News & people

While Some Retail Brands Flourish Other Retail Markets Flounder

You only need to head into your local high street to see how retail sales are struggling. Empty shop fronts are now common, and retail sales slumps reached around 3.2% last December.

This has seen even major retail players like Debenhams and H&M shutting up shop. Meanwhile, many retail brands, including Sports Direct, Superdry, and more, are closing key stores.

Yet, some retail players, such as Boots, M&S Food, and Next are showing surprising resilience. That’s not to say that these brands aren’t still facing the retail sting – Boots, in particular, has announced store closures. Still, these brands are outperforming most other retailers right now, and look set to have bright futures despite current slumps.

But, what makes these retailers so resilient, and what can retail brands learn from them?

1 Consistent Evolution

Brands like Next prove consistently popular, and brand evolution is a large part of the reason why. Without compromising on existing branding and company ethics, Next is constantly adapting to digital demands like click and collect. All while retaining a focus on the seamless consumer experiences that Next is famous for.

By hitting both notes, retailers will be better able to grow alongside their customers and continue offering points of difference that win consumers around to shopping with them, instead of elsewhere.

2 Distinguished Branding

According to top experts, distinguished retail branding is key to modern success. This is especially plain to see in the wake of the closures of stores like Wilkinsons, which had a somewhat confused brand message that failed to stand apart from competitors like B&M. Meanwhile, retailers like M&S Food continue to thrive thanks to distinguished, on-point branding like the simple tag line ‘It’s not just food…It’s M&S Food.’

To succeed, modern retailers need to make themselves immediately recognisable and highlight their points of difference in top branding. Market research is, obviously, important for getting this right. Retailers could also benefit by leaving branding to an experienced agency like Creative Tweed, who already understands existing markets, and which branding works. Either way, brand continues to be key.


3 Building Trust

We’ve already touched on trust in our other points, but this crucial retail element also deserves a mention of its own. After all, consumers have less money to spend, and more options for spending than ever before thanks to the rise of e-commerce. Continuing to attract custom means building loyal evangelists who will keep coming back, and who will likely bring their friends with them. Next’s brand consistency is a great example of this – consumers know what to expect, and so they keep coming back.

Luckily, social media makes it easier than ever to build a trusting audience, especially if your branding is on point. Meanwhile, focuses like improved customer experiences and loyalty discounts in-store can make a huge difference to how often customers come your way.

Retail forecasts don’t look great, but resilience is still possible in the retail sector, and these tips could help you achieve it.