Multichannel service is set to be at the heart of an “entirely new store concept” that department store House of Fraser is set to open in Aberdeen this September.
The smaller format store will take up just 1,500 sq ft and will be in Aberdeen’s Union Square shopping centre. It is a return for the brand to a city it quit in 2002.
A House of Fraser spokesman today said the store was part of its growing multichannel offer. He added: “This is an entirely new store concept and while there are no further details at this stage we look forward to making an update in due course.”
It’s a development which seems to have parallels to John Lewis’ new multichannel store format, which is aimed at bringing its full range into smaller stores more widely across the UK.
However the John Lewis stores are much larger, at 65,000 sq ft upwards. The 1,500 sq ft of this store will offer relatively little space for showing goods and appears more likely to operate as a gateway to House of Fraser’s range through online services.
Our view: While few details of the store are as yet available, the smaller scale of this store is likely to give the company a strategic presence in Aberdeen without the scale of investment that a large store requires. Innovations that bring the range of the House of Fraser offer into a small space seem likely to be offered. They could include click and collect services as well as instore kiosks. We will watch with interest.