There are many global transformational deals which are reshaping the Retail landscape at a pace we have never seen in history.

One area which I believe is a major challenge to all these new relationships is “trust” – Retailers have historically lacked trust in each other and this has led to a lack of data sharing and partnerships.

The basic premise of enterprise blockchain is to enable the sharing of agreed data, with relevant parties in a secure, and transparent way. The data to be shared is agreed by all parties (via consensus) and is then uploaded to the blockchain, where all parties can see it in near real time.

Let's look at the Carrefour-Tesco strategic alliance – Tesco and Carrefour have set up a new team to look at the way they can buy centrally, but retain confidentiality. This team should look at using blockchain technology for their joint database. They could use data from both of the existing retailer systems and enter it into the blockchain, where all parties will have the same copy of the data. Changes, analysis and decisions can then be made using the blockchain data, and actions can then be entered into the blockchain (automatically via Smart contracts or manually). 

Because data is available and shared in a confidential, traceable and near real time mode thanks to blockchain technology, major retailers can now work together without endangering their individual businesses - in truth, blockchain restores trust through transparency.