From West Elm Cardboard Creativity Grows

Poor workmen blame their tools, but the toolshop department in West Elm is a testament to the cardboard craftsmen that toil behind the scenes.

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Simplicity and integrity are the trademarks of the boxes that house everything from saucepans to sauce spoons. Essential to all great packaging is the ability to see what’s inside without the destruction of the box around it. Getting the message without killing the messenger. The West Elm packaging uses a combination of cutaway panels revealing the mystery contents, and lifesize photography revealing a like ness of the contents in both tone and scale.

If only everything was as easy in life, if only cooking itself was as creative and yet consummate, as shopping the shelves of West Elm.

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Are details of the store experience such as packaging letting you down?

Take a tour around West Elm: London

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.

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Raw Refined Refreshed: At Its UnDoctored Best

Dr Martens: A brand blended to perfection.

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New initiatives and collaborations add different dimensions to the celebrated boot brand. Brutus fashion evokes the spirit of a bygone age,  tattoo adds new and fascinating features to stereotypical styles, whilst Agyness Deyn’s designs add bows, beauty and frivolity to the famous features.

Many paths followed to the Doctor’s House.
Dr Martens. On the move.

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Should brand and designer collaborations be on your strategic maps

Mighty Martens: Straying Off the Beaten Track

It is no easy “feet” to keep a clear direction for a powerful brand identity, and also maximise opportunities for the product away from its safety zone.

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Dr Martens illustrates intelligent imagination as its collection strays into dress shoes, formal shoes and casual boots whilst maintaining its distinct style and rawness. Classic silhouettes are re-incarnated with tantilising textures, finishes and patterns which are both at odds, yet in complete harmony, with this most celebrated of boot brands.

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Do you need assistance in updating and galvanising your proposition, and your assortment?

Polarizing Opinion: RayBan’s Interactive Experiences

Function or Fashion – The Rayban site cuts through the murk to herald on of the worlds strongest brands.

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The world’s most desirable sunglass brand wades in with interactive films and imagery to explain and demonstrate the power and benefit of its polarizing lenses. The user can not only control the view, and the angle to the sun, but then apply and remove the polarizing filter for the user to experience the difference in glare & clarity. And never a snrinking violet the Rayban site shows off its fashion and styles with limited edition styles inspired by the brands rich heritage.

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Having trouble communicating your product?
Perhaps you need to show off a little more!

The House that Jack Built: Simple Style from John Lewis

In a yellow nod towards the modern kings of contemporary living John Lewis continues to expand and promote its House range of simple, stylish home products that won’t break the budget.

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The collection now stands at 800 items from furniture and lighting to home decor, bathroom, bedroom, home office and kitchen. With a stylishly simple circle of yellow the product packaging makes a bold statement either fighting for favour amongst more recognised brands or as a keynote statement, a splash of yellow leading the way in seasonal events & promotions.

Either way, the cool and contemporary John Lewis is certainly here to stay.

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Exeter Stage Left: High Drama at John Lewis

Five floors of experimental retail in a multi-channel world lands in the quiet city of Exeter.

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The store is a hybrid concept, laying as it does between the traditional department store and the specialists home stores of the brand. The format lives for hotspots and focal points driving traffic and excitement between and through floors. The escalator wells provide enticing drama at the front of every floor from rows of mannequins, seaonal displays, hot brand areas and showcases for the new Home value range.

Within the floor layout showcase assortments give representation to each department, with key categories displayed with a little more drama that the traditional department store format. Reduced assortment is complemented by the many internet stations, stimulating the customer to explore the wider range, supplement their store purchases online and take advantage of the next day, click and collect.

Where trend has often faltered, the queen of tradition sails serenely into the brave new world of retail.

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Never get too old to learn new tricks…
Do you need help adapting to the brave new world?

Cool Cat in the Capital: Tiger Earns its Stripes

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Tiger has been slowly prowling the streets of the world for a while, with its irresistible proposition of impulse product, low prices and beautiful, attractive designs.

Its latest incarnation is its first attack into the streets of London with a bright bold yet typical store on Tottenham Court Road. The assortment creams the impulse element from popular categories such as stationery, home decor, food and fashion with a keen eye on seasonality and relevance.

Star wall is the moustache fashion story in-line with current trend and charity events, and an ever growing and impressive Christmas assortment. Smart graphics, bold displays, ease of shop and an impulse to spend combine to create a conversion rate the envy of all.

Tiger is relatively unique in that is creams the impulse sales from a range of popular product categories, without the time and effort involved in developing complete departments and the complexities that entails.

Having said that they make retail look easy. There is excellent, fashionable design and amazing low prices. A combination that should never be taken for granted.

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Are you focused on the “easy buys” or bogged down in the complexities of assortment structure planning?

Summer Loved: Kidston Calm & Collected

Cath Kidston captures the calmness and coolness of a British summer like no one else.

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The mood and feel is sublimely caught from every polka dot top of the home page to every striped bottom of the blog postings. And whilst every detail is in character the site also packs a commercial punch, with drop-dead, drop-down menus opening up the best seller assortment, summer edits and fashion highlights.

Instagram is chosen as the social channel of choice and works well in warming the spring souls as the stepping stone into the summer season. Cath’s stores involved in the fray as the emotional vehicles preparing for seaside fun. The site also hides some exceptional selling tools, with guides on buying the perfect summer bag, as well as excellent product pages where reviews are stand out features in convincing the coyest of customers to dive in.

Cath Kidston is a brand on top of its game, and looks well prepared to join in the summer fun.

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How is your summer shaping up?
Need help in getting the sun to shine on your brand?

Wicked Company: An Invitation to Indulge

No longer Whiter than White.

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Invitations abound and temptations await around every corner as The White Company urges its customers to wallow in the beauty of its assortment and experience first hand the softness, the quality, the fineness and the sheer irresistability of its products.

A formal invitation seems hardly necessary with displays and imagery that compel the customer to touch and hold sculptured bottles of perfume, hand-made quilts, blankets woven from exclusive yarns and duvets filled with the finest downs. Far from hiding its beauty under a veil, White Stuff knows that only complete involvement with its products communicates its true value to the customer.

Actions speak louder than any words except maybe “Try me!”

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Are you missing a trick or two encouraging your customers to experience your products?
Which senses bring your product alive?

 

Take a visual tour through “Hackett’s Special Place”

Hackett’s new home is where the heart is.
Join me on a visual tour of the London flagship store


 

Moving 200 yards along Regent Street has taken the lifestyle retailer a million miles to a three level elegant emporium combining space to breathe with intimate corners and surprises around every eloquent elevation. Flagship brand distinction, engagement on an emotional level is the name of the Hackett game; and it plays to win. A selection of seductive services supply the brand soul, from the Beefeater Gin Bar, quenching the dry thirst, to the tailoring shop, and personalised monogram bar, wetting the appetite for that unique purchase. From top to bottom, a basement boutique for “young Britons” furnished with an ornamental tree whose live branches mark the seasons, a second floor Saturday shoe shining experience, the store pulls out the stops as it starts to create the very British buzz that is Hackett.

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