Rolling out Wi-Fi and tablets across Clarks’ 566 stores will bolster sales and improve customer service, managing director for the UK and Ireland Stephen Foulser has said.
The £3.1m programme began with a trial of 25 stores in February and will be completed by the end of June in time for the peak back-to-school period.
Foulser said the increase in sales during the trial was enough to justify the further investment, as shoppers were able to access the footwear retailer’s entire product range, rather than just the footwear in that particular store.
“The trial was quantifiable; the stores involved saw an increase [in sales] as shoppers could order from the full range and get it delivered to store or at home. It gives full visibility of stock.”
He also said the devices encouraged interaction between shoppers and staff and improved the customer service in store. “Staff members are there by the customer’s side showing them what’s available and demonstrating how to view different styles and colours.”
Foulser said the technology would attract a younger shopper into stores. “We are trying to reposition the brand to be more appealing [to the younger consumer] and to challenge people’s perception of what Clarks is. It’s about engaging with the digital world.”
The move will also allow staff members to interact with each other on a regional basis through Skype calls or by sending images of visual merchandising for best practice.