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At GMDC GM15 Conference RetailNet Group’s Dan O’Connor Forecasts Retail in 2020

May 29, 2015

Orlando, Fla., May 30, 2015 – During the Global Market Development Center’s General Merchandise Marketing Conference (GM15), Dan O’Connor, President & CEO of RetailNet Group (RNG), discussed the future of the consumer and retail industries, key drivers of retail change and key initiatives leading retailers are investing in today to be ready by 2020.

Entitled “Re-Discover Retail,” O’Connor explained the implications of the rapidly evolving retail environment.

“There are several very powerful economic, societal and political changes that will fundamentally reshape the consumer expectation," said O'Connor. "Among these is the overall long-term movement to accelerate spending on experiences while reducing overall merchandise share of spending growth. Another factor is the changing U.S. age distribution paired with very different economic expectations across generations and social strata.

"Think about the impact on sales of the average Millennials aging into peak consumption, while the Boomers age out,” said O’Connor.

These drivers paired with the technologic future will continue to change consumer behavior, expectations and retail vitality at a breathtaking speed. 

"Digital marketplace and other direct to consumer models will move about 25 percent of today’s retail sales from a store based self-service model where the consumer does the work. She comes to the store, picks the product, packs it and delivers it home. In the new world we retailers will do the pick, pack and ship,” said O'Connor.

RNG can see a winning model emerging: A three-legged structure blending revenues and profits from stores, digital retail and--perhaps the most critical capability--an automated marketing platform.


In addition to his roles at RNG, O’Connor was founder of Management Ventures, Inc. His current clients include many of the world’s largest and most influential brands, physical and digital retailers. He lead the Advanced Retail Strategy Program at UCLA’s Anderson School, has served on boards of Demandware, Outerwall and PRN. He is an active thought leader and speaker in the retail industry

O’Connor, GMDC’s VP Member Services Keith Wypysynski, and GMDC President Patrick Spear then announced a new partnership tool, the GMDC/RNG Insights Portal, which helps member companies accelerate merchandise planning, benchmark retail performance and answer the critical questions when building their businesses. To learn more, visit the portal.

Spear explained how the new GMDC/RNG Insights Portal provides a framework for year-round retail innovation.

“This remarkable partnership between GMDC and RNG goes beyond sharing retail knowledge into motivating members to be marketplace catalysts,” said Spear. “O’Connor’s presentation here at GM15 should spark and inspire members to think about their current marketing process and determine how they should adjust future strategies. After the conference, members can pair the GMDC/RNG Insights Portal with additional tools the association offers, such as the GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy, in order to continue on the path of growth.”

The conference is taking place in Orlando through June 1. The next GM Marketing Conference will be held June 10, 2016 to June 14, 2016 in Orlando. GMDC will host its 2015 Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference October 1-5, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix, Ariz.