Target and Casper, Retail is now like Telecom

Retailers are now a lot like broadband providers
Casper sells a mattress that rolls up and comes in a box and has rave reviews as well as a massive marketing budget which we’ve witnessed on the web, TV and radio. The company bills itself as the Internet’s famous mattress.

Target is a retailer with nearly 2,000 stores under increasing pressure from the Internet’s favorite reseller, Amazon.

For years, people in telecom have discussed why carriers like AT&T and Verizon don’t want to be purely “dumb pipe” providers, they want to provide more enhanced services such as home security, business firewalls via NFV, OTT alternatives to Skype and more. That more is quite often programming aka content aka video programming.

Bottom line, retail is now like the telecom business where retailers need to diversify from distribution to content. In the same way, retailers need to diversify from distribution to products.

Carriers need to diversify because broadband is a commodity. Bricks and mortar stores need to diversify because this channel is becoming less interesting/desirable to consumers.

Thus the reason Target wanted to purchase Casper for a billion dollars, couldn’t and ended up making a $75 million investment instead.

Bottom line: retail is getting slammed by online – primarily Amazon and retailers need to look to offer unique, branded products which can be sold across multiple channels.

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