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EDITORIAL Retail strategies: Next plans for change, while ‘digital-born’ Hotel Chocolat engages shoppers

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on the strategies that leading retailers are taking in challenging times. For Next, the fact that its online sales are set to overtake its retail store sales presents a real difficulty, since online sales are less profitable for it than those from its stores. Part of its answer will be to encourage more people into its stores as they collect their online orders, and to further integrate the two together. That’s the sort of thing that Monsoon Accessorise is doing with its use of ship-from-store. In the first month of operation, says Monsoon, it made an extra £1.4m of sales.

Hotel Chocolat, meanwhile, believes it’s well placed for a future challenging retail environment. We take a look at some of the strategies that have helped it to post double-digit rises in sales and profit in its latest full-year.

We also report on strategies as varied as Tiffany & Co’s in-store perfume vending machine, and on Fnac Darty’s move into smartphone repairs, part of a strategy of retail as a service.

What all of these strategies have in common is the store: all are finding ways to make their stores work beyond the high street: if they are to be more than a useful trying out point, stores must find a way to connect with those shoppers who are buying online as well as those who are passing by. if challenging times result in new solutions, then no doubt we’ll have plenty of interesting ideas to consider in the month to come.

Today’s guest comment is from Derek Corrick of Comma Group, who considers the challenge of dealing with bad data to improve customer service. 

RetailCraft podcast

Find out more about the first two episodes of InternetRetailing’s RetailCraft podcasts featuring Heals and the Rug Company.

RetailCraft 01 – David Kohn of Heals – “probably the most sceptical man in the industry”? Surely not!

RetailCraft 02 – Sarah Stagg of The Rug Company and the 2018 IREU Top500


Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page.

Image: InternetRetailing Media

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