Confronted with an increasingly volatile and competitive environment, retailers and brands are turning to innovative strategies and tactics to succeed.

In this issue, we identify new growth pathways by breaking down old stereotypes while exploring unexpected leaders, unique partnerships and new ideas taking hold in our industry.

In “Busting the Millennial Myth,” we go to the source, Millennials themselves, to learn how retailers and brands should treat and market to them (hint, it starts with dropping “them”).

In “REI and the Battle for Black Friday,” we explore how one unconventional retailer—REI—is leading a growing group of brands and consumers in a backlash against Black Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, in “CPG Meets VC,” we detail how large consumer packaged goods players are turning to new outside partners—private equity and venture capital funds—to find and nurture the next great small brands.

And in “Wake Up Renewed,” we take a deeper dive into categories and products dreaming of big growth from consumers’ increased focus on rest and renewal, while “Categories on the Cusp of Greatness” offers a new lens to help identify the next big thing.

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

12 September 2016