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House of Fraser says multichannel and the customer experience will underpin new Chester store

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House of Fraser says a multichannel approach that connects stores and online while putting the customer experience first will be at the heart of the new store it is designing for a city centre shopping development in Chester.

The department store retailer has confirmed it will be the anchor tenant at Chester Northgate, with the store set to open in 2021.

The new 100,000 sq ft store, says House of Fraser executive chairman Frank Slevin, will be the latest phase in the business’ transformation. It will feature a “multichannel, modern experience-led retail offering” that’s likely to include the widespread use of digital around ordering and collection.

“The new store clearly cements our commitment to and vision for the future growth of House of Fraser,” he said. “The growth of our store portfolio and the further development of House of Fraser’s multichannel offer provides solid foundations for the ongoing transformation of the business, ultimately driving a great customer experience. I look forward to the store opening in 2021.”

The new store, House of Fraser’s second new UK store investment since it was acquired by the China-based Sanpower Group in 2014, is part of a strategy that puts multichannel development alongside investment in store and international expansion. Its first Chinese store (pictured) opened in Nanjing in December 2016.

Previous House of Fraser innovations have included the use of small format stores built around enabling shoppers to view and order the department store’s range online, as well as collect previous orders. The concept has also been extended to floors of its larger department stores, while the retailer has used virtual queuing to improve the collection experience. Last year, the retailer, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, appointed digital transformation agency TH_NK to help it consider the store of the future.

At the time, 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.”

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