Pret-a-Portas: Expert store is for older women

18 : 08 : 2011 London : Retail Threatre : Older Women

London – Retail industry personality Mary Portas has teamed up with UK department store group House of Fraser to open a shop-in-shop aimed at older women.

Mary Portas at House of Fraser Mary Portas at House of Fraser
Mary Portas at House of Fraser Mary Portas at House of Fraser
Mary Portas at House of Fraser Mary Portas at House of Fraser
Mary Portas at House of Fraser Mary Portas at House of Fraser

With a focus on customer service, the lifestyle and fashion boutique on the third floor of the Oxford Street flagship store, is pitched as a retail experience. Portas describes her concept as a ‘way of dressing’ that means women can be ready in 10 minutes, and if they stick to her rules they won’t feel overdressed.

Instead of shop assistants, Portas has employed stylists to advise customers and personally trained each member of staff. Changing rooms are modelled as luxury suites with changeable lighting settings and attentive bellboys available at the flick of a switch. A Moan Phone is provided for customers to give feedback direct to Portas if they are dissatisfied with the service they receive.

Alongside the Portas-designed fashion offer are several collaborations with British brands, including a range of shoes from Clarks and hosiery from Charnos. Portas has selected a lifestyle offer of food, wine, gifts and pampering-style beauty products designed to increase dwell time in the Mary-themed store area.

Look out for a more in-depth review of the Mary at House of Fraser concept in LS:N Global’s new Retail section next week.

Experiential retail is becoming a powerful tool to lure consumers away from shopping online. Read more in our Retail Trends 2012 report, available now in the online shop.

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