Matalan are known primarily as an ‘out of town’ retailer however, 2015 sees the development of the retail giant’s business model to include stores on some of the UK's busiest high streets and in this instance, Oxford Street in central London. With this type of growth comes new business challenges, in particular for Store Management. Karin Eastough, Matalan’s Learning and Development Manager, identified this challenge and approached us wanting to incorporate a fun and competitive team activity with measurable results as part of an away day. The aim of the day was to familiarise the store management team with a new area and help prepare them for the unique challenges and different customer demographics than those previously experienced in out of town locations.
Many of the store managers taking part had never worked in a central London store location before and in order to fit in with Karin’s objectives for the day, we personalised the challenge by giving the teams the chance to interactively evaluate other retailers within the location in a high-tech and competitive way. We devised our challenge to take teams into competitor’s stores, giving them the chance to identify successful processes and layouts they could consider adopting and adapting to put in place within Matalan on Oxford Street. As part of the task, teams were given the opportunity to interview and interact with shoppers, which helped them to gain valuable insight into their new customer base and identify ways in which they could adapt their customer service and style to provide a positive customer journey for the opening of this new key site for Matalan.
Wildgoose adapted and personalised their existing “Retail Industry” GPS location-based challenge for two teams of 5 Matalan store managers. The 3 hour event enabled the teams to get to know some fun facts about the history and culture of Oxford Street and its surrounding areas, whilst taking part in some interactive competitor analysis and store evaluation. Part of this included video interview challenges, where teams had to interact directly with customers, allowing them to also gain research and valuable customer insight. This information was collated into a report which could be analysed and discussed post event. The flexibility of our “Retail Research” themed challenge and the advanced innovative technology of the Wildgoose app, enabled us to create a really fun, competitive and engaging challenge with questions and tasks that promoted team work, local area awareness and valuable customer insight.
The challenge took Matalan Store Managers along Oxford Street and its surrounding areas. Each team had an iPad pre-loaded with their personalised challenge with key hotspots containing tasks to be unlocked via GPS. The challenge took teams into competitor’s stores to access, valuate and learn from key processes such as their changing room policy, visual merchandising and accessibility of products. In the Anytime Task Bar were Image Recognition tasks where teams had to locate and scan items relating to the world of retail to unlock challenges. Finally, we included video challenges, tasking teams with interviewing people on Oxford Street who they perceived to have key Matalan customer demographics. This allowed them to gain insight into their potential customer’s awareness of the Matalan brand and what would encourage them to shop there. The event was then wrapped up in the Matalan offices and the winning teams presented with medals.