Looking backwards to go forward: innovation in the retail industry

It’s been fascinating to watch how the retail sector has evolved over the last fifteen years. Few industries have been as affected by the digital revolution, and retailers that embraced it won big, but others – including some significant names – have fallen by the wayside.

A presence on the high-street used to be obligatory, but online-only outlets flourished as consumers opted to transact over tablets, smartphones and laptops, rather than solely in-person. Last year over £154 billion was spent online in the UK, a rise of 28% since 2014.

However, true innovators are always looking to see ‘what’s next’ in order to stay ahead of the market. A great example of this is Missguided, the hugely successful global fashion brand. Starting up as a pure-play e-tailer in 2009, the company is now an international powerhouse.

But rather than completely disregarding the high-street, Missguided saw physical shops as an opportunity to engage with a wider market and give consumers more diverse ways to shop and interact with the brand. With its online presence still growing, it opened the doors to its first ever bricks-and-mortar shop in London at the tail end of last year.

The 21,000 sq ft flagship outlet has been a massive success, and much of this is down to the way is has brought its technology roots from the digital world into its physical stores. The focus is all on the consumer’s shopping experience.

Following a competitive tender process, we were selected as Missguided’s technology partner to deliver the technology backbone of the London shop. This involved a broad range of IT infrastructure solutions, including IP telephony support, wired and wireless connectivity for its store systems and clients’ in-store experience, data security, software updates and a comprehensive single point of contact support services, all delivered as a managed service complete with 24/7 monitoring.

The company is aiming to expand its bricks-and-mortar estate across the UK and we will continue to provide support as its physical presence grows.

Many have heralded the ‘death of the high-street’ due to increased competition from online players. But in reality it is simply the death of the slow-moving retailers relying on a traditional business model. Disruption through technology can positively impact all industries, and the high-street is no different. Innovators like Missguided are the proof.

To find out more about our work with Missguided, please click here

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