Recent forecasts about the state of retail in 2025 have ranged from rosy to apocalyptic.

Some observers have gazed into their crystal balls and foreseen significant growth in the size of the online retail market. Hexa Research expects the size of the online grocery retail market to roughly double to $26.87 billion between 2017 and 2025. Others strike a more pessimistic note and argue that such widely-anticipated, explosive online growth will exact a tremendous toll on the physical side of the business. A 2018 report by the investment bank UBS expects that between 30,000 and 80,000 physical retail stores will close in the US alone by 2025.

This whitepaper explores strategic paths to success in 2025. Success between now and 2025 will depend on how well a retailer integrates three powerful enablers – technology, talent, and partners – and decides what role it wants to play for its customers. This means that retailers still have the opportunity to write their own futures, but will need to chart their own courses along these paths.