THE CEO of international freshness brand Micro-Fresh has warned retailers that they must embrace innovation and disruption if they are to survive.
Speaking ahead of the Leicester Business Festival, where he will sit on a panel with other entrepreneurs and business leaders, Byron Dixon OBE says that retailers need to look for new ways to differentiate themselves and their products in order to avoid extinction.
Dixon said: “There have been numerous recent examples of retailers resting on then laurels, only to find their market has been disrupted and they’ve been left behind.
“This isn’t just a small, local issue - big, global brands such as Toys R Us have found themselves going out of business because they didn’t move with the times and embrace innovation as part of their strategy.”
High Street retail is currently enduring an extended slump in profits due to a combination of squeezed consumer incomes and the rise of online shopping, but Dixon suggests that this need not be a death sentence for traditional retailers.
People just don’t have the disposable income to be spending left, right, and centre, so when they do make a purchase, there has to be something that sets your product and brand apart from the rest.
“In the case of the retailers that use Micro-Fresh, we know a lot of them regard the technology as an “added value” for their own-brand products which helps them differentiate from those of their competitors.”
Dixon originally developed Micro-Fresh as an anti-mould agent in 2006, before discovering its ability to prevent the growth of bacteria and turning the technology into an internationally-used brand.
Micro-Fresh technology now features in products offered by retailers such as John Lewis & Partners, M&S, and Debenhams, as well as supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s and brands including Kickers.
He said: “Retailers can’t just go on thinking that tried-and-tested methods are the only way forward. They need to innovate and find something that gives them the marketing edge, or risk becoming just another name in the retail graveyard.”