The founder of the Neiman Marcus iLab contends retailers are hindering innovation - a surprising theory from a retail executive who six years ago had helped develop an innovative program to use technology to improve the consumer experience.
With this background and strong stance on the state of the retail industry, Scott Emmons has joined TheCurrent Global as CTO "to bring insights and expertise to global retail brands," a company press release states.
During his 13-year tenure with Neiman Marcus, Emmons helped the retailer to exist on the forefront of innovation, through consumer-facing technological introductions such as a memory mirror, 4K touch table lookbooks, intelligent mobile phone charging stations and smart fitting room technology.
Despite his success in advancing Neiman Marcus' stance in the industry, Emmons now believes that internal teams are unable to produce the necessary results to drive the industry forward. Following this belief, Emmons is now part of a retail consultancy firm.
TheCurrent Global was founded in 2017 by Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur with the mission to transform how consumer retail brands use technology to advance. Despite its youth, the firm has worked with a client list that includes the British Fashion Council, LVMH, Gucci and Burberry.
The consultancy firm uses its teams combined experiences from founding Neiman Marcus iLabs to creating Decoded Fashion, as per Bacelar's background, to deliver tools for integration and experiences to global retailers.
A new retail landscape
TheCurrent Global believes that the retail industry is entering a new era of innovation. move marks a new era for retail innovation. It sees increased competition, and a growth of companies embracing risk, as a cue that the industry is in need for experimentation.
“Corporate innovation programs seem to start strong and sharp, but over time, they are devoured and diminished by surrounding day-to-day business processes, making it nearly impossible to maintain momentum," Emmons said at New York's NRF Big Show. "It’s time for that to change. For fashion and retail brands to succeed, they need to shift from an internally driven culture to one focused on open innovation with the world’s top technology and talent."
Liz Bacelar, CEO of TheCurrent Global, added in a statement, “Real innovation can only happen today by tackling problems in a new way. We all know it is insanity to expect different results using the same approaches. With the help of outside experts, businesses can achieve growth in a new way, with both speed and efficiency."