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EDITORIAL Currys, New Look and Hobbycraft: focussing on customer experience as the cost of living rises

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we cover two pieces of research that between them set out the scale of the challenge facing retailers in a cost-of-living crisis. Between them, studies from Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Sorted suggest that shoppers are now cutting back on their spending, shopping in a more considered way, while demanding better service at the same time. Covid-19, according to a significant minority of respondents to the Sorted study, is no longer any excuse for poor service. 

But the retailers that we report on today have good answers for that. Currys’ chief supply chain officer Lindsay Haslehurst says that customers are indeed more demanding than ever, in the wake of the pandemic. The electricals and technology retailer is focusing on getting service right first time and offering expert advice as it looks to build customer relationships for the long-term.

Hobbycraft, which reports growing full-year sales and profits this week, says that while it has met the same supply chain issues and rising costs as many retailers, it has responded through a focus on the customer experience. For Hobbycraft, that has meant expanding the experiences it offers its shoppers, through online and offline workshops and demonstrations, while adding new stores and new subscription services. 

Meanwhile, New Look is focusing on the customer experience as it brings new technology to play. It’s first improving the checkout experience before shifting to a new ecommerce platform. 

In today’s timely guest comment, Colin Neil of Adyen UK has advice for retailers considering how they can continue to invest in technology in a cost-of-living crisis. 

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