Adaptive retail the next evolution in retail

The word ‘retail’ refers to much more than just businesses that sell products. Whether groceries, electronics, fitness, travel or anything that requires customers to engage with a product or brand IRL or digitally, the same
principles play a part – and RX is leading the way. 

The quest for growth is not easy. Markets are mature, customers are fickle, competition is fierce and new entrants can be more innovative and have a lower cost to entry. Retail is essentially everywhere. To win in it is to create a memorable customer experience that anticipates their needs and behavioural shifts. 

Failure to adapt leads to loss of customers or loss of margin. Whether you’re talking the convergence of the physical to digital, brand identity to product management, or creative ideation to operational optimisation, it all means retailers are faced with everyday challenges that many are struggling to solve. 

That’s where RX Group comes in. Previously known as RetailX, RX is a multidisciplinary retail practice that works alongside businesses that want to re-energise and reframe their business to grow. It’s a consultancy that does things.

Here, Managing Director of RX Group, Juanita Neville-Te Rito, shares her thoughts on the changes occurring in the sector and how RX is a springboard for retailers who need to deliver today, while shaping the business of tomorrow.

What makes RX different to other retail consultancies and agencies?

RX is incredibly unique as a retail practice. Our clients see us as a trusted partner and collaborator based on the years of in-industry experience we bring, the international expertise and connections we have, and our ability to right-size innovation to a truly Kiwi perspective.

As well as being the senior and executive leadership at the board table for many retailers, we’ve also all been practitioners who’ve led change within businesses all around the world. We know and understand our clients’ worlds intimately, and assist them in navigating challenges rationally, functionally and emotionally.

What are RX’S secret ingredients?

We focus on three distinct areas:

1. Staying ahead of the rest – we call it Retail Springboard

RX gives you access to keeping ahead of trends, from our own backyard retail to international retail, through to how to easily introduce innovation and change into your business. We have the expertise to ensure you don’t make rookie mistakes, and to adopt and adapt what’s most appropriate for your unique environment. 

Late last year, we undertook a go-see to the US with a client’s executive leadership team to get behind the scenes of one of the largest home-improvement retailers.

In doing so, we were able to learn how they applied Salesforce as an integrated tool through HQ to the front-line team member view. We got to touch, feel and poke at how they managed process change to drive efficiencies and improve the customer experience.

Compared to going on a store tour on which you just look, this is gold. Our client was able to ask detailed questions and experience the day-to-day workings of the business in real life.

2. Being true partners in growth – we call it Reframed Retail

This is about understanding what’s needed in your business, so you can take the appropriate steps – both large and small – to propel it towards sustained success. It’s not just about us delivering a fancy report.

We understand that getting where you need to go could require many different things, be that developing an innovative new concept or store format, brand repositioning, or refining a category strategy down to the functional aspects of a post-implementation review to ensure learnings are implemented or processes are upgraded.

Because we understand the full process required, and because we’re nimble, RX can be what you need us to be, when and where you need us.

It’s consulting in action. You might need our support in different areas of your business in different capacities – as experts in business strategy, store concepting or a brand refresh, as extra capacity in your internal team as support for category or in-store process development, or even as your marketing department. 

We can get involved where you need us most, because we know as retailers you need flex for periods of time. We work ‘inside’ many retailers as an extension of their marketing, operations, merchandise and innovation teams. Our ‘doing’ extends to providing fractional capabilities within a business. 

Need a specialist marketer to bring a project to life? Need to backfill someone temporarily while they incubate a project? Recruiting new roles but still need to work at pace? We’re currently working with a client for whom we’ve been their in-house marketing and strategy team for the past four years.

3. Future-fit business – we call it Adaptive Retail

The team at RX are curious, and we’re challengers. We don’t accept the norm – unless the norm is best practice (which it rarely is). We’re experts in experiences, and no amount of time or ‘learning from mistakes’ can buy that. 

Adaptive Retail is where people and businesses continue to learn and adapt to make the future real, a future that puts the customer first by blending technology, human behaviour and insights to make the retail experience more delightful, more intelligent, more connected from discovery to purchase to receipt. It’s not about channel – every engagement is interconnected, frictionless and exceeds expectations, something that’s hard to master and juggle when you’re in the thick of it. 

For more information, visit

This was first published in the March/April 2024 issue

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