Innovation and digitalization: where does fashion retail need to accelerate?
Innovation belongs in every area of our business – from product and consumer facing touch points to our internal processes and B2B communication. Consumer preferences and habits are changing rapidly and our industry is going through big transformations every year. To stay ahead of this curve, we have to be prepared to adapt to the things we see coming – and more importantly, the things we don’t.

With your app, your customers can buy fashion items directly off the catwalk. How long did it take to align the accompanying production processes?
When we launched our first “See Now, Buy Now” runway platform in September 2016, we transformed our entire go-to-market strategy in just six months. It was a great collaboration that created a new way of working and brought us closer to our consumers. The Tommynow platform has now become an “innovation incubator” where we can experiment with new technologies, including chatbots, 3D image recognition commerce, and more.

Other fashion retailers experiment with customized items directly produced in store within hours. Would this be an option for you?
Customization is an important pillar in our vision for the future of retailing. Our strategy for the Store-of-the-Future opens an endless world of Tommy Hilfiger by blending traditional shopping with digital innovation and a signature social setting inspired by Tommy’s first store, People’s Place, where friends came together to discuss, share and experience pop culture trends.

We recently introduced a full TommyXYou customization bar at our redesigned Regent Street flagship store in London. This feature will take on a larger role as we continue to evolve and rollout our Store-of-the-Future concept globally to our own stores and wholesale spaces.

How important is influencer marketing for your company?
Tommy has always had an instinct for building celebrity and influencer partnerships that create amazing pop culture moments. It’s about collaborations that create exciting experiences or opportunities for our consumers who are looking for experiences, not just purchasing products.

You are heading a global corporation in an industry that is undergoing radical change. Which are your most important leadership principles?
We cannot stand still as the industry continues to rapidly change. I always say that the biggest risk is taking no risk, and never has this been truer. As a leader, I make a point to be open for innovation from everywhere and anywhere in our organization, and ensure that our associates have the opportunity to really create an impact on the work that they do. We will continue to break conventions, to make the impossible, possible, and have fun while doing it!   

Daniel Grieder will talk at the 67th International Retail Summit on 7 and 8 September 2017. Sign up now!