As part of VM-unleashed’s 10th anniversary year we take a look back at some retail milestones from the last decade and explain why each store’s message is as relevant for us today as it was then.
As I always tell my clients, 10 is an interesting number. On the one hand it doesn’t sound a lot but on the other hand who wouldn’t want a 10% increase in sales, or wages, or a 10% reduction in tax. In modern retail, performance increases are made up of increments and so the number 10 can go a very long way indeed.
And so from nowhere VM-unleashed is 10 years old!
A landmark which in the grand scheme of things, life … Continue reading
It’s not often that the atmosphere in a store is so real and tangible you can almost touch it and taste it. And whilst the assortment on offer may look good enough to eat in Lush, it is the experience which is something to die for and not a misguided mouthful of soap-suds.
Complete strangers are struck instantly by the friendly welcome, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the staff, and the intensity of customer engagement where it seems every customer is the most important … Continue reading
It is a very long way from the product drawing board to an exciting store full of inspiring stock and enthusiastic staff. The journey is complicated logistically, commercially, geographically and emotionally, and involves the passing of the product baton between many hands.
First and foremost the outcome in terms of product proposition must be commercially complete incorporating all the processes and parameters that deliver an assortment plan that learns from past experience as well as future predictions. Logistically that plan must be delivered … Continue reading
To step from Shoreditch High Street into the House of Hackney is a journey into such a wonderful world of sumptuous colour and texture that a visit to Narnia itself would be no more astounding. And that is not to sleight Shoreditch but to extoll the voluptuous virtues of this home emporium that it so appropriately houses.
House of Hackney is a print-based lifestyle brand, founded in London in 2010 as an interiors label by husband and wife team Javvy M Royle and … Continue reading
Successful retail businesses are driven by passionate people,
with sales & profits the commercial outcome of a passion for product and lifestyle.
It would be unfair and inaccurate to say that retail businesses have been without passion as in fact some of the most famous and successful retailers ever, from the Limited Group to the Body Shop, have been built around passionate individuals. However too many other companies, founded in less demanding and competitive times, rely too much on simply selling the … Continue reading
Every retailer is different, and in most cases every store is different, from the obvious variations of culture and taste in an international portfolio, the clear operational issues between directly owned stores and wholesale partners, to the more subtle challenges of different store manager personalities and store personnel attitudes.
All this requires retailers to create and apply a wide-range of guidelines, tools and processes to get the very best from every store situation – the VMToolkit
VMTookit & operations efficiency benchmarking
Having the … Continue reading
In a strange turn of events and in part reaction to the fabricated fantastic world around us there has become a clamor for brands with true heritage, roots, tradition and history. In many ways the greater the brand struggle, the deeper the hardship, the more humble the history then the more credible collateral a business has to take into the future firmament.
At the heart of this consumer desire is “trust.” Always an essential of any brand relationship, but now not just about … Continue reading
A mere meander from the horticultural highlights of the Chelsea flower show is a marriage made in heritage heaven between Wedgwood and John Lewis.
Just a few steps into the foyer of Peter Jones in Sloane Square is a land of serene ceramics and tasteful elegance, a month-long pop-up experience that turns tasteful into tasty as the setting for the Wedgwood Conservatory Cafe, a place of tranquil relaxation and quiet indulgence.
The Wedgwood world is emblazoned in powder blue, provided on this occasion … Continue reading
The question “how much product should I put in my stores?” has always generated animated and healthy debate amongst retail businesses.
That question, and the discussions around it, just got a whole lot more complicated as the opportunities and threats of e-commerce and true omni-channel assortment allocation has made store capacities one of the most important decisions for retailers to get right.
