Upcoming trends in retail industry
The retail industry is one of the most promising and growing industries in the world serving probably the largest base of customers in the world. Over the period of time, this industry has gone through many changes as customers often changed their preferences and industry responded to such challenges. For example, there were trends within the industry which were based on offering low prices to the customers and almost every retailer had to respond to such situation by lowering the prices. Similarly, retailers also grew in size to offer almost everything under one roof so that customers are offered more flexibility and choice.
The emergence of brick and mortar business model further made changes to the existing trends within the industry by increasing the reach within the market. However, some of the latest changes and trends which are emerging within the industry are not directly related with the business but more of socio-political in nature. Retailers like Wal-Mart and NIKE are often accused of having unethical supply chains as such giants often force the small suppliers from the developing world to offer them products at really cheap cost.
In doing so such suppliers often force their employees to work overtimes and without pay besides not offering adequate facilities at their manufacturing sites. The consumers are now becoming more and more ethical and coupled with emergence of new concepts such as global supply chain; customers are now choosing those retailers which are considered to be ethically responsible. Consumers are becoming more and more ethical in nature and as such the new trends within the industry are shifting towards the socio-political aspects of doing the business.
As such retailers are now forced with little choice in terms of continuing their existing practices because the buying decisions of the buyers are increasingly becoming more ethical in nature. It is also critical to note that such issues are now been taken at the mass level and different organizations are advocating for the employees of the suppliers in developing countries because their existing condition is largely being viewed as a direct result of the practices of large retailers.
In a bid to cut costs and offer cheap products, retailers are believed to be taking undue benefits of the suppliers in developing countries therefore the next emerging trends within the industry would be based on how ethically large retailers tend to perform. As a business student I believe this trend clearly indicate to me that the retailing industry have to take into account the ethical side of doing the business and as such must also force their suppliers to offer facilities which are at least according to the established work practices all over the world.
This trend also indicate that the future generation of business students would be required to evaluate the international businesses not only within the perspective of cultural diversity only but also consider the ethical dimension of doing the business in international market. Further, it is also clear that the business students must develop and contribute towards the future research in the field of supply chain and how it can ethically be managed so that organizations can avoid negative publicity.