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House of Fraser looks ahead to the store of the future

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House of Fraser has brought in advisors to help in its quest to define the department store of the future.

The retailer is aiming to develop the role of its shops as it looks to a future in which the sector looks likely to go through enormous change.

It has appointed digital transformation agency TH_NK to help it do that.

Julian Burnett, CIO at House of Fraser, said the move came at a “really exciting time for retail”. He added: “In TH_NK we have found a highly talented partner that completely understands the nuances of our business – and who will help challenge us as we lay the foundations for a future-facing strategy.”

The partnership will see the agency work with House of Fraser executives to explore the store of the future, through interviews, round tables and panel discussions. The stated aim is to “create an understanding o the changing role of the physical shop and the methods of engaging with an informed and connected customer”.

Tarek Nseir, founding partner at TH_NK, said: “The retail sector is entering another phase of transformation and we’re deeply excited by the opportunity that high-street players have to play their physical assets to their advantage. House of Fraser has a unique opportunity to build a stand-out customer experience across all of its touchpoints. We can’t wait to get started.”

Experimenting with what the store can be in the context of digital retail is not new for House of Fraser. Previous innovations have included stores and floors, which offer physical ordering and collection points for online shoppers. It has also experimented with click and collect, holding shoppers in a virtual queue while they wait for pick-up orders to be ready, and leaving them free to explore the store.

House of Fraser currently trades online and through 59 locations, including a store in Aberdeen.

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