CEO-Round Table | German Retail Convention 2017 in Berlin

15 November 2017

Despite positive retail sales in recent weeks, many retailers continue to struggle with increasing consumer expectations for availability, convenience, and customization. Retailers need to develop new concepts that are differentiated, innovative and consumer-specific. A standard SiS or category management approach is no longer enough. New skills need to be built, especially in terms of analytics and consumer insights. Against this backdrop, trade-industry partnerships are taking on a whole new meaning. The necessary know-how should not be built up by a dealer or a manufacturer alone.

"Typical challenges in building successful partnerships are the lack of speed and wholeness in transforming the organization, as well as the need and level of technology investment," said Dorothea Ern-Stockum, Senior Managing Director, Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy and Head of Accenture Retail Strategy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. To overcome this, important prerequisites are required:

  • Clear roles, responsibilities, and objectives
  • Joint analytics and an integrated planning approach
  • Synchronized processes of both partners from purchasing, inventory planning to the definition of marketing measures

At this year's ECR Awards ceremony, REWE, together with Mondelez and Hoffrogge, was awarded the Demand Side 2017 Award for Best Corporate Collaboration. Jan Kunath, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, REWE-Zentralfinanz eG, explains how 3000 individual assortment and quantity proposals for different REWE markets were developed by means of evaluation of 4 billion data records and thus the order planning was optimized. This data was fed into the ERP system of REWE as a forecast and used by the Mondelez sales force. Thus, a category growth of 5 percent and a significant cost reduction due to reduced overhangs was achieved.

Other panelists included Alexander Wirth of Willy Bogner GmbH & Co. KGaA, which operates 19 own stores and 54 partner stores in addition to their wholesale business. "I'm a big fan of partner stores that have a deep understanding of regional markets, which benefits the brand and consumers."

In order to meet the increased customer requirements, Orsay launched a new shop concept in March of this year, in which a close link to digital was created with a Click & Collect pick-up station and various touchpoints to the online product range and the app. In addition, new services such as styling advice and personal shopping have been set up. Sales were already above plan in the first few months. "The store is the stage," says Matthias Klein, CEO of Orsay. "But we also want to come across emotionally online."