Industry

M&S takes multichannel innovation to new store

M&S cheshire oaks external 1

Marks & Spencer is showcasing its latest multichannel innovations at its newly-opened Cheshire Oaks store.

The general retailer, which has said it aims to turn over £1bn from multichannel retailing by 2013/14, has included QR codes, free customer wi-fi, and screens to search its online range in its new shop, its largest outside London and also its greenest.

There mobile customer assistants equipped with iPads can help customers find items and place orders while they can also look for themselves using 12 browse and order screens. Meanwhile the latest offers and looks are highlighted on high-definition display screens placed throughout the store, and customers can also sample technology such as the virtual makeover counter and duvet and pillow selector, that helps customers find goods that meet their individual needs. Finally, owners of mobile devices can explore the M&S product range through QR codes found both inside and outside the store, powered by free customer wi-fi.

The 151,000 sq ft store was opened yesterday by M&S chief executive Marc Bolland, store manager Hilary Wilkinson and Plan A ambassador Joanna Lumley.

“We’ve been working hard over the past 18 months to deliver a more inspirational shopping environment for our customers,” said Marc Bolland. “We’ve developed better navigation, clearly defined our sub-brands, we’ve made it easier to ‘shop the shop’, developed new Home and Beauty concepts and have a new look Food hall to better demonstrate the freshness and specialty of our food. We’ve achieved this by using new technology and a much more interactive shopping experience so that customers can ‘shop their way’. Cheshire Oaks is a special store as it is all here, under one roof for the first time – the very best of M&S.”