Retail is one of OC&C’s longest-standing strengths –as recognised by our team achieving the highest possible score in the Financial Times' UK Leading Management Consultants 2018. We collaborate globally to serve clients of all varieties and sizes, from multinational grocery giants through to nascent online category specialists:
- Our grocery team partners with market leaders in the UK and around the world to deliver strategic, transformational, and operational projects. Our clients tell us they see us as their 'go to' thought partner for the key strategic and commercial issues they face.
- In apparel, we bring experience from across the value chain to help retailers successfully address consumers' rapidly evolving expectations. By taking a holistic view of proposition and supply chain, we deliver recommendations tailored to both client and customer.
- Multi-category: We work together with 'big box' retailers and department stores to tackle the key questions facing senior management. Our experience covers a broad spectrum of questions including Category Strategy, Operating Model Re-Design, and International Expansion.
- Speciality & Luxury: We have deep expertise across the broad spectrum of categories within retail, ranging from Discount to Luxury, and from Juvenile to Pets.
- Disruptive Digital Models: Routes to market are changing fast: platforms, social shopping, and direct to consumer are core concepts today that were rarely mentioned ten years ago. We work with retailers to better understand customer needs and missions, and use this to design routes to market and operating models, which deliver real competitive advantage.
The retail landscape has changed immeasurably in recent years driven by a rapidly evolving channel landscape, rapid swings in global and local economies, and increasing globalisation of the consumer. Against this rapidly evolving backdrop our customer-centric approach, robust analytical mindset, and dedication to working in partnership with senior management have never been more relevant.
We bring an unparalleled understanding of the customer, and a determined, analytical mindset to deliver results together with retailers globally
Next Generation Operating Models
Brands continue to find themselves under pressure from all directions. Cost inflation, staff shortages, and ever-changing customer needs are all contributing to margin compression, which is quickly rising to unsustainable levels. While increasing consumption has offered some relief to the sector, as ESG increasingly influences consumer decisions volumes are expected to slow or stagnate.
The forecourt of the future
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption across Europe is unstoppable. For fuel station forecourts this presents great change and opportunity in equal measure. In our latest report, we look at how the race to net zero is impacting the evolution of EV ownership, the future of charging and what consumers care about most, alongside its impact on forecourts. We also consider how forecourts can approach their strategy to futureproof business models and embrace the opportunities that lay ahead.
The Right Fit
The Apparel industry has been subject to major market forces: the pandemic accelerated online penetration by 5-10 years, new marketplace and resale models have intensified competition, Instagram, Tik Tok and now the metaverse have proliferated channels to market, and consumers and regulators are continually raising the sustainable fashion bar.
Private Equity & Transactions 2021
2021 was a record year for transactions globally – as activity remained exceptionally strong despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID pandemic, global supply chain issues and the challenges of rising inflation and energy prices during the year.
Just fifteen years ago, the biggest threat to traditional commerce was the internet. Brands that were quick to launch transactional websites (and later apps) emerged as victors. Now those same brands face losing out to the emerging dominance of online marketplaces – the disruptor has become the disrupted.
Opinion: Never again should we accept the notion of non-essential workers
It took a global pandemic to prompt society to reflect on the importance of work performed not only by healthcare and home care providers, but by delivery drivers, grocery store employees and other critical but modestly paid workers.
Four sustainability myths: are they holding your business back?
The Covid-19 crisis has elevated the importance of sustainability, but we must banish old thinking to build back better, writes Deidre Sorensen
The future of retail in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has lost its status as the ultimate shopping destination for Chinese tourists
Opinion: The new channel split is buying vs shopping
Online retail took a big step forward during lockdown but it still cannot capture the experience of shopping, while physical retail faces its own post-pandemic challenge
How to win the retail sustainability game in 2020
Consumer attitudes to ethical consumerism are unrecognisable from a decade ago. In 2010, the public agenda was just beginning to shame the likes of the fur trade. But now, the far-reaching topic of ‘sustainability’ tops the CEO’s agenda
It's the uncertainty not the hardship that's so difficult
It's hard to find the right hyperbole to describe these extraordinary times that we find ourselves in. Today more than a quarter of the world's population are operating under lockdown with this number continuing to escalate rapidly
Opinion: Coronavirus accelerates us to a retail tipping point
In a crisis as big as this one, acting on the immediate challenges is critical. Thinking about the longer term may seem impossible, or at least deferrable. But in many ways, it is even more important
The perils of short-term reward
The blindingly obvious statement that many established retailers have failed to react decisively enough to structural shifts in the industry risks overlooking a more profound question
What HK should do to enhance image as shopping paradise
We have now seen ten consecutive months of double-digit year-on-year retail sales declines in Hong Kong. Retailers are wondering if there will be a recovery soon and how much recovery they can expect
What’s in store for retail analytics?
At OC&C we’re increasingly deploying our big data analytics capability in Retail. As we support retailers with analytics, we’re looking at what’s new and what’s to expect in the next 12 months
What does COSTCO's successful debut in China tell us about today's retail market?
So far China has been a very challenging market for global retailers. As our China retail expert and partner Jack Chuang commented - it is hard for foreign retailers to fully localise a well-proven 'home' market model for China