Selfridges: “Popping-up” Down the Corner Shop


On any visit into London its always worth a visit to Selfridges. It really has to be the most dynamic and imaginative retailer out-there always inventing, changing and challenging as it seeks to drive ever more customer through its shiny doors.

It would be easy to be complacent, already having the most amazing assortment of brands, and seemingly every angle covered in the fight for footfall.


selfridges-popping up-down-the-shop-01

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Retail Beginning or Retail End? 7 essentials for survival!


The Morning Post:- 23rd March
Retail Beginning or Retail End? 7 essentials for retail success!

Sometimes it makes sense to draw a line in the sand, even when the sands are changing at an unprecedented rate. This is certainly the case in retail.

We are not surrounded completely by doom-and-gloom retail news, however there is undoubtedly a lot of it. This reached a focus this morning with the announcement from Next of its latest results.

Whilst not perfect and admitting some errors in assortment … Continue reading

The New Era of Retail Collaborations: Sports Direct & Game!


The Evening Post:- 22nd March

“The New Era of Retail Collaborations: Sports Direct & Game!”


Roaming through my rather cavernous Sports Direct in search of school sports supplies, I was considering the proposed collaboration between Sports Direct and Game. The idea is to share retail space and bring their brands together under one roof.

It makes complete sense, serving different retail and leisure needs but to the same customer, whilst both offering something positive to the joint physical experience.

The collaboration is also interesting … Continue reading

“Retail is Performance Theatre – Twas it not always so?”


The Morning Post:- 21st March
“Retail is Performance Theatre – Twas it not always so?”


I thought it time to write something about the issue of theatre in retail. This has been stimulated by the news that John Lewis has had all its sales personnel at its new White City store personally trained by a drama academy.

Once again hats off to John Lewis for this initiative, one of the oldest dogs teaching new tricks to everyone else. However, the fact is, theatre … Continue reading

Missguided Opinion: Cracks in the E-commerce Golden Egg


The Evening Post:- 20th March

“Missguided Opinion: Cracks in the E-commerce Golden Egg!”


Firstly, let me say I am a huge fan of Missguided.

Whilst not the classic target customer I remember the palpable excitement of walking through their first store in Westfield Stratford, conceived in collaboration with Dalziel & Pow.

It was such a refreshing store with so many ideas for the new era of physical shopping, not bogged down or held back by the mistakes and misconceptions of a retail history. The way … Continue reading

“The Story of the Old Shop, the New Shop & the Other Shop!”


The Daily Post:- 20th March
“The Story of the Old Shop, the New Shop & the Other Shop!”


Now the story I’m about to tell is a true story, and its a story about one of the UK’s biggest retailing businesses. They shall remain nameless as their identity is not the issue but to illustrate that improvements are always there even amongst the most seasoned operators.

The retail business had in place a store refreshment programme and had allocated a dedicated team to work … Continue reading

“What’s the Real Cost of Retail Store Disciplines?”


The Morning Post:- 17th March
“What’s the real cost of retail store discipline”

On a benchmarking tour of value retailers this week I found my initial curiosity and enthusiasm slowly but surely drained as I was repeatedly faced with dull store interiors, poor lighting, dirty shelves, torn graphics, display chaos and in some instances such a scarcity of staff that I could have used happily bedded down for a few hours without fear of being disturbed.

The point is not about or indeed restricted to low price or discount retailers, but … Continue reading

“Take the Easy Money” – M&S Bakery Heaven in a Block!!


The Daily Post:- 16th March

“Take the Easy Money”

Wandering around a Marks & Spencer food court in the weeks before Easter is still a very pleasurable experience if you enjoy comfort eating at this inclement time in an inclement year.

M&S has had its fare share of criticism over recent years, quite rightly in many cases, however it still remains one of the retail juggernauts emanating from sepia days which has managed to steer a reasonable course through the e-commerce revolution, managing a huge store … Continue reading

“The Fight for Retail Independence or Multiple Monotony!”


The Evening Post:- 14th March

“The Fight for Independence”

An interesting article caught my eye today from online research company Their survey was comparing the opening and closing of retail outlets by region of the UK, for multiples & independents.


It goes to show how things quickly change in life, and in retail in particularly, the most dynamic of industries. Because what jumps out from the findings is that in all but 2 of the 11 regions independent retail outlets grew whilst also in … Continue reading

“Global Local Retailing” – Familiarity & Contempt in the Backyard


The Morning Post:- 14th March

“Global Local Retailing”

The combination of a powerful global brand with local creatives, craftsmen and manufacturers has to be a recipe for success in this international world with its ironically specific local tastes.


