...The case for stores
Stores are central to our strategy but
their role is changing. They are not only
a physical point of sale for products which
customers want to see, touch and feel.
They are also a collection and return point
for multi-channel orders and they unlock
sales in multi-channel catchments.
We are investing in our stores to support
multi-channel growth through new instore
ordering points which focus on self-service
and access to choice and giving our Click
& Collect facilities a stronger presence,
with new collection points and new
branding for increased visibility.
The case for opening new stores is
demonstrated by Chesterfield which
trades from 45,000 sq ft on a retail park
and opened in September 2012. It is
a store that is fully configured to operate
in a multi-channel environment.
In Chesterfield’s first year we have seen
sales in the local area more than triple.
The store itself has contributed the largest
portion of this growth. Importantly, other
stores where our Chesterfield customers
may have shopped prior to opening have
seen only a limited amount of deflection,
suggesting that the overwhelming majority
of store sales have been incremental.
We have also seen online sales in
the Chesterfield area double, which
demonstrates the close correlation
between store sales and online sales.
We are scheduled to open 16 new
stores in the UK during the next four
years, starting with four in 2014. Many
of these are located on retail parks, just like
Chesterfield. Lease lengths on these new
stores are generally shorter than we would
have signed in the past and those on retail
parks usually have a break clause. These
variations ensure we have sufficient
flexibility to meet the changing role
of stores in a multi-channel world.
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