Housewareslive asked Harsha Wickremasinghe for his thoughts on the challenges facing the newly launched venture BHS.com.
BHS.com, the online shop offering a range of lighting, bedroom and bathroom products for a UK customer base, which will be joined by housewares and clothing next month, has been launched by the brand's new owner, the Qatar-based Al Mana Group.
Harsha Wickremasinghe, Associate at Arrowpoint Advisory, said: "Plans to launch a completely new website and to create a seamless shopping experience for customers across multiple devices tick the right boxes."
BHS.com faces the challenge of 'repositioning' the brand to cater to a customer who is 10-15 years younger than its historic core 50-plus female shopper.
One major hurdle for BHS.com is overcoming the ferocious competition in homewares as John Lewis, Next, Dunelm and M&S all ramp up investment in their own online propositions.
Plans to introduce clothing ranges in the future ring alarm bells. Never has the phrase 'stick to your knitting' been more apt. Rather than diversifying the range of stock, it should instead concentrate on mastering the retail basics of intimately knowing their customer base and offering the right product at the right price, whilst delivering the best possible service and experience.
Only time will tell whether BHS.com can successfully re-incarnate itself as a brand that is relevant for today's demanding and savvy shoppers.
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