Monthly Retail Round-Up - February 2018

Some of the best articles from the world of retail and its supporting industries.

Monthly Retail Round-Up - February 2018

February has been a busy month bringing a number of fashion weeks for A/W 2018 and lots of other retail news. Here are the top stories to keep you up to date.

1) Farfetch teams up with Chanel and Burberry

Farfetch was popular in retail news this February announcing partnerships with Chanel and Burberry.

According to Glossy, Burberry ‘is picking up the pace of its see-now-buy-now business model’. The partnership will result in Burberry’s ‘entire global inventory to be available through an e-commerce platform’. This will allow for global distribution, giving the brand access to 150 countries. You can read more about this new collaboration in the Telegraph.

Quite different is Farfetch’s strategic partnership with Chanel. They have no plans to sell any of their inventory through the platform, with Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion emphasising, “We are not starting to sell Chanel on the Farfetch marketplace - I want to be very clear on that. Our position on eCommerce is the same. We want to connect our customers with our product and our boutiques are the best way to do so. We strongly believe that digital will never replace the feeling of being in a fitting room and trying on Chanel piece.”

So what does this partnership involve? Drapers suggests that Chanel wants to create an ‘ultra-personalised’ experience within its stores. It will work with Farfetch to develop a range of digital initiatives and use Farfetch’s digital know-how to give staff insights on customer’s preferences. This falls in line with Farfetch’s mission, quoted by founder and CEO José Neves as, “To reinvent the luxury shopping experience online as well as offline.”

2) Mango to launch digital fitting rooms

Mango has taken a step towards improving their in-store experience by announcing a partnership with Vodafone, rolling out new digital fitting rooms which will feature smart mirrors.

Drapers reported that the new functionality which is part of the brand’s ‘digital transformation project’ will allow shoppers to scan clothes tags and contact store staff to request different sizes and colours of items. The mirror will also recommend additional clothes to complete outfits.

Mango Chief Client Officer Guillermo Corominas said, “This is a really exciting project for Mango. We see the future of retailing as a blend of the online and the offline.“These new fitting rooms are another step in the digital transformation of our stores to create a whole new experience for our customers”.

This is yet another firm signal that retailers must keep innovating if they are to stay ahead of the game and keep up with customer demand and expectations.

3) Internet Retailing Publish 2018 Top500 Report

Internet Retailing released their Top500 Report this February. This report isn’t solely based on revenue, store networks or website traffic but also on six Performance Dimensions, including Strategy and Innovation, The Customer, Operations and Logistics, Merchandising, Brand Engagement, and Mobile & Cross-channel.

In 2018, Argos and Screwfix replaced Asda and John Lewis to join Amazon, Boots, M&S and Tesco in the Elite section of the Top 500 report. So what does it take to get into the elite or leading groups? The Top 3 findings included:

  • To be a leader in best-in-class customer experience, retailers meet demanding shopper expectations of both service and usability. 98% of retailers use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their customers, followed by 96% by phone and 93% by email.

  • Retailers enabling shoppers to browse products for inspiration and find specific items quickly are top for ‘Merchandising’. M&S, Debenhams and Ocado all have barcode scanners. M&S and Ocado show written product reviews and Debenhams have a predictive search.

  • There are many ways in which retailers can perform best in ‘Mobile and Cross-Channel’. 62% of retailers offer collection for online orders, up from 57% in 2017. Most retailers have a mobile app, however only 34% show stock visibility through their mobile website, while 58% have store finders and only 20% have store checkers.

Internet Retailing concluded, “Already 2018 is shaping up to be a competitive year in which retailers that reach out to engage with customers and offer efficient and joined-up cross-channel services seem best place to succeed.” You can download and read the full report here.

4) London Fashion Week A/W18

Showcasing the best of British design and complete with catwalks, designer showrooms and presentations, there were a few things to take away from London Fashion Week 2018.

After 17 years as the creative head of Burberry, Christopher Bailey showed his final collection at London Fashion Week 2018. Supporting youth charities for LGBTQ+ rights, Burberry’s usual tan, black and red tartan in the collection had a rainbow stripe. Read what Drapers has to say about his final collection here.

With Christopher Bailey’s last London Fashion Week came the Queen’s first. Sitting next to Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, the Queen attended her first ever London Fashion Show. The collection was by Richard Quinn who has just been announced as a new addition to Designers at Debenhams, with his first collaboration due to launch in May. She was there to present Richard Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. You can read more about his show and the Queen in Vogue.

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

Photo from CNBC