Eight out of ten food retail executives expect digitalization to change the skills that are important to them greatly or even very greatly in the future. Consequently, six out of ten companies are already implementing specific training measures for their management staff this year. These are the findings of the "Supermarket of the Future" study. The start-up Responsive Acoustics (ReAct), which specializes in sound and communication concepts, conducted an expert survey among owners, managing directors and store managers from the German food retail industry at the beginning of the year.
"According to the respondents, the topic of digitalization has not yet sufficiently reached the executives and employees," summarizes ReAct managing director Wilbert Hirsch. Only just under a third of the companies' managers have good or very good knowledge of digitization in food retailing. Among employees, only one in ten is considered to have the relevant know-how.
"It is therefore urgently necessary for companies to further expand their expertise in the area of digitization," says retail expert Hirsch. And the industry is already responding to the need. For example, 59 percent of companies are planning specific measures to build up digital expertise within their management teams this year. Forty-one percent still do not want to do this. Among employees, however, the figures are reversed. Only 41 percent of employees will be able to benefit from the planned measures to build digital expertise in 2019. No further training is planned for 59 percent.
"Food retailers must not focus solely on managers when it comes to digitalization," warns ReAct founder Hirsch. "After all, it is usually the ordinary employees who have to hold their own and score points on the customer front with the help of the new technical possibilities." This is also underlined by the expert survey. Because in addition to the necessary expansion of competencies for managers and employees, those surveyed also expect significant changes in the shopping experience of their customers as a result of digitization.