Apple's iPhone sales are slowing. The total smart phone market is saturated and pulling back. Tablet sales have been in decline for 8 straight quarters. TV sales continue to drop, automotive is up but only as replacement - net drivers are shrinking.
But... air travel is up, restaurant sales are up... consumer spending is rising at its fastest pace in 9 years. So how can consumers be spending more and yet buying less?
Simple. The Experience Economy has really arrived. The value that is now building is for the experiences themselves, more specifically participation, personalization, sensation and memory. Don't believe me? Check out this article from the Washington Post.
So okay, that's great if you own the wine-tasting-painting-blowing-drying bar but what if you are a retailer? Shift to retailing experiences and then bundle those experiences with stuff... then sell the heck out of that stuff.
Great, so how do you do that?
Determine what your guests want to participate in using products that you sell, uncover how those products can be personalized for them (hopefully even on-site. Consider the Converse Custom Shoe Bar), generate specific sensory moments that relate to that participation, and then sell them mementos so that they can remember (consume again) the experience.
Be bad ass.