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Concept development and experimentation EFPI3001 Samantha Hedger 0801818


PROPOSAL Over the past 12 months BHS have closed the doors to ten of their stores, making way for the cheaper retail chain Primark. Speculation of a further 260 store closures across the Arcadia Group proves the ideal time to rethink and rework the existing stores.

I propose a shake up in the Visual Merchandising of BHS. From my research, experience and findings I shall conduct a marketing proposal to be presented to the company.

Competitors Researching the UK and Worldwide retail market is essential when implementing changes to BHS. My research satisfies these criteria. By initially looking at direct competitors such as Marks and Spencer and Next I can locate the differentials within these high street brands. Exploring the rest of the retail sector and analysing the ‘state’ of the British high street as well as online-spending helped to identify consumer attitudes.

Images from BHS AW11 Press Campaign

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Marks and Spencer is BHS’s number one

competitor,

not

just

on

the

financial sector (M&S has a larger market share) but also on a personal level to BHS and Arcadia group CEO, Sir Philip Green. With two failed attempts to purchase M&S, Green has now made it his mission to better

Next

,

the brand. Both BHS and M&S are

BHS,

has

classed

as

demographics however it’s coherent

they provide a range of in-house

website, catalogue and stores are

brands; however M&S has re-invented

key to their consumer. Their AW11

itself with huge success over the

advertising

past decade. Something BHS has so

women

far failed to do.

landmarks in London; the message:

Take their most recent advertising

‘NEXT has the ultimate fashion look

campaigns ‘Only at your M&S’ this

... fashion is all about great timing

slogan

exclusivity,

– the science of getting what you

something many middle class consumers

want when you want it. And NEXT’s

were quick to pick up on since the

timing is impeccable. You can shop

recession hit in the second quarter

online at next.co.uk right up until

of

tightened,

9 at night – and still have all your

affordable

lovely things delivered to your door

many

as

department

emphasises

2008.

As

people

stores,

wallets turned

to

luxury, rather than from the luxury

a

close the

competitor

to

audience

and

same

campaign

synchronised

features dancing

7 at

the very next day!’

sector itself. For M&S to identify

Image from M&S AW11 Press Campaign

these trends, their food sales in

Next’s move to online was easier than

particular has maintained a steady

others, with Next directory their

growth

mail

over

the

past

few

years.

order

service

being

around

Since coming out of the recession,

for over a decade consumers were

consumers have kept brand loyal to

accustomed to shopping via images

M&S after realising they can get

rather

great quality for lower prices.

directly in front of them.

than

having

the

product


HAVE BHS LOST THEIR BRAND IMAGE?

Departmental stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams are also key competitors offer

to

BHS

concessions

however from

they

outside

their in-store brands, which for my research places them in a different sector. In store beauty brands such as Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent as well as luxury designer clothing is

something

BHS

can’t

compete

One thing to consider is that BHS

with. Although researching them was

has a very mixed brand image, their

important as they stock concessions

concessions

of Arcadia brands, such as Dorothy

the stand alone stores, both with

Perkins, Topshop and Topman.

layout, and signage. However, they

are

in-keeping

with

offer a smaller collection, mainly BHS

also

from

basic items such as t-shirts and

their sister brands, however they

cardigans. This layout is noticable

are

when

not

stock

concessions

coherent

with

the

rest

browsing

BHS

stores,

the

ot the store- they are laid out

concessions

differently and offer products that

and easily navigated. The in-store

appeal to a different consumer base

brands are cluttered and squeezed

to the rest of the store.

into the space available.

7

are

neat,

spacious


ONLINE Exploring different ways to spend was

essential

Online

to

shopping

my

has

research.

had

a

huge

impact on consumer spending habits, especially in the past 5-6 years with auction sites such as Amazon increasingly

M&S processed 13,000 orders in the

popular. Comparison websites offer

first 6 months of launching their

a launch pad for consumers, being

m-commerce site. This way of spending

able

was slow to start however

and

Ebay

to

online.

becoming

identify Online

the

best

recently

as

New Look, Mulberry, Zara and French

and Net-a-porter

Connection have launched shopping

stores

Asos, Missguided

deals

such

are hugely popular. E(lectronic)-

apps suitable for mobile.

commerce is the most popular way to shop via the internet however

The newest way of spending is via

m(obile)-commerce

smart

facebook. With more than 600 million

phone and f(acebook)-commerce via

users, facebook is the worlds most

the social networking site are the

poplar website.

via

your

most recent platforms for consumers to spend 24/7. For shops to increase

With

F-commerce,

sales and revenue they must be savvy

of

user

and

recommendations revolutionised the

incoroporate

these

platforms

the

reviews

integration and

their

world of shopping. Being able to

into the brand.

‘like’, Next was the first retail store to

comment

and

share

has

a

major effect on purchases.

identify the peak time for internet usage is around 7-8pm. Offering next

US

day delivery when ordering by 9pm

a

they have tapped into a huge market.

year,

This was originally trialed in the

collaboration with artist Estelle.

