Retail is one of OC&C’s longest-standing strengths –as recognized 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.
- Specialty & 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 globalization 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
Fighting what’s different differently
Grocery is an industry with high employee turnover. The problem is not new, but has been accelerating. The grocery employee turnover rate has grown twice as fast as the average U.S. industry in recent years. In our latest report, in conjunction with the Coca Cola Retail Research Consortium, we look at the current landscape in more detail and outline the five key things grocers can do to make a real difference to employee retention.
Facing the Fashion Future
Our Brazilian and British offices have joined forces to understand the pace of the fashion industry's transformation across Latam, the US, and Europe. Our report identifies five long-term trends for apparel businesses to align to when considering scale and growth for their future.
OC&C Retail Proposition Index 2023
We’re delighted to share the OC&C Retail Proposition Index, which anoints this year’s winning retailers in the eyes of consumers, and also highlights the key trends influencing UK consumer behaviour over the last year. Now in its 13th year, the report is based on speaking to over 40,000 consumers and commenting on c.700 of the world’s leading brands.
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 hidden potential for US airports
Despite being a food and retail powerhouse globally, the US airport travel retail proposition has failed to keep pace with global markets and, beyond select examples, the passenger experience is not reaching its full potential. With 25-50% of guests not making a food & beverage or retail purchase on their most recent airport visit, there is huge untapped potential for the industry.
Doing more with less
Overproduction is a long-lasting, deep-rooted problem for brands. 15-45 billion items of clothing produced every year are wasted, mostly ending up in landfill or incinerated. This is both a huge sustainability problem and a costly commercial one. Yet improving buying processes to better align with future demand can enable brands to reduce wastage, improve operating efficiency, and ultimately drive value.
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.
The luxury of choice: 5 keys to success on multi-brand online platforms
From plucky upstarts to fixtures of the mainstream shopping scene, online retail platforms have become a growing pillar of sales for premium and luxury markets
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
Hitting reset on luxury fashion
The luxury fashion industry is undergoing an important phase of transformation, initiated before the pandemic and now accelerated by it
The future of retail in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has lost its status as the ultimate shopping destination for Chinese tourists