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Fujitsu Pan-European Retail Survey 2013: The Store Will Remain the Hub for Engaging with ‘Connected Customers’

Fujitsu UK & Ireland

London, May 23, 2013

Fujitsu today reveals that despite the rise of online and mobile commerce across Europe, the store will continue to be the hub for retailer engagement with ‘connected’ customers. According to a new survey of European retail management commissioned by Fujitsu1, a top-three retail solutions and services provider working with over 500 retailers and 82,000 stores around the world, ongoing competitive pressure requires retailers to combine efficient processes with delivering a valued customer experience – whether in store, online, or via smart phone.

The Fujitsu Pan-European Retail Survey 2013 explores the future of the store in such a multi-channel environment, including store challenges such as driving sales and managing people, the importance of a unified view of customers across all channels, plus technology innovations to deliver multi-channel solutions that deliver valued customer experiences at a competitive investment level.2

Among the findings, two-thirds of retail managers who took part in the study believe that the importance of stores has increased significantly within Europe (65%), and this is particularly the case in countries such as Italy (74%) and France (68%) where high-street culture is as strong as ever. While overall, online shopping is considered the most attractive distribution model from the perspective of retail customers today (72%), there are wide national differences that demonstrate that ‘bricks’ have not been entirely replaced by ‘clicks.’ German retailers currently find online shopping most attractive to their customers (81%), while in Italy in particular ‘hypermarket and supermarket’ models remain the most attractive (78%), closely followed by ‘city-center urban shopping’ (71%), and in the UK there is a greater balance across all models.

So despite the ongoing rise of e-tailers, the Fujitsu study finds that most traditional retailers are convinced that brick and mortar stores have a place in the future of retail, although there are widely varying views on what the store of the future will look like. Stores are likely to remain the place where retailers can realize the ‘physical’ brand experience for the shopper in a way that complements and is consistent with the ‘online’ and ‘mobile’ brand experience. The store is still the fundamental shopping channel for retailers and their customers across Europe; however its role and operating model are changing rapidly to meet the needs of the multi-channel shopper. Service is becoming a key value-add for the store – including online/in-store hybrid services such as click and collect. Overall, 86% of respondents defined the most important role of stores as a place for service – this was particularly true in France where the figure jumps to 94%.

However, national differences see UK retailers considering a store’s role as a shopping point as being most important (91%), while for the Italians exposure to the brand is key (88%), and Germans have a more balanced view of the range of roles a store plays. These results demonstrate the importance that in-store experience plays in product discovery and sales associate interaction – of the overall service experience – while providing retailers with the opportunity to provide a differentiating ‘wrapper’ around their offerings to convert customers to buy, rather than losing out to constantly competing on price alone. However, when it comes to rating the importance of distribution models for the future of their business, on a scale of attractiveness from 1 to 10, online shopping still leads overall, landing nearly 8 out of 10.

Supporting Quotes

Richard Clarke, Vice President, Global Retail at Fujitsu

“It is clear the store remains the shopping ‘hub’ for the majority of consumers across Europe, but the store operating model is changing rapidly to meet the needs of the multi-channel shopper. Service – in terms of both experience via sales-associate interaction and process efficiency via models like Click ‘n’ Collect – is becoming the competitive value add for the store. Fujitsu helps retailers to achieve this goal by simplifying their technology deployment and radically increasing agility and customer intimacy.”

Notes to editors

1Fujitsu Pan-European Retail Survey 2013

Future of the store in a multi-channel environment: How to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s successes through improvement of store efficiency and customer experience?

Novametrie, the specialist provider of opinion leader research, was commissioned by Fujitsu to undertake independent research with senior managers in retail businesses in France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and other countries (including multiple countries covered by HQ representatives). During September/November 2012, Novametrie undertook 20 qualitative interviews (face-to-face and telephone), followed by 161 quantitative interviews (online) during January/February 2013. View the Initial findings from the survey

2 These findings will be shared separately in the next weeks.

Future of Stores – Country Highlights

United Kingdom

  • For 91% of UK respondents, the key role of the store is as a shopping point.
  • In the UK there is a greater balance across all distribution models

France

  • French retailers are among the most positive of respondents (after Germany) about the importance of the concept of the store – 68% of respondents believe that the importance of stores is rising.
  • French respondents were virtually unanimous in their view that the key role of a store is as a place for service (94%).

Germany

  • German retailers are the least positive of all respondents about the importance of the concept of the store – however over half (54%) of respondents still believe that the importance of stores is rising.
  • German respondents had a more balanced view of the role of stores today: a place for service (72%), a shopping point (56%), a place of events, discovery and experiences (67%), exposure to the brand (45%) and as a pickup point (53%)
  • German retailers currently see online shopping as even more attractive than the overall result (81%)

Italy

  • Italian retailers are the most positive about the importance of the concept of the store (74%).
  • In Italy, the key role of a store is to provide exposure to brands (88%).
  • ‘Hypermarket and supermarket’ models remain the most attractive (78%), closely followed by ‘city-center urban shopping’ (71%)

Online resources

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com

About Fujitsu UK and Ireland

Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing over 10,100 people with an annual revenue of £1.6 billion. Additionally, Fujitsu’s other operations in the UK bring its total employee numbers to over 14,000 and its total revenues to £1.8 billion. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see: http://uk.fujitsu.com

About Retail Solutions from Fujitsu

The retail industry is changing at an unprecedented pace. Cross-border expansion, multi-channel shopping, the mobile device and smarter back office technologies are transforming shopper expectations and experience, store operating models and business performance. Retail executives are looking to stay ahead of the curve and drive profit by offering a differentiated customer experience and increased business efficiency.

Fujitsu works with retailers to help them master these challenges, using IT to take the customer experience and business efficiency to the next level. Building on a deep understanding of retailing that we have gained over the past 30 years with more than 500 customers and 82,000 stores, Fujitsu’s mission is to deliver a differentiated customer experience which will increase sales, operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction for our retail clients.

We deliver high-performance, best-of-breed hardware solutions, integrated software applications and multi-vendor lifecycle support services to help retailers around the world deliver on their brand promise and operate more effectively.

Spanning front- and back office, our portfolio includes point of sale, mobile and self service solutions, end to end retail business applications including business analytics, customer loyalty and dynamic digital media, and a suite of managed IT services across the store, networks, applications and infrastructure.

Fujitsu is the emerging leader in cloud and the role of cloud technology and services for today’s retailers.

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 843 354 9568
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu UK & Ireland

Katie de Cozar Rushforth

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 20 7861 2800
E-mail: E-mail: teamfujitsu@harvard.co.uk
Company:Harvard PR

Date: 23 May, 2013
City: London

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