Top CEOs Redefining The Rules For New Age Retail


Nike CEO Mark Parker talks about being the Goliath in a David market. “The last thing we want is to be a big dumb company that feels we can put a swoosh on something and people will buy that. Our management approach hasn’t come from studying and reading business books. It’s more intuitive, from the culture of sports. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve. How do you adapt to your environment and really focus on your potential? To really go after that, you have to embrace the reality that it is not going to slow down. And you have to look at that as half full, not half empty. Companies and people look at the pace of change as a challenge, an obstacle, a hurdle, we like to look at it as opportunity: Get on the offense.”

Speaking on the changing landscape of retail, Macy’s Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren isn’t losing sleep over how he’s running a retail empire in an age of booming internet-based commerce. He says “A bifurcated view of the retail environment – one in which brick-and-mortar retailers fight against a rising tide of internet retailers – doesn’t paint an accurate picture of how the average retailer shops. Rather, at least for Macy’s, the two are complementary tools used by consumers. The customer starts with a device, then they want to touch the product or sit in the sofa. Afterwards, they might walk out of the store and buy it online.”

Omni-channel retailing has become the norm in the industry and customers expect access to retail brands through multiple channels as per their convenience. The physical and digital platforms are blending to create an ecosystem that delivers instant value, information, products, services, payment options, rewards, cash-back, discounts, recommendations and updates to the customer anytime, anywhere. Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon, elaborates further, “I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. One customer can shop with us in so many different ways – in stores, on their phones, at homes or a pick-up point. I get excited about what our technology team is now capable of. As we add new capabilities and join these unique assets together effectively, we’re going to have something special.”

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