I was asked to explore how digital will transform an industry from the perspective of an existing business. The chosen business had shown declining revenue/negative or no growth over recent years. My task was to identify an opportunity and make strategic recommendations as to how they could accelerate/turn around their growth over the next 3 to 5 years.
I decided to choose the retail industry. This is an area in which I always had great interest for two reasons: 1) the amount of work and complexity that it involves behind the scenes, even before the product arrives at the store front or website and 2) the fact that it can bring together the digital and the physical worlds.
When it came to choosing the business, I was looking for a big challenge: I wanted a company that I had never heard of before, whose stores I could access, and with enough story and complexity to allow me to learn more about the industry, through the lenses of this business. Having this in mind, I decided to work on a plan for British Home Stores (BHS), a department store that has been under administration, since April of 2016.
The fact that digital is transforming the retail industry isn’t something new. However, the way it’s doing so is constantly changing and evolving. This is directly related to the current technological and behavioural trends. That said, after I learned more about the BHS business and problems, I moved on to research about these trends.
While connecting the dots between all the insights I was collecting, I kept brainstorming possible solutions for the numerous challenges the company is facing at the moment. I decided to create a plan to be followed after a buyer is found for BHS, to rebuild it and place it ahead of its competitors.