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WWD Berlin Preview issue 01/08/2014

GERMAN APPAREL RETAILERS: WHERE THE STORES ARE SPENDING
Improving operational excellence, the shopping experience and omni/multichannel strategies are currently the top priorities for German apparel retailers, according to “Trends & Innovations in Fashion Retail,” a Tailorit study.

The study polled of 56 retailers from discount to midrange to premium, including department stores, vertical retailers, brands with their own stores and multilabel shops, representing about a third of the turnover of Germany’s top 50 apparel retailers. That’s an estimated 11.63 billion euros, or $14.96 billion, in 2012 sales.

Here’s where stores said they plan to invest over the next two years:

• 98 percent of all participants put optimizing multichannel networking, systems and training, as well as further developing their e-shops, on their funding list.

• 71 percent are investing in customer relationship management.

• 64 percent are involved in insourcing or outsourcing, though primarily the former.

• 63 percent plan a responsive design solution or a mobile Web site (18 percent already have one), while the same percentage are involved in the planning or execution of mobile payment technology.

• 57 percent are considering or instituting an app, and the same amount mobile couponing.

• 55 percent are investing in social commerce.

• 49 percent are involved with fashion blogs.

The Tailorit study indicated that in the next 24 months, “high to very high” sums would be invested in sales and service (55 percent of the participants) and customer relationship management (43 percent), with 45 percent devoting large sums to merchandise presentation. The study also discerned a heightened interest in in-store innovation among retailers with a stronger online business (more than 6 percent of sales) compared with those generating less than 6 percent of sales online.

Topping the investment list for those planning to spend more than 6 percent: customer cards, customer in-store information terminals, premium programs, couponing, digital advertising displays, interactive shopping windows, mobile in-store navigation and window shopping with quick-response codes.

For those retailers with less-developed online sales, window shopping with quick-response codes, customer cards, digital advertising displays, couponing, premium programs, customer in-store information terminals, augmented reality and mobile in-store navigation.

— Melissa Drier

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