Retail in Asia


Accenture: Retailers must limber up to keep up

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Retailers need to limber up if they want to keep up. That’s the word from Accenture, which unveiled research showing “inflexible operating models” are holding retailers back when it comes to staying competitive and growing their businesses.

The consultancy surveyed 700 executives across 13 industries and nine regions about the process of creating “cost-competitive operating models and reinvesting in growth.”

Accenture said, “The findings highlight the need for retailers to become more agile — constantly learning about their customers and flexing to deliver relevant, engaging and useful interactions with consumers.

Although the report didn’t name any specific companies, there are plenty of fashion players working to remake their approach, from Ralph Lauren Corp. and its new “Way Forward” transformation initiative to Burberry and the new setup atop its corporate ladder.

“Retailers see inflexible operating models as a core challenge, with only 17 percent (compared to 25 percent of other industry respondents) saying they have an agile operating model that can adapt to consistently deliver on strategy and execute activities that drive value for the organization,” Accenture said.

But change is tough, and 46 percent of the retailers surveyed see technology as a barrier, while 42 singled out the cost of transformation and 42 percent pointed to the experience to lead the transformation as a hindrance.

(Source: WWD)