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Multichannel tipped to be a fashion success story

Fashion businesses with a multichannel retail offer will lead the industry to success, according to a panel of etail specialists.

“Multichannel operators are showing stronger like-for-likes than pure-play etailers,” said Beverly Imrie, head of ecommerce at womenswear chain Wallis. “And one in two purchases [made in store] is [researched] online first.”

Warren Bennett, co-founder of etailer A Suit That Fits, which has bricks-and-mortar ‘showrooms’ to display product, said shoppers want a seamless experience across all sales channels: “Customers want the same price, experience and service in stores and online.”

William Higham, founder of consumer research consultancy The Next Big Thing, said personalisation will also be key. “Coffee bars and boutique cinemas have mirrored the at-home experience and we will see fashion retailers letting you browse online [in store] as if you were at home. Consumers want an experience. They don’t want to see rails of things they don’t want to buy.”

Aurora Fashions multichannel director Hash Ladha said it is the younger generation that will determine the industry’s future technology: “We’re not the judge [of what will work in the future]. The younger generation are not amazed by anything any more.”

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