How The Dandy Lab stays ahead of 'digital disruption': A smart customer experience

The British menswear boutique uses shopper data, RFID tags, and consumers' own phones to supply the in-store experience they really want.

The Dandy Lab store front in a downtown area

According to report released by Cisco at last month’s National Retail Federation (NRF) convention, almost half of all retailers are vulnerable to what the IT infrastructure provider calls “digital disruption”—changes wrought by the introduction of digital and mobile technologies in the industry’s business methods—over the next five years.

Almost half (47%) of the retail executives polled by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT), a partnership between Cisco and the Swiss Institute for Management Development (IMD), say that digital disruption could put their companies out of business in three to five years. And 38% of those surveyed expect new businesses to take their places.

“That’s a pretty substantial magnitude of change,” Shaun Kirby, Cisco’s CTO of the WARP Accelerated Rapid Prototyping, told Retail Dive. “This is a big transition—it’s not unlike an Industrial Revolution.”

“Just as Apple and Android devastated the pre-smartphone era of brands, digital disruption is poised to have a tremendous impact on the retail industry over the next five years,” Kirby noted in a release announcing the results. “If retailers fail to digitize their services, the ones we know as leaders today may become laggards, or even disappear.”

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