PSFK Tracker Reviews Most Innovative Retailers Across Sectors

PSFK Tracker Reviews Most Innovative Retailers Across Sectors
Consumer Goods

Our index is beginning to provide a way to compare DTC brands and other pure play retailers with legacy corporations

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 6 august 2018

PSFK’s Retail Innovation Index is a tracker that we run with a panel of marketing and retail experts each month.  In my analysis of the survey data last month, I commented about a pattern that we see developing across different industries. This pattern, or stratification, is best seen in apparel sector but as we add more data we can see similar patterns across different sectors.

(Remember, we’re talking about ‘retail’ innovation here but this framework could be used as a discussion).

In the Apparel sector, after Amazon, we see a clear market leader (Nike) followed by two or three other well-known legacy brands. These brands are being ‘nipped at the heels’ by a set of new DTC-focused brands. Further down the index we can make out two more groups. You have to squint a little at the analysis but you could say that the more innovative group of the two are smaller footprint retails and the final group could be considered ‘big-box.’ There’s overlap, for sure, but we’re trying to make a framework here for discussion.

When you study Electronics retailers, it’s possible to make out a similar stratification there. Apple is way ahead like Nike is in apparel, Sonos and Samsung seem to be doing a fair job keeping just ahead of the multi-category online retailers. Microsoft clings on but Sony is doing poorly. Sadly, the only major off-line channel for electronics, Best Buy, has a very underwhelming score (17 out or 100).

Grocery has two clusters on the index . The more progressive legacy retailers like WholeFoods and Trader Joe’s are in the second quarter and then a large group of retailers hovering around the third quartile mark. 

In terms of Discount Retailers & Department Stores, of the companies we surveyed, Target leads but with a score that’s in the middle of the pack.

Of the four Pharmacies we reviewed with our panel, three cluster in the third quartile but Riteaid seriously struggles to get to this low level.

As we noticed in pervious analysis, Hotels and Airlines don’t do well in our survey on retail innovation. They languish at the bottom of the chart. The leaders are Virgin Atlantic and Emirates and then we have one new brand (Norwegian) in the middle of the table.

(Hmmm… could be see any similarities between Virgin Atlantic and Emirates and Trader Joe’s and WholeFoods?)

So, again the layers we see emerging in our index in terms of retail innovation are

A.  Amazon leading way ahead.

B.  A leader out on their own—often a legacy retailer often considered a brand in its own right. (e.g. Apple or Nike)

C. Two or three other traditional retailers clustering alongside a new batch of DTC brands (scores in second quartile).

D. Smaller footprint retailers (scores in third quartile).

E.  Larger footprint retailers (scores in lowest quartile).

Not all sectors exhibit this pattern but we’re curious to see if sectors beyond apparel and electronics will eventually exhibit the same structure,

Ultimately, we have only been running the Index for a few months now and we feel that we need to continue to gather more data. With the arrival of DTC brands and other pure play retailers, we hope the index will provide some ways to compare these new companies with the legacy corporations and then give us some indication about the longer term health of each retailer.

The PSFK’s Retail Innovation Tracker is updated monthly and available for all PSFK Members here. For more information on membership, visit our membership page.

PSFK’s Retail Innovation Index is a tracker that we run with a panel of marketing and retail experts each month.  In my analysis of the survey data last month, I commented about a pattern that we see developing across different industries. This pattern, or stratification, is best seen in apparel sector but as we add more data we can see similar patterns across different sectors.

+apparel
+Apple
+DTC
+emirates
+Health
+hospitality
+hotels
+innovation tracker
+Microsoft
+nike
+pharmacy
+Public
+retail
+riteaid
+samsung
+sonos
+sony
+target
+trader joes
+virgin atlantic
+Wholefoods

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