Christmas period 2010, however they

The collection sold out within 6

extended

and

hours,

and

increased by 50% on the first day,

Oasis offer a 90 minuite click-to-

100% by the end of the campaign. The

deliver service if you live within

facebook page aquired 1 fan every

the M25.

1.5 seconds.

demand.

it

due

Stores

to

such

sucCess as

Asos

designer pop-up

Rachel

store

offering

and

in a

Roys

Roy

launched

facebook

limited

last

edition

consumer

base


1200   1200

Base: 1,403 adults aged 15+ who have bought clothes in the last 12 months and use the internet

Annual spend per head (£)

40  

0  

40

I’d like to see more personal service/advice from instore staff

200 200   0

30

35  

400 400  

30  

If shops don’t have the item I want in my size/colour I just go to a different store

20

25  

600   600

20  

I’d like to see a wide range of sizes and fittings in store

10

15  

800   800

10  

0  

0

5  

1000   1000

I’d like to see better stock avalability in-store

Source: Verdict 2010

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

I don’t like the atmosphere in a lot of clothing shops

2014 I like the ordering service for out-of-stock items that some stores offer

Above shows online shoppers’ annual spend per head. It is predicted to

If shops don’t have the item I want in my size/colour I order from their website instead

double in the next couple of years from that in 2005. Brands must tap

It’s more relaxing to shop online than in-store

into this market to maximise sales, potentially offering all 3 online platforms (e/m/f-commerce) as well as apps for tablets such as the IPad. Buying clothes online peaks

I like the privacy of shopping online and trying on at home

I shop online to find specific brands or items not available in stores near me

among the 25-34’s. This market has a disposable income and are entering

I shop online because I’m more likely to find my size

the family lifestyle. BHS can appeal to this market.

You get much better fashion advice and tips online than in-store Source: Ipsos Mori/Mintel

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ONLINE VS. HIGH STREET To

firstly

understand

the

high

street it was essential to explore

But

is

all

lost?

M&S

property

developer Clem Constantine quotes

the previous examples of spending. The

British

high

decline,

one

in

standing

empty.

street

eight Half

is

in

shops of

UK

now town

centres now compete with five or more

supermarkets

within

a

two

mile radius. Out of town shopping centres offering free parking and a shopping experience under one roof, are driving people out of town. Shops such as Woolworths, Waterstones and Zavvi have closed their doors, with HMV, Comet, Mothercare and Dixons dramatically downsizing, the future of the high street looks bleak.

‘the high street is and will continue to be important in a multichannel age. Eventually this internet and the high street will...start to merge, and

complement

more.’

Sales growth for high street stores between 2005 and 2010 was a measly

Despite the popularity of shopping

1.5% in comparison to out of town’s

online, 53% of consumers prefer to

11.5%.

return or exchange items in store

The

growth

of

non-store

(online and mail order) rose by a phenomenal 71.5%.

that they have bought online.

each

other


Visual Merchandising Taking the statistics into account I

decided to explore ‘brick and mortar’. One

trend

in

several

high

fashion

shops was apparent: the gallery. Shops displayed products as if to look but not touch, focusing mainly on customer service, for you to be assisted with your purchases. Abercrombie Urban a

and

Fitch,

Jack

and

Superdry

outfitters,

completely

different

Wills, took

approach:

heritage. Shops had dark mood lighting, with certain products and displays lit up more than others. Memorabilia and props were incorporated into the shop layout, this included sewing machines, stag heads, old fashioned pictures and areas to sit and lounge. These two store designs differentiated completely, however they work well with the

product

being

sold.

Department

stores John Lewis and Debenhams swayed towards the heritage theme. Certain

concessions

had

fantastic

displays; this shoe boudoir in Debenhams, Woking is a good example (right). It felt luxurious, the lighting used highlighted certain products and displays within the concession. It was clean and easy to navigate, the colour theme was gold, black and white (minus the green signs, it was a promotional day). Image taken from Debenhams Woking: Nov 2011


Image taken from Debenhams Woking: Nov 2011

Their Principles concession also took on this trend, with pictures displaying previous coverage and ornate glass vases. The displays were colour coordinated to the current stock on sale, which worked well, a small display (see centre of image) highlights background information of the brand.


RATIONALE In a questionnaire I conducted, 39.1% of people said they felt

When shopping Online and In-store what do you look for?

BHS stores were outdated, only 17.4% felt it was a good/average

Inner ring - In-store

store.

Outer Ring - Online

When asked would you consider shopping in BHS if they

offered ranges similar to sister brands Topshop and Dorothy Perkins only 4.3% said no. Other answers ranged from yes, if the price was right, if the brand updated their image and would most definitely consider it.

Convenience, 57.90%

On a personal level, having worked as a retail assistant at the Horsham branch of BHS, and having had the opportunity to work

Convenience, 35% Price, 78.90%

at Arcadia Headquarters (BHS press room, BHS AW11 press show

Price, 55%

and a BHS wedding event) has benefited this project proposal substantially. Having this prospective on the business, rather Speed, 30%

than evaluating it just from the outside will make it more viable and likely to be seen.

