Last week we officially launched the findings from the groundbreaking Retail Technologies and Future Skills Report which examines the impact technology is having on retail and the future skills required within the sector. The report uncovers what retailers are prioritising as part of their digital transformation, it reviews emerging technologies, examines how retail jobs are evolving, and makes recommendations to retailers and education providers.
Arnold Dillon, the Director of Retail officiated the event which had around 300 people in attendance.
Following this Sean Carlin, the Director of Retail Ireland discussed the importance of the report to the retail sector. In addition, he discussed the importance of curbing the loss of revenue to foreign websites by encouraging Irish consumers to shop domestically.
Sean Carlin – Director Retail Ireland Skillnet
Shortly after, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English stated the importance of the report and how it puts a spotlight on the current technology and skills needs within the sector. He praised the timing of the report. In addition, Minister English confirmed his commitment to retailers in addressing the many opportunities and challenges outlined in the Retail Technologies and Future Skills Report.
Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group and the Chair of Retail Ireland discussed how the retail landscape in Ireland is evolving. He discussed how technology is disrupting every aspect of retail and reviewed how the family-owned Maxol Group are using technology in their business. He discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is driving predictive pricing and streamling organisational pricing processes.
Shortly after we heard from the report author Roisin Woods who discussed the research objectives and the research methodology. Roisin discussed what Irish retailers are prioritising as part of their digital transformation and the 7 key technologies reviewed in the report. She also discussed how retail disciplines are changing reviewing the current state-of-play, emerging technologies, and skills required to work in the different disciplines.
Roisin Woods – Report Author
Following this, Dr. Oran Doherty co-author for the Retail Technologies and Future Skills report reviewed how skills are changing. He discussed how the ideal retail employee will have a blend of human, technological, and retail skills. He went on to discuss entry level, supervisory, and leadership retail skills. The many recommendations outlined in the report for retailers and training education providers were also discussed.
Thereafter we were joined by Tracey Donnery, Chief Executive for Policy & Communications at Skillnet Ireland talked about the importance of the necessary technological skills across all sectors. We are thankful to Skillnet Ireland for funding the research project, without their support the report would not have been possible.
Bringing the launch to an end, we heard from the keynote speaker Russell Beck who inspired all in attendance. He talked about how retailers need to promote their sector as more than just a job in a shop, need to highlight the importance of people in retail.
The innovative 142-page report is divided into 8 sections.
- Section 1 Key Findings: provides an overview of the report’s key findings.
- Section 2 Research Methodology: provides an overview of the methodology adopted for this study combines in-depth interviews, focus groups, an online survey, input from a range of subject matter experts, and an extensive review of the literature.
- Section 3 Technology in Retail: describes the main technologies impacting retail including data, automation, internet of things (IoT), blockchain, mobile, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and augmented reality (AR). In addition to reviewing these technologies, the section will also present the implications for careers and skills.
- Section 4 Retail Disciplines: reviews how the major disciplines within retail are being impacted including sales – instore and online, customer experience, marketing, visual merchandising, supply chain, loss prevention, and payments. In addition to reviewing these disciplines, the section will also present technology trends and skills required.
- Section 5 Implications on Careers and Skills: provides an overview of how technology is impacting careers and presents the generic skills required at entry, supervisory and senior level within retail.
- Section 6 Recommendations for Employers: presents a number of recommendations to employers with a special focus on training, education, and skills.
- Section 7 Recommendations for Education and Training Providers: presents a list of recommendations for training and education providers when designing and delivering programmes of study for the retail sector.
- Section 8 Final Thoughts: concludes the report with a general overview and information on researchers.
A special thanks must be extended to the Retail Ireland Skillnet Steering Group member companies, the Consortium Steering Group, Retail Ireland, all the Irish and international subject matter experts, retail owners, and retail employees for their support. Without everyone’s support this report would not have been possible. th technologies and skills.
Over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to exploring the findings of the report, with deep dives into technology and skills for the retail sector.
You can Download a copy of the Retail Technologies and Future Skills Report here or Retail Ireland Skillnet’s website https://www.retailirelandskillnet.com/report/