NRF 2023 Wash-Up: What were our highlights?
NRF trend reports are everywhere this week, so we thought we’d do something different. Highlight the 5 things we actually enjoyed most about NRF.
Back in 2013, technology investor Marc Andreessen claimed “retail stores will completely die”. The future, as he saw it, would be solely eCommerce. Just seven years later, his claim was to be rigorously tested by the shock of a multi-year global pandemic.
The last two years have been crucial in showing us the sticking power of stores. With doors shut and people homebound, many thought eCommerce’s triumph moment had arrived.
It soon became clear that this new reality of customers needing to shop where they want, when they want and how they want, required one essential component.
Over 90% of transactions continue to touch a store in some way. For the increasing amount of service and fulfillment activities that digital retail requires, the store has become the central hub.
With this, executive and management teams across the country have realized the vital need for agility in their stores. They need to move quickly to cope with changing consumer demand and local conditions, while ensuring they’re as resource-efficient as possible.
The need for stores to be multifunctional and agile presents a whole new wave of challenges. Despite being the core of the business, stores and store teams have seen years of underinvestment. Ever-increasing activities are pushed through outdated management practices that flood stores with countless reports and tasks. In-store customer engagement is at an all-time low. Employee turnover is so high it’s become known as the great resignation, impacting retail more than most.
How can retail executives meet these challenges and save their stores? Many businesses have already done this by applying agile methods to their operations. Retailers are now asking themselves whether they can employ these rapidly-moving agile practices, that are both data- and people-centric, to their physical stores. The result is Agile Store Operations.
This report shares many of the stories and practical steps we’ve seen many of the world’s retailers we work with take to achieve Agile Store Operations in their many thousands of stores.
In addition we provide resources, data, tactics, and supporting information on how retailers can achieve this business-critical transition, solving these new-world challenges before they become too deeply embedded. They can be found in our Resource Center.