Description of the DVC THEME

The retail sector makes up 3.63 million of businesses across Europe, with 19.3 million jobs and €519 billion value added. It is a sector operating on low margins, with all players fighting for market share by offering consumers the best choice of quality, innovation and price. Retailers must react quickly to changes in consumer choices and behaviours, and this has turned specifically critical during the COVID19 pandemic. The pandemic, started early 2020 across the globe, has caused several disruptions in the short- and mid-term to which the retail businesses had to deal with and adapt. As a consequence of several factors (e.g. extraordinary containment measures, the “scarcity effect”, novel protocols), consumers have rapidly changed their shopping behaviour, leading to negative impacts on stock and supply chain performance, or requiring the implementation of new online services.

In the retail sector, consumers are at the heart of the supply chain, driving innovation. Most of retailers have been investing in the past years to become data-driven businesses, introducing innovations using core data on what customers buy, as well as innovating on products and processes subject to data analytics and machine learning. Retailers are aware that their responses to the COVID19 emergency and their adaptation to the COVID19 normalisation will dramatically impact their business, but however are scrambling to adapt as they have very little time to take action. This DVC Theme will put the focus on bringing innovative data-fuelled solutions and services to the market that facilitate and support resilience and crisis management for the retail sector.

Expected global results:

  1. Improve decision-making of the retailers in case of crisis situations and quick changes of consumption patterns
  2. Generate crisis-adjusted consumer profiles and expected logistic and environmental impact
  3. Better knowledge of COVID19 impact in consumer behaviour within the retail sector

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