Why Department Stores Need Retail Surveys

Posted by Paul McCarthy on 8 April 2016

Home / Content Library

Main Image

The way consumers shop has certainly changed. From self-service till points to ordering from your armchair, technology has paved the way for retailers to connect with their customers in more innovative ways.

That said, the temptation of what digital promises may not always live up to its expectations. Robust research and planning is required for retailers to determine what will work for them.

Department stores in particular are implementing new ways they can improve the retail shopping experience. Often seen as the cornerstone of British retail, department stores need to be setting the retail benchmark, not falling behind it.

Where John Lewis has thrived, others have struggled as traditional shopping is threatened by more agile online counter-parts. Marks & Spencer has become more digitally aware; as its clothing struggles, its home department thrives, with stock-check screens and well planned store layouts optimising the in-store atmosphere. This isn’t done simply on a whim.

Department stores cannot afford the luxury of trial and error. Implementing new store processes requires bespoke and quality information to help ensure that changes are seamlessly implemented and improve the retail experience.

Retail surveys help to show brands how their store estate can work best for them. Taking the shop size, layout and compliance factors into consideration, store surveys can help provide essential information to maximise the store estate.



Retail giant Argos commissioned a multi-site survey of its stores throughout the UK from Momentum Instore. The objective of the exercise was to compile data which would help the retailer introduce a new Fast Track customer pre-pay service – aligned with its strategy to become digital retail leaders. The process included visits to 650 Argos stores to find answers to questions about store layout, existing fittings as well as to discover the best placement for Argos’s new digital concept. Over 650 store plans were annotated, 26,000 photographs taken and 35,000 questions asked.

The knowledge gained from the survey was intended to help understand the store estate and help the retailer grow with the necessary knowledge, as well as to integrate new ways of working into their existing practices.

As our shopping behaviour changes with the increasing uptake of mobile technology to source products and compare prices, consumer demands for innovation from retailers is also rising. As Argos demonstrates so well, adapting to this new retail environment is crucial to facing the future of retail and by undertaking a comprehensive retail survey and acting upon the results, the company now places itself at the forefront of retail innovation.




Asset Tracking

Realise the potential of your retail real estate

Asset tracking is designed to help retailers keep track of all their in-store collateral.

Click Here

Keep up to date with our latest retail industry blogs and ebooks.