Interesting to hear the phone in on Radio Five Live this morning addressing the issue of retail, in the light of the BHS administration. ‘Are you being served’, they ask?
Interestingly, a lady is talking about the “purple pound” and special provision being organised in some Newcastle high street stores, on particular days, for disabled shopping. I wonder how many of my retail clients and ex-clients have got their eyes fixed on this particular area?
My own view on BHS is that it had the opportunity to target the 50+ market which is where theoretically huge amounts of money are waiting to be snapped up. However, as most of us who have visited the stores lately would know, the offering itself is catastrophically drab. There does seem to be a view that if your audience is predominantly old, and perhaps socially conservative, you can afford to offer them the sort of shops they were going in in the 80’s and they will be perfectly happy, bless them. I can think of at least a couple more brands whose stores fit this description.
It wasn't enough for the Oxford St BHS store to be 21st century, by the way. We pay much attention to 'flagships', in retail, but you still need a decent fleet.
Of course, JLP continues to show everyone how to make a shop look attractive without appearing to exclude swathes of the population in the process. They also 'get' service (something that a Canadian lady is telling us we don't generally, in the UK.)