The global grocery retail industry is undergoing a period of 'momentous change', according to Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of international research organisation IGD.
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Denney-Finch said that there is currently a revolution underway in the food retail sector.
“It’s a revolution in what products are sold, how they are sold and how they are made," she added.
"It’s driven by technology, social and culture change and the economy, all marching together. The action centres on three big battles: food to go versus cook at home; online versus physical shopping; and big versus small stores."
She highlighted that the particularly powerful forces of change in the industry at the moment are "the three 'As'" - Aldi, Amazon, and Alibaba.
According to Denney-Finch, big retail stores will still be important in the future, but they may look very different.
“They’ll be more inspirational, featuring more fresh food and new products and more ways to taste, learn and discover,” she said.
“Retailers will be working extra hard to differentiate. They’ll make a big thing of their values and personality and they’ll have stronger links with their local communities, giving space for local initiatives and small companies. Tomorrow’s retailers will also compete fiercely over health, with strict nutritional standards for every product they sell."
The IGD boss outlined five principles to help companies succeed in this period of great change.
This includes staying focused on customers and adapting to their changing needs; paying attention to technology; getting help from suppliers; doing the ordinary consistently well; and having the right people with the right attitudes and skills.
“We really are partway through a revolution in retail," she concluded.
"We all need to keep getting bolder and bolder, taking bigger but well calculated risks and learning how to move even faster. But there’s good news too – we now have more ways than ever to win – and win big!"
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.