The Evening Post:- 20th March
“Missguided Opinion: Cracks in the E-commerce Golden Egg!”
Firstly, let me say I am a huge fan of Missguided.
Whilst not the classic target customer I remember the palpable excitement of walking through their first store in Westfield Stratford, conceived in collaboration with Dalziel & Pow.
It was such a refreshing store with so many ideas for the new era of physical shopping, not bogged down or held back by the mistakes and misconceptions of a retail history. The way it used the entrance to create amazing theatre and spectacle, the way it combined the latest digital graphics with a chorus of traditional mannequins and the way it created rooms with segmented product stories. This was, and is, an exciting time in bricks ‘n’ mortar, in e-commerce and in omni-channel retailing.
Yet against this we hear that despite surging sales the company is looking to reduce its workforce to help balance the books and to achieve that all important profit.
For me, this seems a reality check in a fast growing business adjusting in its own way to the dynamics of the new retail model which is omnichannel. From whichever origin you are entering this market the challenges are uncharted and unpredictable.
However I have no doubt that Missguided will go from strength to strength, not because it is from an e-commerce origin, but for two more fundamental reasons.
Firstly because it has a clear proposition and target customer and everything in its marketing, customer communication, store design and product design is 100% focused on that customer. No ambiguity.
Secondly, because it creates and buys fabulous product stories. From powerful commercial categories to defining fashion looks, coordinated themes and hero product in pattern and colour combinations it is a great retailer because it has great product to sell.
The “cracks in the shell of the e-commerce golden egg” refer to the fact that simply being in e-commerce will not guarantee sustainable survival & success. E-commerce is essential for survival & success but only as part of a wider retailing context.
E-commerce will neither make or break a retailer. Being a great retailer or a poor one will make or break a retailer.
This year e-commerce growth will be at less that 10% for the first time, whilst established brands such as House of Fraser are discovering that simply being omnichannel with an increased e-commerce focus will not always even ensure increased sales online never mind for the business as a whole.
Only being a great retailer will guarantee success in e-commerce, physical retailing and as a whole across omnichannel.
So, continued good luck to Missguided and all great retailers who will surely reap the rewards of the omnichannel world.
And as we move towards Easter, may you all find those prophetic but elusive geese to perpetually lay the golden eggs of retail profit…not by magic but through hard work and retail expertise.
The Evening Post is my daily take on the day in retail…offering always a positive spin to take to your next shift at the retail coalface.
Sleep on it and drop me a line in the morning… email@example.com
Thank you for continuing to read & good luck for tomorrow!
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