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MAXimum Possibilities

05. September 2022, MAXFIVE

A visionary spirit, creativity and the courage to innovate are the keys to successful projects.

Thema:

Erlebnis für alle Sinne
experience for all senses
implement ideas
innovation
innovation
Neudenken
rethink
trend research
Trendforschung
Tüfteln
uptodate

Maria-Beate Landl loves the unique MAX vibe that permeates her job. The new Head of Innovations, she is full of drive and a great believer in the power of new possibilities – and solutions that have a direct bearing on people’s shopping experience and behaviour.  In this interview, she shares some of the exciting plans her innovation-driven department is currently pursuing, reveals how pilot projects are being tackled, and talks about why shopping is set to become an experience for all the senses in future.

 

What are your goals as the new Head of MAX Innovations

I want to make MAX Innovations a place of possibilities. We want to work with retail companies to develop solutions that take the POS experience to the next level. But a vision like this needs space: space to try things out, tinker, tear up plans, rethink approaches and implement ideas.  And MAX Innovations is set up to be precisely that place.

Your brief  also involves identifying, testing and shaping trends. How does that work in practice?

Part of our job is to always be up to date. We harvest information from trade journals, at trade fairs, from databases and through interpersonal exchange as part of a cross-industry network. But then the even more exciting part begins: filtering out what’s relevant for us from the wealth of possibilities out there, collecting use cases, developing concepts, and so on.

What are the main topics your department is currently working on?

We’re currently looking at topics as diverse as virtual reality applications for our staff out on the shop floor, and using a special algorithm to analyse in-store customer flows based on receipt data. At the same time, we are also working on standardising our processes and establishing a new collaboration model in the department.

What specific services do you offer?

Our portfolio covers everything from trend scouting, analysing the competitors and surveying demand to the selection of implementation partners, realising and evaluating pilot projects, and supporting roll-outs.  The needs of our colleagues in the retail stores are always at the centre of what we do – which is why consulting is also an important part of our work

What makes MAXFIVE so special and unique for you?

That special vibe. From the moment I first set foot in the office at Niederhofstrasse 37, I just knew that I wanted to work here.  But it’s not the space, it’s the people that make MAXFIVE special. Here, creativity and inventiveness goes hand in hand with a great deal of experience and painstaking attention to detail. And everything that happens here has an impact. Someone hits the “On Air” button and all of a sudden hundreds of thousands of people are listening live! Or when a sketch is turned into a 3D animation that bursts into life on thousands of screens nationwide…

What challenges do you think the retail industry is currently facing?

The pandemic has shown that a great deal is possible digitally, but at the same time there is a growing desire for analogue experiences. That’s why I believe that even as digitalisation progresses, real-world locations will remain important. Whether supermarkets will rank among them in future also depends on how we design them today.

Shopping 20 years from now – how do you envision the in-store experience?

I imagine digital and analogue will come together at the POS, and that shopping will become more sustainable, more interesting, more efficient and basically cooler. Smart sensors and AI will ensure that food no longer goes to waste. Information about products, their manufacturing conditions, carbon footprints, nutritional values and much more will be transparently presented and easy to access via augmented reality applications.

Intelligent technology will liberate our people from time-consuming, routine tasks to such an extent that they will be able to channel all their energy into making shopping the highlight of the day for our customers.  The store of the future also has the potential to be a place that provides a stage for both innovative food technology and local producers – where consumers can experience products with all five senses.  A bone fide food point.

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