Based on a recent survey on the ways in which retail can respond to the increasing amount of online trade, Leipzig representatives of both stationary and internet retailers entered into a discussion during the Long Night of Science in Leipzig at the Modehaus Fischer fashion boutique on June 24, 2016. What are the clients’ preferences? How is retail currently responding to them? What other possibilities to react are there? The discussion was led by HHL’s two professors for Marketing and Retail, Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Erik Maier. The panelists included Andreas Böttcher (jeweler Sonntag & Sohn), Ulrich Fischer (fashion boutique Modehaus Fischer), Matthias Freysoldt (start-up Sensape) and Michael Petersen (designer furniture retailer labelfarm/smow). Jun.-Prof. Dr. Erik Maier, who represents the field of Retail and Multi-Channel Management, said, “There are the first positive signs that stationary retail is developing the right strategies to react to online trade. Whether these reaction strategies will suffice on a long-term basis, however, remains to be seen.”
Ulrich Fischer CEO of Modehaus Fischer with 16 branches in the region of Central Germany, added, “It is particularly us retailers who are responsible for developing concepts which look beyond our own horizons. Of course, Modehaus Fischer also offers its products online. This is a must in today’s fashion industry. At the same time, we are creating a shopping experience in our stores with an added qualitative value. Service, personal advice and feeling good come first. Online retail cannot keep up at this emotional level.” Jeweler Andreas Böttcher built his website as an addition to the stationary business. He comments, “We have had the experience that clients go online for information but the actual sales are mainly made in the store.”
The survey “How Can Inner-City Retail Win Back Online Shoppers?” is available at hhl.de/studie-handelsreaktionen.