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Retail Industry Leaders Association, Accenture launch tech innovation center

RBR Staff Writer Published 14 March 2017

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Accenture have launched a new initiative that will explore the impact that technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will have on the retail industry.

RILA’s new (R)Tech Center for Innovation will also help retailers create innovative ways of doing business.

Located just outside of Washington, DC, the new center will be guided by an advisory council, which includes retail executives from AutoZone, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Energizer, Foot Locker, GameStop, Kroger, Lowe’s, QVC, Target, Unilever, VF Corporation, Walgreens, and Westfield.

The initiative also includes a network comprised of tech and startup incubators along with venture capital companies.

Members include Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Facebook, Greylock Partners, Google, GSVlabs, Shoptalk, Techstars, and XRC Labs.

RILA president Sandy Kennedy said: “Today’s most recognized retailers are entering a new age and it all starts with (R)Tech-- where retail meets technology.

“The Center will bring together some of today’s most beloved retail brands with tech’s brightest stars. Through research and relationships, we hope to further retail’s commitment to fostering cultures of innovation that benefit industry and our customers.”

Accenture, in partnership with RILA, will provide outline to the overall program, hold joint research as well as bring both retailers and new technology firms under one roof to delve into the retail transformation influenced by digital technologies.

The (R)Tech Center will deal with five important industry requirements by providing authoritative research, connecting to innovation, fostering innovation, activating innovation and burnishing reputation.

As part of the research activities, the hub will look into benchmarking retail innovation, analysis and trends. It will also link retailers to innovative technologies, firms and ventures, from around the globe.

Accenture retail senior managing director Jill Standish said: “Today, US and global consumers are driving change in retail at an unprecedented rate. Changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to disruption in virtually every industry; retail perhaps more than any other.

“Through (R)Tech we believe Accenture and RILA can foster innovative business practices that will help shepherd retail into the future.”

The (R)Tech will also foster and activate innovation, helping retailers execute change management, implementing new insights into action and integrate latest technologies.


Image : Accenture has partnered with RILA to launch a retail innovation hub in Washington, DC. Photo : courtesy of Maksym Kozlenko and commons.wikimedia.org.