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 â€˜stateâ€™ of the British high street as well as online-spending helped to identify consumer attitudes.
Images from BHS AW11 Press Campaign
Marks and Spencer is BHS’s number one
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
the brand. Both BHS and M&S are
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
past decade. Something BHS has so
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
– 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
9 at night – and still have all your
lovely things delivered to your door
luxury, rather than from the luxury
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
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
great quality for lower prices.
directly in front of them.
HAVE BHS LOST THEIR BRAND IMAGE?
Departmental stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams are also key competitors offer
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
One thing to consider is that BHS
with. Although researching them was
has a very mixed brand image, their
important as they stock concessions
of Arcadia brands, such as Dorothy
the stand alone stores, both with
Perkins, Topshop and Topman.
layout, and signage. However, they
offer a smaller collection, mainly BHS
basic items such as t-shirts and
their sister brands, however they
cardigans. This layout is noticable
ot the store- they are laid out
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.
ONLINE Exploring different ways to spend was
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
was slow to start however
New Look, Mulberry, Zara and French
Connection have launched shopping
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
facebook. With more than 600 million
phone and f(acebook)-commerce via
users, facebook is the worlds most
the social networking site are the
most recent platforms for consumers to spend 24/7. For shops to increase
sales and revenue they must be savvy
recommendations revolutionised the
world of shopping. Being able to
into the brand.
â€˜likeâ€™, Next was the first retail store to
major effect on purchases.
identify the peak time for internet usage is around 7-8pm. Offering next
day delivery when ordering by 9pm
they have tapped into a huge market.
This was originally trialed in the
collaboration with artist Estelle.
Christmas period 2010, however they
The collection sold out within 6
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
Base: 1,403 adults aged 15+ who have bought clothes in the last 12 months and use the internet
Annual spend per head (£)
I’d like to see more personal service/advice from instore staff
200 200 0
If shops don’t have the item I want in my size/colour I just go to a different store
I’d like to see a wide range of sizes and fittings in store
I’d like to see better stock avalability in-store
Source: Verdict 2010
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
ONLINE VS. HIGH STREET To
street it was essential to explore
developer Clem Constantine quotes
the previous examples of spending. The
centres now compete with five or more
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
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
return or exchange items in store
(online and mail order) rose by a phenomenal 71.5%.
that they have bought online.
Visual Merchandising Taking the statistics into account I
decided to explore â€˜brick and mortarâ€™. One
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
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
stores John Lewis and Debenhams swayed towards the heritage theme. Certain
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
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.
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
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%
Opposite are the results to a question taken from my questionnaire.
Customer Services, 15% Recommendations, 15.80%
Available Sizes, 57.90% Customer Services, 0%
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 â€˜the futures bright...the futures not orange (red, pink or purple)â€™.
Image taken from BHS Brighton: Nov 2011
Whatâ€™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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