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Essential Retail Innovation Stats for Planning 2017

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 07 Dec, 2016
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Key Findings from a survey of 500 European fashion retailers

Retailers are undoubtedly enthusiastic about innovation, with more than half viewing it as a priority for their business. But when it comes to actually delivering innovation, retailers face a variety of challenges.

To find out how retailers are approaching innovation in 2017 and beyond, we surveyed 500 retailers from across Europe. Here, in a summary of our full report, we share five key findings.

9 in 10 retailers take innovation seriously

Almost all retailers surveyed recognise the value of innovation, highlighting the growing importance of innovating in order to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market. UK retailers in particular, place great emphasis on innovation, with 76% of respondents saying that it is a priority for their business.


A lack of time is the #1 barrier to innovation

Fashion retailers cite several barriers to innovation, including a lack of time or resources (43%), lack of investment (40%) and integration issues (39%). Not having a clear vision or strategy is also holding many retailers back.

Only 15% of retailers have a dedicated role for innovation

A myriad of roles are said to hold responsibility for innovation, with CEO/MD coming at the top with 24%, followed by CMO (18%), CDO (16%) and chief customer/experience officer (11%). Fifteen percent of retailers claim that innovation is embedded into all teams.

Fewer than 50% of retailers have a defined process for innovation

Currently, only 4 in 10 retailers report having a defined process for innovation, but almost half claim they are planning to implement one within a year. Those retailers with an annual turnover exceeding £500m are by far the most likely to already have a process in place (73%).

27% of retailers consider positive media attention a KPI for their innovation programmes

Positive media coverage is most important to Belgian (41%) and German (37%) retailers, which is not surprising given the fact that a quarter of German retailers view innovation as a buzzword (versus 8% of all retailers surveyed) and may therefore be driving “innovation” purely for the positive PR it can bring.

Retailers are primarily interested in customer satisfaction as a measure of the success of the innovation programme (45%), followed by increased revenue (44%) and number of newly attained customers (42%).


Read the full report

This is a summary from a full research report, the result of interviews with 500 retailers across Europe on how they are delivering on the fundamentals of retail versus how they are approaching innovation. Click here to download the full report.




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By Expert commentator

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