The reduction of physical store capacities for an omni-channel retailer, supported by flexible and reliable inter-channel replenishment, allows the development of inspirational, … Continue reading
As an increasing number of airports opt to turn down the din, Tim Radley contributes to an article in Frontier Magazine which takes a look at whether low-noise environments can pave the way for happier shopping
While the warm and welcoming voice over the tannoy and accompanying ‘bing bong’ are often associated with happy holiday memories, loud terminals combined with the noise from the latest travel gadgets are leading to a sensory overload among passengers. In turn, this can heighten stress levels … Continue reading
Knowledge of traffic and conversion is essential to measure and maximise sales opportunities across stores, however the knowledge of traffic and conversion by category display within the store reveals the mysteries of the shopping experience and promises the riches of increased sales productivity for every gondola, wall and precious retail square metre.
What retail success boils down to is selling as much as possible to as many people as possible. In the context of any retail business this is very much in line … Continue reading
Time never stands still for Selfridges. The dawn of every day is reason enough to energise the store with new messages, products and brands to perpetuate its reputation as one of the world’s most exciting retail experiences.
When seasonality subsides for a second Selfridges fills the void with self-generated events bringing every aspect of its considerable assortment to the attention of its captive customers – amidst its Spring activities for Easter and Mother’s Day there was still ample time for a powerful collaboration … Continue reading
It used to be one of the great discussion points regarding customer demographics in the early days of international expansion.
“Are all customers the same?”
Clearly experience and time has shown us that they are not the same – not within a single country and absolutely not internationally. Any retailer expanding to new lands must be aware and take actions to focus and modify the proposition – starting with the assortment on offer.
Correct benchmarking and analysis of different international market trends in product taste, shopping behaviour … Continue reading
Visual merchandising has always been difficult to define and as stores develop into multi-media and sensory experiences then the realm of visual merchandising will evolve further.
It will embrace the sensual worlds of music, imagery, video, digital technology, smell, product interaction and lifestyle & promotional events. All this, which is traditionally the responsibility of marketing, store design, merchandising and other retail functions must be integrated with one strategy and one creative concept.
In an ideal world the vision and the delivery of the dynamic … Continue reading
VM Trends: “An End to ‘Easy’ Visual Merchandising!”
Tim Radley, CEO of VM-Unleashed! will be in discussion at the Retail Design Expo 2017
Please come, listen and join in on Monday 8th May, 12pm.
May 8-9, 2017, London Olympia.
Tim Radley is the founder of retail specialist consultancy VM-Unleashed!
His expertise comes from 25 years of working with, and helping, a wide variety of UK and international businesses with their retail performance, store experience and all facets of what has become visual merchandising.
Visual merchandising, in its … Continue reading
Any good retailer knows from its product sales what its customers’ buy and equally what seems to be impossible to sell to them, but why? Do you know why?
Is it simply the wrong product, or perhaps something more subtle in the colour, the size, the style or the taste, or simply something as obvious as the price point? Proper analysis of sales figures combined with benchmarking of competitor assortments holds the key to unlocking further the potential spending of our customers.
Through identifying the hierarchy of … Continue reading
Born and bred online, young fashion retailer Missguided is now cutting its terrestrial teeth as it continues to roll out its physical flagship stores to major shopping centres in the UK.
Full of attitude, high on fashion and riding a dynamic rollercoaster the task in hand was always to translate this successful e-commerce formula into real stores considering their limitations of space, product availabilities and operational restrictions.
In reality the stores do exude all the brand energy and then some, with a bright … Continue reading
Who’s the real competitor? Who’s the real enemy?
The massive changes that have swept across this land and others, the decimation of high streets, town centres and the taking away of the retail heart of communities, though tragic and physically real are the result of a shift in mind-set. The mind-set and shopping patterns of the customer.
And whilst there are a range of practical measures that must be taken physically on the ground and through legislation to create a viable landscape to rebuild … Continue reading
An effective and efficient queuing strategy has many benefits from minimising abandonment, increasing loss prevention, stimulating incremental impulse sales, loyalty building and customer service engagement.
Failure to control and maximise the queuing opportunities means a retailer will never find that “sweet spot” of happy customers willing to queue and engage whilst delivering additional impulse sales
- what is the “sweat spot” for queue waiting time linked to impulse sales?
- how do I minimise abandonment yet expose impulse product?
- what should the relationship be between service time … Continue reading