Get radical, focus on data and AI and recognize that sustainability is now a must for consumers, not an option.
Those were among the key themes that emerged on the second day of the WWD Virtual Apparel and Retail CEO Summit on Thursday.
Anne Pitcher, managing director of Selfridges Group, believes retail should be “radical,” and take the lead with regard to issues as diverse as culture, the environment, the consumer, and the shop-floor experience. Pitcher said instead of relying on past experience, retailers need to “focus on what will work in the future,” and “do the right thing for people and the planet now, instead of waiting for legislation to force us into it.”
She added that retailers need to be hypersensitive to big cultural shifts, too, and not treat them like “student politics that the younger generation ‘will quickly grow out of.’”
Pitcher made some radical claims herself, arguing that stores should adopt “a way of thinking that puts creativity and innovation back at the heart of retail. I’ve been a shopgirl since I’ve been 16 years old. Retail has been my life’s work, and recently I have come to feel that the left side of the brain