In brief

In brief

  • Retailers have long known that their future lies in a different kind of retail experience—more digital, integrated, personalized and sustainable.
  • The pandemic brought that future forward—but few retailers were fully prepared for the scale of the digital shift and its impact on the bottom line.
  • Now is the time for retailers to commit to fully integrating online and offline—and resetting the purpose, function and operating model of stores.
  • Welcome to the Store of Tomorrow—a new reality for stores across all sectors that aligns to local customer needs, reduces costs and drives profit.

The future retail experience is here

With store operating models established in a pre-digital age—with stores designed to optimize foot traffic and traditional shopping journeys—few retailers were fully prepared for the recent shift to digital on this scale or at this pace. The additional costs associated with serving online customers are unsustainable without a step change in the business that works for all stakeholders.

The online-merge-offline (OMO) model calls on retailers to be bold in reimagining how they operate across all retail channels. It means developing a diverse store portfolio that is tailored to the needs of local customers, and enabling a reduction in operating costs that allows for more investment in new experiences.

Introducing the Store of Tomorrow

To help accelerate the OMO model, Accenture has developed an innovative new concept for the Store of Tomorrow. It’s applicable to all sectors of retail, from grocery, to beauty, to DIY and beyond.

Designed to be open, flexible, and adaptable in every respect, the concept combines the speed and simplicity of digital shopping with the automated efficiency of modern warehousing—while putting a greater emphasis on the human-centered physical shopping experiences customers still crave.

This flexible, customer-centered experience is at the heart of the Store of Tomorrow concept.

store of tomorrow

Accenture’s Store of Tomorrow

The Store of Tomorrow reinvents the future of retail through more digital, personalized and innovative customer experiences.

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How is it achieved? Each store plan starts with six key ingredients. A retailer then combines these in different ways depending on its retail sector, local market, and customer needs.

Integrated customer experience

A rich understanding of local customer needs via data, which informs a fully integrated model that speeds up the deployment of CX across channels.

Optimized supply chain operations

A retail supply chain optimized for resilience and responsibility, as well as cost and service, at the local level. Learn more.

Purposeful and skilled workforce

An inclusive culture that includes investment from retailers into retraining and reskilling for a diverse and adaptable workforce. Learn more.

Real-time data on the edge

Distributed edge computing that enables automated decision-making in real time, such as personalized product recommendations as customers shop. Learn more.

Enhanced sustainability and social responsibility

Embedded ESG principles across all functions from sourcing, to store experience and fulfillment, and to drive resource efficiency. Learn more.

Data-driven decision making

Positioning customers at the heart of the business—by using data, AI and machine learning to generate insights and fuel decisions. Learn more.

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Offering consumers greater choice and convenience

What might the Store of Tomorrow look like in practice? Accenture has developed a groundbreaking concept that turns the traditional retail layout on its head, and divides the retail store into three complementary parts: The Aisle, the Dark Store and the Promenade.

The Store of Tomorrow concept promises to radically simplify the omnichannel customer journey, while providing shoppers with greater choice and convenience. At the same time, it offers retailers a vision of a world in which more ecommerce doesn’t have to mean lower profitability. In fact, the model supports both revenue growth and cost optimization.

To find out more, read our full report here.


Ray Marciano

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail

Laurent Thoumine

Managing Director & Retail Lead, Europe

Jill Standish

Senior Managing Director – Global Lead, Retail

Brooks Kitchel

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail


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