FTSE 100 Retailer / Future Role of the Store

Helping a FTSE 100 Retailer, to understand what is the store role in a future powered by technology?

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FTSE 100 Retailer


Our counter approach to the board pack facilitated animated discourse around the benefits and flaws inherent in each direction. It shifted the mindset about the role of the store to become more people-centric. Manifestations of the stimuli will appear in national stores over the coming weeks and months.


A leading UK retailer and household brand wanted to explore how their stores could perform better in the near future as technology evolves. Engaged by the Head of Technology and Head of Strategy, Class35 were asked to present a provocative board deck to stimulate debate and discussion on the theme at a dedicated board session. 

Our Work

With the mechanics of e-commerce firmly under their belt, the client wanted to better understand the future role of the store, what will bring people towards them and how they should plan for it. Class35 devised a framework to look at a store objectively and conceptually - mixing high and low touch experiences whilst refocusing technology’s potential to drive in-store purchasing. Through deep qualitative research we were able to help the client pull back and see their role at large, as a presence in the community and a connector of people. 

With the business leaders focused on CTS metrics, C35 held in mind the experience factor which carries significant brand value with customers. The stores should be perceived more as brand building assets rather than solely hubs to funnel products. And critically that their estate should be perceived as a whole, not as stand-alone concept stores in the mix.

Our punchy board pack illustrated a polarised notion of the store to stimulate debate. One extreme presented a soaring, airy warehouse leaning heavily on self-service. The other extreme outlined amore exuberant vision with an branded gourmet cafe bar with barista, reflecting the epicurean standards of their food halls, a butcher, baker, even candlestick maker. 

Front page splashes were mocked up in Retail Week to move it from the abstract to a visual language that the client could grasp in a moment.

We added further depth to the debate by anatomising the common shopping journeys. The pants and socks pit-stop shop is a functional one - customers are not looking to be sold a dream. Whilst those shopping for a special occasion will seek out customer support and styling advice to help them to tap into their vision or a current trend. The board was able to frame their responses considering these different customer experiences and needs.

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