Retailers suffering from uncertainty - Fujitsu comment

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG has released stats revealing that total sales growth dropped to 0.5% in the year to February, down from 1.6% a year earlier. 

It’s becoming clear that macroeconomic factors are taking their toll on retailers, who are already struggling to navigate a difficult climate. In case this is a story you’re interested in, Jat Sahi, Digital Lead for Retail at Fujitsu UK, offers his thoughts on how retailers can seek to regain their mojo and overcome these difficult conditions: 

“This month’s BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor is a blow for retailers following January’s improved results. Failure to attract customers during peak shopping day’s such as Valentine’s Day as well as cautious consumer spending means that retailers must now look at new ways to reinvigorate the high street.

“The challenge retailers now need to address is how they can attract shoppers back to their physical stores. There is a solution: one of the high street’s core advantage is that it can be a social hub for groups to have shared experiences. Consumers are now looking for a unique social experience to consumers, something which cannot be replicated online, and as wider macroeconomic factors take a toll, retailers need to inspire them to browse and buy.

“To drive this, shops need to turn their operations inside-out. Rather than imposing a generic line of products and a uniform approach to store layouts, retailers need to be led by consumers. And the best people to ensure this happens are those who serve customers every day – the shop floor staff. The key to making this approach work is to ensure that staff have the time and headspace required to engage and inspire shoppers. New technologies, such as AI or robotic process automation, can help retailers get there – automating some tasks and helping staff perform others more efficiently.”

Comments (1)

  1. John McKnight:
    Mar 18, 2019 at 01:39 PM

    To pick up on one of the thoughts from Jat, uniqueness is certainly an area that can attract customers back to the physical store. Concessions, commercialisation and pop-up retail can all add to an agility and unique shopping experience for each visit. Landlords or host retailers can make available the technology for the smaller partners that can take up a site for a period of time before they move on and replaced by another partner with another range of products or services. Working and partnering with local traders can also create a greater bond with the local community.

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