Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

John Lewis named Multichannel Retailer of the Year & Oracle Retailer of the Year at Oracle Retail Week Awards

John Lewis achieved a double success at the recent Oracle Retail Week Awards, being named Multichannel Retailer of the Year in addition to scooping the Oracle Retailer of the Year award. Getting the multi-channel experience right for the customer is a significant challenge in modern retail. Winning both of these awards compounds the importance of multi-channel in delivering a consistent, exceptional and individual experience in retail today.

British consumers expect value, choice and uninterrupted availability, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. John Lewis has recognised this and has ensured that their offering fulfills the requirements of their customers, whether shopping in-store, online or via mobile. The John Lewis approach to delivering commerce anywhere is exemplary.

In-store, John Lewis has worked to revise their store format to cater for today’s consumer whilst remaining true to their brand values.  British consumers see the store as a vital component of the retail experience. John Lewis has taken steps to make the store experience the differentiator, such as introducing kiosks and providing Wi-Fi for customers.

In terms of fulfillment and delivery, John Lewis offers a range of options, such as click and collect, as well as online and m-commerce with home delivery. The retailer has gone a step further, announcing last year that customers can take advantage of collections through a network of convenience stores, meeting a consumer demand for flexible delivery options. More recently John Lewis customers can now also benefit from a click and collect service where they can buy through John Lewis but collect in their local Waitrose store.

These initiatives also extend to returns, where items bought online or in-store can be returned for free through this network of locations. This offering fulfills the need for another requirement of the British consumer - a simple returns policy, which is seen as a key component of good service.

John Lewis has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing customer requirements and has shown a strengthened focus to this recently by appointing its first Partnership Customer Insight Director. This focus on the consumer has allowed John Lewis to offer a seamless retail experience across all touch points, extending this into its partner Waitrose, allowing the company to develop their offering as their consumers’ requirements and demands evolve.

With an internet adoption rate of 81.4%*, British consumers have access to vast amounts of product information from multiple sources and consumers can compare retailers in seconds. As such, consumers expect high value, targeted assortments, competitive offers and uninterrupted availability from a retail brand, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. Retailers must therefore optimise their operations to fulfill on the complex supply chain flows to ensure that home delivery, customer pick up or any other option is available if the customer requires. The logistics behind the process matter little to the consumer, they just need to be right to support customer priorities.

John Lewis has shown that it is up to the challenge posed by the modern consumer and I congratulate them for being named both Multi-channel Retailer of the Year and Oracle Retailer of the Year 2013.

*The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All, The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, part of ITU and UNESCO, September 2012.

Monday Mar 18, 2013

Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013 – Media Response

Following last night’s Oracle Retail Week Awards ceremony, we spoke with two industry leading journalists from Retail Week. As avid watchers of the industry we were keen to hear their thoughts and feedback on this year’s event and winners.

Chris Brook-Carter (Editor-in-Chief) and Jennifer Creevy (Deputy Editor) shared their insights on a very exciting night for retail. In a complex retail eco system where customers browse and buy across numerous touch points, retailers are challenged with making every interaction feel personal and ‘good for me’. This is the new age of retail. Customers expect commerce anywhere, at every moment of their lives and retail experiences to be tailored specifically for their needs*.

In addition, we asked the press which award stood out and why. We were also interested to hear their views on the key challenges facing the retail industry over the next 12 months.

Take a look at the interviews here:

Visit the event website for more information on the Oracle Retail Week Awards, or take a look at the hashtag #ORWA for reaction to last night’s event.

* Oracle’s Evolution of Experience Retailing research outlines the key challenges facing retailers in the current global marketplace and seeks to help retailers identify what consumers really want from their shopping experiences, as well as how they can create strategies and business priorities to meet consumer demand. Visit the Evolution of Experience Retailing research website for a detailed whitepaper and other materials, as well as country specific results from the UK respondents.

Friday Mar 15, 2013

Sir Philip Green Scoops Biggest Prize in Retail - Simon Cowell Presents Oracle Retail Week Award

At last night’s Oracle Retail Week Awards, Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green received the biggest talent prize in British Retail - The Outstanding Contribution to Retail Award.  This celebrated distinction was given to Sir Philip Green in recognition of his brilliant and permanent impact on the British Retail industry. Honouring this level of retail talent, it was befitting that music industry mogul and X-Factor judge Simon Cowell presented the man of the hour with this accolade. The Oracle Retail Week Awards were held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London with a gala dinner attended by over 1,500 leading British retailers and industry supporters.

