I can’t say I was surprised when British Home Stores went into administration earlier this year.
It was a high street staple, yet a lack of innovation meant it was never going to compete with digitally-focused competitors likeDebenhams and House of Fraser.
Just months after its stores closed, it has returned in an online-only format.
So, will it work as an ecommerce brand?
Here’s a closer look at the retailer’s new strategy as well as a quick review of the site itself.
Targeting loyal customers
According to the Managing Director, David Anderson, the BHS re-brand will be counting on the loyalty of the store’s original customers.
With a customer base of well over one million people and the fact that we have secured contracts with so many leading suppliers who are providing products that were among the most popular with our shoppers, we are in the best possible position for launch.
Of course, this audience is likely to be an older demographic – those who faithfully shopped from BHS up until the very end.
It makes sense that if the customers remain, so too will their desire to shop from BHS.
But will they be willing to go online?
Focus on biggest-selling products
BHS is hoping to draw in loyal customers with a limited but high quality product range.
With 75% of the store’s most popular stock being homeware and lighting, it will be specifically concentrating on these areas for the time being.
Clothing, shoes, furniture and food are gone, despite a promise to introduce some new ranges in future.
By streamlining its product offering, BHS appears to be banking on its reputation as an iconic homeware retailer – the area that contributed to its success in the first place.
Look & Design
So how does the new site compare to the old?
The old BHS website looked cluttered and mismatched, with the traditional logo and imagery feeling slightly dated.
It also heavily focused on deals and discounts, using this as its main incentive for online consumers.
The main navigation menu was also quite cluttered, including an overwhelming amount of categories.