Is bigger always better?
I’m a boutique man. Always have been and always will be. I like going into a shop that knows me, knows my style and can quickly help me navigate the stock to those pieces that are absolutely me!
I don’t have such an affinity with department stores, the ones where you rarely see the same face twice, the outlets that don’t know you from Adam and are unable to really support your shopping needs. In my opinion these outlets don’t add value, don’t save me time and therefore do not give me what I need as a consumer. It is true that department stores can often broker discounts with designers as their orders are bigger. This saving can be passed on to the customer and you might find your favourite designer label is 5% cheaper in a department store than in your favourite boutique, but at what cost?
Trust me, this introduction isn’t just about my shopping experience, but has a very clear basis. With all the M&A activity in the market, is the customer really going to see a better service? Is bigger really better?
I believe we all understand the need for cost efficiencies and that streamlining and merging of middle to back offices can mean a business’s operating costs are reduced, a saving which will hopefully be passed on to the customer. But what is the real benefit?
Many insurers insist that these mergers will create efficiencies and “widen the scope of your resources and capabilities” but what does this really mean for the customer? How can my insurer merging with another offer me wider scope of capabilities and if it can, is it something I really need?
I am keen to hear your opinion on the latest round of M&A activity in the market and how you think it will impact the customer.
Ben Johnson is the Principal of Financial & Professional Services at Interim Partners.