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Retail Innovation, or a PR Exercise?

John Lenihan
Ice Sale

Retail is currently marred by leadership turmoil, sales and foot traffic declines, store closings and employee layoffs. Their troubles can easily be traced to the lack of innovation.

Herein lies the challenge of innovation as the radical transformation of business models versus incremental improvement in product and services. The former is a strategic mandate; the latter is a PR exercise.

The most successful retailers today are companies that didn't exist a decade ago.

They swiftly introduce and test new business models, new distribution and supply management practices, and introduce a novel go-to-market strategy and audience-building tactics.

Success is aided by not having to deal with the restrictions of a large, legacy organization. Nor do these innovation businesses focus on making small tweaks to protect and preserve the process that exists in their existing business and market.

Modern retail companies start from the self-disruption premise. They know that if they themselves do not constantly cannibalize their own business, someone else will.

This cannibalize-versus-protect model represents a paradigm shift. It is the difference between asking "What does the store of the future look like?" and "Why is it a store?"

Innovation will fail if they are organized, resourced and governed to protect the incumbents' existing business model.

The use of data, technology, prototyping, consumer insight or distribution, if filtered through the premise that their job is to make a faster horse, – ignores that there is an entirely new way to move – the engine.

Innovation should be set up as R&D departments, meant to continuously challenge the parent company business model. 

What they lack in scale, they make up in having small groups of fans who beta-test their experimental products.

Companies like Nike, Adidas and Lululemon are known for their strong legacy R&D departments built around experimentation with new business models as an ongoing strategic capability, and not as a matter of tactical execution.

As a closing thought we all need reminding that It's easier for companies to come up with new ideas than to let go of old ones.

Co-op Bank Concept announced as global finalist

Co-op Bank Concept

We are delighted to announce that the Co-Op Bank kiosk concept has been shortlisted for the Euroshop International Retail Design Award. RCG and RD (Retail Dimension) partnered together, with CoOp Bank to explore an experiential kiosk concept that achieved new-join ups, initiation of product sales through digital, and capabilities to support marketing and social media through a fun and interactive initiative.


In the Press

Local Media Highlights Monday 12 March to Tuesday 20 March 2018


The Daisy apartments: why did we do it?

The team behind the Daisy apartment building respond to the fury it unleashed from Mike Hosking.

Daisy exists because Ockham Residential set a goal of building an international best practice sustainable urban residence. Tāmaki Makaurau is maturing into the South Pacific’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan city. Across many sectors there is a collective transformational spirit to aim high and look confidently to the future. 

(Source The SPINOFF)


Banks lending up to 90pc again, broker says

A move to relax loan-to-value restrictions has altered the mortgage market.

As of this year, banks have been able to lend 15 per cent of their new lending to borrowers with deposits of 20 per cent or less of a property purchase price. That is compared to 10 per cent under the previous rules.

Property investors also now need only 35 per cent, compared to 40 per cent under the old rules.

(Source Stuff)


Big plan for 23,300 new homes in Auckland making slow progress

A $600 million scheme to help Auckland's housing crisis by bringing forward 23,300 new houses in the north and south of the city is still some time away.

In July last year, Prime Minister Bill English unveiled a new financing model at Drury in South Auckland for people to buy cheaper homes in exchange for paying higher rates and water bills.

(Source Herald)


BNZ’s chief economist Tony Alexander says New Zealanders are too used to high growth and points out a myriad of potential economic issues he calls 'blind spots'

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says Kiwis have become too complacent about having a strong economy and is warning of multiple “blind spots” that could disrupt economic growth.

Alexander says no one is expecting New Zealand’s economy to struggle much in the coming years, bar a nuclear or a large-scale trade war.

(Source Interest)

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