Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall

Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall I’m a great admirer of Amazon. So, let’s move away from the nonsense that Amazon is killing retail. Amazon is a retailer and is leading a retail transformation. It may not be founded on designing, producing and selling its own products (although that is gathering irresistible momentum) but it is no less a retailer than Toys R Us, or any traditional department store or shop selling “other people’s stuff!” Retailers of all origins and longevity would do well to learn quickly from its customer centric approach to everything. That…

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Bloom & Wild: Delivering a Fragrant Revolution

Bloom & Wild: Delivering a fragrant revolution I’d recommend that we all spoil ourselves with flowers. Not, for the hell of it, and not any flowers. Just those delivered by Bloom & Wild. Their story is not about flowers, no matter how beautiful they are, its about disrupting a market with one decisive initiative as its origin. Delightful Disruption Bloom & Wild are the original “letterbox” florists. As you might imagine this means that flowers are sent directly through you letterbox. Take any nightmare visions from your mind of flowers being forced through your doors like Christmas trees through a shredder. In…

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Lush: Creating Communities and always in Conversation

Lush: Creating Communities and always in Conversation Even those customers who would never consider crossing the threshold of a Lush store, never mind investing in a bath-bomb or a slice of specialist soap, are charmed and engaged by the customer experience they find. I’ve accompanied many clients and colleagues to stores and what astounds them is the life, energy and enthusiasm of the store teams. From a state of embarrassment, the doubters are soon lost in the depths of the store, listening intently to their guides and trying their hand at skin treatments, immersing themselves up to their elbows in…

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Retail & the Circular Economy: Square Pegs in a Round Whole?

Retailers can learn from the Circular Economy by becoming communities and not just sequences of job functionality. Positive actions & interactions stimulate others. Waste is minimised. Waste of resources, products and of time. And the waste of people – their energy, goodwill, knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm. I have to say that the concept of the “Circular Economy” is a rather recent discovery to me. Perhaps not the philosophy and the processes but the words themselves neatly summing up the principle of minimising wastage and maximising resources. It is of course highly relevant to retail and its traditionally linear processes and…

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Pitch Perfect: Sports Direct Playing the Field

Pitch Perfect: Sports Direct Playing the Field If you want to see some clues as to what the new Mike Ashley House of Fraser might look like, then a good starting point are the new Sports Direct/USC/Flannels superstores. One of the latest is at Lakeside where a 10,000sqm sports and lifestyle experience has taken shape. The Mike Ashley’ jigsaw put together piece by piece. Recent years has seen a subtle move at Sports Direct from just “Pile it high. Sell it cheap” to a more controlled, more organised and less densely displayed proposition. An upscaling of the brand portfolio has…

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A Retail Dilemma: “No Business, No People!” or “No People, No Business!”

A Retail Dilemma: “No Business,  No People!” or “No People, No Business!”   Thanks to everyone who contributed to last week’s post on John Lewis and their approach to investment in the face of cost-cutting and delivering profit. One really important issue raised is a fundamental dilemma for current retail strategists. “No business, No People!” Of course, if there is no business then there will be no people, so every attempt must be made to make any business viable and protect its workforce. However how you ensure this survival and growth is a matter of debate and strategic differences. Certainly, for John…

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Elvis & Kresse: Fighting Fashion Fire with Fire

Elvis & Kresse: Fighting Fashion Fire with Fire So much of the exciting retail scene of today is coming from people with a real passion. The passion is not necessarily for retail initially but comes as a natural evolution of a wider passion for a philosophy, for values and for life. Elvis & Kresse is one of those truly inspirational retail brands that you don’t come across every day. However, it is commanding a loyal following and represents a growing number of business producing beautiful products with a 360-degree ethical and sustainable philosophy. Retail with a passion Their passions are…

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From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing

From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing Last week, in a further example of market consolidation, the UK’s leading book retailer Waterstones bought up the Foyles bookstore business. This included the famous Charing Cross Road store, recently moved and re-furbished. The stories surrounding Foyles are no less than retail folklore. They help to explain its survival, the re-naissance of Waterstones and the revival of many independent book shops. This is in direct competition to Amazon who, you will remember, began life as an online book retailer themselves. Nothing can compete with the price, convenience and efficiency of Amazon.…

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Digital Signage Summit 2018: Disrupting the Store Design Model

Tim Radley, presenting at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit 8-45 a.m. – 24th September Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted https://digitalsignagesummit.co.uk   Looking forward to speaking at this very interesting summit on Digital Signage and the Store Experience. It’s a very relevant subject for retailers so hoping to set out the main issues, benefits and pitfalls with the opening presentation of the conference. Look forwards to see you there, bright & early!   The Impact of Digital Signage: Disrupting the Traditional Store Design Model   Whilst creativity, imagination and technical possibilities have grown impressively over recent times, the store…

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Let’s applaud John Lewis: Putting People over Profit

Let’s applaud John Lewis: Putting People over Profit   Let’s put this simply. Retail in the UK is undergoing destructive changes never seen before. There are less consumers with disposable income than previously. These customers prefer to buy online from Amazon and spend whatever else they can on experiences rather than possessions. Department stores are more at risk than most because their traditional model is focused on selling brands, most of which you can now buy cheaper elsewhere. Operationally they are also expensive to run, particularly against the back-drop of hikes in business rates and an apathetic government. Add into…

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