A summer of retail resurgence?

It’s easy to be sceptical about Britain’s ability to put on first class events, but this weekend showed that we can do it when we put our minds to it. The pageant, the concert, the service and parade were pure theatre and most people generally agreed it was well done and gave us all hope that the Olympics might be half-decent as well.

In-store theatre is something American retailers do really well, but here in the UK, we are less adept at. With the exception of a few stores, notably Selfridges, the British shopping experience remains relatively humdrum. Especially in the current trading environment, retailers are even less inclined to throw precious budget into costly in-store theatrics, which may, but equally may not, turn to profit.

Yet given the doom and gloom surrounding the market, perhaps a little bit of theatre is what the consumer needs to take themselves out of the day to day tedium of shopping and start to enjoy it again. Retailers who take the chance and get it right might just find themselves with a stronger brand affinity and stronger brand values than those who do not.

Getting the activity right for the consumer is key, however, otherwise the investment will reap returns. Understanding who the customer is and what they are looking for from their shopping experience is critical to determining what will work in store. Doing some research amongst customers, particularly if the retailers has a decent database base, will pay off as part of the planning.

Then, in the same way that the monarchy have strengthened their brand and its affinity with the British public, so can the retailer, albeit on a slightly smaller scale! 

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