Passing through central London on an Oxford Street East to West route taking in the crisp morning air it seems that the better US brands have come to understand this assortment strategy better perhaps than many European brands.

At the top of this highly stylised tree would … Continue reading

Retail By Your Side: Practical & Moral Support for Retail Professionals

Retail is not getting any easier…in the boardroom or the stockroom.

So allow us to introduce…“Retail by your Side,” seeking to support the modern retail professional with advice, inspiration and practical know-how delivered through daily posts.

Although retail life is complex…sometimes simply an idea, a few words, can go a long way to making every moment in a unique industry a more enjoyable and commercial one.




“The Morning Post!”

Shall we begin? Inspiration for the retail day ahead…

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Maxximising Potential: TK Putting on the Style

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.


TK Maxx is now so central to so many customers’ buying plans that it’s difficult to remember the huge strides it has taken over the recent decade to propel its proposition into the mainstream and its results into the realms of high street fashion fantasy land.


It’s … Continue reading

Saving & Making Money from New Store Concepts & Re-fits!

Tim Radley, speaking at the Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit 2018

Part 1: Setting the scene for performance.

We may all be forgiven for believing that physical stores are dead-in-the-water of the tidal wave of retail revolution carrying all convention before it on a journey to outlet oblivion.
However it’s very much a matter of saving theatrics for new store concepts rather than dramatic and premature obituaries.



But, before we get down literally to the nuts and bolts of store design and shopfitting … Continue reading

MADE+ in Heaven: Delivered to your Door!

So, imagine a furniture concept that throws out the baggage of the traditional way of doing things, and re-invents the whole process from the perspective of the customer and the designer. More or less, you have

Made is born from a passion for modern, beautiful furniture and the frustration of buying it the old-fashioned way. And with necessity being the mother of invention it was real life experience that bore forth the mother of modern retailers.



Let’s take the design side of … Continue reading

Are you truly a Retail Brand or just a Product Provider?

On the surface this may appear to be a question stimulated by the omnichannel evolution. In truth it has always been an important question however in previous times with a less demanding customer and a lower level of competition, being a retail brand was a less pressing consideration and the repercussions of not having a clear definition as a business less perilous to the bottom line.

How times have changed!



What e-commerce has done is to create the need for every business selling … Continue reading

Spanish Statement: The Primark Pinnacle of Pre-eminence

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.


The last decade has seen the rise of Primark as a tour de force in the world of value fashion as it strides from the UK and Ireland across Spain, Germany, Italy and now to the United States.

It is easy but incorrect to brand Primark as simply … Continue reading

E-commerce efficiency: Facilitating your failure?

Don’t get me wrong I’m a believer in e-commerce and an avid online shopper, and I get as frustrated as the next man or woman when it comes to inefficient websites, product misinterpretation and expensive and extensive delivery times. And of course, efficiency is an absolute essential to any online retailer, and will make the difference between survival and extinction in the highly charged competitive online market place.

However there is more to being a retailer than being efficient. 



However there is more … Continue reading

Omnichannel Overload: Finding focus in a confusion of retail possibilities

Why is omnichannel the focus of retail?

The short answer to this is because it’s what the customer wants, and never has the old adage “the customer is always right” been so apt or so accurate as in the consumer-centric world in which we now live.


Customers want the convenience of the online world with the ability to browse, choose and pay in the comfort of their own homes, and with the rapid rise of m-commerce the freedom to do these things beyond the … Continue reading

Celebrating Omnichannel: Exorcising the ghosts of Christmas past, present & future…

So the winner yet again this Christmas was online retail.

Also, apparently and a little contradictory, Amazon was at the same time killing off retail itself, which is a little strange considering that the last time I logged on to Amazon, it was indeed a retailer.



It all makes for good headlines, even if becoming a little stale and increasingly confusing, however beyond being pedantic about headlines, retail is far from dead, physical stores are still hugely popular and Amazon itself opened only … Continue reading

“Building the Passion Supply Chain: The Beauty and the Beast!”

From beginning to end…from conception to consumption…nurture an inner pride that translates to a public passion, so that the flow of enthusiasm continues well beyond the selling process.

As part of your core business processes measure and monitor passion as though it were as tangible as gold coins because that is what passion will surely produce.



A successful supply chain is a fundamental pre-requisite for any retail business. Creating and managing it requires small fortunes of investment, complicated integrated technologies, coordinated and sequential … Continue reading