In her 1976 novel, Interview With The Vampire, Anne Rice famously wrote: "the world changes, we do not; therein lies the irony that finally kills us".  Now I'm not suggesting that the Retail industry is about to get its collective neck bitten by an undead creature from folklore mythology but it's not a stretch of the imagination to believe that certain large sectors are having the life-blood sucked out of them as Retail reels from apparent crisis to crisis.

And much of the reason is due to the way that 'old' Retail models are failing to change.  "The world changes, we do not" - and that's a sure-fire recipe for disaster, "the irony that finally kills".

Truly transformational change is necessary.  A reinvention of Retail practices to address contemporary consumers and the behavioural shopping habits they have become used to and, in the case of certain ever-expanding shopping generations, have never known any other difference.  Such a change necessitates Digital Transformation to place the customer at the very heart of everything Retail stands for; the things for which it has always prided itself - quality customer understanding and outstanding service - are, today, more critical than ever, and analysing myriad data streams to gain insight into how to optimise the customer experience has never been more vital.

In line with this theme of change and innovation I am delighted to launch Episode 1 in a series of five vignettes using the medium of video to explore contemporary challenges and Solutions aimed at assisting Retail's cause.  The first episode discusses why innovation is so hard, how inventory has become such a challenge, as has customer behaviour analysis and why adopting a 'me too' approach to operations and competition is not necessarily the right thing to do.  Director and Head of Retail EMEA Mark Williams, Founder of Crawford IT Craig Crawford and I talk about today's Retail & Hospitality marketplace but always with Hitachi's powerful message to the fore: Hitachi Social Innovation is Powering Good.  Hitachi wants change to underpin social good - in this 5-part series I hope you'll like some of the ideas we have to achieve this goal.  If you'd like more details about what we're doing in the sector please get in touch.