The August Retail Round-Up


In our August round-up, we explore how the latest news in industry is impacting the shopper, how technology innovations can add value to create a seamless shopper journey and which brands are evaluating and enhancing their shopper's experience and the trends redefining the grocery retail space.

Industry News

Image source: Retail Gazette, 2018

John Lewis refocuses on the shopper experience to combat fall in sales and profit

The recent profit warning announcement by John Lewis Partnership of ‘near-zero’ profits may have come as a surprise to many in the industry, with the brand traditionally being recognised as very stable. John Lewis have taken their first steps to counteracting these challenges by launching a new vision for 15 pilot stores where they, and their customers, can experiment with new concepts. John Lewis are introducing retail experiences to motivate shoppers to do more - be it to try, to buy, or to buy more.  


Image source: Retail Gazette, 2018

'Debenhams Redesigned' launches to put the shopper at the heart of their strategy

Debenhams is the latest department store to encounter further financial difficulties, with the recent announcement of a withdrawal of credit insurance facilities. Debenhams, along with John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer, has blamed challenging market conditions but has also reconfirmed its ‘Debenhams Redesigned’ strategy, first launched last year. This includes a store review and footprint reduction, along with new customer experience initiatives.Debenhams Redesigned's success will rely on the quality of behavioural research conducted to better understand the Debenhams shopper.


Image source: CSA, 2018

Nike introduce localised concept store through curating merchandise from digital-user data

Can data correctly predict consumer demand for neighbourhood specific products? 'Nike Live', the company's new concept, is inspired by local members of their loyalty program, providing city specific products with a focus on experiential and digital. Nike plan to introduce more neighbourhood locations, starting with Tokyo next year. We predict that personalisation will pay off and lead to more companies investing in user-data analysis to localise their offerings.

Image source: Information Age, 2018

Digitise or Die. The physical store is about to enter into a new world as consumer demands change

Can digitisation in physical stores replicate the immediate, personalised convenient experience of shopping online? With tech companies such as Amazon and Alibaba recreating physical environments, ‘smart retail’ is looking to transform the high street and become the future of shopping. However, to avoid tech for ‘tech sake' it’s important that retailers take time to understand the unique needs, motivations and behaviours of their shoppers.


Walmart gives their customers a unique experience, with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car

Would a lift back home enhance your grocery shopping experience? Walmart have partnered with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project to transport customers to and from a local store to pick up their groceries. Walmart are demonstrating how a unique experience using innovative  technology can help assist the shopper journey and combine on and offline seamlessly. The question will be how Walmart measures the success of this experience in its pilot store to determine if it is to be rolled out.


Next and Ford collaborate in the new 'high street store format'

Is there a growing appetite to browse cars in retail environments? Ford have recently launched it’s first concession in Next Manchester Arndale as part of an alternative car sales channel developed in partnership with Rockar. Will this be the start of more cross-sector collaborations to come? It will most certainly disrupt the customer journey and create a unique educational experience, but will the softer touch, warm and welcoming interiors trigger change in the seemingly masculine world of cars?

Image source: De Zeen, 2018

The city that never sleeps: Casper offers rentable nap experiences

Fancy a snooze? Launched in 2014, Casper became one of the biggest disrupters in the mattress industry with a ‘mattress in a box’ concept and have recently set out to champion sleep as an essential part of wellness. They have created sleeping pods, a place for visitors to rest, freshen up and try their products. Casper, alongside their UK competitors Eve, have found that when shopping for mattresses, consumers still look for a physical retail space to try before they buy. This trend of online pure-players moving into physical retail is prevalent across industries from makeup to mattresses.
FIND OUT MORE unveil a 'sector defining' store experience’s new concept store in Poland has launched with a bang, completely disrupting the purchase journey for shopping footwear. Blending digital and physical to create a concept that is worlds apart from the traditional shoe store, focusing on environment and sleek operations that create theatre without product displays. The store facilitates the convenience of browsing online, whilst benefitting from fast fulfilment of bricks-and-mortar. Will this trend catch on and can we see more footwear specialists adopting this new way of retailing?


Image source: Retail Focus, 2018

Travel retail is being redefined to offer a seamless shopper experience

Travel retail is evolving to deliver a calm, relaxing and stress-free experience. The concept of shopping and travel go hand in hand and we expect far more than ever before particularly when we’re travelling at unsociable hours. Regardless of the way in which we choose to travel, creating a destination of established, quality brands combined with an eclectic mix of retailers, entertainment, food and beverage continues to be key to the success and growth of travel retail. 


Image source: Retail Dive, 2018

Tesco set to launch new discount chain to rival Aldi and Lidl

Could Tesco's discount grocery chain halt Aldi and Lidl's advances in the battle for British baskets? Reports suggest the cut-price chain could launch as early as September in up to 60 locations across the UK, after Tesco promised shareholders in February that it would “develop new formats to better serve customers”. Aldi's remodels developed the grocer's in store experience through improved layouts and colours, yet there remains much to be desired when compared to the shopper offering from the Big Four. To combat Aldi and Lidl's operational advantages, Tesco must win through developing an experience-orientated discount chain.

Image source: Forbes, 2018

Six emerging trends to shake up the meaning of shopper experience in grocery

Has grocery finally become digitally disrupted through increased investment in customer experience? Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods combined with opening the Amazon Go store has led marketers to seek the "state of the art" in grocery experience. This report divulges six major global grocery trends, from the emergence of 'Lab Stores' to help brands understand consumer behaviours and opinions, to the trend of pop-ups and food halls in grocery to allow test-and-learn experiences. It will be interesting to see which of these trends will provoke a positive shopper reaction that ultimately increases turnover.

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