“Retail is dead”.
In 2017 around 7000 retail stores announced they would close down. Sears was once a leading retail outlet in the U.S. but lost 96% of its value and went bankrupt this year.
The evidence is clear: Retail is dead.
But if retail is dead, how come Best Buy, Lowe’s and Home Depot all doubled their share price in the same period that Sears was declining?
The fact is, retails is NOT dead, it’s evolving. Like every other industry today, retail is forced into change because of technology. And like in every other industry the ones who adapt will survive and thrive. Those who don’t will probably not last very long.
Retail is especially pressed because the threat is hitting from two sides: One is the obvious growth of e-commerce and the other is “internet first” companies entering the retail space. Companies like Amazon and Alibaba are starting fresh in retail so they can build an entirely new way of operating from the ground up, and they’re bringing all their experience and best practices from online with them.
So are traditional retail stores doomed? Again — if they’re quick enough to adapt — I say no.
To help them adapt they could partner with startups who have the potential to change retail. Companies that bring new technologies to the retail space and that can improve data collection as well as customer experience to match the high demands of today’s shoppers.
Here is a list of 7 companies in Sweden that are changing retail:
- Sitoo offers small and midsized stores and retail chains with sales and ecommerce software solutions.
- Sitoo’s cloud based, self-serve POS systems are used by Lagerhaus, Åhlens, Adlibris och Designtorget.
- Raised $7.7M in funding.
- 15 employees (2017).
- Modcam uses computer vision and machine learning on device to determine movements, tracking and profiling visitors, anonymously.
- Modcam cam help retail stores improve customer experience by providing visitor insights such as behavior, demographics and product interest.
- Raised $4.6M in funding.
- 10 employees (2017).
- Volumental is a cloud-based platform using 3D for product customization
- By bringing a digital technology into the store, the Volumental 3D foot scanner and AI-driven footwear recommendation software result in better sales opportunities.
- Raised $4.5M in funding.
- 21 employees (2017).
- Onslip is leading small business payment solution provider in the Nordics.
- Raised $4.5M in funding.
- 31 employees (2017).
- iZettle, a mobile payments company, offers small businesses with portable point-of-sale solutions and free sales overview tools.
- Acquires by Paypal for $2.2 billion in an all-cash deal.
- Close to 500 employees (2017).
- Launched the first fully automated convenience store in Sweden in 2016 (similar to Amazon Go).
- Pioneered image recognition to automate retail stores.
- Acquired café startup Wheely’s (YC15). The store has since closed.
- Ombori creates seamless in-store and mobile digital shopping experiences.
- Projects include the H&M Smart Mirror and Clas Ohlson Labstore.
Acando: A leading consulting firm that works withSmart Retail, providing solutions related to insight, omnichannel commerce and more.
Atea: One of Sweden’s leading IT-consulting firms that helps clients with VR, POS Systems, Virtual Showrooms and more related to retail.
Retail Store: Founded in 2004, provides Retail Management System, Visitor Counters and more.
The Lobby: A concept store in the heart of Stockholm that features an ever-changing marketplace with selected international and Scandinavian brands.
Kaching: A mobile-first retail platform that sets a new standard in efficiency and productivity.