Sir Philip Green has made his mark on British fashion with a keen eye for talent spotting. He has been instrumental, not only in the launch of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA), but in its on-going success year on year. He is an inspiration and a hands-on mentor to the talented young people that are nurtured, promoted and launched out into the retail industry. Today he remains one of the FRA’s strongest supporters.

This is a commitment shared by Oracle Retail and many other leading British retailers. The organisation was the first National Skills Academy to be opened in the UK in September 2006 to educate and train budding young retailers for the modern workplace. The Academy has equipped many students with the necessary skills and best practice to launch their careers in the vibrant British Fashion Retail industry.

This video shows how the FRA is all about preparing young talented people to have a glittering career in retail. We at Oracle are very proud supporters of the Fashion Retail Academy - this video says it all. Warm Congratulations to Sir Philip Green and the staff and students at the FRA who work hard every day for the success of the retail industry.

Further information on Oracle’s involvement in the Fashion Retail Academy can be found at: http://www.fashionretailacademy.ac.uk/about/other-supporters/oracle.

The Oracle Retail Week Awards – Winners Announced!

The 2013 Oracle Retail Week Awards took place in London last night and proved to be a fantastic event celebrating the best in British retail. Over 1,600 guests saw Sir Philip Green collect the Outstanding Contribution to Retail Award and John Lewis named Oracle Retailer of the Year, during the ceremony hosted by impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

  • Oracle Retailer of the Year – John Lewis
  • The Clarity Search Retail Leader of the Year – Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots
  • Outstanding Contribution to Retail – Sir Philip Green
  • The Zolfo Cooper Growth Retailer of the Year – Aldi UK
  • The Wipro Retail International Retailer of the Year - Zara
  • Store Manager of the Year – Stephanie Hush, Hobbycraft, Dundee
  • International Growth Retailer of the Year – Debenhams
  • Retail Destination of the Year – St Stephen’s, Hull
  • Store Design of the Year – Fat Face, Chichester
  • Pure-Play Retailer of the Year – Asos
  • Speciality Retailer of the Year – Hotel Chocolat
  • Advertising Campaign of the Year – Sainsbury’s Winning in 2012
  • Multichannel Retailer of the Year – John Lewis
  • Customer Service Initiative of the Year – Majestic
  • Employer of the Year – Sainsbury’s
  • Technology Initiative of the Year – Debenhams, Endless Aisle
  • Product Innovation of the Year – Asda, Fish Made Simple
  • CSR Initiative – Marks and Spencer, Shwopping

Further information regarding the Oracle Retail Week Awards is available on the event website.

Monday Mar 11, 2013

The Oracle Retail Week Awards will soon be here

2012 was another challenging year for the UK retail industry, but the Oracle Retail Week Awards held later this week once again show that many retailers are rising to the challenges facing the industry and responding to the pace of change in the market place with innovation, creativity and excellence, that meets the demands of a new and complex breed of customer that is shopping across channels, across borders and across categories.

Oracle’s recent Evolution of Experience Retailing research highlighted the need for UK retailers to deliver a retail experience that is “good for me”, whereby the specific needs and expectations of the individual consumer is met. Companies shortlisted for these Awards demonstrate that many retailers understand this and are working to make every interaction good for each customer.

Whilst the winners won’t be announced until 14th March at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, as a judge for the Awards, I can say that competition was fierce for many of the categories given the high caliber of entries. There was a lot of debate around which nominations should be shortlisted, let alone naming the winners for many of the awards. What the judging day did show was that British retail has some fantastic retailers that are winning consumer confidence, delivering on their promises to customers.

Categories for Awards include:

  • The Ashton Partnership Product Innovation of the Year
  • Pure-Play Etailer of the Year
  • Speciality Retailer of the Year
  • The Trinity Mirror plc Marketing/Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year
  • The Brandbank Multichannel Retailer of the Year
  • The Serco Customer Service Initiative of the Year Award
  • The Deloitte Employer of the Year
  • Store Manager of the Year
  • The ReThink Retail Technology Initiative of the Year
  • Store Design of the Year
  • Retail Destination of the Year
  • International Growth Initiative of the Year
  • The Wipro Retail International Retailer of the Year
  • The Zolfo Cooper Growth Retailer Year Award
  • The Clarity Search Retail Leader of the Year
  • Oracle Retailer of the Year

The shortlist for the 2013 Oracle Retail Week Awards is available on the Awards website. It promises to be a superb night with over 1,500 British retailers in attendance.


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

Follow Oracle Retail:






Oracle Retail Microsite


« July 2016