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The first Retail Insider Innovative Retailer Top 25 report has launched with the objective of shining a light on the most innovative retail businesses that are proving great inspirations to the rest of the industry.

Sponsored by PCMS Group it highlights retailers from across the board – from the youngest of operators right the way through to the longest established merchants – with the key criteria for inclusion being the pushing of boundaries.

The creation of the report began with the creation of a long list of merchants, which was then reduced down to a short-list. This was then given to a carefully selected Advisory Panel who scored each retailer on specific criteria, which ultimately produced the final Top 25 ranked list.

The Advisory Panel consisted of: Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director – Fortnum & Mason; Vince Gwilliam, senior partner – Bridgepoint; Simon Russell, director of retail operations development – John Lewis; Anthony Fletcher, CEO – Graze.com; Peter Williams, chairman – Boohoo.com; Simon Calver, partner – investment firm BGF Ventures; and Siobhan Fitzpatrick, marketing & multi-channel director – Maplin.

Although the final ranked list of 25 names includes some pure digital businesses it is interesting that the Top 5 contains only one such retailer – Amazon. The rest are much more traditional organisations that have been around for some years.

But what they have in common is a desire to keep innovating. They are unwilling to stand still and are instead hell-bent on keeping thing porogressive, which makes them as relevant today as they were when they were originally formed. Taking a look at the Top 5, we’ve: Amazon, Aldi, Zara, IKEA and Audi. The combined age of these businesses would be a pretty big number.

I would like to thank the Advisory Panel for their vital contribution to this maiden Innovative Retailers Top 25 report. Their role has been crucial and their input much appreciated. Finally, I would also like to express my gratitude to the report’s sponsors PCMS Group, without whom it would not have been published.

If you would like a hard-copy of the report then please let me know.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

Glynn@busicomm.co.uk