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18 Apr 2018

Stores and sales associates arm retailers with differentiation

Stores and sales associates arm retailers with differentiation
Frederico Trajano, CEO, Magazine Luiza
The online giants can be competed against by leveraging stores and sales associates, a panel of retailers insisted at World Retail Congress in Madrid on Thursday 18 April.

Magazine Luiza CEO Frederico Trajano said that online retail now represents 35% of all sales for the Brazilian retailer and is still growing. However, he remains a firm advocate of stores.

“Brazil is highly connected and we have ten different channels but everything is based on one platform,” he said. “We adopted the theory of an ecommerce player but we are growing from our exisiting assets and distribution, which means we can keep our cost base down. Fortunately for me, my board was always very innovative. My advice to any one is start small.”

He added: “We have rivals such as Amazon and we can't compete on scale but what we do have is stores and sales associates, so when people come to the stores that is where we have to make the difference.”

Luxottica EVP Corporate Business Services, Enrico Mistron, added: “Product is the main course but we have to serve some side dishes as wll. Consumers want to be unique, they want to personalise and feel it's built for them. We use out stores as showrooms with a lot of digital but we strongly believe stores have a future. We clustered the stores and frequently change the assortment, which is how we kee the offer fresh.”

M.Video CEO Enrique Frenandez said that the role of the store is changing, however. “Five years ago we started the digital transformation and at that time the store was the cenre and online was an extension. Now it's the other way round, everything starts online but the store is still very important,” he said.

He also advocated making a difference through the store base. “Convenience: 80% of click and collect is from stores,” he said. “So you have to think about the added value when they come to the store. Filling up with screens is no good. The people who can make a difference are sales associates, through the propsition, personalisation and deals.”


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