The dynamic trading environment continuously requires a change in today’s business models and distribution structures in order to keep pace with competitors. International big players are conquering the market with a strong customer focus, fast delivery times and a wide variety of products and are more present than ever, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Retail faces many challenges

But it is not only major international players that are forcing retailers to rethink things. The coronavirus crisis is also leaving lasting traces that retailers must respond to if they want to position themselves for the future. Only a few sub-segments profit from the crisis. The big winner is e-commerce. Consumers have come to know and appreciate the convenience this provides, so this trend is likely to continue after the pandemic. In contrast, the textile trade is one of the big losers. The already struggling brick-and-mortar fashion trade is struggling with decreasing productivity per unit area, growing online market shares as well as a decreasing visitor frequency. The “desolation” of the city centres contributes to this trend. These trends are affecting much of the industry. Retailers need to reorient themselves amidst the coronavirus pandemic and find a new balance. Key aspects include:

  • Driving digitalisation – implementing IT solutions to create added value with data
  • Reviewing previous locations and product ranges
  • Analysing changing customer behaviour and understanding the customer needs derived from it
  • Putting the customer at the centre of all activities along the entire customer journey
  • Interacting with the customer to build genuine customer loyalty and trust
  • Creating attractive omnichannel concepts that serve customers where they are.
  • Defining a strategy for increasing online platforms that allows for the best possible participation in this trend.
  • Making structural adjustments – new attractive store concepts that invite people to stay longer in an attractive, vital city centre
  • Creating transparency in the supply chain – the consumer wants to know the ESG footprint of the product

Digitalisation and technology

In times of almost unlimited possibilities through digitalisation and technology, it is the task of our industry experts to proactively support you. The digital and mobile world not only shortens information paths, but also offers additional touchpoints to the customer. The resulting transparency can be used as a decisive competitive advantage. For example, shopping basket analyses in conjunction with artificial intelligence can be used to analyse and anticipate purchasing behaviour. Pricing needs to be reconfigured, and price control is shifted - with the help of analytics and data technology - to another level, from national control approaches to distribution channels, location groups, locations and product range components. The focus of customers on regionality and sustainability has long been a reality. In addition, you can also fulfil the customer’s desire for a “transparent” supply chain for transregional and international products. Along with industry expertise and market knowledge, we offer you extensive offerings of new, proprietary partner technologies and digital solutions. Together with our colleagues from KPMG Lighthouse Germany, Centre of Excellence for Data & Analytics, we offer you customised solutions for your business entity.

Customer transformation

Changing customer needs due to digitalisation require a redesign of the customer interface - both in B2C and B2B. As a result, new strategies in product development and customer interaction as well as completely new business models have to be developed. It is important to anticipate, recognise and understand the changing needs of customers. Adaptations must be defined and integrated into the existing business environment. All initiatives must be aligned with the customer. State-of-the-art technologies help to optimise customer-centric processes and to integrate adapted customer requirements into already existing processes.

We help you successfully navigate digital transformation while keeping your customersat the centre.

Chart (in German only)


Supply chain transformation

Trade tariffs, geopolitical influences, natural disasters and other unpredictable events create tension in the global supply chain. Especially as a retailer, you face the daily challenge of ensuring the availability of your goods. Most importantly, you are also increasingly faced with the challenge of explaining to your customer what ingredients a product has, where and under what conditions it was manufactured, or why you still carry it in view of its negative sustainability footprint. Products and supply chain thus have an impact on the consumer’s perception and positioning of your business entity.

Compliance, due to the Supply Chain Act likely to come in 2021, and the desire for less fragile, simpler supply chains requires a strategic realignment of your supply chain. To be able to react quickly to changes without suffering economic damage, it is essential to have an adaptable and flexible supply chain. In addition, your production and procurement costs can be reduced by optimising value creation networks. The same applies to the optimisation of customs duties, transfer prices and value added tax in your supply chain. By integrating new technologies into your supply chain, we also enable the automation of relevant sections of your supply chain and protect against productivity losses. For example, implementing real-time tracking creates increased transparency and, most importantly, a reduction in working capital within your organisation.

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