Traditional retailers down but far from out, United Outcomes
Although the likes of Mothercare, New Look and House of Fraser are currently struggling, bricks and mortar stores still have a very real and profitable place within the overall proposition offered by retailers, according to Daryl Wilkinson, Global Digital Lead at United Outcomes.
In a blog post, he comments: “If you look behind the apocalypse headlines you will notice one striking commonality; a delayed reaction to the changes in consumer buying behaviours. With 24.1% of non-food spend now online, significant and continued growth is clear, and for every traditional retailer struggling through there is another one riding the crest of the wave, be that Smyths Toys taking over some of the Toys R Us stores, or Amazon’s recent takeover of Whole Foods.”
Wilkinson flags up John Lewis as a good example of success on the High Street. It has expanded over the past year, bringing its total stores up to 50, with more planned over the course of this year. “By investing in their partnerships and putting self-serve Click & Collect points in Waitrose stores, as well as introducing two-hour delivery slots for home delivery alongside standard delivery terms, John Lewis have been able to offer unrivalled choice for their customers’ needs. Further investment in “experience desks” across five stores, a ‘concierge style’ service to help customers organise their day, gives customers another reason to visit,” says Wilkinson.
He adds: “When we talk about the digitalisation of retail I think we are really discussing what customers now want from a store, and I don’t believe this is technology, it is the time technology has provided back to us that we can now invest into leisure and entertainment. So why not make your stores more entertaining and emotionally engaging?”
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