Expert Talk: Oversleeping digitalization - what can retailers and suppliers do now?

Sleeping through digitalization: what's going wrong?

Reports of difficult market situations are piling up. Department stores, mail order companies and fashion stores are having to lay off staff, stores are closing or going bankrupt. It is striking that most of these problems affect brick-and-mortar retail companies. What exactly has happened here? Who is responsible for these bankruptcies? What role does or did digitalization play here? 

For our Expert Talk in May 2023, we were able to win Stephan Ruggle, Managing Director of the management consultancy ruggle management ag, to answer these questions. With many years of experience in management positions and as former CEO of companies such as Intersport PSC Holding AG and Dosenbach Ochsner AG, he has extensive expert knowledge from years of corporate practice. His work as a management consultant and sparring partner for his clients gives him deep insights into very different current company structures. With this accumulated knowledge, he can provide excellent, structured and honest insights into the market. His appeal is clear: digitalization is absolutely essential in all sectors.

Why the company's progress is failing

Although mail order companies and department stores have many years of experience in Commerce and therefore presumably have a good customer base and established processes, many have simply overslept their step into the digital world. Without innovation and clear positioning, many companies became interchangeable and lost customers on their customer journey. The courage to take the decisive step and the awareness of the importance of the modern marketplace are often lacking. The basis for a successful digital business is also often consistently neglected - high-quality, complete and available product data.

But what opportunities are there for companies that have not addressed digitalization in all its facets, or have done so inadequately? Which processes absolutely need to be initiated and what risks and opportunities exist? One of the important questions that needs to be clarified is who, for what reasons, is responsible for taking bold action and possibly saving the company from bankruptcy.

Courage and movement are the paths to success

In this context, there are exciting questions that are central to companies. What role do change management, transformation and process improvements, brand identities and entrepreneurial self-confidence play in this digital transformation? What influence do trends such as direct-to-consumer (D2C) have on the current retail market? All these topics have found a place in our exciting and inspiring Expert Talk. Click your way in now!

We are already looking forward to the next Expert Talk with Stefan Wenzel on the topic of "Operational excellence in the platform business: growth at any price?". Will you be there again?

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