Casestudy - Omni-channel Grocery

Case Study – Omni-channel Grocery

How Grocery Retailers Built Successful Digital/Omni-channel Operations


  • Around the world, grocery retailers have been charting a path towards an omnichannel customer proposition – growing digital offerings alongside their established operations. Driven by societal changes and compounded by Covid-19, these changes (which span all functions) have become increasingly urgent. Yet the complexity of the challenge has meant that different grocers have experienced varying success.

Accelerated’s approach to the research:

  • Accelerated was asked to help facilitate this transformation at a large grocer by capturing success factors to replicate, and mistakes to avoid. By learning directly from leading global grocery retailers who have transitioned to an omnichannel model, this research identified key lessons as they relate to strategy, org structure, data & tech, capabilities, culture and change management
  • Our team was led by a Collaboration Partner (CP) who brought over 20 years of management consulting retail experience (ex-Bain, ex-Kearney). Supported by our team of BAs and recruiters, the CP created conducted interviews with subject matter experts:
    • from retailers such as: Walmart, Kroger, Loblaws, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Woolworths
    • recently or currently in roles such as: Head of Innovation & Emerging Technologies, Commercial & Supply Chain Director, GM Tech, VP Supply Management, VP Marketing


  1. There is no clear playbook for success for omnichannel in grocery. Major players with success in this arena have taken different paths, each with their own pros and cons. Awareness of these cases helps to better understand and cherry pick from the span of available options to tackle major challenges
  2. Some grocers have built standalone digital organisations, others have formed JVs and completed acquisitions. Both approaches have led to cultural clashes, and in some cases to disconnected customer experience. Being forewarned is being forearmed
  3. Some organisations have followed slow but gradual internal changes to omnichannel, whilst others have undertaken a ‘big bang’ transformation. The pace of change was determined by the organisation’s readiness to transform (requiring a high degree of organisational alignment) and by the market context
  4. Critical success factors that underpinned all successful transitions included significant investment in data capture and analytics, judicious choice of tech infrastructure, cultural shifts across the core business, cross functional collaboration and new ways of working to deliver change at pace

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