Having said that evaluating it as a consumer was essential to experimentation. Visits to several BHS branches were essential.

Speed, 36.80% Quality, 50%

Available Sizes, 35%

Quality, 10.50%

Opposite are the results to a question taken from my questionnaire.

Customer Services, 15% Recommendations, 15.80%

Recommendations, 15%

Available Sizes, 57.90% Customer Services, 0%

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This is an image from BHS Brighton the last week of November 2011. The deals on display are fantastic, however it is too cramped and overpowering. Online editor for What?! Magazine, David Mahoney quotes ‘the futures bright...the futures not orange (red, pink or purple)’.

Image taken from BHS Brighton: Nov 2011


What’s shocking is these AW11 press images (below) have a completely different outlook. The crisp simplicity of them is hard to relate to the in-store merchandising.

Images from BHS AW11 Press Campaign


OUTCOME Taking into account the factors discussed previously, I will create a marketing pitch to be shown to the VM at BHS. Looking at the in-store experience, taking examples from competitors, online experiences, in-store findings, questionnaires and focus groups. It will be a sales pitch, tactfully written to highlight points that need addressing rather than a marketing report. It will clearly present a different concept on each page. It will include the following: •

Shop front: how to utilise shop windows giving examples from competitor’s displays. At the moment BHS use mainly posters to advertise product, rather than the product

itself. • Visual merchandising: correctly displaying product to compel consumer’s imagination and encouraging them to buy. Examples of department store displays will be used. • Store layout: assessing the way consumers are navigated through store, with the use of signs and displays. • Lighting and heating: 21.7% of people in my questionnaire said this was a significant factor to consider when shopping in store. • Product on offer: discussing whether they product display is maximising sales potential. • Promotions: promotions and offers with clear signs and displays, during different periods of the month, rather than too many at once. My findings from supermarkets will satisfy an example. • Point of sale: analysing consumer experience, good POS is essential as it is the last memory a consumer has when leaving the store. • Customer service: providing excellent service, after sales care and discretion when returning product is something many consumers are now ‘hot’ on. • Coherent website and store: making transactions with both the store and online should be seamless, with delivery, returns and enquiries. • Customer experiences: Offering bra fitting, personal shopper and ‘try before you buy’ on perishable goods such as sweets and alcohol.

Image taken from BHS Camberly: Nov 2011

Essentially by creating this pitch I hope to present and work with BHS on a live project. However, if I am unable to do this I shall create a mock project. This will include a campaign using findings from my pitch. In this will be: press releases, my vision for a shop (using photography and illustration), a mock floor plan of an existing BHS, promotional advertisement via social media platforms, promotion via in store discounts, store advertisement near location, regional press coverage.


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Mintel. (2010). Executive summary – UK - October 2010. Available: http://www.mintel.com. Last accessed 25th October 2011. Next. (2011). Cool moves for the small screen. Available: http://press.next.co.uk/media/news-archive/2011/ tvadvertoct11.aspx. Last accessed 25th November 2011.

BBC. (2011). Arcadia set to close up to 260 stores as profits fall. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ business-15867924. Last accessed 29th November 2011.

Peston, Robert. (2008). Sir Philip Green helped rescue Marks & Spencer. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ finance.economics.2783461/Sir-Philip-Green-Helped-rescueMarks-and-spencer.html. Last accessed 22nd October 2011.

Brummer, Alex. (2011). As household-name stores fall prey to online shopping boom, we ask: will the internet monster eat the high street?. Available: http://www.dailymail. co.uk/debate/articla-1389343/as-household-sto...lineshopping-boom-ask-will-internet-monster-eat-highstreet. html. Last Accessed 22nd October 2011

Sweney, Mark. (2006). A successful ad campaign has revived the fortunes of Marks & Spencer. Available: http://www. guardian.co.uk/media/2006/nov/06/retail.monday. Last accessed 25th October 2011.

Hack, Claire. (2010). BHS to close down in Primark Takeover. Available: http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/ news/rbnews/4857248.ILFORD_Bhs_to_close_down_in_Primark_ takover/. Last accessed 22nd October 2011.

WGSN. (2011). Customer service: The Key differentiation. Available: http://www.wgsn.com/content/report/retail_and_ VM/Customer_customer_service_the_key_differentiation. Last accessed 25th October 2011.

Hedger, Samantha. (2011). High street spending. Available: http://www.surveymonkey.com/MySurvey_Responses.aspx?sm=CDB6 pcVYWyxb9FoFXP4l%2fjuQDBDRorKvGZgiH8cxmkM%3d. Last Accessed 21st December 2011. Mintel. (2009). Top 250 European Retailers. Available: http://www.mintel.com/docs/retailers_ranked.htm. Last accessed 5th November 2011. Mintel. (2010). E commerce, UK- Feb 2010. Available: http://www.mintel.com. Last accessed 25th October 2011.

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BHS PROPOSAL