Fancy Footwork: Asics Speak for Feet

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Bathed in a blissful blue…

the Asics flagship stores exude a confidence that comes from being one of the premium performance footwear brands. There is authority and integrity in the regimented displays, the streamlined athletic mannequins and the tactile surfaces of the store.

Focal to the proposition and the adventure through the store is the footwear laboratory where potential purchasers can participate in a plethera of tests to find the perfect footwear for their desired activities.

“Let for your Feet Speak” states the lab in a store that speaks for itself.

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There are always ways to bring your brand and product to life for the customer.
It may not be as obvious or dramatic as the Asics footwear lab, but if there is a brand, a proposition and a product there are always stories to bring alive!

Maxximum Potential: TK Putting on the Style

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On the back of surging sales, TK Maxx plots its path to bargain brand domination with a central London flagship store in the heart of fashionista Covent Garden.

The selected assortment tailors to the trendy and the cash-strapped coveters of current labels. New to this store is the Goldlabel departments where only the very best premium brands rub shoulders literally with each other.

GoldLabel revels in an upscale store design with graphic wall bays, low density VM and vintage rails, whilst the whole store stands in splendid glory on wooden floors and bathes in the glow of intimate spotlighting.

Familiar to many, accessible to all and now attractive to a whole new demographic doyen.

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Is there another market outside your comfort zone?
Are the rewards worth the gamble of developing an alternative proposition?

The Mango Recipe: Everyday Essentials & Classic Ingredients

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The improvement in the Mango mens’ assortment goes back to old fashioned principles.

“Sell to customers what they want, when they want it” is the premise behind the move to authority and credibility that underpins the latest SS assortment.

Whilst the store is blocked by category for ease of shop and clarity of offer, the website picks up on this approach with highlight pages focused on core essentials and seasonal classics – “giving the customer what they want”

From the “Slim-fit” chino and the “5 pocket” pant, from the “Printed” shirt to the “Everyday washed” shirt the much loved classics are at the heart of the message communicated to customers, as well as the balance sheet communicated to the board.
For seasonal relevance the website selects the “Ready to Pack” wardrobe combining outfits for holiday and the beach, with essentials & traditional summer styles with the colours and keynotes of 2014.

Mango’s man is happy & healthy as he embarks on the summer months ahead.

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How’s your summer assortment looking?
Essential fayre & tasty treats, or a mixed salad lacking in flavour?

 

The delight, not the devil, is in the detail…

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One man’s meat is another man’s poison…
or to be more accurate, “a customers delight is the buyer’s devil”

Complex is not a large enough adjective to describe the process of planning, designing and buying an assortment. We no longer live in a world of “selling average products to average customers” but in a competitive market place with a discerning customer who explores the value of every purchase.

Identifying firstly, and then delivering, the added-value for a customer is the Midas touch … Continue reading

Mango bearing Fruit: Sewing Seeds of Kids Success

Mango Kids

Assortment leads the way as Mango open its first kids store in Valencia.

Unremarkable in terms of store environment the space sings with the colours and craftsmanship of a well conceived and commercially developed range. The walls play home to carefully constructed coordinated stories, bringing together classic silhouettes and best seller categories for both boy and girl. Colours are clean but commercially conservative whilst unnecessary enhancement is avoided to good effect.

The delight, not the devil, is therefore in the detail of everything from denim to dresses. Frontal hanging on stepped levels coordinated into silhouettes whilst allowing the simplicity and sensibility of each line to shine through the collection.

Floor space is dedicated to authority tables of basics and best seller classic in a god combination of seasonal and core colours with summer patterns to raise and highlight the collection. Whilst the store and display leave plenty of room for further improvement in brand engagement & store experience, the evolution of the Mango kids concept is at the very least going forwards from a position of product strength.

A refreshing contrast to many new concepts and developments where the form leads the function and the creativity leads the commerciality to the ultimate detriment of all.

Mango kids coordinates  Mango kids wall collections  Mango kids tables

When you develop new initiatives are they always built on an assured assortment?
Resist the temptation to be creative without commercial acumen.

From Boys to Men: Mango comes of Age

Mango Menswear

Fashion credentials do not always translate easily between genders.

Particularly when a dominant female perception has been built for many years, the move to menswear can be difficult and delicate to position. Ironically the stronger the female brand, the more successful the style, the fashion and the focus, then the more difficult for menswear to find its voice. It often becomes the “black-widow spider” groomed for success, but ultimately devoured by its stronger bride.

Mango menswear has finally found its voice, thrown off the shroud of ladieswear and found a comfortable, commercial place of its own. The new store in Valencia is standalone, and standing tall and has discovered something it has never had before – authority.

The clothes have style and sharpness but are built around solid categories, delivered with boldness as walls of shirts, tables of denim, mannequin rows of trousers where coordination is restricted to combining categories in an obvious and appealing way.

From top to bottom, short to shoes, Mango Men has come of age! 

Mango Menswear shirts  Mango Mens Exterior  Mango menswear denim

Do you have the problem of balancing the proposition of mens and womens fashion? Which came first, the chicken or the egg – and do you have the recipe for the perfect omelette or does the classic mixed salad prevail?

 

“Curated by”: In JL we Trust

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‘Curated By’ …

is a new space in the nations most trusted retailer – John Lewis – which offers customers the chance to selectively shop key pieces from premium fashion brands. Handpicked, the first edit includes exclusives from Sacks, Pyrus, Stella Forest, Charli, Muubaa and Second Female as well as Avoca Anthology, By Zoe, Bensimon and Rene Derhy. “In John Lewis we trust!”

