Omnichannel Fashion Retail and Channel Integration: The Case of Department Stores

Omnichannel Fashion Retail and Channel Integration: The Case of Department Stores

Anthony Kent (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Marco Vianello (Tomorrow Ltd, Italy), Marta Blazquez Cano (University of Manchester, UK) and Eva Helberger (University of the Arts, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0110-7.ch016
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Abstract

The evolution from single channel to multichannel retailing is explained by the need to overcome existing format limitations such as the size of store, expansion in new markets through electronic channels, increasing sales by cross-channel interactions and gaining valuable insight into consumer behaviour through the Internet. The aim of this chapter is to explain the development and implementation of omnichannel retailing and to demonstrate its experiential touchpoints in department stores. Case study approach is adopted to look at the development of omichannel integration and retail touchpoints in two iconing department stores: Harrods and Selfridges. Different strategies are identified and implications of each are discussed with relevant recommendations for retail practitioners.
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Background

Central to the development of omnichannel retailing is the definition of a channel as a customer contact point, or a medium through which the firm and the customer interact and where interaction involves two-way communication between retailer and customer, rather than a traditional one-way communication process (Neslin et al, 2006). They define opportunities for the communication and distribution of products and services, the acquisition of information and building of personal relationships with consumers. The types of channels, broadly defined by offline, online and catalogue (Verhoef, Kannan & Inman, 2015) are assessed below:

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