Accenture has inked an agreement to acquire Kurt Salmon, a move that gives it a deeper penetration in the areas of retail operations and merchandising.
This story first appeared in the September 23, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Kurt Salmon, a global management company, is a subsidiary of Management Consulting Group. Accenture is a global professional services firm. The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals, as well as the approval of Management Consulting Group’s shareholders.
Chris Donnelly, the retail industry lead at Accenture, said, “In an environment dominated by rapidly rising customer expectations, industry convergence and low barriers to entry, our retail clients are looking for end-to-end strategy solutions to navigate this disruption. Through this acquisition, we will be able to offer our clients a powerful combination of services to help shape the transformation of the retail sector.”
Donnelly said Accenture’s retail practice is strongest on multichannel functions, particularly around digital. That’s due in part to its acquisition of U.K.-based Javelin Group last year. Traditionally, Accenture has been strong on the operations side and in supply chain matters. “What Kurt Salmon brings is an even deeper bench in those areas around operations and around merchandising as a core retail function,” Donnelly said.
Founded in 1935, Kurt Salmon has more than 260 employees, with offices in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Japan and China. Once the acquisition is completed, Kurt Salmon’s employees will join the Accenture Strategy retail industry practice. Accenture overall has more than 375,000 people serving clients in 120-plus countries.
“We feel very strongly that there really is a tremendous amount of disruption in the retail marketplace driven by technology and consumer trends,” Donnelly said. He added that the issue for legacy retailers is that “they have to rethink their business.…They need to think about how they organize their stores, the advertising and the logistics. Over the decade we’ve seen rapid change. The rationale for buying Kurt Salmon is that the retailers are looking for people who ‘have been there and done that.’ It’s important to have the industry expertise.”