N Brown boss Angela Spindler said it is “modernising the way it operates” as it vies to become a “progressive fashion retailer”.
The retailer, which reported a first half sales dip of 0.6% this morning, has changed its marketing to bitter fit the consumers’ shopping habits and is adopting a more fast fashion approach to buying.
Spindler said: “A mail order business has two big moments in their season calendar. When the catalogue lands in January and July but we want broader customer appeal, add newness throughout the season and to be able to back winners. We want to be a progressive fashion retailer.”
She said the dip in sales reflected the change in its marketing, which is becoming more weighted to the Christmas peak.
It has also refocused its customer recruitment activity to digital and TV advertising , reducing spend on its catalogue by 24%. Spindler said the move would help widen its appeal.
It is also buying more product in season across the group. Spindler said that its young fashion brand Simply Be had already adopted a fast fashion model with half of its product bought in season.
However, mature brand JD Williams was also changing how it operated. Spindler said it had moved from buying just 10% of products in-season to 30%.
“Fast fashion is often used to mean high-end and latest fashions. But constant newness is appropriate for all customers. For us, it means introducing capsule collections throughout the season.”
N Brown opens the doors to a Simply Be and Jacamo plus size flagship on Oxford Street tomorrow.
Spindler said the store will have showcase technology including Bodymetrics body scanner and several iPads to encourage multichannel sales. The store has the potential to boost Simply Be and Jacamo’s brand awareness as Spindler said its other shops had a similar effect within their localities.