Shopping in Selfridges the other day on Oxford Street in central London, I stopped at a perfume counter to buy a present for a friend.
As I paid, the shop assistant asked me if I had an email address, so I could be the first to know of their latest promotions and offers. 'At last!' I thought: the giant is beginning to stir - was this the first baby steps towards a multi-channel strategy? Joining online with offline?
'Sure,' I said, curious to test their new approach, 'how would you like it?'
Amazingly, she leaned down beneath the counter and produced a pencil and a scrappy piece of paper. 'Don’t you have an app?' I asked. 'Aren’t you going to enter it into your terminal?' She looked blank. Her line manager, apparently, collected all these scraps of paper at the end of the day. And four weeks later I’m still waiting for their latest perfume offers to drop into my email box.