EKN: Retail Innovation & Technology: Viewpoints on Merchandise Innovation

Product innovation in retail is taking center-stage. Three major trends characterize how retailers are responding to the immediate market and customer need for a differentiated merchandise or product strategy. First, there is a product infusion trend taking place in North American retail this year. 6 out of 10 retailers surveyed indicate adding at least 100 SKUs (stock keeping units) and an astounding half of those will add over 1000 SKUs. Second, global and local competition and long lead-times are posing a major challenge for half of the retailers surveyed. Finally, expected Omni-channel and eCommerce order growth in the next 2-3 years will pose a number of new product introductions and merchandising range expansion challenges for retailers. This report lays out findings and analysis from the survey and presents prescriptive recommendations based on four distinct pillars of merchandise or product innovation.
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