Blog: The future of the high street is multi-channel

Petah Marian | 9 March 2012

Marks and Spencer today announced plans to trial free customer wi-fi in ten of its stores as part of the High Street's inexorable shift towards omnichannel.

The retailer also plans to put QR codes around the store to help them discover more about their product range.

Attending the Future of the High Street event on Tuesday night, it became clear, if it wasn't already, that successful retail futures lie with companies willing to service customers however they want to interact with you.

Indeed, Hash Ladha who is deputy MD of Oasis, a retailer that has already taken great strides in this area said, describing consumer attitudes, that: "Wi-fi is a basic human right".

Ladha sounded a clarion call for multi-channel, arguing that pure-play online retailers like Amazon or Asos, which while recording rapid growth at the moment, may find themselves in a more difficult position in coming years as multi-channel or omnichannel retailers bring the best elements of the online shopping experience into stores. "The next few years for the high street becomes a lot more exciting," he said.

However this shift is also bringing unforeseen challenges. With some 60% of John Lewis customers researching online before coming into store, the department store retailer's head of multi-channel, Simon Russell, highlights how this is changing both how they recruit and the importance of training staff. Retailers need now to ensure their store staff are internet literate, and increasingly knowledgeable about their products - so they can speak to their highly-informed customers.

As the industry scrambles to get to grips with this new way of working, and as the economy remains in its current depressed state, retailers will have to work twice as hard to simply remain in the same spot. But the ones who do will be well positioned for when the economy improves.

 


BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

BLOG

Trump trade policies and China tensions top concerns

This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...

BLOG

Happy New Year – and a first look at 2017

Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....

BLOG

New re:source to help unravel sourcing decisions

Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?