Verdict Retail Seminars
Retail: the post-Election landscape
Our second Mail Connected Verdict Retail breakfast seminar took place at the BAFTA Theatre in London. The seminar provided a unique opportunity to hear the latest strategically-focused research from both Verdict Research and Mail Newspapers and engage with key industry figures and peers in a panel discussion
Presenters were Neil Saunders of Verdict Research and Kate Scally of the Strategic Insight Team at Mail Newspapers. Following the presentations, the panel took questions from the floor
Matt Chambers, House of Fraser
Julia Reynolds, Figleaves.com
David Kershaw, M & C Saatchi
Alex Brummer, Daily Mail City Editor
Neil Saunders, Verdict Research
The first presentation from Neil Saunders focused on how consumer spending patterns are likely to change over the next four to five years. Essentially, consumers have a developed a number of coping strategies to deal with recession, including trading down and cutting down. However, we are still seeing growth at both ends of the cost spectrum - discount retailers have flourished, as have the upmarket ranges of the grocery retailers. People are still spending but there's a trade-off and 'treats' are still very much on the menu: 41% of us want to 'have fun' on a shopping mission.
The word 'mission' is key here: the consumption process has slowed down from the good old 'see it, want it, buy it' days - now we like to check out the quality, research our purchases, and look for the best value and the best deals - a more considered way of shopping.
It is predicted that this type of behaviour will increase over the next ten years and the retailers that will continue to flourish in this new world are those that find a way to work within this changing consumption model. No brand has a right to be consumed and retailers need to forge greater emotional connections with consumers and learn to fit into this new process.
Kate Scally then offered some insight into how the Mail Connected brands are moving into the future, making the point that convenience, availability and service are very much common to both publishers and retailers. We are working on our relationship with purchasers, continuing to innovate and ensuring that our brands are available in multiple formats and are delivered via multiple platforms.
Neil Saunders then took a brief look at the future of the high street and the implications of e-commerce versus physical location. No-one wants high street shopping to fade away and some small growth in trading is forecast between now and 2014, however the 'cookie-cutter' town centres need to rethink their environment and access if they are to continue to thrive. The high street needs to offer a different type of shopping experience.
This view was shared by the panel, who noted that a better balance between function and enjoyment needs to be found on many high streets and that those that are capitalising on this with a selection of niche and traditional outlets in addition to the main retailers will be the ones to see business grow.
The retail view is one of cautious planning and creating brand preference by making the emotional connection (the 'softer' elements of the customer experience are often those that differentiate one retailer from another) and demonstrating value. The whole panel agreed on this point - it was a recurring theme.
For more information on our Verdict retail seminars, please contact Lorraine Keogh on 020 7938 7158 email@example.com