House of Fraser is in negotiation to open 12 standalone click and collect stores and is also looking for partners with sympathetic collection locations, according to Andy Harding, executive director, multi-channel.
Speaking at the BRC Omni-Channel Retailing conference, Harding said the move followed the launch of a click and collect floor at its Frasers department store in Edinburgh last year and two standalone click and collect stores in Liverpool and Aberdeen.
The standalone sites – Liverpool has subsequently closed – are branded as House of Fraser but offer no stock. According to Harding, they look more like a café.
Frasers, meanwhile, features a very limited range for customers to touch and feel and perhaps one size to try on. Shoppers can order for collection the following day.
Harding joined a panel session discussing channel evolution including the increased use of mobile throughout the customer journey.
Harding said the majority of the retailer’s web traffic now came from touch-screen devices and the stock checker feature on its app is a key function used by its customers.
Harding said House of Fraser’s new website has been designed for touchscreens first but said conversion has also increased from desktop sites as a result.
He claimed mobile devices enabled staff and customers to transact in the ways they wanted to in a retail environment and away from the traditional till point.
“Self-serve is where we want to get to,” he said, and “to provide a more personalised experience”.
“Getting someone to engage with us in-store, with their phone, is a win for us – we want to get the best content into someone’s hand,” he said.