The future is blended retail experiences, Amazon
Natalie Berg, retail analyst and founder of NBK Retail, attended Amazon’s annual UK analyst briefing this week, where she heard from senior executives across various parts of the business.
The event kicked off with UK Country Manager Doug Gurr dismissing the broader doom and gloom that has engulfed the likes of House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer. According to Gurr, the fundamental basics of retail – selection, price, convenience – haven’t changed. However, the future will be a more blended experience. “There’s still no substitute for touching, feeling, seeing the product. We’ll see more merging in the future,” he said.
Elsewhere, Amazon showed how it was getting more comfortable with the exclusivity of its Prime offering. At its 2005 launch, Jeff Bezos described Prime as “all-you-can-eat express shipping”. Today, it is referred to as the “gateway to the best of Amazon”.
Lisa Leung, Director of Amazon Prime, said that there are now millions of UK Prime members and that the major difference with this year’s Prime Day is that the e-commerce giant “wanted to make the benefits come alive”. As such, it will host an entertainment extravaganza on 15th July, the evening before Prime Day, with events ranging from a family screening of Paddington 2 to an exclusive Take That gig. Whole Foods Market stores will also get involved this year with special discounts and free in-store massages.