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Furla Lining: Looking inside the Bag

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Story Linings.

Furla bring their world alive, communicating to a wider audience, with different tones and different tongues. The new “hero” Candy takes an oriental tour to the fashion capitols of the Far East, finding fame and fortune on the arms of the Candy converted.

WonderFurla takes to the streets to explore the looks that complement the totes, the satchels the clutches and the duffels. UGC takes a walk through the Furla fashion possibilities. And behind the formal facade the fashion foundation inspiring young designers to work their magic is exposed and explored adding value and integrity to this most discerning of accessories brands. And the brand played on.

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UnFurling the Flagship: The Pavement Statement

Furla _ Regent Street

A classic Italian expansion settles gently in the fashion streets of the world.

Furla is an old hand in the new world of brand flagships as it eases its way onto some of the most elegantly desirable shopping streets of the world. The new stores reflect perfectly its timeless obsession with quality, luxury and effortless style.

Behind the scenes the social slack is taken up by a carefully constructed brand calendar, bringing to life the virtues of the company’s heritage, dedication to design and increasingly frequent forays into the more frantic fashion arenas. Throughout all Furla remains loyal and consistent to timeless values propelling the proposition firmly into the future.

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Making your stores sing and your tills ring?

 

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When it comes to turning your stores into selling machines, one solution rarely fits all.

Even outlets within the same chain will have different drivers to deliver that all important best practice that will unlock your sales performance. Some outlets may rely more on customer service, whilst others depend on visual merchandising and ease of shop.

So, it’s an important part of the strategic process to assess which selling tools will actually deliver higher sales, profit, efficiency and brand equity, whilst the … Continue reading

Great Yarns: The Untold Riches of a Humble Past

Lyle & Scott 2003

In a world of future uncertainties,

yet high on nostalgia, heritage, vintage and the warmth & security of the rose-coloured past, there’s an immeasurable wealth in bringing back the past to bear the fruits of future commercial success.

Lyle & Scott is no fabrication, but the genuine material, and communicates attractively and intelligently its heritage and its history to current times. Skill abounds in drawing from the past yet being firmly entrenched in the present and learning the lessons of yesterday to propel it into the uncertainties of tomorrow, with the same integrity, quality, style and popularity that has seen it grow from strength to strength for the last 140 years.

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Weaving Magic: Great Lyle & Scott

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Traditional Scottish knitwear brand…

Lyle & Scott confirms its transformation into a brand at the vanguard of contemporary youth fashion with a first flagship store on hip Carnaby Street.

Straight lines and urban materials sit easily with its trendy neighbours whilst its heritage is woven beautifully into the store fabric through the warmth of wood and the replication of looms complete with yarns and threads.

The 3 collections – contemporary, classic and golf find suitable homes with subtleties of environment to reflect the product personality and attract the appropriate custom profiles. Old and new, trend and tradition in the perfect blend.

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how well have you blended your history with your future…

 

Cutting Straight to the Customer: Stylish Stories & More

Join me on a stroll through a unique store experience…

& More Stories is a tale of creative product collections that breaks the mould of traditional fashion story grouping.

Fashion powerhouse H&M plays a strong hand in a format where the assortment is bought and displayed around personality and “style” and not fashion and trend. The retailer cuts straight to the customer with collections such as “Poetic & Dandy” and “Sophisticated & Architectural,” and whilst the desciption may not role off the tongue the stories are tight and focused combining fashion with accessories, jewellery with lingerie, beauty with boots. All is housed in an eco-friendly non-committal environment where every story tells a picture.

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https://www.youtube.com/user/VMunleashed

 

West Elm: Tottenham Court Road, London

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Style travels well, and judging from the stunning arrival of West Elm on this side of the pond, the American home fashion retailer is about to make serious waves in the UK decor market.

The essential elements have been transported safely with its distinctive high wall displays, blocked shelving, colour story chic and opulent ornaments still in tact after the journey East. Particularly impressive and more unexpected is the kitchen department where beautiful boxes build authority across cutlery, cuisine, and crockery which flow into attractive displays of herbs, spices and delicatessen delights. Customer service is special, as expected, from the … Continue reading

Everything’s Coming Up Roses: Cath’s Cornucopia

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Amongst the proud pillars of Piccadilly a little floral femininity has broken through the winter weather.

Cath Kidston’s first flagship is a bright beacon of colour inviting the passer-by to explore a world of nostalgic designs, a celebration of classic kitsch, a veritable house of horticultural hype. Famous for its floral designs Cath Kidston largely lets is product do the talking with bold category displays of bags, rags & collectable booty.

The charming interior is enhanced with wallpaper flashes, old doors in yesterday’s pastels creating a suitable setting for its showcase assortment. The home department steals the show with delightful designs adorning soft furnishings to kitchen accessories.

A trademark touch of window humour as seaside rock creates a tasty backdrop for those too young to remember, to wonder, at the spectacle that is the Kidston spectacular.

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..how unique are you? are you afraid to make consumer enemies, in a vain attempt to court customer loyalty?

Standing on Ceremony: Opening Up a Whole New World

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What goes around, comes around,

… is at the heart of a retail philosophy that explores and explodes fashion influences from around the globe, to a growing portfolio of stores serving the insatiable appetites of followers across the continents.

Opening Ceremony cleverly combines a wardrobe of favourite fashions such as Kenzo with a perpetually changing array of influences taken in turn from creative cauldrons such as NY, Tokyo, London and currently Argentina.

The stores are eclectic and chaotic with the single unit depth creating a charity bazaar bonanza feel where exploration is both essential and exquisite in the singular search for the latest look.

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… where do you take your inspiration from?