Selective technology, creative click and collect, and rethinking stores are priorities for next year, Kantar Retail and law firm report

UK retailers must focus on seven key pillars for success in 2015 – as outlined in a new report, ‘Winning the Retail Battle in 2015’, released this week by retail insight specialist Kantar Retail and global law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

The seven key pillars are:

  • Consumer insight – responding to the changing face of the UK population
  • Shopper insight – understanding continually evolving shopper psychologies
  • Technological innovation – being selective about the right tech to exploit
  • Multi-channel and omni-channel – serving shoppers seamlessly across all channels, especially mobile
  • Value – moving beyond price to a new economy of time and ease
  • Personalisation and contextualisation – not just of communications but of pricing and service
  • Stores – having fewer of them, but making them more theatrical and connected

Kantar Retail director of retail insights, Bryan Roberts, says that a year after the first report with Squire Patton Boggs was launched and in the wake of Mary Portas’ high street review, the number of retail failures has slowed but it is clear that 2015 will still be a challenging time.

“Nevertheless, the British Retail Consortium has reported that many retailers expect sales to grow during 2015 and they will invest in more staff – showing that amidst the tough times, UK retailers are rising to the occasion, and continuing to innovate to remain competitive,” Roberts said.

Matthew Lewis, global head of retail at Squire Patton Boggs, said: “An increasingly important element of any plan for growth is the retailer’s omnichannel strategy. Once again, we have called on retailers and shoppers to let us know how they see the current multichannel experience, how this interacts with the physical presence and what investment is required to move towards a seamless and personalised service.”

John Lewis managing director, Andy Street, said that Kantar Retail and Squire Patton Boggs’ report sheds light on key retail issues for 2015. “It also wisely argues that after all we are still retailers, and as such our tasks is to have a ruthless focus on what the customer wants. The winners will be those who correctly anticipate the changing nature of customer demands. Selectively curated shops will be increasingly critical in the omni-channel race.

“John Lewis has a huge advantage bestowed by earlier generations – we only have 42 shops, and for national leadership we think we need approximately 65, which is why we are building in Birmingham, Leeds and Oxford.  We are following the customer who wants to be inspired, wants to be social, and wants to be advised in store.”

‘Winning the Retail Battle in 2015’ has also been produced in partnership with the British Retail Consortium and the Retail Trust.

Winning the Retail Battle in 2015 - Infographic