The most innovative retailers of 2022

Ana Vilar García

The technological revolution has brought great innovations for our daily lives, and the covid has accelerated this process even more. Companies are paying more and more attention to applying technology in their favor (and their clients’), in creating new businesses or simply in staying strong in case the market changes. One of the most innovative sectors is retail, especially when we talk about the digital format. That is why today we explore some of the most innovative retailers of the last year.

1. Mango

💡 For betting on technology and its own research and startup acceleration centers.

This retailer appears frequently in the lists of the most innovative retailers, being included in rankings such as the European Knowledge Center for Information Technology (EKCIT).

Mango has been one of the first fashion companies to apply augmented reality, for example to identify garments through image recognition back in 2014.

But we don't have to go that far back in time to find innovation at Mango. In addition to being one of the companies that is most committed to new technologies, Mango opened its own technology center in 2019 and in April 2022 it opened its own startup accelerator: Mango StartUp Studio. In collaboration with the IESE Business School, Mango StartUp Studio will look for new business opportunities.

Also in 2022, we heard the news that Mango entered the metaverse and the NFT market. Along with the crypto-artist Farkas, three works of art were created, and they have been exhibited in the first edition of the Metaverse Fashion Week.

2. adidas

💡 For bringing 3D printing to the masses and for its focus on sustainability and digitization.

In recent years, adidas has put a lot of emphasis on innovation, sustainability and digitalization. Since they bought Runtastic back in 2015, adidas has put a lot of effort into keeping up with digitalization and offering holistic experiences to its users. One of its clearest innovation objectives is sustainability. Campaigns like their Run for the Oceans and their iconic sneakers made with recycled plastic from the seas are a good example of this.

In addition, adidas has given great importance to the customization of their articles. Thus, they began to produce 3D printed shoes with customization for each type of foot, something crucial for atheletes.

3. Sephora

💡For applying augmented reality to their customer journey.

This cosmetics retailer usually sneaks into the innovation rankings due to its great focus on technology. In fact, in their online stores you can use features such as Fragrance IQ, which helps you find your ideal perfume, or Color IQ, which helps you find the perfect makeup shade for you.

In addition, its Virtual Artist mobile app allows users to use various types of makeup virtually, then being able to buy the products that you liked the most in this test.

4. Walmart

💡 For their efforts to acquire digitally native companies.

Walmart is one of those companies that relies on M&A to face innovation and conquer younger audiences, such as millennials and Generation Z.

In addition to having already acquired brands such as Bare Necessities, the CEO of Walmart assured that they will have to acquire between 40 and 50 digitally native brands to keep up with the market curve, reach younger customers and increase their income.

5. Carrefour

💡 For introducing new products and for their manufacturer's brand innovation.

In the study "Innovation Radar 2021" carried out by Kantar Worldpanel, it is revealed that Carrefour is the most innovative retailer in the food sector in Spain, followed by Alcampo and Eroski.

In addition, Carrefour stands out for its efforts to transform its company culture, with programs such as "Act for Change", which seeks to encourage its employees to innovate and experiment.

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