping will continue to grow, but not in all categories.
Brick-and-mortar businesses are here to stay. The boutique business model – a personalized business that reflects the quality and uniqueness of the market it serves – is the antidote to the slow death of giant retailers who fail to recognize emerging trends and fail to provide value that reflects consumer needs and interests.
The “bigs” took the style out of shopping. New generations of consumers, especially millennials, are craving a shopping “experience” that speaks to them.
In the 1980s and ’90s, many Main Street mom-and-pop stores were put out of business by malls, which became community gathering places for shopping, fun and dining. Today, that trend has reversed: The decline of malls will give rise to brick-and-mortar businesses on Main Street, especially in towns near major metropolitan areas.
Prediction 2: What will save rural America’s decline…
Rural towns in decline. What saves them?
Across rural America during the last 30 years, agri-business monopolies put small farmers out of business, factories closed and once-valuable natural resources were all but replaced with alternatives.
And then the Great Recession of 2008 hit, dealing another crushing blow.
Just a generation ago, many urban areas, not rural communities, were cauldrons of poverty, crime and broken families. Today, the trend has reversed. America’s small, rural towns and their inhabitants are now in turmoil.
Measuring quality-of-life indicators that include stable families, educational attainment, teen births, reliance on welfare, unemployment, chronic disease and opioid addiction levels, among others, rural America is on a downward trend.
A Wall Street Journal report found that, in 2013, more people died in the most sparsely populated US counties than were born. Moreover, rural residents are dying younger than the rest of the population.
That hasn’t happened since comprehensive records began to be kept in the 1930s. Rural US population has declined for five straight years.
Overall, small towns in the central US are locked in a tailspin of unemployment, poverty and family breakdown that has long plagued inner cities.
As cities become overpopulated and too expensive, rural areas within striking distance of airports, major cities and surrounded by natural beauty will again become appealing, especially for young families.
States, cities and towns that develop new economic models to promote themselves as tourist destinations, attractive bedroom communities, specialized education centers or other niches can realize population and economic growth.
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