Connectedness is the most powerful force shaping our world generally—and the retail and consumer products space specifically.

As we show in this issue of the Kurt Salmon Review, this phenomenon not only imposes new challenges and mandates, it also creates new opportunities.

Case in point: globalization. Clearly one of the biggest manifestations of our more connected world, globalization is coming full circle and shaping the industry in surprising ways. We detail why it makes sense for certain brands and categories to bring manufac- turing back to the United States. And on the opposite end of domestic manufacturing, we discuss why North American retailers should look beyond China to other Southeast Asian countries for international expansion.

Of course, any issue about connections would be remiss if it didn’t mention omnichannel—which is driving retailers and brands to forge tremendous connection points across channels. We describe how the grocery industry should approach omnichannel and take a closer look at the financials behind ship-from-store programs.

We hope you find this issue insightful and, as always, we look forward to hearing from you.