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… while mobile sits at the heart of the retailer’s multi-channel Caffe Nero experiment

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As part of its expanding Multi-Channel business, House of Fraser is looking to create retail presence in non-store locations and is starting with Caffe Nero on Fitzroy Street in Cambridge. And the whole thing is driven by mobile.

In line with the department store’s plans to grow its Multi-Channel offering, the new concept will allow House of Fraser to create an ‘online shopping service’ and ‘Buy & Collect’ point in a location without a physical brand presence. Creating a high-tech community hub with state of the art technology, whilst offering a premium service proposition, the new concept has evolved from House of Fraser’s original online store, which opened in Aberdeen three years ago. The ground floor will have the look and feel of a Caffè Nero with the addition of House of Fraser tablet devices on tables and touch screens at key points, enabling customers to shop online whilst relaxing with a coffee.

Following the successful launch of the new beacon mannequins in Aberdeen, House of Fraser will install the interactive mannequins at the Cambridge Fitzroy Street location, making this the most innovative digital House of Fraser store yet. The first floor will be staffed by House of Fraser offering personal customer service which is a key feature of the overall concept. Fitting rooms will also be provided so customers can try on items before taking them home.

Andy Harding, Executive Director of Multi-Channel at House of Fraser comments: “Over the last couple of years we have committed to investing in our Multi-Channel offering and evolving our proposition, so this is an extremely exciting new concept for both House of Fraser and Caffè Nero. “We have a high density of online shoppers within Cambridge postcodes, so having a physical brand presence was an obvious move. As part of our expansion plans we are keen to increase our physical footprint, especially in towns and cities where a store isn’t present. With a growing café culture and more customers shopping ‘on the go’ with mobile devices, we believe we’re providing our customers with an innovative solution which meets the needs of today’s busy consumer. “This new concept will not only act as a hub for our online shoppers wishing to collect their orders but will also become a destination for new and existing customers who want to shop their favourite brands which may not be available in the area. Many customers will also enjoy the added benefit of having a personal shopper on hand for advice.”

Simon Thomas, Head of Business Development at Caffè Nero, adds: “Our customers have always come to Caffè Nero to enjoy their coffee in a relaxed and friendly environment, and are increasingly passing their time whilst with us using our wifi or on their mobiles. The opportunity to provide added value and convenience by enabling them to shop online, and collect their items in store appeals and the evolution of our existing partnership with House of Fraser is an exciting one.”

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