Interview with Laurent Thoumine,
Managing Director Head of Retail in Europe
1 – In which areas is Accenture assisting retailers?
Laurent Thoumine : Accenture was built upon the technological development of retail. Today, our focus has expanded to include helping executives transform their businesses strategically, financially and operationally.
2 – What are the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis in specialty retail?
Laurent Thoumine : Since April, we’ve seen rising concerns over pricing among consumers, and the economy at large. We’ve also seen increased demand for shopper convenience and people looking for a simple, serene and faster shopping experience. These two trends will shape the evolution of specialty retail over the coming months.
3 – What will the store of tomorrow look like?
Laurent Thoumine : Retailers will want to allocate more space to automated order-preparation areas, which will mean cutting back on sales space yet providing more space to welcoming customers. Zara is already doing this in Spain.
There’ll be greater reliance on AI in future: to help fine-tune inventory management and avoid waste, as well as analyse each customer’s profile and profitability. This evolution will see a transition from traditional forms of retail to tomorrow’s hybrid vision that’s more scientific. Order management solutions will become essential. It’s important that the data processed by AI technology is in a language that’s easily understood, such as via chat, and no longer in the form of tables which are difficult to read.