We’ve all seen a Clarks store on the high street or in the shopping centre. But they’re just the start of our impressive retail story. Our retail philosophy is simple: to take our products where our customers are. That’s why you’ll already find Clarks shops in over 75 countries around the world. And it’s why we’re constantly opening new stores in new countries. Now, to give you an idea of the size of our retail business, we’ll have more than 1,400 stores across the world by the end of 2012. But what sort of stores do we have? Is there more than one type?
These are the Clarks stores you find on the high street, and they’re central to our business. Today, we have around 450 of them in the UK and 350 in the USA. We have stores in Europe too, and we’re opening more and more of them every month. But as well as our great product range and famous personal service, customers can buy Clarks shoes in store in a completely new way. We’ve created special online kiosks. Basically, they’re in-store computers, so customers can browse and buy from our complete product range. And the really clever bit? Customers can either get them delivered to the store or to their home, whichever’s best for them. They can also return the products to the store – a service that other retailers don’t offer.
In this day and age, customers demand the very best value for money. So that’s why we have factory shopping and outlet stores in the UK, USA and Europe. These tend to be out-of-town locations, where we can offer generous discounts compared with normal high street prices. For Clarks, it’s about what’s right for our customers. That’s why, in some of our larger factory and outlet stores, customers help themselves to the shoes on display. This way, we can keep costs down and offer our customers even better value for money. It’s self service shopping done the Clarks way.
We have around 450 franchise stores around the world – and growing. They look and feel exactly like a Clarks store, it’s just that they’re run with franchise partner (who aren’t employed by Clarks). The stores use our marketing materials, our signage, our systems and procedures. Franchise stores are a great way of combining our fantastic products and retail expertise with a partner’s on-the-ground local knowledge. The result? Even more delighted customers.
When we say wholesale, we mean selling through other retailers – and we work with thousands of them across the world. As well as smaller, independent shoe shops, we work with well-known and well-respected retail chains, like John Lewis and Brantano in the UK, El Corte Ingles in Spain, Humanic in Germany, Macy’s in the USA, and Belle in China. Wholesale is a really important part of our retail business. It means that we can share our products with all sorts of different customers.
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