UK Department Stores – A department store is a large shop which is divided into many departments. It sells many different kinds of goods such as furnishing, clothing, footwear, toys, cosmetics, and groceries etc. Most of them operate with a mix of own-bought and concession departments. They largely offer store products at various pricing levels and adding high levels of customer services by convenience all of the products to be purchased under one roof.
Departmental stores are large-scale retail establishments. They are mostly located in the important central places of big cities. In stores, each department specializes in a particular kind of trade. The main motive of the store’s operation is to sell more goods to the same customers by providing a large variety of goods than to sell the same kind of goods to many customers.
According to study, “UK Department Stores 2018-2023” some of the key players that are currently working in the UK’s department stores are Selfridges, Fenwick of bond street, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Liberty London, Debenhams, Goodhood, The shop at Bluebird.
The UK department store market remains challenging, with a number of the leading players facing a stiff competition from each other. The best features of the stores are based upon just more than buying products; it should be a leisure destination with a retail offering that is stimulating and inspiring. The most important factors for department stores are the ability to alter goods and services produced in favor of market conditions, access to secure revenues and marketing of differentiated products etc. Nowadays stores have reinvented themselves. They are now destination stores for younger customers offering aspirational brands, complemented by great own brands.
There are many advantages associated with stores operations include shopping convenience, economies of large-scale, wide choice, central location, liberal services, use of specialized services, economy & advertising and the large volume of sales etc. Some of the disadvantages are distance, higher prices, difficult to establish, lack of coordination and absence of personal contact etc. The running expenses of the departmental store very high due to the various services rendered by high rents, advertising and many more.
The store’s industry has a low level of capital intensity, which reflects the labor-intensive nature of retail industries. Department stores have a lot of staff on hand in each department to help customers. Many department stores also have separate tills in each department, which therefore need to be individually manned. Costs mainly consist of depreciation on retail fixtures and fittings, buildings and other equipment such as computers. The industry also continues to face intense external competition from online-only retailers and the expansion of supermarkets into non-food items. The factors may impact the growth of departmental stores in the near futures.
Nowadays, in the UK, VR rooms and voice-controlled robot are developing stores operations and transforming the customer experience. These technologies up gradations are likely to reshape the retail landscape driven by data from customers themselves. Technology can also help to deliver “personalized” experiences such as products customers design. AI can help to inject £27billioninvestments into the UK retail sector. The stores in the future will also provide experiences, rather than simply focusing on selling stock. Premium/luxury brands will have been sure to remain appealing to shoppers and tourists. As a result, these retailers are expected to outperform the overall growth of the department store market in the coming years.
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Ankur Gupta, head marketing & communications