Kate Moss and Topshop. Alexa Chung and M&S. Fearne Cotton and Cath Kidston. For years, celebrities have been teaming up with retailers to design their own, often limited edition, collections. Whilst the celebrity in question gets to add another string to their bow, retailers benefit from tapping into new audiences and engaging customers in a new and exciting way – often with a lot of hype.
However, it’s not just celebrities that are getting in on the action. Increasingly we are seeing more and more collaborations between retailers, as brands are turning to other people with a different market share to work together to conquer the high street.
How do retail collaborations encourage growth?
The ultimate aim of any successful collaboration is that both parties benefit and take advantage of the market the other brings. This might come in the form of filling a gap in the market that previously existed, offering easier access to consumers or providing something strong and definitive that places both retailers far ahead of anything the competition can offer.
An immediate PR boost can be felt by a retail collaboration as attention is drawn to the venture, which can also help with marketing. New contacts can be introduced, fresh and different expertise utilised, and ideas shared or implemented that were previously not possible. Doing things as part of a retail collaboration speeds up processes that may have taken a considerable amount of time. Potential new customers can be found and reached instantly, with all retailers involved in the collaboration being able to bring to the table the information they have collected over their separate trading experiences.
What makes a successful retail collaboration?
Like any successful collaboration, the best retail collaborations are based around shared agendas and aims. Retailers should offer goods that complement each other, but not be competitors, as well as targeting the same – or similar – audience. This means that joint audiences can be targeted and products offered together in a way that satisfies the customer and brings benefits to both retailers. In order for the collaborative process to be smooth, agreement on desired outcomes should be reached, and help brought in with the more practical and technical aspects of the collaboration, on a trading level.
Great retail collaboration examples include our customer, Oasis, collaborating with supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s, to have a store footprint within the supermarket estate. With Oasis’ fashion-forward designs, Oasis concessions have been carefully selected to be in Selly Oak and Sydenham supermarkets where Tu clothing performs particularly well. In the case of Selly Oak, its new flagship store, ‘complementary ranges (are) helping to make Sainsbury’s a fashion destination’ with Sainsbury’s clothing now accounting for £1bn of the retailer’s sales. Their partnerships allows Sainsbury’s to expand their fashion retail offering, whilst Oasis benefits from customers being able to pick up one of their dresses with the same convenience as a pint of milk.
Other retail collaborations have been seen in Topshop Oxford Circus, where everything from pop-up hairdressers and blow-dry bars, nail art beauticians and piercing stations are amongst other brand concessions, giving their customers many different ways to adapt their ‘look’ and the in-store customer experience, all within their store environment.
How can retail collaborations be made easier?
Our Store Systems team take all the hard work of opening new stores away from our customers. Acting as a central point of contact for various different providers, our Store Systems team put the ‘king’ into multi-tasking! Balancing the demands of opening new stores including sourcing hardware, arranging Wi-Fi, access points, liaising with various teams to secure different broadband or DSL lines, meeting with shop fit teams, arranging engineers, Merchant IDs, permits and testing store kit for optimum functionality before it’s installed, what they don’t know about the practicalities of retail systems isn’t worth knowing. With decades of experience, our team also acts as a second line Help Desk which can manage and deal with any complex issues that may occur within the store estate, meaning that any retail collaborations may be made as easy as possible. With customers seeing a seamless transition from concept to reality, our Store Systems team proactively manage all areas of any store opening project, whilst pulling out all the stops to ensure it happens as smoothly as possible, within tight timescales.
Want to hear how our Store Systems team can support your next retail collaboration, store opening or system rollout? Click here or get in touch on (+44) 0115 904 2777.