The 3 Horizons of Change and Opportunity in Retail - Telaid
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With Host Beth Bergmann

Tech Connect Series

The 3 Horizons of Change and Opportunity in Retail

Release date: July 26, 2022

Today we’re speaking with innovation and continuous improvement leader, Brooks Thompson, who explains the 3 horizons as they relate to the future of retail. We explore the 3 horizons framework and how retailers can successfully implement technologies to combat their business challenges today while being aware of and prepared for emerging technologies that will be critical to their viability in the future.  



  • [1:40] Understand the concept of 3 horizons in retail and how they relate to the future of retail. 
  • [2:58] What is horizon 1? What does it look like and what’s driving it? 
  • [6:12] What is a use case for AI/emerging technology around sustainability?  
  • [8:15] What is horizon 2?  
  • [13:02] What does horizon 3 look like?  
  • [14:15] What does it look like when we get into a space where every retailer has a virtual store?   
  • [16:36] – Do you see any major barriers or risks that may keep retail from moving to the virtual world? 
  • [19:10] What groups and resources should companies build to be ready for the next horizons? 


  • The 3 horizons method helps guide senior leadership in retail and tactical teams in conceptualizing disruptive technologies – both those that are being deployed today and future technologies.  
  • Horizon 1 is now. This includes technologies that have been tested and validated multiple times. Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages drive horizon 1 in retail today. 
  • Horizon 2 includes the future technologies that are 1 – 2 years out from widescale deployment. Some first movers are experimenting with them but use cases will have to be proven and promoted to put these technologies on the technology agenda for mainstream retailers. These are technologies like VR/AR. 
  • Horizon 3 includes massively disruptive technologies to be deployed in the next 3 – 5 years. There is not enough data yet available to fully understand the implications of these technologies. An example would be retailers shifting away from brick-and-mortar stores to completely virtual stores. 
  • Technologies like computer vision will enormously impact achieving sustainability objectives. ESG goals can be difficult to measure but computer vision can help companies understand how much waste they are producing, for example, and if it’s really diverted from the landfill.  




BIO: Brooks Thompson 

Brooks Thompson is an innovation and continuous improvement leader focused on ideation, prioritization, strategy, and emerging trends. Brooks has worked for leading companies including FedEx, The Giant Company, and Ahold Delhaize, tackling the challenges of today’s operations but strategically planning for future technology disruptors. Over the last nine years, he has leveraged technologies like camera vision, robotics, and machine learning to help companies implement their vision and drive positive outcomes, savings and profit growth. 

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