New association provides hub for omni-retailing world

A new members association has been formed in recognition of the rapid technological changes being brought about in society and business – particularly the retailing, consumer goods and services sector.

The International Omni Retailing Members Association – or IORMA – has been created by a number of leading figures in the retail and business worlds, and it aims to become a hub for industry research and development as the digital economy continues its growth.

IORMA exists to provide in-depth news, commentary, research and analysis of the domestic, regional and global omni-retailing industry. It will also look to become a source of data and networking for organisations and companies that operate in the new cross-channel environment that serves consumers through the use of technology such as the internet, smartphones, tablet computers, web-enabled TVs and in-store digital platforms.

As the need for businesses to operate and interact with customers across so many emerging channels develops, IORMA, guided by its members and managed by executive and advisory boards, will try to provide relevant support.

Earlier this month, IORMA announced a new partnership with eDigitalResearch, which will see the organisation become the association's official global research partner. This collaboration will provide the group with in-depth consumer insight and the ability to better monitor changing consumer behaviour.

IORMA executive and advisory board member Ian McGarrigle, an experienced retail industry figure, who is founder and chairman of the World Retail Congress, said: “International retailing continues on a twin track path of low growth in the west and fast growth in the emerging economies.

“But what unites them both is the acceptance that today’s customers live and shop in an increasingly connected world where the smartphone is rapidly becoming an essential channel. This is accelerating the move towards a retail business model that moves beyond seeing channels as silos but is instead linked together by technology, supply chain, marketing and pricing to become completely customer centric.”

Other senior retail figures sitting alongside McGarrigle on the executive and advisory boards include ex-British Retail Consortium director-general Stephen Robertson, former Selfridges CEO Peter Williams, and ex-CEO of Great Universal Stores John Andrews.

Click here for a full list of IORMA’s board members.