Retail Innovation Center

Industry Challenge in the RTech Age 

U.S. and global consumers are driving change in retail like never before. Ubiquitous internet access coupled with changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to significant disruption in every industry. This digital revolution continues to transform the way customers interact with retailers and buy products. And the pace and depth of these changes is both unprecedented and accelerating. This new retail landscape brings with it many risks, but also many opportunities. 

Retail Innovation Center Mission

To equip leading retailers to navigate transformation through innovation and reorient the innovation ecosystem toward retail needs. It does so by addressing four industry-wide innovations challenges – prioritizing, funding, talent and culture – by connecting retailers to innovators, fostering innovation inside retailers, and burnishing the reputation for retail with innovation hubs, talent, and policymakers.

Retail Innovation Center Priorities and Activities

Connecting to Innovators: The RIC connects retailers to new technologies, leading startups, innovative companies, and critical talent by using our networks to create:

  1. Startup and Innovative Company Connections – The RIC connects retailers to startups and innovative companies by bringing RTech network members to RTech Council meetings, other RILA executive council meetings, and RILA conferences.
  2. Talent Connections – The RIC connects retailers to a diverse, skilled and innovative workforce through campus partnerships on hackathons, a global case competition, and live learning stores.
  3. Fostering Innovation: Assist retailers through expert case studies, peer benchmarking, and collaborative projects that address retail needs by leveraging the innovation ecosystem.
  4. Burnishing Reputation: Build a reputation for retail in innovation hubs, with retail talent, and with policymakers.

Retail Innovation Center Structure 

The Center has a four-part structure - one retailer community and three networks.  Each group represents critical stakeholders in the retail innovation ecosystem, namely retail innovation and digital executives, venture capital and technology firms, startups, and universities. The communities are:

  1. RTech Council: composed of all RILA member retail innovation executives. Its role is to act as a pre-competitive forum to share best practices, identify potential collaborative interests and to network with true peers.
  2. RTech Innovation Network: composed of tech and digital firms, venture capitalists, incubators, and accelerators with a focus on retail technologies, innovations, and the digital transformation.    
  3. RTech Collegiate Network: comprised of leading universities.
  4. RTech Startup Network: composed of startups focusing on enterprise technologies that meet retail needs with an emphasis on asset protection, compliance, payments, supply chain, and workforce.

RILA Startup Innovation Awards

The Retail Innovation Center, an initiative of RILA, offers a variety of challenges and awards. Learn how your teams can get involved.

Learn More

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