If there’s one thing that always stays the same in retail, it’s change. New stores open, others go out of business. Market leaders experiment with larger or smaller store formats. They change the layout in their stores and launch new private brands on their shelves. Loyalty programs are tweaked, new offers and affinity programs designed. Supply chains become more automated and efficient, resulting in increased product availability and improvements in inventory management.But in reality there are few really big innovations in retail. Most of the change we see year after year is relatively incremental. True transformation in this sector comes along only once every few decades. And when these transformational events occur, they nearly always create new winners and leave a trail of casualties in their wake.
Retail 1.0 & 2.0
Retail 1.0: Birth of the modern supermarket. Retail 1.0 had its start at the beginning of the 20th century. In the grocery business, Piggly Wiggly was arguably the earliest and most influential innovator, offering the first true self-service grocery store—at least in America. In 1916, at a time when grocery shoppers presented their orders to clerks at a desk who then gathered the goods from the store shelves, often hidden from view, Clarence Saunders founded the oddly named Piggly Wiggly in Memphis, Tennessee. Piggly Wiggly Corporation patented the self-service format in 1917 and its franchising model effectively propagated these ideas at high speed. By 1932, there were over 2,500 Piggly Wiggly stores nationwide.
Retail 2.0: Hyper-size me. Fast-forward fifty years to 1963, and the birth of the modern hypermarket. Carrefour opened its doors in the Paris suburbs around the same time the first Walmart appeared in Arkansas in the U.S., (although it would still be a number of years before the company offered fresh food). The key idea here was “everything under one roof,” with that roof being a pretty big one. The modern hypermarket was a radical step ahead in terms of space utilization, productivity, efficiency, and cost management. The value for customers increased dramatically through lower prices and greater choice. The format more or less took over the grocery sector in France and Spain within 15 years, and has subsequently spread across the world, including to emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Thailand.
Retail 3.0 & Retail 4.0
Retail 3.0: The rise of e-commerce. Leap ahead another few decades, to a time when big box hypermarkets and category killers were firmly entrenched as the kings of the retail world. The year is 1995, and the first modern e-commerce transaction is only a couple of years old. A young man named Jeff Bezos decides that the Internet is a perfect channel to sell bulky items like books. Yet Bezos’ innovation was no ordinary bookstore. He had the foresight to create a much broader e-commerce universe. E-grocery, however, has had mixed fortunes. The first e-grocery players emerged in 1997, hot on the heels of Amazon. Webvan, named as the largest dot-com flop in history, serves as a cautionary tale.
Retail 4.0: Multi-channel, or Omni-channel retailing. With searching and buying on PC, tablet and mobile phones becoming near ubiquitous, brick and mortar retailers are experimenting with virtual stores. Some are even converting their stores, or parts of them, to fully-functioning warehouses or “dark stores”. The role of the box, whether big, small or online, is suddenly changing. Although it is not immediately apparent what shape Retail 4.0 will take, or which company will get assigned credit for heralding this new age, we have selected seven trends to watch in this space with a focus on retail grocery. These trends bring into sharp relief the future role technology will assume in the business of retail, even for the most traditional brick and mortar players.
Research beyond the business plan
We also ensure that the whole team is included in the process and that no one is left out during the turnaround. The most crucial part is ensuring some degree of financial stability during the turnaround.
This is the most worrying part for most clients going through or needing a turnaround; it means that incoming cash flows will change completely. We help ease these issues through fantastic financial projections and a realistic view of what can be accomplished.
Creating a list of potential qualified prospects for your service or product can be daunting when you’re beginning your business. However, this needs to be considered as a follow up on your Target Market Analysis so you can hit the ground running.