From bras to boots: lingerie and footwear bosses say stores that reopen after lockdown are valued by shoppers
Managing directors of a number of large retail chains told the Evening Standard that while digital sales are increasing, customers still want physical stores.
Bosses of fashion, accessories and lingerie brands were speaking out before ‘non-essential’ retailers reopened stores after the April 12 lockdown.
Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers, said: “Customers have changed the way they shop dramatically over the past year with, naturally, a greater shift to online, but physical stores still play an important role. in our future. ”
Gold added that the in-store experience with expert staff is very valuable for customers, “especially those who want to discuss more intimate and low-key topics … Our customers are highly valued by our bras and we are convinced that we will see an increase when our doors reopen ”.
The general manager added that customers have shown an appetite to “go back to stores to see, touch and experience again a more personal way of shopping.”
Will Kernan, of River Island, said: “The shift to online shopping through foreclosure has seen many of our store customers buy through our digital channels, but our customers still enjoy the high street. After a year of restrictions, people are excited to shop in stores and enjoy the freedoms of normal life. “
Andy Lightfoot, managing director of luxury beauty retailer Space NK, said the company has experienced significant digital growth. But he added: “I think people will return to the streets”
Lightfoot said buyers remain interested in expert advice in person and the ability to see and touch the products.
Neil Clifford of Kurt Geiger said: “Our physical locations will always be important to us… stores also totally improve the performance of our digital business.”
Kurt Geiger will be opening nine new branches starting this month, adding to his existing domain. Clifford said customers love the choice and “where we have a retail presence we get almost 40% more online activity in that area.”
Russell & Bromley said: “You can’t beat walking out of a store with a new pair of shoes that you know fit you perfectly.”
Earlier this week, Pippa Wicks, Partner and Executive Director of John Lewis, said, “We look forward to bringing customers together with the joy of physical shopping.”
Many high street businesses have had to temporarily close sites in various locations over the past 12 months due to the Covid-19 crisis.
A number of online retailers have seen their sales skyrocket during the pandemic.