Retail Industry Leaders Association and Accenture Launch Innovation Center

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Accenture, have announced the launch of RILA’s (R)Tech Center for Innovation. The new initiative will explore the impact that technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality will have on the retail industry and help retailers create innovative ways of doing business.

RILA collaborated with Accenture to create the (R)Tech Center for Innovation. Accenture will actively work with RILA to shape the overall program, conduct joint research, and bring together retailers and technology start-ups to explore the industry transformation that is being driven by digital technologies.

(R)Tech is a new term coined by RILA to describe the confluence of retail and technology. An (R)Tech company embodies the core values of both those industries – global and local, nimble, and entrepreneurial – to win the loyalty of today’s empowered consumers.

The (R)Tech Center will address five key industry needs by:

Providing Authoritative Research: This will include retail innovation benchmarking, trends, and analysis.

Connecting to Innovation: The center will be used to connect retailers to innovative technologies, companies and ventures, from around the world.

Fostering Innovation: Assist the industry in creating cultures where innovation, creativity and change can flourish.

Activating Innovation: Assist retailers in implementing change management, putting new insights into action and integrating emerging technologies and new innovations across the company.

Burnishing Reputation: Build reputation for retail in innovation hubs and with policymakers and retail talent.

To coincide with the launch, the two organizations have also released an inaugural blueprint: “The Emergence of (R)Tech: A Blueprint for the Confluence of Retail and Technology,” to highlight how technology is disrupting the retail industry, the associated challenges and opportunities, including details of the steps needed for retailers to succeed by taking advantage of the technological disruption.

“We are excited to collaborate with Accenture as we launch our (R)Tech Center for Innovation,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “Today’s most recognized retailers are entering a new age and it all starts with (R)Tech– where retail meets technology. The Center will bring together some of today’s most beloved retail brands with tech’s brightest stars. Through research and relationships, we hope to further retail’s commitment to fostering cultures of innovation that benefit industry and our customers.”

RILA has formed the (R)Tech Advisory Council which represent some of today’s most established US retail brands. Members include: AutoZone, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Energizer, Foot Locker, GameStop, Kroger, Lowe’s, QVC, Target, Unilever, VF Corporation, Walgreens, and Westfield.

As part of the (R)Tech Center for Innovation launch, RILA has established a new (R)Tech Innovation Network which will connect recognized tech innovators and Venture Capital firms with retail brands. Network members include: Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Facebook, Greylock Partners, Google, GSVlabs, Shoptalk, Techstars, and XRC Labs.

“Today, US and global consumers are driving change in retail at an unprecedented rate. Changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to disruption in virtually every industry; retail perhaps more than any other,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director of Retail at Accenture. “Through (R)Tech, we believe Accenture and RILA can foster innovative business practices that will help shepherd retail into the future.”

To learn more about the Center and its future activities, visit www.rtech.org.

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