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Editor-in-Chief’s Introduction

From the editor-in-chief

THIS IS THE first, much-anticipated chapter in our new series of IRUK 500, 2015 Performance Dimension Reports. In this series, we aim to challenge assumptions and nail down the facts, details and insights that will map how the UK’s leading retailers are performing in a new digital world.

In the Editors’ Comment, report editors Jonathan Wright and Chloe Rigby explain how we’ve gone about that task in this initial Brand and Engagement report, which focuses on the all-important issues of gaining and holding customers’ attention in a distracting world.

Throughout this series, we’ll be holding the measure to an industry, in which the boundaries of what is possible, or desirable, are constantly changing. It’s a big job and one that we don’t pretend to have completed. But with the start we’ve already made, we’ve established that accepted wisdom about what retailers are doing, and how they’re doing it, can often fall short of describing the full reality.

As we work, we’re revelling in the connections, correlations and insights that we’re unearthing through our research. We’ve been able to take the scope of our research still further by working closely with trusted Knowledge Partners – and if you have data sets and research that you’d like to contribute to our efforts by joining the ranks of these Partners, then please get in contact with me. It’s our ambition to shine a fresh light on this world, illuminating where there was uncertainty, and finding new and unexpected truths in order to inform and inspire retailers of all sizes about best-practice approaches to multichannel retailing.

This, we hope, will help retailers at home and abroad to focus efforts to offer customers the best service they can. We’ll be continuing with this research in a rolling programme. As we go, we’ll extend our research to map multichannel expertise in other parts of the world and in industries beyond retail. Our next project is to produce the IR European Top500 this spring, before moving on to list the IRUK Top500 suppliers to the industry. It proves certain to be an interesting and often surprising journey.

Ian Jindal


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