It's time to look back on our 2019 predictions to see how accurate we were. Death of Apple? Nope. The departure of Walmart from DTC? Yep. Acceleration of customer expectations? YES. Lots to unpack in our first episode of the year. Listen now!

Main Takeaways:

  • Brian and Phillip are journeying back to our 2019 predictions episode, episode 92, to analyze which predictions came true.
  • As of 2019, Apple is still alive and somehow thriving
  • Second-hand commerce is growing and will continue to grow, probably forever.
  • Has social mobility eliminated the middle class?
  • Epcot is its shadow self, and Phillip is sad about it

Predictions Check: Back To February For 2019 Predictions:

  • Phillip's first prediction of 2019 was to declare that 2019 was going to be peak Apple, but it looks like the tech company/over-priced lifestyle brand is not slowing down.
  • Exact prediction: "We're going to start to see the beginning of the end of Apple as a dominant force and a player in both culture and technology.
  • Some of the best Apple's best moves in 2019: The new MacBook Pro, and the AirPod Pros with noise cancellation.
  • Phillip has decided to go as far as maybe to go full Apple and switch to an iPhone

Boring Retail is Over: Is The World Better Off?

  • One of Brian's first predictions of the year was that 2019 would be the end-all-be-all of boring retail
  • Brian says that it was more of a co-prediction, and was made because of the "retail apocalypse," which is not a real thing.
  • What the whole fear-mongering around the retail apocalypse was, was an indicator of the end of boring retail (or the boring middle), which is a mixed bag.
  • What the retail apocalypse is beyond all the talk, is a transformation in the types of retail that will continue to exist
  • But here's a question to think about: What does boring retail even mean?

Walmart Changed Its Game: Added Fun Brands:

  • Walmart made significant moves this year, trying to shed it's low-cost, low-quality reputation, and it might have started making waves in that direction.
  • And maybe to some extent, they did succeed, they've escaped the boring middle, but are they on par with other grocers like Trader Joe's?
  • Walmart's best quality also tends to hurt them, like endless selection, which produces long lines and cluttered shelves.
  • Walmart did add some newer brands to its portfolio this year: Eloquii, Bonobos, and Modcloth.
  • Though all of those brands do seem to be losing Walmart lots of money.

Second Hand Commerce is Rising: And People Are Giving Back:

  • One of the biggest trends in 2019, was the rise of two things: second-hand commerce and charitable commerce.
  • These two trends point to a few things: one that more people are comfortable buying second-hand versions of the brands that they love, and that some brands are even willing to encourage that kind of brand engagement.
  • This is especially prevalent in luxury retail, where the second-hand market allows consumers who may not have otherwise been able to afford luxury brands to get to participate in the brand's conversation.
  • This prediction came from things like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff making a massive investment into StockX
  • We also saw the rise of online resellers like Poshmark and ThredUP, which represents a massive shift in the conversation around re-sellers.

Transportation Repurposing: Building Communities In Travel Hubs:

  • One of Phillip's prediction's for 2020 was that travel hub would build community-based retail spaces around their locations.
  • So, was the Virgin USA's move to build a community around their trains indicative of a more significant trend in commerce?
  • Maybe. Airports have seen massive growth in retail spaces, and have become a hub for shopping, and it's only going to grow as travel becomes more accessible.
  • And as Phillip points out: it does not just travel hubs, malls are seeing a lot of repurposed space.
  • Malls are repurposing retail space for movie theaters or waterparks and or a megachurch.