Getting stores right remains key for retailers looking to attract shoppers in a UK market marked by, according to BRC figures out this week, consistently falling footfalll. That means those retailers that have put in place multichannel strategies that successfully combine online and store sales are faring well in a difficult market.
JD Sports today showed how combining theatre and retail helped to engage its shoppers and to woo them to its stores or to its website in its latest financial year, despite the falling footfall from which, it says, its UK business was not immune. Footfall was also an issue at Card Factory, whose full-year results are also out today. It has seen online sales grow strongly, however, and it is also working with third-party retailers in order to boost its overall sales. JD Sports has found that diversification across sectors and markets has helped, and Card Factory says that it is also looking to international markets as part of its future strategy.
Today we hear, in a preview of our IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Performance Dimension Report, from Jack Cooper of Andertons Music Co on how that business has used channels including, notably, YouTube, in order to boost its reach around the world.
We also cover research on artificial intelligence and what role it is playing in retail. This will be a subject that many UK retailers are considering at the moment - and some are already putting into practice, and this US-based research provides some context for those considerations.
Today’s guest comment comes from Craig Summers of Manhattan Associates, who considers the checkout of the future.