Retail roundup July 2018

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Retail Round Up

It comes as little revelation the retail landscape is shifting, and as the industry passes the mid-year mark, headlines indicate there are changes afoot. From major retail revamps to cashless, cardless shopfronts, here’s what’s making the news in mid 2018…

DJs overhaul

David Jones’ is set for a major overhaul, with the CEO telling News Ltd the stores are currently “too big”, “too empty” and “too bland”.

Now the retailer is primed for a $200 million makeover that will include a champagne bar with city views at its Sydney store, a focus on food, specialised “worlds” and removing shelves to allow natural light to stream in.

“A lot of people ask, is the department store dying? We like to think of the department store as becoming more relevant but the way we need to run it is changing,” CEO David Thomas said.

The new focus will include better products, better use of space, creating a must-see retail destination and better customer service.

News Ltd continued, David Jones’ “lofty goal” is to, “shape the style of this nation by bringing the best of local and international talent into one place”.

A big voice in retail

A report has illustrated the rising influence of voice assistants in retail, with NPR Smart Audio finding 57 per cent of consumers who owned voice activated speakers bought something.

According to Search Engine Land: “The survey found that 57 per cent of smart speaker owners have ordered something using the device, while a majority of them have bought something they had never purchased before (as opposed to just reordering a regularly used product).

“People aren’t spending trivial amounts of money either. Almost 25 per cent of these voice-purchasers said they spent between $100 and $199 for single purchases.”

Bag backlash

The single use plastic bag is causing a wealth of controversy for supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles who sought to ban the bag on July 1. Instead of being hailed as environmental warriors, they have found themselves accused of profiteering, and now News Ltd reports it’s even beginning to affect their earnings.

“…customers are so lost without bags, it is beginning to hit the retailers’ bottom line as people buy less.”

The big names of the retail game are now set to appease disgruntled customers by offering them bonus loyalty points when they bring their own bags into the stores.

The six big fails of customer service

Customer relations expert and author Jaquie Scammel has outlined the six major customer service fails in her new book Creating a Customer Service Mindset.

They are:

  • Gossiping sales assistants who fail to acknowledge consumers in a timely manner
  • Over apologising sales assistants
  • Being “handballed” by staff who don’t quite know how to resolve an issue
  • Upselling
  • Discrimination
  • Reading a script

The Amazon effect

A report examining Amazon’s impact on the Australian retail landscape has found some surprising results. Yes, online shopping has risen, but traditional retailers are among those enjoying the flow-on effects.

CMO says Mindshare’s “Amazon Effect” study found online retail had surged by 9.1 per cent in Australia as a result of Amazon’s arrival. Brands found to benefit specifically included Catch Group, Kogan, The Iconic, Kmart, Rebel Sport and Dan Murphy’s.

Cashless and cardless

Malaysian shoppers can now pay for goods without using cash or cards at the KK Super Mart Convenience Chain Stores following the retailer’s partnership with e-wallet app, Boost.

Enterprise Innovation says: “KK Super Mart is one of Malaysia’s fasting growing 24/7 convenience chain located strategically in densely populated areas”.

Meanwhile Boost is an e-wallet application with over 2.5 million users that has online, and offline merchants located in over 25,000 touchpoints.

Shoplifter apologises for theft…40 years ago

In a heart-warming note of repentance, a UK resident has returned to the scene of his crime four decades later in a bid to make amends. The UK Sun reports a £5 note and handwritten letter was delivered to a shopping mall in Liverpool recently bearing the following message:

“Dear Sir,

I stole two bars of chocolate from Woolworths in your shopping centre in 1975 when I was a little boy. I apologise, I didn’t know any better. Here’s the money I owe you for them.”

With Woolworths no longer operating at the site, the money was donated to charity.

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