U.S. and global consumers are driving change in retail at an unprecedented rate. Ubiquitous internet access, and changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to disruption in virtually every industry; retail perhaps more than any other. This digital revolution continues to transform the way customers buy and interact with retailers and products.
To respond, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) launched the (R)Tech Center for Innovation, powered by RILA and Accenture, and an accompanying “(R)Tech” brand in the retail, innovation, and policymaking arenas.
(R)Tech is a term that describes the confluence of retail and technology. An (R)Tech company embodies the strongest values of both industries – global and local, nimble and entrepreneurial – to delight profoundly empowered consumers. The term is meant to accelerate retail innovation and to invigorate retail’s reputation with innovators.
The Awards exist to highlight innovations that will enable the industry’s future. Winners will be invited to showcase and pitch at RILA’s 2018 Retail CEO Forum – an unprecedented opportunity to network with the most powerful chief executives in the retail industry – as well as press and media opportunities, and continued engagement through RILA events.
The (R)Tech Retail CEO Innovation Awards Focus
The (R)Tech Center believes that one trend is driving change in the industry more than any other: the trend toward Ubiquitous and Ultra-Personal Shopping.
Shopping will be invisible and ubiquitous, embedded into natural gestures and conversation, managed through a connected ecosystem, and considering all channels and all customers. Retailers and brands will become an integral part of customers’ lives, even outside of the purchasing context. Most purchases will occur outside of traditional shopping environments, but physical stores will benefit from the integration of digital information. Companies – retailers, consumer products, and others – will collaborate to share data and coordinate services, streamlining the path-to-purchase.
About the Retail Industry Leaders Association
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
The application period is now closed. Finalists will be notified individually.
All companies are welcome to apply, regardless of location. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a 2 page PowerPoint overview of your solution. Explicitly indicate how your technology, services, or products create the enabling environment for Ubiquitous & Ultra-Personal Shopping. Address the questions:
Include the following information in your email:
Entries exceeding two pages will not be considered.
Selection process & timeline
The theme of Ubiquitous & Ultra-Personal Shopping is of highest priority to executives in the retail industry. Therefore, valid entries will be reviewed by both the chief innovators and CEOs. All entries will be vetted for adherence to the criteria above.
Finalists will be selected in October by the (R)Tech Center for Innovation’s Advisory Council, comprised of the chief innovation officers from Accenture, AutoZone, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Energizer, Foot Locker, GameStop, Gap, IBM, Intel, Kroger, Lowe’s, QVC, Target, Unilever, Walgreens, Walmart, and Westfield. The (R)Tech Innovation Network will also vet applicants.
Those finalists will then be asked to submit a two-minute video pitch by late November.
Winners will then be selected by RILA’s Board of Directors, comprised of the CEOs/Presidents from Accenture, AutoZone, Best Buy, Cabela’s, Chico’s, Coca-Cola, Dollar General, Energizer, Foot Locker, IBM, Intel, J.C. Penney, Lowe’s, Michael’s, Newell Brands, Petco, PetSmart, Target, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply, ULTA Beauty, and VF Corporation, as well as other retail CEOs.
Winners will be notified by the end of December. Please contact Katie.Nicholos@rila.org if you have any questions.
"Having a culture of innovation starts at the top with the CEO’s forward thinking and flows down through different lenses of innovation."
"Pure innovation should disrupt, but incremental innovation is practical and helps us get better."
"We have [i]nnovation and [I]nnovation. Small changes and disruptive changes."
"Establish a ‘Think Differently’ culture and seek out innovations that will help meet internal goals."
"Having a sound change management system is key. Retailers need to be able to integrate new innovations across the company."
Exposure to retail executives. Finalists will prepare video pitches to be reviewed by RILA member CEOs. Winners are invited to attend RILA’s CEO Forum on January 21-23, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson, AZ. During the CEO Forum, winners will pitch their solutions on-stage and showcase their solutions during the event.
Media exposure. RILA will arrange press interviews, press releases, blog posts, and a media campaign for the winners.
Shoptalk exposure. RILA will provide complementary tickets to Shoptalk, the world’s largest conference for retail & ecommerce innovation.
Introductions to venture firms. RILA will introduce the winners to key players in the venture community, including those from the (R)Tech Center’s Innovation Network.
Showcase on the (R)Tech Center’s website. The (R)Tech Center will highlight the winners on its website through branding, videos, and other relevant collateral.