Retailers should accelerate their speed of innovation



Nick Lansley, former Head of Innovation at Tesco Labs


Sophie Baqué met Nick Lansley, an expert in retail innovation. After 27 years at Tesco, he explains why retailers must boost their pace of innovation to meet the expectations of today’s customers, who are connected 150 times a day.


Sophie Baqué: Nick, what is your retail background?
Nick Lansley: I worked at Tesco from 1987 to May 2015, as part of IT, R&D, Web Development and Tesco Labs. I was a founder of Tesco’s first U.K. online service in the mid 1990’s. Last year, I created Lansley Consultancy in the U.K. I now work with European retailers on the attitudes and techniques of customer-facing innovation.


Sophie Baqué: How do you consider current innovation within big retailers?
Nick Lansley: Innovation is not strong, particularly within the largest retailers. If you think of most retailers, particularly food retailers, they don’t need innovation to survive. For a Western European retailer, a typical innovation budget is very small. This includes the salary for a team of up to 10 staff, plus an additional cost of €5,000 to €10,000 for a particular project. For many years, their focus has been on the supply chain. Today, they understand that they need to create a dramatic and attractive step-changing experience for connected customers who check their smartphones up to 150 times a day!

Sophie Baqué: Can an innovation strategy be profitable?
Nick Lansley: To me, this is not the right question. An internal innovation team should be seen as…




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