PwC’s Retail & Consumer Roundtable – A Success

«Digitization and Transformation of the Swiss Retail Sector»

On June 30, 2017 PwC Switzerland organised the first of a planned series of Retail & Consumer Breakfast Roundtables at the “Au Premier” in Zurich main station. In his introductory remarks Dr. Andreas Plattner, Director Transactions pointed out that against the background of constant negative press headlines on the state of the Swiss retail industry one could easily despair. Yet, the current fundamental transformation of the sector – largely driven by the fast paced digitisation of the retail value chain – does create opportunities and thus, a silver lining on the horizon.

Dr. Christoph Walser, Director Retail & Consumer Consulting, elaborated on selected highlights of the 6th PwC’s Total Retail Survey, a global consumer study with more than 24’000 respondents from five continents in 29 countries. In his presentation he explained how investment in six areas can help retailers master the challenges ahead and, thus, be better prepared for the future. The central piece of good news for most participants was that stationary retail in Switzerland is not doomed to vanish. However, the future retail store will look distinctly different.

Briefly touching on the need to define an Amazon.com strategy for both retailers and consumer goods manufacturers – irrespective of whether or not Amazon finally enters the Swiss market – Christoph built the bridge to the second input note. Dominic Olonetzky from PwC Digital Services (PDS) explained the evolution and growth of electronic market places both globally and in Switzerland. Revealing how various merchandise categories will be affected differently by these market places Dominic stressed the importance of a clear strategic direction. Direct-to-consumer business models and in-store digitisation, moreover, offer attractive opportunities for Swiss retailers and consumer goods manufacturers alike.

During the following open discussion participants explored in-depth some aspects of the retail transformation and continued the exchange in lively one-on-ones with the presenters after the official end of the event. Judging by the encouraging turn-out rate and positive feedback received from participants the topics presented were spot on and the PwC Retail & Consumer Roundtable a success.

Save the date: the next PwC Retail & Consumer Roundtable is scheduled for November 17, 2017 from 0730-0900.

The team

Dr. Christoph Walser
Director Retail & Consumer Consulting
PwC