Department Store Retailing - UK - May 2013
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"Three fifths of shoppers enjoy looking around a department store, even if they are not planning to make a purchase. There is potential for retailers to use the latest technology to capitalise on dwell time and persuade consumers to buy using techniques such as personalised real-time special offers."
- Tamara Sender - Senior Clothing Analyst
Department stores have stood out as the winners of the retail sector in 2012. Consumers are shopping in a less linear way and using different channels when they purchase. Those retailers, such as John Lewis , which are striving to create a seamless multichannel shopping experience so that consumers can shop how, where and when they want, are outperforming the sector. Mintel’s consumer research highlights that over three fifths of shoppers enjoy looking around department stores even if they are not planning to make a purchase. While part of the strategy of anydepartment store is to create somewhere that people want to linger, retailers need to do more to capitalise on dwell time and encourage these consumers to purchase.
There are no hard and fast rules. But, we would expect stores to typically trade from a minimum of 1,000 sq m and stock at least half a dozen different broad product categories, with one category unlikely to account for more than two thirds of turnover, and usually significantly less than this. As a minimum, all department stores covered in this report sell adult and children’s apparel, lingerie, fashion accessories, footwear, beauty products and some homewares. Larger full-line stores have a much wider product assortment.
Some department stores retained their food halls through the 1990s and others have been reintroducing them. The food offer is typically upscale and geared towards fine foods and delicatessen, and therefore differentiated from the everyday supermarket.
The offer usually covers a mix of concessions and own-bought ranges, increasingly with a private label element within the own-bought assortment. M&S differs in that virtually its entire range is own brand/private label.
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