STORES Magazine - January 2010 - (Page 69)

CONSIDER THIS / LOEB RETAIL LETTER Copyright 2010 by Loeb Associates Inc. Used by permission. Time to Renew Dedication to Innovation BY WALTER F. LOEB A study published in a recent issue of Newsweek indicated that American businesses believe that the recession has had a negative impact on their ability to innovate. The magazine pointed out, however, that the rest of the world still has a very healthy respect for American ingenuity and pointed to such milestone innovators as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and George Washington Carver. There is, however, a strong feeling that innovation will be even more important in the next three decades than it has been in the previous 30 years — and that the United States is the technologically innovative country that will lead the way. This is a hopeful sign that the rest of the world believes that creative genius still resides in the United States, and that it will generate new growth Walter F. Loeb is a New Yorkand new employment. based consultant and member The same sense of hopeof the NRF board of directors fulness can be found in the whose newsletter is published retail industry, which has monthly in STORES. had no shortage of innovators through the ages – Rowland Macy, King Kullen, Harry Cunningham and Sam Walton, to name but a few. Marshall Field tried to understand his customers and give them a high level of service; Stanley Marcus established high standards for luxury department stores. More recently, we can point to Steve Jobs for redefining how to sell electronics using highly-trained associates in a glitzy environment, and Howard Schultz for proving that even a pedestrian cup of coffee can be sold at a premium. Innovation vs. invention Darrel Rigby, a senior partner at Bain & Co., believes that invention and innovation are not the same things. Creativity generates interesting new ideas; innovation makes creative ideas profitable. Moreover, innovation addresses far more than new product development: it should improve marketing, shopping, purchasing — every touch point in the customer experience chain. He cites Apple’s retail stores as an example of how innovation can impact the entire business model. Rigby says that because innovation must both generate and commercialize creative ideas, major retail innovations often occur when highly creative executives and skilled operating managers develop comprehensive strategies together. Major retail innovations often occur when highly creative executives and skilled operating managers develop comprehensive strategies together Creative teamwork He cites creative/commercial teams like Pierre Omidyar and Meg Whitman at eBay, Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole at Gucci, Calvin Klein and Barry Schwartz at Calvin Klein and Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight at Nike as examples of successful collaborations. The CEO of a company must be involved in the innovative process and encourage strategies that lead to successful new directions within the framework of a company’s objectives. In the current environment, I am looking for the new innovators that will create an exciting tomorrow by analyzing opportunities and developing strategies that will excite and motivate the consumer. STORES / JANUARY 2010 69 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - January 2010

STORES Magazine - January 2010
Editor's Page
President’s Page
Retail People
CEO Profile
20 Ideas Worth Stealing
Digital Coupons
Customer Loyalty
Labor Scheduling
Data Management
Human Resources
Retail Fraud
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap
Global Powers of Retailing

STORES Magazine - January 2010