Retail skills more readily considered traditional to high street shops such as merchandising and customer service are just as vital to online businesses as they are to companies with bricks and mortar, according to two industry heavyweights. CEO, Nick Robertson and CEO of the Shop Direct Group, Mark Newton-Jones both admitted that they have managed to move their businesses forward using tried and tested formulas.

Robertson said “ I think the reason we’ve been able to grow as quickly as we have is because a lot of the skills we have at Asos are just good, traditional retail skills.

“ We have a very big buying and merchandising team and all those buyers and merchandisers have come from high street backgrounds.

“The good news for us is that we have been able to grow because a lot of the skills already exist out there”.

Newton-Jones added his views on customer service saying “ This is really difficult and it’s one of the things people struggle with when they move from high street retailing to remote retailing.

“ You never queue at the till; you never see somebody trying something on; you don’t wander around the shop and pick up a product to see how broad your range is – you just don’t get that so you have to work really hard at it”.

Both men were speaking at the Skillsmart Retail Parliamentary reception, which was held at the House of Commons in central London last week.

To many, online retailing may look and feel different to bricks and mortar retail shops but the essence of the business is the same. It is all about delivering quality products to the customer in a way they find easy to digest and also easy to navigate and make decisions.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit