Re-inventing retail: Brompton Bikes
“Whoever said retail was dead ?! It simply needs to evolve,” rightly pointed out Simon Rosenberg, Brompton Bicycle’s Global Head of Retail, when announcing (1) the opening of the brand’s new flagship store in London’s Westfield shopping centre. Brompton is a brand of folding bikes with a 12% share of the ‘hybrid/commuter’ sector of the market, and is growing nicely with sales up 7% in 2018 (2). And below I look at how the brand’s new store provides inspiration on how to re-invent the retail experience for a digital age.
1. Create a customer experience
The new Brompton store is “a hive of consumer experience and theatre,” as Simon explains. There is a workshop where you can bring your Brompton bike in to get it repaired, and also a test road where you can try out a bike. What I like about both these service features is how they create buzz and interest in store, whilst also delivering relevant service benefits.
2. Link online and physical
Brompton has done a nice job of creating what in jargon-terms is an ‘omnichannel’ experience, by linking online and physical shopping. You can design your bike online, selecting colour, accessories and other features and then come to the store to pick it up, for example.
3. Drive traffic, by being useful
I like the way Brompton see the stores as way to drive penetration by expanding the brand’s reach. “We need to take Brompton to the customer,” explains the company’s CEO, Will Butler-Adams (3). “This is the philosophy with our Brompton Junction stores: beautiful stores in great cities, inspiring a lifestyle change to a broad spectrum of urbanites”.
One clever way Brompton is attracting potential new customers is by running a Brompton Electric bike hire scheme in the store. Hire of Brompton electric bikes works well in a shopping centre like Westfield, as the bikes are foldable and portable; you could pick one up and take it home for use on a holiday!
Brompton is also driving traffic with existing customers by cleverly offering a ‘drop & shop’ service, where you can leave your Brompton bike and go off shopping in Westfield. This keeps the brand top of mind and creates opportunities to sell accessories, clothing and servicing.
4.Bring to life the brand
The Brompton store also does a nice job of bringing to life the brand world. It features original furniture from the factory and a heritage Brompton from 1981.
In conclusion, Simon and the Brompton team have shown with their new store how retail is not dead but does need re-inventing, to create a distinctive, impactful customer experiences that offer real utility too.