Retail Insider held its latest Event this week – with a combined English Wine Tasting and talk by John Bovill, IT and e-commerce director at Monsoon Accessorize – that highlighted the challenges of both increasing the acceptance/awareness of English wines and taking retailers on the multi-channel journey.

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Julia Stafford, English Wine & Spirits Co.

Senior executives from Tesco, Waitrose, HMV, and Dobbies were among those gathered above The Bull pub in the City of London to taste some of the UK’s best wines and hear the thoughts of Bovill on multi-channel retail.

A tutored tasting by Julia Stafford of the English Wine & Spirits Company encompassed Balfour Brut from the Hush Heath Estate, Chapel Down Flint Dry, Stopham Pinot Blanc and Hush Heath Pinot Noir. These gave a glimpse of the full variety of English styles that are available and are helping to give the country’s wines the credit they now deserve.

Bovill then gave a run through some of the challenges and opportunities for Monsoon Acccessorize as it adapts its model to embracing digital. This includes the right-sizing of its stores and implementing iPads to enable in-store employees to take payments and also recommend additional items that helps it boost average basket sizes and improve customer engagement.

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John Bovill, Monsoon Accessorize

There is also much work being done behind the scenes with its supply chain that is gradually being changed to handle the increasing amount of Click & Collect orders the company takes. There is also the intention to deliver goods between stores for the fulfilment of online orders.

He acknowledged that there are challenges for many retailers in ensuring they have sufficient digital experience on their boards but that this was not a problem at Monsoon Accessorize because as well as Bovill having a board seat, the company’s CEO John Browett is very well versed in multi-channel retail having been a key architect of Tesco.com.

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Retail Insider would very much like to thank John Bovill and to the sponsors Webloyalty, Yusen Logistics, K3 Retail and Oresa for their highly valued support. In addition, many thanks go to Julia Stafford and her English Wine & Spirits Company. Without their much appreciated support this Retail Insider event would not have been possible.