Summer 2017. In the US, the retail carnage continues, with each week bringing another story of store closures and bankruptcies. Having vanquished all but the most scrappy book, electronics, and mall stores, Amazon is making its move into brick and mortar stores, and mulling its plans for pharmacy. Neiman Marcus can’t even get itself bought. And Nordstrom is taking itself private. Talk of retail reinvention is everywhere. Notably absent in much of the conversation are explorations addressing the most crucial and enduring parts of the retail equation: + creating covetable products; + having a clear and differentiated brand (what, as a merchant, do you stand for); + good old customer service. Instead, much of the talk has centered on changing up the “retail experience”.…