May 30, 2019

Next’s big push for ‘relevance’ in a tough retail climate

We’re big fans of Next’s innovative approach, particularly on delivery, but the latest news of a tie up with Amazon was definitely a surprise. 

The roll out of the new Amazon Counter service across hundreds of Next’s stores will drive much-needed footfall and stimulate spontaneous purchases. 

In the US Kohl’s similar recent tie up with Amazon (enabling Amazon returns at their stores) has resulted in a 9% growth in new customers and an 8% growth in revenues in the stores in which the service has been trialed (Earnest Research, May 2019).

Tellingly though, it was neither fooftfall or incremental purchasing that was highlighted by Next’s CEO Lord Wolfson when he announced the partnership. Instead, it was the ‘continued relevance’ the partnership would bring to Next’s stores. 

For us this is an exciting and overdue reframing of the retail debate. The answer to the retail sector’s current challenges shouldn’t be focused solely around driving footfall because footfall is transient and dependent entirely on customer whim.

The answer instead lies in making customer whim less whimsical. How? By building brand loyalty with service propositions that are relevant to the way consumers live their lives. 

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