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Supermarkets, as we know them, will disappear by 2040

Jaime Castelló, a professor of Marketing at Esade, predicted that the supermarkets, as we know them nowadays, could disappear by 2040 because of the two factors that are changing the retail sector: convenience (where is it easier, cheaper, nearer, and more comfortable to shop) and the shopping experience (who adds more value).

Tony Stockil, CEO of Javelin Group, stated at the The Supermarket of the Future Conference, which was organized by the Retail Forum ESADECREAPOLIS in collaboration with Accenture Digital, that "in 20 years, the landscape of the industry will be unrecognizable and we'll see then how the digital world has been able to transform the market."

"Globally, e-commerce has matured and it continues to grow rapidly in large cities," Stockil said. Thus, as the digital sector progresses in the sector retail, many businesses are forced to incorporate on-line sales to survive. There are many cases of this happening, such as the e-commerce of foodstuffs that still haven't achieved profitable margins, Stockil added.

"Digitization has also increased the diversity of channels and has created greater price transparency in a market where it is particularly difficult to compete with companies such as Amazon, which already sells supermarket products directly online," the CEO of the Javelin Group said. Therefore, "the traditional retail business must incorporate a range of new skills and abilities and innovate in their business models."

In turn, Raimon Miret, CEO of Accenture Products Iberia, spoke about what the most disruptive trends in the sector will be: "the omni- channel, the introduction of digital technology in the physical store, real-time knowledge of what the customer wants or needs through big data; the intersection of customer information we have (transactional and relational) and finally the use of tools that will allow us to manage prices more dynamically and the returns from offers, promotions, and campaigns."

Luis Montoro, commercial director of Mahou San Miguel, acknowledged that "manufacturers have to work closely with the retail sector to understand the needs and behavior of the buyer at the point of sale so as to add more value to their products." In turn, Merce Buxadera, CIO for Danone in southwest Europe, stated that "digital orders can allow us to optimize our portfolios and improve our forecasting skills regarding sales in the stores."

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