"Can't see the wood for the trees" is an old saying that refers to obsession with detail at the expense of understanding the overall picture.
There are plenty of "trees" confusing our view of retailing. Take pop-ups, drones, mobile access, customer enhancement programs, direct source buying, robots, social media - and the list goes on. In the midst of all these alternatives the following quote from Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos, has a great message -
“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”
Bezos could easily have been talking about the core customer desires for great service and cheaper prices. Identifying what is not going to change and then working out how you can support and enhance that core stability, might just be a good way of choosing a path for the future in many different aspects of business.