Since the mid-2000s, I have made the argument that retailers must stop thinking in terms of their stores and instead, embrace the concept of an ecosystem. I first wrote about the concept in this 2013 research paper. Fast-forward to 2016, and Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, coined the term “the New Retail” to express how he and Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang and his team, would build the Alibaba Group ecosystem by first integrating online and offline through technology. In the three years since coining the term, Alibaba has expanded the scope and meaning of New Retail exponentially to encompass a way of living, communicating, sharing, building, teaching, consuming and making it easy to do business anywhere. New Retail is the new reality whether a company wants to accept it or not. (Make sure to watch the video clip from the movie Moneyball at the end of this article as the scene accurately describes conversations I’ve had with executives regarding the impact of New Retail on their companies.) Amazon and Walmart have certainly had a tremendous impact on the retail industry, as have retailers like Tesco, X5 Retail Group, Lazada and Target to name a few. However, Alibaba was the first company to define and aggressively move forward with the complete integration of online, offline, technology and logistics and the first to take all of the assets of their ecosystem: digital payments; logistics; B2C, B2B, D2C, B2B2C; cloud computing and data science; a marketing arm; and investments in brick and mortar environments to to create a legitimate “New Retail” model of how to make, move, sell, buy and deliver products. Read more at The Observer.