Woman checking her smartphone outside a shop.

Project: Pioneering the Digital Future for Omnichannel Retail Managers (PERFORM)

The overall goal of the PERFORM project is to establish a European training network to prepare the next generation of Digital Retail Managers to tackle Digital Retail challenges through a combination of training and research.

Project information

Project manager
Anita Mirijamdotter
Other project members
Ioannis Allagiannis, Soumitra Chowdhury, John Jeansson, Päivi Jokela, Arianit Kurti, Erdelina Kurti, Aparna Lohiya, Linnaeus University; Diana Chronéer, Luleå University of Technology
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Sweden; Maynooth University, Ireland, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria; Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands; Johannes Kepler University, Austria; August-Wilhelm Scheer Institute, Germany; Raiffeisenlandesbank, Austria; Dublin City University, Ireland; Unimarkt, Austria; Scheer GmbH, Germany; Intersport Austria; NTS Retail; Technology For Mobile Sp. z o.o. (Ltd.), Poland; BlueRock Logistics, The Netherlands; Kilkenny Group, Ireland.
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765395
1 jan 2018 – 31 dec 2022
Informatics (Department of Informatics, Faculty of Technology)
Linnaeus Knowledge Environment
Digital Transformations
Web page

More about the project

Due to new technological developments and the ongoing digitalisation the traditional retail sector is currently exposed to major challenges. The retail industry is a main pillar of the European economy and has a strong impact on numerous other linked sectors for example logistics, transportation, shipping and payment solutions. By training the next generation of Digital Retail Managers and conducting research, PERFORM will strengthen the European retail sector by improving innovation capacity and making Europe more competitive. The EU considers the retail industry to be one of the key sectors holding the potential to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy including consumption patterns. Considering the size of this industry, its importance for the European economy, and the threat represented by big foreign online retailers e.g., Amazon, it is essential to assist European retailers in the digital transformation.

In this highly competitive market, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers face challenges due to digitalisation. However, European studies show that most customers currently do not like purely online retailers. The customers prefer a hybrid model as traditional stores provide them with the opportunity to experience products, and to receive personal advice from experts. On the other hand, they switch to online retailers when they value lower prices, time and location independency, a bigger product selection, more detailed product descriptions and product reviews from other customers. Additionally, technological developments for example virtual reality further enhance the customer experience. Advanced technologies may include providing additional product information via mobile device, indoor navigation, enhanced product presentation via augmented reality or personalized product recommendations. At present Europe lacks such retailers and consequently they are behind their American and Asian competitors. The High Level Group on Retail Competitiveness states that insufficient human resources and skills development are obstacles to the retail’s innovation strategy. This project will contribute to raising such skills and to raise innovative abilities in the digital retail sector.