The retail industry is in the grip of a revolution powered by digital technology. This will be as big in its effects as the mercantile revolution that saw the birth of retailing as we know it, and the Industrial Revolution that kicked off the modern era.
Reshaping Retail analyzes the origins and effects of the digital revolution in retail and offers clear solutions for retail leaders of today. Combining frontline despatches from retailers and technologists across the world with the day–to–day client service experiences of the authors, it clearly demonstrates how customer empowerment now threatens all of the means of value creation which have underpinned an entire industry sector.
Technology has gone from supporting and enabling the retail business system to subverting it. This comprehensive review outlines the possible retail landscape of the near future and offers urgent, practical advice about the transformation retailers must undertake to survive.
1 A Brief History of Retailing 7
The mercantile era 11
The modern era 13
The digital era 22
2 Technology: The Crucial Retail Enabler 27
How retailers add value 30
Connecting the chain 33
Knowing what you know 39
A succession of evolutions 43
3 Game–Changing Technologies 47
The next era of technology change 57
What it means for consumers 86
4 Consumer Empowerment 91
The consumer decision journey 94
Customer empowerment tools 95
Retailers response to consumers changing behavior 103
5 Toward a New Retailing Paradigm 113
The changing role of the physical store 116
New contenders 128
The power of information productivity 135
6 The Future of Retail 143
Stand–alone archetypes 146
Building on the stand–alone models 155
7 A Call to Action 165
The way forward 170
Making it happen 181
About the Authors 193
Stefan Niemeier is a Director of McKinsey & Company and leads its European Technology in Retail group. He has advised retailers around the globe and across many retail sub–sectors. Stefan holds a PhD in Economics and a Master in Business Administration.
Andrea Zocchi is a Director of McKinsey & Company where he leads the Consumer Practice in Southern Europe. Andrea is also an adjunct professor at IMT – Institute for Advanced Studies – in Lucca (Italy), where he holds a course on advanced problem–solving techniques for PhD students. Andrea holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and prior to joining McKinsey, he worked for Hewlett Packard Italy.
Marco Catena is an Associate Principal of McKinsey & Company. He works with retail and mobile telecommunications players on commercial and performance transformation topics. Marco holds a PhD in Industrial Management and a Degree in Management Engineering.