Hands-on 10+ years retail experience that finds huge growth opportunities still untapped in retail —

I have worked in retail as an executive in charge of eCommerce, Bricks & Mortar (B&M, real stores), Merchandising, Digital / IT, Inventory Management, Supply Chain, Marketing, etc., and eventually, managed all retail functions as CEO, for more than 10 years. Over time, I have noticed that there are so many business growth potentials left untapped in omnichannel initiatives. And the key is B&M.

Retail Value Chain

Old, big and growing strong —

Retail is known as one of the oldest industries documented in human history, dating back 10,000 years. Retail is also known as one of the biggest industries on earth, totaling in USD29 trillion market (2022), which is nearly quadruple the size of IT services led by GAFAM. Taking an example of Walmart alone, its annual turnover is USD611 billion, the biggest sales recorded ever in the human history, and its associate count is 2.3 million, by far the biggest employer on this planet (2022).

Another fun fact about retail often overlooked to many is the retail is a steadfast growth industry with +3.3% CAGR in the past 5 years. COVID did not slow down retail’s growth. This retail’s steadfast growth is actually a no brainer. As far as global population grows, retail grows. We have to eat, wear and live after all. So what will happen to the global population going forward? Yes, retail will continue to grow for decades to come.

Two most disruptive innovations in retail in the past 150 years —

Modern chain stores, one of the most disruptive innovations in retail, were born in Belgium and the U.S. approximately 150 years ago. Chain store concept is what has shaped the modern retail, massive scalability, price transparency, logistical and operational efficiencies, convenience, to name a few. We take it for granted since chain store is so instilled in our daily life. But without it, we would not have what we enjoy today. There is a setback in chain store concept, however. Prior to chain stores, all stores were mom and pop stores, knowing their customers personally and managing its relationship with them individually. Chain stores have sacrificed the part of retail in exchange for all efficiencies and scalabilities.  

Another disruptive innovation was born 30 years ago in the U.S., eCommerce. Apparently, eCommerce appears disruptive in many ways, not touching and feeling the product physically, transactions made 24/7 in the Internet, items delivered home, etc. But the most significant about eCommerce’s disruption in the retail context is not its convenience but the fact it has an ability to bring back the power of personal customer relationship to retail business. Whatever eCommerce service you use, it remembers your name, preference, purchase history, how much you spent the last time, and what time you visited the store… everything. And based on big data, it proposes personalized offers. This is what some and pop stores used to do in B&M, and what chain stores fail to do today. 

(Chain Store picture, e.g. Walmart or Sears, and eCommerce picgture)

Still 55% to 90% of retail transactions are happening in B&M, and it will stay that way —

Although eCommerce is so disruptive and has been capturing the market share, its penetration floats around 36% in the U.K., merely 16% in the U.S. and only 9% in Japan (2022). It’s not a dichotomy between eCommerce and B&M, but if you compare those two retail channels, it’s believed that B&M will remain as the majority of transaction channel. Yet the global technology investment USD54.6 billion flowed into eCommerce, 6.5 times more than B&M USD8.5 billion (2021), leaving B&M transformation lagging behind. In other words, huge growth opportunities in the retail’s biggest channel, B&M, are left untapped.

Missing link in omnichannel —

Compared to eCommerce only customers, “omnichannel customers” who use both eCommerce and B&M (and also other touch points) spend 1.5x to 3x more. It is said if retailers understand customer insight in B&M more, the customer spend through omnichannel initiatives would go even higher. Across the customer journey, B&M is the missing link today. 

NuRetail’s mission —

We believe it’s time to fill the B&M missing link, applying all the learnings and technologies accumulated in the past three decades in the space of eCommerce. And NuRetail is the one to help other retailers grow its top line through omnichannel initiatives.

Ken Iida
Founder and CEO, NuRetail

Where NuRetail Covers


Artificial Intelligence
& Machine Learning


Big Data


Vision & Speech


Photonics and Electronics




Language Processing