Are You Being Served? Not at House of Fraser
So House of Fraser is to close some stores in order to stay afloat. This is very sad news coming as it does after so many other retail brands who have suffered at the hands of changing habits.
House of Fraser is a true department store. They employ many staff to run the stores and of course they sublet space to other brands who employ their own staff to man their concessions.
What this means is that in truth, the level of service at House of Fraser must be inconsistent. Compared to say, John Lewis, where overall service is very good, do we think of House of Fraser in the same breath?
Debenhams is also straining to compete with a similar model of store.
This means that the variety of the ‘departments’ within the store have lost their attractiveness – I don’t need to visit departments depending on what I am looking for any more – I can always go online and have access to endless departments so the convenience of collectively bringing them together is not actually that convenient.
The last 6 times my wife and I visited the shops, it was not to shop – it was to take stuff back that we’d ordered that didn’t fit. So that’s the new shopping trip. Not to browse different departments within the store and revel in the huge range available under one roof – there’s a much bigger range available on my mobile. Plus I don’t need to drive there, pay for fuel, park, be patronized or unappreciated and then quickly exit for a coffee shop.
Department stores risk being consigned to history unless they sell the experience, sell the service and sell the convenience – right now they’re mountainous edifices which are comparatively empty when you consider how busy they used to be.
Are you being served? Was actually spot on – experts to serve customers was what happened then – now we just stack rails and shelves and take payment after a solus selection – without sales and service they’ll soon be a thing of the past.