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The price of keeping up with retail’s Joneses


Retail leaders took part in a lively discussion on the pressure to keep up with industry trends. These are some of the opinions shared around the table:

M&S were wise not keep up with the Joneses by rushing into grocery e-commerce, in a climate where supermarkets are reported to lose £7-£20 on each order.

Robot deliveries will be common in urban areas within five years. This is an innovation which isn’t a gimmick.

Too many collection option choices can be detrimental to a brand’s strategy. For retailers that value customers coming into store, lockers and collection point locations should be avoided if near a store.

In the rush for store assistants to use iPads, there is a danger that the hardware creates a barrier between the customer and the assistant.

Amazon is the driver of change across the industry where delivery is concerned, as it ups customer expectation.

There is a race to speed up delivery times, but the consensus was only 10% of customers opt for next day. Many who use click and collect retrieve their order three days after its arrival at the collection point.

Lots of innovation is only applicable to urban areas – retail strategies can be too metropolitan.

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