Hitachi drums up support for blockchain retail role

August 23, 2018
Chris Wheal

More industry encouragement for blockchain, this time from Hitachi. Earlier Coinrivet reported that Hitachi management is getting increasingly vocal about blockchain as a key force for retail investment.

Retail experience ‘transformed’

“Retail experiences are being transformed by immersive and inventive innovations, while processes such as blockchain have the power to change the supply chain and logistics forever,” said the crypto site, attributing the comments to Vincent Reboul, managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance.

Large retail park in Warrington – but investment affordability questions lurk

Reboul warned that the balance between investing in technology and alternative retail space ventures and ideas looked to be out of synch, particularly for smaller companies.

“The research shows that, not only are there hugely differing opinions of the appropriate action to take across differing retail sectors, but there are also perhaps some areas where tech versus human investment is out of kilter.”

Brand re-focus opportunity

Major retailers are increasingly zero-ing in on new technology as a focus to excite consumers but smaller businesses are not committing to the same financial levels – even at a proportional level says Reboul.

Time stamps and smart contracts are though increasingly being used to target retail fraud allowing more time, say some, for companies to focus on their core story or ‘brand’.

This could help retail brands re-assert what they stand for, said Information Age editor Kayleigh Bateman in May this year.

Less unit moving, more focus on roots? Some, like Esprit, are making the change profitable

Less transactional?

“Blockchain will make retailers more transparent and will ensure the logistics of the business become more efficient. Store staff will become less transactional, instead becoming brand ambassadors in charge of managing relationships with customers.”

She added that the future of retail simply won’t just about moving units – it’ll be about brands who can prove their moxy on a socially consciousness and ethical level.

“There are already ample examples of this move, with retailers like Esprit and Abercrombie & Fitch going back to their roots and turning red figures back to black in the process.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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