Summer NAMM Was A Success, Led By Education And Entertainment

Last month’s Summer NAMM at Music City Center in Nashville can be summed up in two words: “Education and Entertainment.” NAMM made sure plenty was offered on both ends, with the Breakfast Sessions on Thursday and Friday being perhaps two of the most important ever presented to MI retailers. In all, NAMM reported 14,284 industry members attended the three-day show from July 13 to 15, a 2-percent increase compared to last year.

There was one major theme of both Breakfast Sessions: MI retailers must focus on customer experience over everything else — including even product knowledge — to thrive in the future.

NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond referred to a changing retail landscape in his opening remarks on July 13, noting the constant headlines of retailers closing shop and the disruption caused by Amazon’s announced purchase of Whole Foods Market as “One of the biggest stories of our time.”

However, this does not mean retail is dying, author Doug Stephens, known as the Retail Prophet, said following Lamond’s remarks to kick off Summer NAMM.

“Retail isn’t dead. It’s just shedding its skin,” Stephens said during the Breakfast Session entitled “The Retail Store of the Future.” “The stakes have risen and you can’t be a mediocre retailer. It’s not that retail is dying. It’s that bad retail is dying.”

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