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Former Member
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Dear Colleagues,

The Retail Leaders Forum 2015 - Sydney brought together more than 450 retail executives, professionals, key opinion leaders and technology providers globally to discuss the dramatic changes in the retail industry. I have put together a brief summary on the key insights shared that would allow us to frame specific talk tracks with our Retail customers.

Please find below some key messages shared;

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Industry Value Engineering – Consumer Industries

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Luxottica – Chris BeerPresident APJ

  The Big Retail Trends: Personalization  

Chris emphasised the importance of personalized offerings, boldly stating, “the mass
marketing is dead”, as you can see in his slide below. He underlined the usage
of analytics in marketing to understand the customer, especially while
designing the promotions and selecting target groups. (We can proudly say that
they are using SAP CEI for that purpose). He mentioned that, in Luxottica they
experienced 2.5x more sales for some brands, $116 more spending per customer
and a doubled response rate as a result of individualized marketing promotions.

ALDI – Tom Daunt / Stefan Kopp - Co MD ANZ

        The ALDI Story – Unique Value Proposition

Tom and Stefan are Co MD’s of Aldi ANZ organisation. They revealed the
secret sauce behind their unprecedented success in the ANZ market amongst very
strong local players.  They are 8th
largest retailer globally, operating in 16 countries with more than 9000 stores
in total and 370 stores in Australia. They revealed that they are not driven by
quarterly results – they simply don’t care about the quarterly results. Instead,
the most important thing for them is establishing long-term relationships with
their customers. They expressed their strategy very clearly saying, “we know
that ALDI is not for everyone. We are different and proud to be different. You
see the products in palettes in our stores, with big boxes, and you’ll continue
to see so. We’ll never have fancy, good looking stores. We make that investment
to products and prices. We sell very good quality with best prices. Our
products are not cheap, they are at the highest quality. We achieve best prices
in the market by selecting fewer items in our shelves and providing that with
best prices to our customers. You’ll never see 20 different ketchups in Aldi.
You’ll see 1 or 2 most frequently purchased ones with high quality and at best
prices when compared to other supermarkets. We’ll never be like Woolworths or
Coles. We’ll always be smaller than them in market share. But our goal is to
have a customer portfolio that stays with us forever.”  They also stated that private label products
are a very important part of their business.

Woolworths - Emma Grey - Chief Loyalty & Data Officer

  Re-imagining the Customer Relationship

  Emma is managing all customer data and loyalty related activities at Woolies.
She said that creating relevant offerings and campaigns are Woolworths’ priorities
and that they are trying to collect and correlate customer data using different
sources like loyalty programs, social media, in-store observations, purchase
history etc. Emma believes that Woolworths currently has too much data that
they are not leveraging effectively. She said, “Retailers must first gain the
right to ask for more data from customers. Earning loyalty is very important
and very difficult on the other hand. You have to be clear about what you are
trying to do with data and analytics. There are a lot of scenarios that can be
applied like ranging, or upsell-cross-sell, or selecting the location of new
stores.” She also mentioned that for the retailers there is a thin line between
‘being relevant’ and ‘being creepy’ to their customers. Customers should not
feel like a stalker is watching all of their movements. She also shared her general
observations about customers being ready to share their personal data with the
retailers they trust, if they see a value in it.

Coles - Kirstin Schneider - GM HR

  How to Create an Engaged and Talented Team ?

  Kirstin highlighted that in order to be successful in retail industry,
and to keep your customers satisfied, a smiling, motivated, and capable
workforce is a must. Then, she mentioned the success of Coles’ internal
recognition and inspiration platform, MagiC, and their internal device free collaboration
platform, myColes. She said that employees are sharing inspiring stories in
these platforms and the level of acceptance exceeded their expectations. For
example, in the Queensland floods they allowed the people shop without payment.
When shared internally this story has had a big effect on the engagement levels
and motivation of their employees, which has led to Coles experiencing higher
sales. She thinks that the key success factor is their motto of “for team
members, by team members”. She highlighted that the content shared by fellow
team members is always more exciting for their store employees. Because of this
Coles believes that the platforms should let employees freely share their
thoughts, experiences and lessons learned, instead of being one-way
communication platforms from the headquarters to the stores.

SPAR - Dr. Gordon Campbell - CEO

SPAR is globally the biggest organisation of independent retailers
(franchisees). SPAR is all about sharing ‘best practices’ with their
independent retailers and enabling them with cutting edge retail formats,
techniques and applications. He said that localisation and shaping according to
different geographical needs is the most important factor in this enablement,
which leads to huge differences in SPAR stores based on their locations. They
don’t deliver the same format everywhere. Instead, they change the shape,
internal design, customer experience, product ranging, even corporate identity
and colours according to local needs. For example, in their Dublin store they
even don’t have a door, which shows their commitment to their customers that
they’ll be open 24/7 every time. He believes that they are a highly adaptive
organisation and their success comes from this flexibility.

The Hudson’s Bay Company - Michael Burgess- President

Michael is managing the one of the oldest companies in the world and the
biggest luxury fashion department store chain in Canada. He shared some very
interesting numbers they’ve been able to measure, such as - 68% of the sales in
stores are initiated with a digital first touch and only 32% of the store sales
are completed without any internet search in their e-commerce site. As a result
of this data The Hudson’s Bay Company have moved omni-commerce into the centre
of their strategy. Michael claimed that only the retailers who are able to
combine their digital channel with their stores will be successful in the near
future. They have to bring rich digital experiences to stores, like digital
fitting rooms, digital personal stylists, e-boutiques and virtual runways in

Amazon - Dr. Babak Parviz - VP R&D

Dr. Parviz is the father of Google Glass. He said that when we look at
the history of communication throughout the human history we see revolutionary
progresses like the invention of speech, paper mail, the telegraph, telephones,
email, and mobile phones in that order. He claims that the next revolutionary,
game changing thing is Digital Glass because it will enable people to share
instant experiences in the form of images and video. He also believes that it
will also shorten the access time to knowledge, making it instant. Imagine the
progress humankind has made in the last years – 20 years ago we were going to
libraries and conducting all of our research from books. Now we have access to
it using our glass – hands free and instantly. Amazing isn’t it?  Look forward to seeing the next generation