In one century, retailing has gone through three major revolutions: the opening of the first shopping centers (“Grands Magasins”) at the end of the 19th century, the hypermarket in the 1960s, and the e-commerce, which is now taking over. In mature markets, e-commerce is now driving growth. The buying process is becoming increasingly dematerialized, accelerating the transformation of goods consumption, media consumption and associated intermediation methods. More than ever, distributors and retailers must reinvent their strategic models.

How we support our clients

We support retailers in this reinvention – from strategy definition to its successful execution – by working in 3 areas:

  • Axis of development: activating the right levers of profitable growth (massification, densification, diversification, digitalization, internationalization, …) by innovating on each of them

  • Business model: reallocating investments and operating costs to integrate the rise of digital technology (reduction of retail space, offensive e-commerce strategies, adapted supply chain and IT), with a necessary overhaul of cost structure

  • Corporate culture: developing a brand and a personality for the company, backed by a strong, customer-oriented culture that generates customer preference. Human assets will be the competitive advantage of winning brands.

Kea & Partners, a reference in distribution and retail

We founded Kea & Partners with a strong expertise in this sector. In France, it represents – along with the consumer goods industry – 50% of our turnover. We support retailers in their strategic and operational transformations and work for all players in the sector: food retailers, specialized retailers, department stores, luxury goods companies and investment funds. Our clients are leaders in each of these segments. In addition to our know-how in organizational transformation, they benefit from our full range of expertise:

  • Retail & Offer: Brand (brand platform & positioning, operational implementation, own brand strategy), Distribution (network target scheme, digitalization of points of sale, new concepts and formats), Offer (collection structure, pricing & sales policy, category management)

  • Strategic transformation: Development (vision & strategic plans, due diligence & PMI), Digitalization (digital strategy, e-commerce, e-distribution, digital transformation), Internationalization (international strategy, adaptation of the operational model)

  • Competitiveness: Network performance (time to sale & productivity, work time planning, reduction of breakage and shrinkage), Sourcing & Supply (margin improvement plan, time-to-market, redesign of logistic schemes & inventory / merchandise models), Process & Technology (process optimization, IT project performance)

  • Organizational & cultural transformation: Structure (organizational evolution, managerial model, business references), Commitment & Culture (new managerial practices, alignment & vision of the Executive Committee, innovation & leadership), Social.

A strategy only makes sense when correctly executed. With Kea's expertise in transformation, we are committed to supporting our clients in their transition to action, by outperforming the objectives. Our goal? To reconcile the imperatives of growth, competitiveness, and management of our clients!

Our know-how


The Positive Impact Store and the hybridization

96% of people under 30 expect their brand to contribute to the common good

Consumers are showing an increasing concern for meaning, a need exacerbated by the crisis. Further beyond redefining their purpose, retailers must reinvent the customer fidelity and their associated reasons. Building a store with positive impacts and demonstrating the will to go beyond words is becoming key: 

dealing with less available oil for Europe, greater scarcity of agricultural inputs, living soil, metals and even farmers, are already major challenges in the food world.

At the same time, territory logic is taking precedence over massification, size, and specialization of actors: territories and living areas are now the unit level to think about & manage, new integrated ecosystems where the circular economy can flourish.

Hypermarkets are not exempt from hybridization logic either, as they are reconfigured into phygital platforms, hubs for both products and services.

Its vocation tends to evolve within its territory: local production workshops and “local” recipes, technological farms with local capital, autonomy… the word “chain”, so often emphasized, should be revisited. Combining CSR impacts, food ration affordability and economic viability will be a common project. Positive impact also means measuring, sharing, and arbitrating with rules of governance that have yet to be invented and that no one has yet corrected. Several actors are improving, testing, innovating and undertaking. Let’s combine, let’s cooperate even with competitors. Co-development, openness to others, mutual aid must be principles of action and be part of the strategic visions. Industry initiatives are being set up: Open Agrifood, La Note Globale, Numalim, for example.

Coalitions of actors in a given territory seize a cause and build viable operational solutions, sharing altogether the solutions… Kea supports groundbreaking initiatives and is committed to the future of the agricultural and agri-food sectors.

