House of Fraser open its first multi-channel store

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Department store House of Fraser is to next month open its first multichannel store in another retailer's premises, following a partnership with Caffè Nero. The result will be a concept store that mixes House of Fraser's shopping technology with Nero's relaxed, coffee shop feel. The store is located on Fitzroy Street in Cambridge, and will contain tablet computers so shoppers can browse stock while drinking their coffee. On the first floor customers can view and try on products and make orders. Both brands are confident of the earning potential of the plan. Executive director of multichannel at House of Fraser Andy Harding said:

“We have a high density of online shoppers within Cambridge postcodes, so having a physical brand presence was an obvious move. As part of our expansion plans we are keen to increase our physical footprint, especially in towns and cities where a store isn’t present. With a growing café culture and more customers shopping ‘on the go’ with mobile devices, we believe we’re providing our customers with an innovative solution which meets the needs of today’s busy consumer. This new concept will not only act as a hub for our online shoppers wishing to collect their orders but will also become a destination for new and existing customers who want to shop their favourite brands which may not be available in the area. Many customers will also enjoy the added benefit of having a personal shopper on hand for advice.”

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Simon Thomas, head of business development at Caffè Nero was equally positive about the venture, saying: “Our customers have always come to Caffè Nero to enjoy their coffee in a relaxed and friendly environment, and are increasingly passing their time whilst with us using our wifi or on their mobiles. The opportunity to provide added value and convenience by enabling them to shop online, and collect their items in store appeals and the evolution of our existing partnership with House of Fraser is an exciting one.”


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