The retail technology week in quotes
Here are the comments that caught our eye this week
“Boots will be feeling the pressure from more nimble, innovative retailers, who are using technology to deliver better customer experience, more efficient supply chains, more choice, and crucially, lower costs. Promotions and loyalty cards are no longer enough to ensure a personalised, individual experience and to grow sales.
Each shopper responds to different offers and loyalty tactics, so Boots must go beyond this. Putting the customer experience first, focusing on convenience and cost, and embracing new technologies are all important parts of the jigsaw. Only then can Boots and its fellow retailers trend their sales upwards – both online and in stores.” Infosys Consulting’s Manu Tyagi
“By my reckoning, Boots has only shed c.100 of c.2,600 shops since the 2006 Alliance Unichem merger - there are still many locations with a "My Local Boots Pharmacy" (ex-Alliance) and a big Boots within metres of each other. I'm surprised it's taken this long to address overlap.” Retail consultant Graham Soult
"As an ex Saturday girl for Boots, I have a great fondness for the brand and I admit a strong emotional pull. It’s place on the High Street has undeniably changed over the decades and evolved in line with shopper behaviour shifts. No longer do they sell records, kitchenware, home brewing kits or jewellery, their baby category has shrunk and space has been replaced with opticians, self-serve tills and increased footage in health, wellness and beauty.
However, many of the stores have never really successfully reconfigured their space and have been in the store portfolio for decades and decades. At the other end of the scale lots of new space has been opened often cannibalising existing stores and duplicating range - I was in a fairly new store on Saturday struggling to find instant fake tan in a poorly stocked and ill defined category submerged in a wall of Boots Soltan. I wanted to spend my money, be inspired and excited - I love Boots but I left wondering, does it still love me?
So it’s clearly going to take more than a sparkling of Fenty Beauty, sponsorship of the English Lionesses and an advantage card app to change things overnight but they are all good steps. There is no question that the UK High Street is a better place with Boots on it, so let’s hope that the new Chief Executive Seb James and his gang get how important Boots is to Britain and tread carefully when trimming the store estate." Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO and Founder, Savvy
"Worries about the future of the High Street aren't going away anytime soon, but it's clear that there is still demand from shoppers for the experience and services offered by physical stores that can't always be replicated online. Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever if brands want to thrive on the High Street. Our findings go to show that, if retailers can deliver great value, quality products and first-class customer service, customers will keep coming back." Harry Rose of Which?
“Today it’s very much a case of going back to the future for retail. Our parents would shop locally for a lack of other options, but benefited from the convenience, service, and community of buying nearby. We’re close to a future where the best elements from that past will be unlocked once again, where your phone will know that the shop down the road has what you want, rather than an online shop shipping products from hundreds of miles away.” Nick Brackenbury, Co-founder, NearSt
“IMHO omnichannel is dead. Overused. Ill-defined. And it was never about being everywhere. It's about showing up where it matters in remarkable ays. Customers don't care about channels, they are the channel. The future is harmonised retail.” Steve Dennis
“I think with Facebook's payment currency, I think Telegram will have one...you will see one of those payment coins work, and that has the chance to be a real currency.” Galaxy Digital Founder and CEO, Michael Novogratz
“There are only five months before Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, causing prices to rise and reducing the availability of many goods on the shelves. A no deal Brexit in October would present the worst of all worlds for our High Streets and those who shop there. Retailers will be preparing for Christmas, stretching already limited warehousing capacity, and the UK will be importing the majority of its fresh food from the EU, magnifying the impact of border delays. It is vital that the next Prime Minister can find a solution that both avoids a catastrophic no deal Brexit and commands the support of Parliament.” Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
“Consumers will benefit from these consolidation deals by being provided more choice at checkout. We can expect these new giants to start pushing smaller players out of the global payment acceptance market – and as globalisation filters down to smaller merchants, out of domestic markets too. This will not be the last merger we see in this space.” Bhavika Shah, Payments Analyst, GlobalData