Interview by Symphony RetailAI’s Paul Hoffman. Tom Rose from SPAR International talked about the key dynamics of driving profitable growth in grocery retail at Xcelerate Retail Forum 2019.
In your work, what do you see as the biggest challenge for retailers today regarding supply chain effectiveness and efficiency?
Our customers’ expectations are changing. As retailers we need to meet the need for local products, clarity on providence and processing, immediacy of demand and digital engagement. Our supply chains need to be able to predict customer demands, and be able to react to the changing needs in a fast and efficient way.
What key changes have you made to adjust to the latest trends in grocery?
Through our retail network, SPAR has always had a clear focus on local, but through range analysis we are improving the relevance of assortments to the specific store and its customer profile.
How is AI playing into your work at Spar? How is it making a difference?
We talk about AI a lot, with many opportunities being explored and business cases assessed. We have used AI to improve our master data with great success, identifying inaccuracies and suggesting updates, which has significantly improved our eCommerce operations.
What did you speak about at Xcelerate 2019 in Paris?
As retail becomes increasingly digital, retailers have the opportunity to drive profitable growth through the use of insights, analytics and trends. During my presentation, I covered how SPAR countries around the world are using digital engagement and analytics to grow profitably in today’s challenging retail environment.
Please tell our readers an interesting fact about yourself.
Having recently moved to the Netherlands, I am enjoying exploring my new home country and discovering all the fascinating things that make it such an amazing country.