Austin Reed shows why the web is critical

Austin ReedAustin Reed, which went into administration earlier this year, is to be liquidated with just five concessions being saved by Edinburgh Woollen Mill. 120 stores and 1,000 jobs will be lost.

Peter Saville, of adminstrator Alix Partners, said “Despite a significant number of interested parties coming forward it became clear as the process progressed that a viable solution which kept the business whole was not forthcoming. As a result we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate

With over 50 expressions of interest in saving Austin Reed, just what went wrong? It appears that the owed money to just about every supplier going, but as well as the expected out dated stores on the high street, analysts have also heaped blame on a poorly designed website.

This should be a wake up call for all retailers, whether they have a High Street estate or if they’re purely online. It’s 2016 folks and if your website is not working hard for you it’s time to invest in it.

Today a website should be outperforming even a flagship bricks and mortar store. A website should be a part of the bulk of your sales whether it be an online purchase, a click and collect order, a reserve and pick up in store or an instore purchase with out of stock items ordered online or the offer of a home delivery. Austin Reed were simply too far behind in the online game to survive.