Macys just recently announced that they are closing 100 of their 700 stores.
- Consumer spending is not down, just spending at traditional retail stores
- More people are buying online, where Amazon accounts for 2/3 of all Internet retail sales
- Yes, Amazon sells twice as much as all the other 2 million online retailers combined
- Nothing lasts forever; Macys had a good run, and now it’s got to figure out how to reinvent itself
- The good news from Macys is that they beat analysts’ estimates; sales declined less than they have in previous years. That doesn’t sound too good to me
- When today’s consumers are not purchasing based on price, they look for an experience; brick and mortar stores may need to become more than resellers, they may need to consider how to become destinations
So how does this relate to education?
This is the world our graduates will be entering. Rapid change. Reinventing yourself. Boom and bust. We probably can’t develop those skills in our students if we are teaching to the test. Speaking selfishly, if we want to prepare the next generation so that they can support our retirement, something has to change.
This is the world we are operating in. We’ve seen gut wrenching changes in industry after industry, in market sector after sector. Established institutions brought to their knees. Layoffs. Success for the disrupters. What makes us think we can continue to do the same things we’ve always done in education? One way or another, we’re likely to see the demise of industrial age education. Maybe we all need to update our skills and become change agents.
For those of us who create and distribute content or software to education, our buyers are the same people who are now looking for experiences, otherwise they just buy online based on price. A select few organizations will be large enough to thrive by selling the latest cheapest technology. For the rest of us, we’ve got to make the experience of using our products and services so effective, so easy, and so enjoyable, that schools and teachers keep coming back.