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The Boston Globe reports that “according to a soon-to-be published survey conducted by the Phononic, global provider of refrigeration equipment to grocery stores, 90 percent of people surveyed said they wanted to shop in a grocery store that understands how to make buying groceries easier and more efficient. And half of the survey respondents said that grocery stores haven’t figured out how to use technology like other retailers have.”

The Globepiece argues that “for the past few decades, grocers have largely focused on updating the selections on their shelves: offering more organic produce or expanding their international food options, for example. But on the technology side, supermarkets have fallen victim to an increasingly wide ‘innovation gap,’ said Sterling Hawkins, who oversees operations and venture relations at the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology, a consultants group that connects retail clients to companies that offer innovative solutions to longstanding problems in the industry.”
KC's View:
I think this is an entirely fair criticism of many retailers. But I also think they are faced with having to drink from a firehose of technology innovations, and it is hard to make choices about what is most important. Self-checkouts? Click-and-collect? Delivery? Smart shelf tags? Or any of the plethora of other choices?

Retailers first have to decide who and what they are. What they represent. What their core value proposition is. A core value proposition cannot be just about technology. It has to be tied to an intimate understanding of the customer’s needs and wants, and then an ability to play both offense and defense at the same time.

Gaps can be filled in different ways. In fact, they should be filled in different ways by different retailers with actual vision.