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The pace and scale of change ripping through the retail landscape represent a considerable opportunity for those tasked with readying their organisations for a profitable future in retail. There are multiple sources of complexity to contend with, but a by-product of this uncertainty is that it opens up many avenues for creative solutions. Energised by a need to respond to the disruptive aftershocks caused by new technology, the emergence of left-field competitors, the opaque activities of gatekeepers and the changing role of physical retail space – all whilst keeping data secure and flowing seamlessly through the business – today’s retailers face a strategic and operational puzzle to stretch even the most dextrous of minds.
No-one can deny the ambiguity surrounding the specifics and the likely speed of the changes that lie ahead, or how customers and retailers alike should – or will – react. However, a number of emerging macro trends are already apparent and appear set to characterise the retail future. These trends represent the logical ‘jumping on point’ for any retailer assessing its future options. It is against this backdrop that Aimia has defined the key foundations of how to prepare for a ‘Customer-First Retail Future’.