Extraordinary transformation in retail

Article By
James Cumming
James Cumming
Posted On22nd February 2022
Posted On22nd February 2022

The last 2 years has seen retail giants go through extraordinary transformation. At a tough time for retail and with the added unpredictable timing of Covid, consumers were looking at what matters. Wellbeing, mental health, health management, and diet were at the forefront. Our featured blog is on a major UK retailer in the health and wellness sector who wanted to make wellbeing accessible to all.

Omnichannel, products, pricing, and store revamps are some of the pillars of their transformational success. One of my great interim placements whilst working on this project was Matt Taylor.

Matt Taylor has 17 years of commercial experience across multiple sectors. His consultancy, Taylor Corporate Solutions, support clients with value challenges and pricing and promotion opportunities. This is through detailed analysis to drive actionable recommendations that are approved and supported by business stakeholders.

He worked through a huge retail transformation and has given us some insight into the changes and the challenges faced.

So Matt, tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the transformation space?

Redundancy forced me to look at options, but to be honest I was approached for another retail role – due to my relevant retail background and pricing and promo experience – and immediately started a contract role supporting a major UK retailer on a transformational project. The project was to reset their price and promotion position based on consistent feedback from customer on poor value perception.

What has been your biggest transformation project in the last couple of years?

The projects I have been involved with have all been similar in nature at the highest level, but significantly different when you consider different sectors, categories, or scale. For example, I have project managed price repositioning initiatives affecting ¬£billions in sales and across thousands of SKUs and several European markets.

And what were the biggest challenges you faced?

The world of price and promotions is very ‘grey’ and within the retail environment there are many people who have strong views or have significant experience, so reaching alignment on strategic direction and initiatives can be very challenging.

How about the biggest successes of the project?

The results have seen the business win back volume, market share and recruit new customers in categories that had been in decline –  this enabled a cost reduction programme to help continue to drive value back through these categories.

And finally, what were your biggest lessons learnt from this project?

I will always regularly  ‘check in’ with key stakeholders; they provide a deeper perspective and build the broader picture….data and analysis (however robust) will always be more engaging and is more likely to drive action when the narrative of experience is also included.

Thanks so much to Matt for his insight into retail transformation, you can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Paula Keville is our Change and Transformation Specialist. You can email her at paula@refind.co.uk and connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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