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Subject: RE: UKNM: Toys R US - site, outdated - who does it???
From: Robin Edwards
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:47:57 GMT

On Thursday, January 28, 1999 9:35 AM, Andrews, Stephen
[SMTP:Stephen [dot] Andrewsatplc [dot] cwplc [dot] com] wrote:
> Don't the big retailers need someone to tell them that this whole thing
> is an opportunity rather than a threat (isn't that the new media
> marketeer's message?).

<The rest snipped>

>From the points raised, you can easily see why many retailers opt for the
toe-in-the-water approach. Re-using the existing buildings and land sounds
great in principle, but must surely be fraught with complications. For example,
is a prime (and probably costly) retail location the most appropriate place to
set up large, potentially faceless distribution centres? This could even
involve breach of a lease agreement and council regulations etc. - probably
better to set up on a cheaper plot nearer to motorway and rail connections.

Franchise operations are faced with even more problems. If distribution becomes
more centralised, you upset your franchisees because you are potentially taking
the food away from their table (only potentially, because it depends on your
national and international coverage.) If you offer local fulfilment to the
franchisees, they may find the logistics costs prohibitive given their small
slice of the online pie.

The reality of online retail taking off (taking over?) in the UK is pretty much
a numbers game. Until there are more complete online retail offerings, Johnny
Consumer will still need to go to his nearest store. Until there are more
Johnny Consumers using online retail systems, BigRetailCorp will be unwilling
to pump a large investment into their own systems.

What I find interesting is where brand loyalty fits into all of this. Is early
adoption by some (possibly new) retailers a barrier to more established
retailers joining in at a later date and taking back any lost business? My gut
feeling is not, if enough of the budget is set aside to make a big enough media

One thing is for certain, this is a challenge to us all - retailers and
consultants alike. Personally I'm rather enjoying it :o)

Robin Edwards
Clockworx Design Limited
T: +44 1543 252370 F: +44 1543 420761
E: robinatclockworx [dot] co [dot] uk W: http://www.clockworx.co.uk/
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