Retail Excellence Round Table 2017

Retail Excellence Round Table in Munich: rpc speaks to top representatives from global retail brands about the future of bricks-and-mortar retail



The store is dead, long live the store? The "Retail Excellence Round Table" event organized by rpc – The Retail Performance Company in Munich on November 23 and 24, 2017, was dedicated to the future of the physical store. An expert panel of senior executives from DAX 30 companies and leading SMEs discussed the issues facing bricks-and-mortar retailers, how they need to change in order to compete with their online counterparts and which role physical retail will have in the future.


The emergence of online retail is seen as having delivered a hammer blow to the world of bricks-and-mortar retail. A vast range of products, free delivery, new digital technologies, round-the-clock availability - all of this has led to a dramatic reduction in footfall at physical stores. "As well as eating into the market share of bricks-and-mortar retailers for some years now, online retailers are investing in their own offline formats and driving innovation," explains Jan Schemuth, Managing Director of rpc. "In order to survive, the role of the traditional store will have to change radically and retailers will be forced to take new approaches." 


This change process will center on the following five factors: 


  • In the store of the future, the shopping experience will be key. Today's consumers want to do more than just buy products. They want to experience a brand and be inspired by it.
  • This all depends on the customer facing personnel. Retailers will need to see their employees not as sellers or "goods managers", but as expert advisors who can establish a relationship with the customer and cultivate the brand community.
  • The dovetailing of online and offline retail will create a cross-channel shopping experience, with seamless customer service guaranteed at every point of contact.
  • Digital trends like robotics, virtual reality and automated shopping will open up new worlds to consumers. The use of digital technologies in the store orientates towards customer benefit and will not be an end in itself.
  • In order to measure the success of a store, key performance indicators should increasingly be used to measure the customer experience, such as the Net Promoter System or the Customer Lifetime Value.


About the event



The evening before the event, participants enjoyed an exclusive tour of the Louis Vuitton flagship store and get to know the in store success factors of the brand Louis Vuitton better. This was followed by a dinner at "Espace", with plenty of opportunities for networking and discussion.


On the second day, participants met at another pioneering flagship store, the Telekom store at Marienplatz, to discuss the transformation of the world of shopping. This was accompanied by keynotes on the future of retail from BMW Group, Nespresso SA and Deutsche Telekom AG.


The "Retail Excellence Round Table" will be held once again in the coming year, addressing the most pressing topics in the industry. As Jan Schemuth emphasizes, "Retail is not only changing but continuously reinventing itself and must continue to try new things. Our task is to focus on the future of retail at all times and evaluate the new trends and developments affecting consumer shopping behavior for our clients."



rpc – The Retail Performance Company
Katharina Weindl

Tel: +49 (0) 160 973 244 09, E-Mail: katharina.weindl@rpc-partners.com