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Shared experiences live long in the memory

For consumers who have had enough of surfing the web and communicating via social media, sharing a shopping trip with friends and family can be the answer to digital overload.

Yes, online shopping has become part of most people’s lives, but consumers will always want to balance this with a real, recreational retail experience. The saying that ‘people buy from people’ is as valid as ever, but it’s also true that people shop with people. It’s about sharing a memorable experience that excites and engages, as well as delivering value, choice, quality and service.

Studies reveal that word of mouth creates a loyalty effect, with companies with the highest customer loyalty typically increasing revenues at more than twice the rate of rivals, according to business consultancy Bain & Company’s Net Promoter Score tool. About 70 million customers visit McArthurGlen’s designer outlet centres in the UK and Europe each year.

We enhance customer experiences with regular events and promotions – ranging from the Christmas lights switch-on of the UK’s tallest Christmas tree at Cheshire Oaks, this year done by girl band The Saturdays, or our annual jazz festival at Serravalle near Milan. By offering bespoke experiences at particular times of the year, we attract new customers who build on the regular mission shoppers who seek out specific purchases throughout the year.

Service is also a key element of the experience, which is why we have our McArthurGlen Retail Academy, working with our brand partners across Europe to deliver a paramount level of service to our consumers.

It’s about providing a great experience – and knowing retail is even better when it’s shared.

  • Henrik Madsen is UK and northern Europe managing director of designer outlet business McArthurGlen

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