Sustainability is as much about mindset, intention, and focus as technology, explains Shalini Unnikrishnan, a leader on social impact at BCG.
The future of retail is here, with digital investments now essential to meet consumers' evolving needs and fend off new competitors. BCG's retail consultants help clients develop and deliver the right retail strategy to thrive in this dynamic environment.
Many companies in the retail industry are rich in data but have yet to harness it as a real driver of the business. Now, nothing less will do. BCG helps retailers prioritize digital efforts as part of an adaptable retail strategy that is more responsive to customer needs than ever before, and guides those looking to create and fund new sources of growth.
Fashion retailers need to reduce costs, invest in digital capabilities, and act on the power of sustainability. We help transform operations so you can respond to this consumer-driven environment.
BCG’s retail consulting teams are composed of retail industry experts with skill sets that span the entire digital space, supported by proprietary platforms and solutions from BCG X, our tech build and design unit. Our work focuses on improving the commercial proposition, formats, and omnichannel and operations capabilities needed to deliver on retail strategy.
Working with a leading EU retailer, BCG created a new pricing and promotions strategy and applied new range-performance-analysis tools on approximately 25,000 SKUs, optimizing all food categories. Our joint work delivered promotional results that were 33% above target in the first year. It also reduced the range by around 20% while making it more relevant for customers. In addition, there was a 6% increase in like-for-like volume—driven by the investment of liberated funds into pricing for top lines—along with a significant improvement in value perception.
BCG delivered an AI transformation at a global fashion retailer, in close partnership with the client’s internal team. Using our technology partners, including BCG X, the team leveraged AI to improve forecasting and pricing for more than 10,000 products, optimize inventory across more than 3,000 stores, and generate over 500,000 automated personalized emails. Completing a small pilot in four weeks, the team quickly scaled it, achieving a double-digit profit uplift. The project scaled to more than 70% of the global business in less than one year, and the industrialized model was complete in 18 months.
A declining North American multiformat grocery retailer engaged BCG to create a transformation management office to ensure a successful turnaround. This hub drove a major reorganization, launched cost-out programs, and expanded e-commerce to drive growth. Early success showed gross margin increases and adjusted EBITDA up around 1%, with a rebound in share price to pre-decline levels. Now on track to exceed $500 million in savings, leadership is looking to advanced analytics and AI to further growth.
A retailer in Asia-Pacific with ambitious environmental targets partnered with BCG to create a business incubator to develop and commercialize projects. Together, we defined the incubator’s role, operating model, and governance, then prioritized and designed four scalable initiatives in upstream food waste, plastics action, sustainable agriculture, and waste-as-a-resource. Deliverables included a detailed roadmap and, with the resource budget needed to meet targets of 30% growth, 4X reduction in net GHG emissions and 2X diverted food waste.
Using holistic, tailored retail intelligence software, our Retail AI technology unlocks critical advantages across the six vital components of the value chain. Establish competitive advantage with Retail AI by ensuring the availability of goods and services, examining customer data, and predicting future behavior.LEARN MORE
Turbocharged by BCG X's technology asset Alloc AI, Smart Allocation offers an integrated transformation experience. Leveraging BCG’s deep expertise and transformation capabilities, Smart Allocation optimizes marketing and commercial budget allocation across salesforce and direct-to-consumer touchpoints.LEARN MORE
By blending the capabilities and experience of each retail consultant assigned to your project, we create the optimal team to identify and meet your challenges.