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EDITORIAL How leading retailers are innovating in-store, in the week that budget money is pledged to support future high streets

Retailers are putting the customer experience first. Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report in the week that the Chancellor has pledged £675m towards a Future High Street fund to support a reimagining of the way retail works in town centres. It’s not yet clear how the fund will operate, or how it can be accessed by retailers and town leaders; nonetheless an initiative supporting new ways of thinking about retail is to be welcomed in principle. For it’s clear that while customers have welcomed new ways of buying, and are now happy to buy a widening range of products online, they also want to visit stores: many multichannel retailers have over recent years reported that shoppers buying from them via more than one channel spend more money overall with them.

Today’s newsletter offers examples of how leading IRUK and IREU Top500 retailers are already finding new ways to add to the customer experience through their stores, on high streets and beyond. We report, for example, on how the latest round of the John Lewis Partnership’s JLAB programme is focusing on in-store experiences and customer service as part of its strategy to give shoppers a reason to come in-store. 

We report, too, on how Delhaize is creating its vision of omnichannel retailing in its Belgian stores, using technology to improve the way, for example, that shoppers pay and view its wider range. Meanwhile, online grocer Ocado is now poised to roll out its own innovative technology with the aim of improving the multichannel experience for shoppers at US grocer Kroger. 

Today’s peak trading update reports on a study that suggests customers are holding off spending in the hope of steep Black Friday discounts, while today’s guest comment comes from Julian Walllis of Rambus, on how bricks and mortar retailers can improve their in-store payments.

Image credit: Fotolia

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