Main Street America invited me to write about the future of retail in their annual report, State of Main. Of course I said yes, because I knew I could talk all about small towns.
There are a lot of experts on the retail industry. Many talk about the wave of retail closures. Most are focused on how it affects the big box retailers. Only a few of them even thought about the opportunities for smaller, local retail. Because I'm the one who cares about small towns, I always come back to how this could affect small towns and rural people. And that's the focus of my piece.
I do this with all big trends, whether it's about retail, business, art or agriculture or something else that looks like it matters to rural. I do this because I'm on a mission. My mission is to help you shape a brighter future for your town no matter what the negative people do, giving you practical steps you can put into action right away.
There are a lot of threads in that Future of Retail piece that may sound familiar, if you've been keeping up:
Retail's Big Split
How technology makes purchase decisions for us
The general consumer trend to shop small
You know me, though. It's full of action steps:
Actions for local leaders and officials
Actions for small retailers
Actions for communities and organizations
And stories. Some you'll know, like Tionesta Market Village, but some may be new to you, like Zuni, New Mexico.