The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) in the US and Accenture have launched the former’s (R)Tech Center for Innovation.

The latest initiative aims to explore the impact that technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will have on the retail industry.

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The centre will also help retailers create new ways of doing business.

By working with RILA, Accenture will shape the overall programme, conduct joint research, and bring together retailers and technology start-ups to explore the industry transformation.

“The centre will bring together some of today’s most beloved retail brands with tech’s brightest stars.”

RILA president Sandy Kennedy said: “Today’s most recognised retailers are entering a new age and it all starts with (R)Tech, where retail meets technology.

“The centre will bring together some of today’s most beloved retail brands with tech’s brightest stars.”

The (R)Tech Center will provide authoritative research including retail innovation benchmarking, trends, and analysis.

It will be used to connect retailers to new technologies, companies and ventures worldwide.

Retailers will be encouraged to implement change management and put new insights into action, in addition to integrating emerging technologies across the company.

RILA has formed the (R)Tech Advisory Council, which represents US retail brands.

Members include AutoZone, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Energizer, Foot Locker, GameStop, Kroger, Lowe’s, QVC, Target, Unilever, VF Corporation, Walgreens, and Westfield.

As part of the launch, RILA has established a new (R)Tech Innovation Network to connect tech innovators and venture capital firms with retail brands.