If you listen closely to most optimistic discussions about the future of retail, you’ll sense an underlying fear. It’s a fear that manifests in an over-reliance on futuristic technological advancements (Oh look, holograms are coming!) or on filling the room with exciting new statistics about the continued dominance of ecommerce — such as how online sales will continue to shatter records in 2018. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room is standing center stage and wagging its trunk for all to see. Grand predictions and superlatives about the ecommerce space can’t mask the audience’s feeling and understanding of some hard truths:…

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