Want to remember what life was like before today’s chaos? Read the last week’s retail highlights
Published November 25th, 2016
Retailing ‘guru’ Mary Portas has used the MAPIC international retail conference in Cannes to stress the importance of personalising the retail offer, focusing on individualisation and the personal shopping experience rather than on products and physical shopping spaces. She predicts that by 2020 experience will take over price and product and drive the consumer’s choice of how they use their time. She continued that focusing on taking a space and just filling it with any form of retailing is outdated and that developers need to think about how well any centre will connect with the local community.
Austin Reed (AR) is set to make a comeback on the high street as Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) who bought the brand from administrators in May 2016 has revealed a revival plan which will see the clothing retailer opening a flagship store in central London as well as several other regional stores by the end of 2017. Experts had said the demise of the firm had centred around their inability to adapt to a multi-channel environment and it is interesting that EWM have already relaunched AR an as online brand.
Retail analyst Fung Global have predicted the UK’s fashion sector will recover in 2017 and grow by 2% after what has been a turbulent year for many retailers. Fung Global lay the poor performance in 2016 to a shift in spending from clothing towards leisure and the uncertainty created by Brexit.
It is regrettable that Mothercare have seen a significant downturn in their fortunes reporting a loss of £800,000 for the first 6 months to October compared to a £5.8M profit last year. The company are in the process of closing loss-making branches and relocating some of their high street stores to out-of-town retail parks. Unseasonal weather and changes to warehouse arrangements have been cited as contributory factors to the problem.
Finally, it is anticipated that Black Friday will see up to 30% of shoppers taking risks that could expose them to fraudsters as they visit unfamiliar websites in order to grab the best bargains. Fake adverts on social media and internet search engines endanger the unsuspecting consumer and, of course, such scams are not limited to one-off events such as Black Friday and are particularly prevalent around Christmas and other festival periods.