A decisive factor for the growth in market share, business agility and resilience of successful food retailers is their ability to transfer knowledge quickly and effectively so as to have empowered, competent employees both in their stores and in supporting functions such as logistics, procurement and HR. At the same time, the distribution of labor in retail and the relatively high staff turnover is dramatically reducing the effectiveness of traditional training and support methodologies. Besides being a question of skill, this is also about the cost of training, the cost of failure or non-compliance in executing tasks, and the positive impact access to knowledge can have on staff attrition rates. European players such as Lidl and Aldi, the German giant REWE, its Dutch counterpart Jumbo and other high-growth, high-profit players have therefore redesigned their learning, support and knowledge access strategies and adopted a “digital first” mindset.
This paper examines the opportunities that brick-and-mortar retailers can tap into by creating a learning architecture for an increasingly digital future – a future in which satisfied customers, maximum efficiency, and real-time information will make all the difference.