Accenture has acquired retail management consultancy Javelin Group. Approximately 160 professionals across offices in the UK and France will transfer to Accenture and be integrated into the firm’s Strategy business unit.
The retail industry is globally facing drastic change, ranging from intensifying competition and globalisation to new technologies that are disrupting strategies and value chains. As a result, retailers are massively reviewing their business models, and initiating large scale (digital) transformations to bring their operations back in line with the new reality. Recent research from Kurt Salmon for example shows that, in the UK, only 5% of retailers are truly omni-channel proof, implying that a massive 95% of the market still faces the challenge of transitioning to a better end-state.
With change dominating the management agenda, demand for support from external experts, such as management consultants, is booming in the retail consulting sector. Currently valued at $9 billion globally, 10% of the global market, demand for advisory and implementation services is forecasted to grow by 12% this year, roughly double the rate of the second-best performing sectors (TMT, Healthcare and Financial Services). To capitalise on the growing revenue potential, consultancies are in an increasing rate organically beefing up their retail practices, as well as eyeing acquisition targets to accelerate the momentum.
In Accenture ‘s case, the pickup of Javelin Group represent an arguably giant-leap in bolstering its European retail offerings, not just in size, but more so in terms of high-end consulting capabilities such as strategy and management consultancy. Founded in 1997 in the UK, the firm has grown to a team of 160 retail consulting professionals, offering a wide breadth of retail strategy consulting and implementation services, including market assessments, performance improvement, omni-channel retail planning, retail analytics, supply chain fulfilment and operations, as well as technology consulting and systems implementation and support services. Javelin Group has offices in London (UK), Paris (France), and development centres in Sofia and Plovdiv (Bulgaria).
With the move, Accenture significantly expand its capabilities in the retail arena, with a key focus on the UK and France markets, although knock-on effects are expected to be passed on to other pan-European Accenture countries. “The acquisition of Javelin Group will help Accenture Strategy reinforce our ability to deliver large scale transformation in the retail industry,” comments Mark Knickrehm, head of Accenture Strategy. "It will also strengthen the portfolio of industry knowledge and digital capabilities.” Chris Donnelly, Retail Industry Strategy lead at Accenture Strategy, adds: “Accenture anticipates continued strong demand for strategy services in the retail market as new technologies raise consumer expectations and transform the fulfilment of products and services across multiple channels.”
Tony Stockil, CEO of Javelin Group, says the firm will benefit from “Accenture’s global reach and digital transformation capabilities”, adding that the joining of forces will at the end of the line “bring new value to those businesses.”
Earlier this year Accenture purchased Gaspo, a Brazil-based supply chain services and solutions provider. Transactions completed last year include Reactive Media (focus on digital), Hytracc Consulting (focus on oil & gas) and analytics software platform i4C Analytics.
* Javelin Group was founded by Tony Stockil, CEO, and Richard Wolff, COO.