Retail words of the year

Michelle Graff

On Tuesday, Oxford Dictionaries named its 2014 “Word of the Year,” the orderly amassing of letters that, according to the professional wordsmiths at Oxford, has “attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date.

Want to guess what it is? Were you thinking “selfie?” Please, that’s so 2013.

Oxford crowned “vape” the word of the year in 2014. Vape can be used as a noun or a verb (but, then again, can’t almost anything these days?) and refers to an e-cigarette device (n.) or the physical act of breathing an e-cigarette’s vapor (v.).

Word of the year runners-up included normcore, a trend in which unfashionable clothing is worn as a fashion statement (clearly hipsters’ habits are creeping out of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and into our daily lexicon); slacktivism, when one’s political activism is limited to, for example, liking a cause on Facebook; and bae, a term of endearment for one’s significant other.

All this nerdy word talk near year’s end got me thinking about the trends that shaped retailing in 2014, and the words we use to define them.

At first, I was going to make this blog a list of three, or perhaps even five, words that sum up the year for jeweler. People love lists nowadays, don’t they? The 10 wedding dresses weirder than Solange Knowles, the 50 best memes of Kim Kardashian’s naked posterior, the five cat videos one can’t live without … we just can’t get enough, apparently.

But then I thought, lists be damned. I am going to do this one at a time.

The first word that came to mind when I applied the retail lens to Oxford’s Word of the Year exercise was omnichannel, giving customers a seamless shopping experience whether they are in the store, shopping from a desktop or mobile device, or browsing a brand via social media.

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Source National Jeweler