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Relationships are the future of Retail

If customer touchpoints are right, then luxury can expand across categories

Touchpoints are crucial in the new world of luxury, according to Michael Ward, CEO, Harrods, who said that the future of luxury is about creating a single customer relationship at a panel session at World Retail Congress in Amsterdam yesterday.


“For us, beauty has always been the way into the younger customer base,” he said. “That's access to our store, but it can't only be about millennials. Everything for us has to be about experience and engagement within our store. I don't see enough retailers on the high street investing in that.”


Sylvie Freund Pickavance, Strategy and Business Development Director, Value Retail, added that at the group's upscale designer outlets “We always have to think about the experience in our environments”.


She said that the company mixes international and high end local brands to create destination centres and that to shop in physical locations people expected to see differentiation from what they can get in their local shopping environment.


Ransi Masri, Chief Transformation Officer, Chalhoub Group, said that rather than consider a digital strategy, retailers need to step back and think about customer relationships; “Looking at what we are doing today, it is to be where the customer is. We are reverse engineering, considering where they are and how we reach them. We really need to transform the experience of our staff, using digital tools to free them up to serve customers”.


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