A great deal has been written and talked about lately on the application of market research techniques to the retail format. In its most obvious manifestations it has formed the basis for such successful operations as Next and the Burton Group and the recent diversifications in WH Smith. But the potential applications of market research are not confined to niche or multi‐strategy marketing. Intelligent advertising research can be a useful tool, as is customer analysis. What makes customers choose a particular store — or a particular brand? Is there a relationship between the two? And how do you build up appeal and customer loyalty through advertising and sales promotion? These were the main points covered at a recent seminar organised by Wallace International to mark the occasion of the opening of their new headquarters in London. Three speakers discussed aspects of innovation relating to the current scene in retailing — Montague Lewis, of the College for the Distributive Trades (who also wrote this feature); Dr Mark Uncles, from the London Business School, and Mike Elms, of Ogilvie Mather.
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