Day 11: 11 Pipers Piping
In retail, we have witnessed 11 businesses that have made the industry what it is today. Let’s look at the impact these 11 significant players have had on the marketplace and how their solutions, concepts and business approaches still impact the environment today.
Macy's: Macy’s was the original department store master and that leadership position continues today as the stalwart that is the iconic department store brand. It continues to lead the pack in the department store arena and was one of the first to provide a private label e-commerce site.
Amazon: Amazon continues to show true industry leadership through its focus on the customer and the evolution of the distributive space to a customer-centric model. Its recognition of the endless aisle and always being open has driven the retail revolution.
Chick-fil-A: Based on strong principles, Chick-fil-A has consistently demonstrated its core values and developed a cult following by providing the industry’s best service. Its customer-centric approach has revolutionized the treatment of customers and shown that we can deliver “down-home” politeness even in today’s me-focused culture.
JDA: JDA has for decades provided the base systems to analyze and run the retail business. It provides the base infrastructure to collect, manage, analyze and use data to unite the retail team.
Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart has preached that supply chain efficiency is the winning element more than any other. It evolved the concepts and supply chain design, price elasticity and the need to move products at a defined and predictable cadence. Its attention to detail was the foundation of many inventory planning and supply chain network design efficiencies.
USPS: As far back as 1775, the United States Postal Service has delivered mail to every community. Its tireless effort has become expected. Its delivery network is the backbone of many next-day services.
Microsoft: Microsoft took early advances in systems and developed them into a collective platform that forms the foundation of a large proportion of retail business decisions. Its web-based solution suite evolved the business software approach and is now a formidable solution set. Its latest subscription-based pricing model places a monthly tax on the business unit. It is its faithful service, however, that renders its tax as unobtrusive and welcomed in all retail settings.
IBM: Over the years, this technology giant has had a major impact on the retail business. Whether it be the retail point-of-sale solutions, the bar code or the business solutions, IBM has been an industry leader in changing the face of how retail operates.
Many do not recognize that Microsoft, JDA and several other business solutions were incubated in the IBM business. It continues today to lead with its IT hardware and cloud-based and consulting solutions. While it has doubted its own role in running business solutions as a business, it has played a critical role in launching many impactful businesses that have changed the face of the retail marketplace.
AT&T: AT&T’s impact is shown through the communication solutions it delivers to make the exchange of information possible. Often forgotten about, without a strong communication infrastructure, digital commerce would never have evolved.
NRF: The National Retail Federation (NRF) provides the free sharing of information and learnings that is critical to help develop future leaders and evolve the industry. Founded in 1918, the NRF does more to promote the retail industry than any other organization.
Sears: If you stop to understand the breadth and scope of Sears Holdings, you will understand the extent to which they changed the way retail was approached. It created Allstate Insurance, private label brands (e.g. Craftsman, Kenmore, etc.), Discover Card, Coldwell Banker, Dean Witter, and the Sears catalog to name a few. Its pioneering spirit demonstrates its powerful vision for diversification.
It has only been in recent years where the business has lost its focus on the customer and fallen from grace. If it could regain its customer relationship, it could regain its powerhouse position.