Our projects with food retailers

We have always worked with food retailers and have a deep knowledge of the food industry – “from farm to fork”. Our range of expertise is wide, including

  • Redesign business models

  • Cultural transformation

  • Supply chain optimization

  • Activation of data potential

  • Responsible retailing


Transformation program for a food retailer

Our client needed to revisit the fundamentals of their business and adapt them for to their growth. We helped them build a transformation program that allowed them to revisit their store information system, their organization, especially the offer management, and their governance

Cultural transformation of a general food retailer

Taking the occasion of a management renewal, our client was looking for a partner to change the culture of the head office and the stores. With our approach combining strategic vision, operational performance and culture, we provided them with a program to lead this change over the long term and, as a corollary, the means to make it operational from the management committee to the cashier


Accelerate ambitious and mobilize breakthrough transformations

30% of current tasks will be automated in 10 years

With markets running out of steam, new entrants, price wars, the dilutive impact of e-commerce, and new consumption patterns, retailers are being shaken up more than ever in their strategies and economic balances. However, a bright future is promised to those who initiate and accelerate ambitious and mobilizing breakthrough transformations.

4 fields of exploration are opening to all:

  • Responsible transformation, with a preservation logic, a common good logic, requiring cultural evolution

  • Digital transformation, with the need for brands to go further in the acquisition and retaining of new customers, growth now taking place ”outside the walls”

  • Continuing to invest in the store, by developing processes and the role of employees and middle management

  • Accelerating innovative approaches to stay ahead and be able to pivot quickly in case of changing demand

Our projects with brands and specialized retail chains

For more than 20 years, we have been supporting brands and retail chains in their strategic, operational, managerial and cultural transformations.  It is the historical sector of the Kea Group, a laboratory of innovations and the heart of our research and development work.

We deal with development issues as well as competitiveness and organization issues. We act on all growth levers such as concept development and brand strategy, offer and marketing issues or even brand strategy and management issues. We also cover all issues of commercial efficiency and productivity, supply chain and information systems performance.

Improving the customer experience of a B-to-B retailer

To get out of a market dynamic where price/availability criteria predominate, our client wanted to cultivate their differentiation through the improvement of the B2B customer experience. We contributed to repositioning the customer at the heart of the approach, from the understanding of irritants to the tests in real conditions in the agencies, through the co-design of solutions in agile marketing

Turnaround and transformation of an equipment company

Kea helped the General Management and its CODIR to quickly decide on the strategic dilemmas and build the 3-year BP, creating the conditions for the turnaround, transformation through process (build and conduct the governance and operational routines). We also carried out interim management (in the temporary absence of resources, directly managing the transformations) and coached the newly installed CODIR


Ways and means to reinvent a sector already marked by profound changes before the COVID-19 crisis


For the second time since the beginning of the millennium, the global economy is facing a crisis, this time of unprecedented severity compared to 2008-2009. The impact of the pandemic crisis led the several fundamental reflections for the fashion industry:

  • No player will be spared from its profound consequences, whatever its economic model (chain, brand) or its price positioning. Beyond the dizzying drop in sales observed, it seems obvious that new paradigms are emerging, both on the consumer and brand sides. Some will amplify already emerging behaviors; others will establish a rupture with practices observed until now.
  • No player was prepared for such a crisis. This means that this crisis could accentuate performance disparities between categories of players, with a risk of deterioration for all. The most fragile are entering a dangerous zone, while the most powerful are entering a zone that requires a heightened sense of surveillance but also includes new opportunities. After the emergency management aimed at ensuring the sustainability and maintenance of the vital functions of companies in the sector, the time must come for strategy and anticipation of the changes underway.

Our projects with fashion industry players

We support managers on three key issues in fashion:

  • How to reinvent the connection with the consumer? We help fashion companies innovate in terms of product and value proposition, develop new consumer triggers, and build new customer experiences

  • How to fuel future growth? We help companies reinvent their business model, integrating retail changes into distribution strategies and driving the value chains of tomorrow

  • How to preserve and develop the company’s assets? We support companies in preserving and developing their industrial assets and know-how, in ensuring full compliance and social responsibility, and developing innovative methods for talent management and skills development.

Redefining the merchandise model for  a fashion retail chain

Kea accompanied the reinvention of the merchandise model of this retail chain, by playing on 4 priority levers: brand positioning & style platform, CSR positioning & strategy, collection structure & width of the offer, offer calendar. This mission has enabled us to improve the performance of the collections by operationalizing a more virtuous merchandise model

10-year vision project for a textile company

Kea supported the definition of the 10-year vision of its client, based on the strategic dialogue approach with the COMEX, ambassadors, all employees, and external partners: work on macro-trends of inspiration, confrontation of strategic scenarios, semiology, cultural diagnosis, and business plan with a customer value approach