retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Forbes reports that "Walmart has joined a growing list of retailers issuing looking for a few good startups to help solve some sticky technology problems and create more compelling shopping experiences."

The story says that the retailer will host, in partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit, some 250 applicants who will then be winnowed down to 25 to 30, who will then get a chance to pitch their ideas to top Walmart executives.

"Ultimately," the story says, "a handful will be selected and invited to take up residence inside Walmart for mentorship and help developing and bringing their technology to market."

Forbes writes that "It’s a trend in retail today. First companies like Walmart and Target opened offices in Silicon Valley and then they began integrating those teams into the home offices. Target has an advisory board and now an entrepreneur in residence program. A recent call for startups yielded 50 responses and ideas ranged from from connected toys to virtual fitting rooms."
KC's View:
I think this is a critically important trend for retail businesses, as they look to see around the corner in ways that may challenge traditional ways of doing business. They need to have people in influential positions who can challenge traditional methodologies, who can create game-changing concepts that big companies have the resources to nurture and grow.