To survive, even winning retailers must stay ahead of the curve by making sure they deliver a strategy that will help them build lasting relationships with their customers.
The pace of change in retail is accelerating. Many established retailers are struggling with declining sales, rising costs, disgruntled customers and employees, and upstart competitors that are nimble enough to adapt quickly and steal market share. Even successful companies can’t sit back and rest—they need to prepare for the next wave of change.
In this rapidly evolving landscape, BCG has helped many of the world's leading retailers become more systematic in exploring and developing strategic options to strengthen their positions, including new store formats, markets, services, and omnichannel capabilities. Retailers may want to consider their existing formats, store footprints, locations, and distribution network, and evaluate whether to close some stores or open new locations. M&A options should be considered as well—today’s competitor may be tomorrow’s acquisition target and may offer an enhanced market position, cost synergies, or both.
Regardless of segment or circumstance, retailers should not be afraid to consider an end-to-end transformation to help them stay relevant; develop new offerings, categories, formats, and channels; or expand into new markets and territories. These retail transformations are not a once-and-done endeavor—winning retailers stay nimble enough to transform their stores and evaluate their offerings on a continual basis to adapt to evolving customer needs.
A successful transformation journey consists of three important stages: