The Grand Re-opening (Round 3!)

May 19, 2021 Chris Simpson

With the news that non-essential retail stores should re-open from 12th April (26th if you’re north of the border), it has been an exciting week! All of our retail clients are forging ahead with their store re-opening plans.

Several categories have already seen a Boris Bounce after Monday’s statement – childrens’ shoes saw a massive spike on the news that schools are going back on March 8th (after months of pottering barefoot around the house!) Travel brands had some of their biggest days ever on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For our third, and hopefully final re-opening, what are the recurring themes or areas to explore?


  • Retail is always about experience – make it fun, entertaining, celebrate the re-opening and the chance to be spontaneous and try on new things again.
  • No doubt everyone will be working on their flow and signage – a balancing act between following safety guidelines and enabling serendipitous discovery.
  • Reduced product density will demand rigorous use of data to prioritise top sellers for the shop floor.
  • Enable browsing/discovery before they even enter the store through storefront windows and showcasing new styles through email and social channels.


  • Both Facebook and Google have powerful tools for serving local ads to geo-targeted audiences. It is critical that you revisit your store information and adopt best practice so that these campaigns can target around your stores.
  • Facebook and Instagram ad formats can really bring stores to life and remind people of that visual and tactile experience – make the most of the creative formats available to tell your store stories. When setting up Facebook/Insta campaigns, you can choose to optimise for store conversions but, this only works if you are uploading a daily store orders feed to Facebook.
  • Think about retesting your lookalike or similar audiences – these will have evolved towards digital-first consumers over the past year. It’s worth testing a seed of your best retail customers to target those most likely to return to the high street.
  • With the whole of England coming out of lockdown at the same time, search campaigns can be set up to bid heavily on generic terms within store catchment areas for that pent-up demand when the flood gates open. Also, tailor ad copy near stores across your regular campaigns.
  • If your product feed allows, Google Shopping can show local store inventory to encourage shoppers to collect it in person rather than buying online. These act as a useful reminder that your store is nearby and ready for business!
  • Facebook offer ads are an effective way to share a store offer because the algorithm can see people saving the offer and optimise to find more like them. Facebook also reminds users of unclaimed offers and even allows you to include a barcode for easy scanning in-store.


  • One of our mantras is to prioritise email capture in store because we know emailable customers consistently spend more. If you didn’t before, now’s the time to double down here. We know consumer behaviour has changed, so they are more likely to use multiple channels to order in future.
  • During lockdown, those brands who previously focused on email capture have reaped the benefits, being able to redirect customers to online or at least give them updates on when stores are opening.
  • Regular reminders of store re-opening plans are essential, and re-emphasise click and collect as a way to try on in store or exchange on the spot.
  • Targeting customers based on nearest store and giving them store-specific content is another proven strategy.


  • Many clients are moving mailing dates to coincide with stores reopening
  • Some are including letters from store managers and vouchers to use in-store
  • During lockdown, some have moved mailing selections to favour online dominant customers whilst retail customers haven’t been performing well. As the high street re-opens, we’ll be dialling retail-dominant customers back up in the mix.

Wishing you all the best for the next chapter in the COVID story – here’s hoping there are not many further plot twists ahead!

If there’s anything here you’d like to hear more about, drop us a line at and we’ll put you in touch with our team of real experts!

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