This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, May 22th, 2019

A Transformation in Store


“The store of the future is still in its infancy, but every one of the technologies described above exists today and as a commercial product, not just a prototype or proof-of-concept. Retail leaders should act now to prepare their organizations for a technology-enabled revolution in customer experience and efficiency.”

Now should be a great time in US retail. Consumer confidence has finally returned to pre-recession levels. Americans have seen their per capita, constant-dollar disposable income rise more than 20 percent between the beginning of 2014 and early 2019. Several new technologies have reached a tipping point and are set to spill over onto the retail floor. Machine learning and big-data analytics techniques are ready to crunch the vast quantities of customer data that retailers already accumulate. Robots and automation systems are moving out of factories and into warehouses and distribution centers. The Internet of Things allows products to be tracked across continents, or on shelves with millimeter precision.

This Week’s Must Read is an insight piece from McKinsey, in which the consultants discuss why now is a great time for retailers to embrace that challenge of bringing technology and data together in the offline world and how technologies can help reshape the shopping experience.

Read on to Find out More: “A Transformation in Store“, Praveen Adhi, Tiffany Burns, Andrew Davis, Shruti Lal, and Bill Mutell, McKinsey

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Watch a recap of the 2019 themes discussed at Deloitte’s annual Retail Trends Breakfast Briefing.


  • Bain launches new digital products business: Bain Media Lab – Bain & Company has established a new digital products and related services business – Bain Media Lab, with its foundation launch of an advertising analytics tool for the television market to be rolled out in various geographies over the coming year. |
  • Great Hill Partners acquire Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion from Univision : Gizmodo Media Group is an online media company and blog network. The Onion is a satirical digital media company and newspaper. Both are headquartered in the United States. Consulting firm OC&C advised Great Hill Partners on the acquisition. | OC&C
  • AVEVA and Cognizant Expand R&D Partnership to Build Next-Gen Industrial Software: Technology and management consultancy Cognizant has announced an expansion of its research and development (R&D) partnership with multinational IT company Aveva. The partnership will focus on the development of “cutting-edge industrial software that will help shape the future across a range of industries, from water and energy, to food and infrastructure,” according to a press release. | Cognizant
  • The Instant Group’s acquisition of Incendium Consulting: London headquartered Incendium Consulting has been purchased by flexible workspace specialist Instant Group. The move, which completes for an undisclosed fee, will enable Incendium to tap into Instant’s global client base. | Cecilia Amador, Allwork.Space


  • Agile to the Rescue in Retail: Agile delivery increases employee and customer engagement while reducing time spent on planning and administration (in meetings, for example). And it puts more resources into customer-oriented activities. Organizations that embrace agile have more doers, fewer managers, and, as a consequence, a lower cost base.  | David Welch, Chris Biggs, Danish Aziz, Liza Stutts, and Catherine Manfre, BCG
  • Retail Trends in 2019: With customers holding all the power in the retailer/shopper relationship, retailers are looking for new and impactful ways to create unique, relevant experiences for their customers across channels. Whether shopping online or in-store, desktop or mobile, retailers have to be ultra-focused on what the customer wants to see. | Sean Burke, Clarkston Consulting
  • The Post-Digital Era is Upon Us: Companies are taking their first steps in a new world—one that tailors itself to fit every moment. It’s a world where products, services, and even people’s surroundings are customized, and where businesses cater to the individual in every aspect of their lives, shaping the very realities they live in.  | Paul Daugherty and Marc Carrel-Billiard, Accenture
  • Payments in Retail: Retailers are beginning to develop strategies around integrating payments into their value proposition. While some still see payment as a process to be optimized from a technical and cost standpoint, implementing the right payments strategy is an opportunity for retailers to gain a real strategic advantage.  | Oliver Wyman


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  • 5 Best Practices for Attracting Ideal Consulting Clients: Most consultants know they should only work with ideal clients, but few actually put this into practice. | Michael Zipursky, Consulting Success
  • Best practice: A tool or a crutch? Management consultants use the phrase “best practice” often.  Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on Consulting firms websites.  | Consultant’s Mind


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Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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