From The Editor | August 13, 2015

You Want It Fast, Or You Want It Good?

Matt Pillar

By Matt Pillar, chief editor

Retail innovation

I think the tech accelerator concept creates wonderful opportunities for startups and investors alike. But it’s worth noting that the most innovative applications of technology that we’ve covered are homegrown. They’re conceived through interdepartmental collaboration, born on the store floor, and nurtured by vendor and third-party support.

Last month, management consulting firm Kurt Salmon announced a joint venture with the Parsons School of Design at the New School and the Harvard University Innovation Lab to create a “first-of-its kind design-centric innovation ecosystem for the retail and consumer goods industries.”

Kurt Salmon is calling the venture, dubbed XRC Labs, “an accelerator that unites entrepreneurs and investors to solve the biggest challenges—and unlock the next generation of opportunities—facing the retail and consumer goods industry.”

I like the sounds of it, but some verbiage from the official press release announcing the initiative gave me pause. The release opens:

“Yes, there’s an app for that, but if it’s for a store, it’s probably pretty lame, and you probably don’t use it. And despite advances in wearable tech, mobile payment options and data’s power to personalize, consumers still face impersonal interactions and cashier lines that haven’t changed much in decades.”

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