By Paul Skeldon

Retailers across the world are aware a threatening combination of transforming forces – driven by customer service, personalisation and mobile – are disrupting their industry, with 98% of executives recognising that the sector is set for fundamental change.

However, less than a third (31%) of retail leaders are repositioning their long term business model, with 40% simply optimising the performance of their current operations. A quarter (24%) of firms in the retail industry are primarily focussed on turning round short term issues rather than long term planning.

These are the initial findings from a ground-breaking new global study, The DNA of the Retailers of Tomorrow, commissioned by Green Park and the World Retail Congress with Planet Retail RNG, TrueStart and EY.

They also find that transformation progress is currently extremely limited: while 80% of retail executives say their organisation understands the need for transformation, this awareness falters before it turns into action. Although plans are in place for 61% of global retailers to transform their businesses, less than half (44%) have identified the capabilities needed to transform, and less than one in four (24%) say they know what transformation looks like on a day to day basis.

The report’s initial findings have identified an ‘action gap’ between awareness of the need to change and the implementation of new operational processes. When asked how mature their organisation’s transformation currently is, nearly two thirds (62%) of retail leaders say they have not even started or are at the beginning of the process. Just 7% of global retailers has completed their transformation.

The DNA of the Retailers of the Tomorrow will be launched at the World Retail Congress in Dubai on April 4th 2017. Green Park and World Retail Congress have collaborated with TrueStart, Planet Retail RNG and EY on the second study in their Retail DNA Series, which is overseen by an advisory board of influential senior retail leaders and based on a comprehensive survey with over 150 Chairs, CEOs and senior executives from across the world.

Steve Baggi, Co-Founder and Head of Retail & Consumer at executive search firm Green Park, explains:…