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Retail Apocalypse

With more than 200 million Prime members worldwide, Amazon.com is siphoning off frequent shoppers from bricks-and-mortar stores. Huge debt and management misteps did not help, leading to the shutdown of more than 45,000 U.S. stores.

Grayfields

The retail sector collapse, with more than 45,000 store closures since 2007, is accelerating due to the pandemic, leading to hulking, deserted malls, called “grayfields.” Another 500 malls are expected to close in years ahead.

Supersonic Aircraft

The era of supersonic travel is once again on approach. Barring a bumpy ride, passengers will board a United supersonic flight by 2029 and travel from LA to Sydney in six hours and 45 minutes.

Darwin on Steroids

There’s little doubt that the human body is changing under our very eyes. Human evolution is accelerating, leading to bulkier athletes, taller people and more precocious young adults. Charles Darwin, you’re so right.

NFTs

NFTs, non-fungible tokens, have taken the art market by storm. NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” digital assets that can be purchased and sold like any other piece of property but have no tangible form of their own.

Ghost Franchises

MrBeast, a 22-year-old YouTube star with 54 million subscribers, opened 300 restaurants virtually overnight and sold more than a million sandwiches in the first two months by using such new services as Virtual Dining Concepts.

Air Rage

Incidences of air rage have increased since the 1980s, becoming unprecedented in 1990s. Conditions leading to air rage: intoxication, tight seating, full flights, fewer flight attendants, and a marked decline in human decency and civility.

CRM on the Mac

We have good news to report. Our past two updates in 2013 and 2017 lamented the fact that the Mac was weak in database management, specifically CRM-type solutions. Since then, two recent arrivals, Airtable and...

Supersizing

A trend kickstarted by The Cheesecake Factory in 1978 has resulted in a doubling of food portion sizes in the past two decades. Egged on by aggressive marketers, the impact on American waistlines is severe.

Singles Nation

Married couple households have been on a steady decline since 1930, when they made up 84% of all households. In 2020 that figure was 49%. America, and other countries, are becoming a nation of singles.

Hot Peppers (Spicy Food)

Led by constituents of the experience generation, spicy food and hot sauces have begun their inexorable assault on the senses. Despite often-heard protestations, eating spicy food will be as common as white bread and mayo.

Virtual Reality

Investments topping $3 billion in 2017 created unrealistic expectations for the VR/AR market, which caused a venture-capital cooldown. The pandemic, however, led to a boom in virtual reality use in the workplace.

Sexing Up Bottled Water

Driven by health-conscious consumers, bottled water consumption in the U.S. has grown more than tenfold in the past three decades. That has opened up many new markets, including niche premium brands targeting experience seekers.

Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars have captured the headlines recently due to some unfortunate crashes. However, in many instances it was operator error that caused the accident. The auto industry marches on to a self-driving future.

Air Taxis

Meet George Jetson and his air taxi by Joby. Air taxis are predicted to be a $7 billion market by 2030. Already more than $2 billion has been poured into this market via SPAC mergers.

Energy Drinks

Time Compression has made on-demand energy a key part of daily living. The energy drink market, which only got its start in the 1987, is now a $93 billion industry hoping to pump you up.

Legalizing Marijuana

In 25 years, 35 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and 16 states have approved recreational use. A record 68% of Americans polled say the drug should be legalized.

Plant-Based Food

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are disrupting the food business, with realistic looking faux meats that even bleed like real beef. Retail sales of U.S. plant-based foods market reached $7 billion in 2020.

Digital Banking

The banking sector is under assault from challenger banks and the $42 billion venture capitalists are pouring into fintech startups worldwide annually. Big data and artificial intelligence could significantly disrupt the world’s financial system.

Emoji

The Apple iPhone popularized a Japanese contraction for “picture character” and turned it into a global phenomenon. Emojis are used by just about everyone on social media these days, and some messages contain only emojis.

Drones

Since debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010, drones have helped locate missing persons and capture spine-tingling surveillance videos. With three companies now approved to make drone deliveries, expect to seem see them everywhere.

Celebrity Worship Syndrome

One third of Americans are obsessed with celebrities, leading to a modern affliction dubbed Celebrity Worship Syndrome. This voyeurgasmic trend has accelerated since the arrival of smartphones and digital cameras.

Control Enthusiast

Here’s another fascinating lifestyle phenomenon: Control Enthusiasm. Spurred by a freedom from wires, and used to instant gratification offered by digital devices, consumers are demanding ever more control and thereby becoming difficult to please.

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