Frasers Group chief executive Michael Murray has said the retailer is set to unveil a new membership scheme and flexible payments solution, which he described as the retailer’s version of Amazon Prime.
Speaking at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona, Murray said Frasers Plus would be a membership programme and flexible payment solution rolled into one – giving consumers access to bespoke offers across its brands, while unifying customer data in one place for Frasers.
Murray said Frasers would also be looking to sell the platform to other retailers as a white-label product.
“It’s called Frasers Plus. It will effectively be one flexible payments solution, which is also a membership programme, which will sit on top of all our group. So, if you’re a consumer and you want to buy from Sports Direct, you’ll get points from that brand, you’ll be able to choose a payment plan up to 36 months, all regulated,” he explained.
“You’ll earn points and rewards for shopping within our business, which you can then redeem as points and rewards across Flannels, Evans, Jack Wills, House of Fraser. In the future that might expand to free delivery, or free gym membership, because we own 70 gyms across the UK.
“Effectively we’ve created our own version of Prime. Frasers Plus gives us one lens for our consumer and keeps all of our data in a central place.”
Frasers has created the product through its acquisition of Studio Retail, which had a proprietary and regulated flexible payment solution, and through a minority stake in software company Tymit.
Sports Direct targets Europe
Murray also said that of all the Frasers Group brands, he believed Sports Direct has the greatest potential for international expansion.
He said the fact the Sports Direct proposition doesn’t really exist in Europe presents oppoitunities, but expanding on the continent still presents issues.
Murray said: “Sports Direct is definitely the one that’s more scalable at the moment because you’re dealing with fewer brands. It’s a lot easier to get alignment across the brands moving into a new market. You try doing that with House of Fraser, where you have 30 brands, or Flannels where you have 40 key brands – where some brands are hotter than others.
“In sports, that’s more stable. There are four or five key brands that are always strong – such as Nike, Puma, Under Armor – so you can get a nicely defined strategy for them.”
He added: “In Europe, the relative wages are higher and the cost of the rents is higher. It’s about making sure that we’re going into white space where the brands want us to go. Aligning with brands and giving them the opportunity for an elevated proposition in the country and not forcing ourselves into a country. We’ve done that in the past and it’s not worked well.”
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