Toms “One-for-One” Love: Fashionable Philanthropy

Invention may be born from necessity but inspiration and originality comes from the addition of a commercial heart. In the rarefied atmosphere of true originality there are few names to pollute the pure air of brands such as Toms selling products to improve the world with every purchase.



Its new stores are not only presenting a collection of clothing, footwear and accessories, or even the newly introduced coffee shop corners, but an ongoing story of philanthropy where every ring of the cash register … Continue reading

Packing the Hackett Punch: Attending to Vending Detail

Value is not a reality of price alone but the perception of benefit over price. Perception in itself can be the clear communication of reality or the addition of emotional attributes that ultimately constitute brand value.



For a retailer like Hackett in a competitive swell of quality menswear brands using every available tool to enhance the value of the brand heritage, leveraging every luxury thread to add value and quality, working with every breath of quiet customer care is an essential to converting … Continue reading

Hunter Gatherer: More than Just a Rainy Day

A perennial problem for any noteworthy brand with a reputation built on an icon is the development of a wider commercial proposition away from the sanctuary of its established safe-haven.



Hunter rules the rainy roost for premium Wellington boot buyers and is currently circumnavigating the choppy waters of expansion developing an assortment for the wider world of inclement conditions, encompassing everything from jackets and jumpers to a full range of rugged and resilient rainwear.

Its new store concept, as illustrated by London’s Regent … Continue reading

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…Attain Retail Best Practice

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the twelfth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.12 “The Quickest Ways to turn my Average Business into a Best Practice Retailer!”



Retail Sense & Sensibility!” analytics into answers into actions


Retail in many ways is the most perplexing of industries as whilst it is built on quantifiable parameters and defined quantities its performance and success quite often seems unrelated to the logic of numbers.

This is, of … Continue reading

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…Display Product Stories

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the eleventh day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me… No.11 “The Most Commercial Ways to Group & Display my Product Stories.”



Whilst retailers are successful through selling individual options it is the presentation of product stories that attract customers and present a proposition that is appealing to customers.

Product stories will be a balance of category displays, coordinated themes, coordinated categories, silhouettes and hero product display.

Delivering the desired and required customer proposition … Continue reading

On the Tenth Day of Christmas…More Customer Visits

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the tenth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.10 “The Strategy to Increase the Frequency of Customer Visits.”



One KPI improvement that can have the most decisive impact of sales levels is to increase the number of times your loyal customers visit your stores.

Whilst this involves a range of marketing initiatives from store windows to social media campaigns the key to success is the strategic planning of the … Continue reading

On the Ninth Day of Christmas…VMToolkit to Control Stores

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the ninth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.9 “The tools we need to control our stores.”



VMTookit & operations efficiency benchmarking

Having the correct VMToolkit ensures that ROI is focused on creating excellence and efficiency in the disciplines of store VM operations and support functions that make a difference to your business, your stores and your customer..

the lack of the correct guidelines, processes and skills will result … Continue reading

On the Eighth Day of Christmas…Omni-Channel Assortments

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the eighth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.8 “Details of how we should distribute our assortment across our Omni-channels.”



The reduction of physical store capacities for an omni-channel retailer, supported by flexible and reliable inter-channel replenishment, allows the development of inspirational, best-seller focused, showcase store experiences.

The inability to edit  assortments effectively will continue to weigh down physical stores with the burden of carrying an unnecessary complete inventory.

Continue reading

On the Seventh Day of Christmas…International Assortments

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the seventh day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.7 “How we should change our assortment when we go to new countries?”



Correct benchmarking and analysis of different international market trends in product taste, shopping behaviour and store delivery practices can successfully blend a strong brand with essential local initiatives.

Failure to recognise differences in shopping behaviour across international markets will leave any brand’s stores inappropriate, inefficient and under-performing .

On the Sixth Day of Christmas…Secrets of the Product

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the sixth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.6 “The Secrets of why Customers Like or dislike our products?”


why customers-like-our-products

Through identifying the hierarchy of importance for product design elements and features a retailer can design and buy assortments with investment of time and money that will translate to sales and margins.

Failure to recognise the correct relative importance of product design features can result in wasted investment in … Continue reading

On the Fifth Day of Christmas…Profit from Queues

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the fifth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.5 “How to Make More Money from my Queues!”



An effective and efficient queuing strategy has many benefits from minimising abandonment, loss prevention, 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

Continue reading

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…Category Performance

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the fourth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.4 “How to maximise performance of my Best Categories.”



The performance of any department or category is the result of the assortment itself and the delivery in store – its location, visibility, display, service, visual communication and many other touch-points

Failure to understand how each part of the store delivery either helps or hinders the sales performance of each department and … Continue reading

On the Third Day of Christmas…How much Stuff?

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the third day of Christmas VM-Unleashed! gave to me…
No.3 “The Answer to How Much Product to put in my Store!”



Space planning & visual merchandising are the two cornerstones on which an attractive and commercial store are built

At the heart of this is the eternal question – “How much product should I put in my store?”

Get space planning wrong, allocate product incorrectly or deliver visual merchandising operations inefficiently … Continue reading

On the Second Day of Christmas…The Truth?!

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the second day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.2 “The Truth of What on Earth is Happening in my Stores?!”



It is still a widespread scenario that head office retail functions do not know what is happening hour after hour, day after day, inside their stores.

This is clearly a huge obstacle to understanding why these things are happening and then implementing improvements to change things for the better.

Continue reading

On the First Day of Christmas…Traffic Patterns

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the first day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.1 “Knowledge of my store traffic patterns!”




Measuring store traffic is just the beginning and merely the tip of the analytics iceberg.

In the modern world of retail understanding POS data only tells part of the story of how the customer is reacting with your store environment

Using technology to monitor and analyse physical customer behaviour fills in those knowledge … Continue reading

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

Wishing all of our clients, colleagues, friends and acquaintances a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.



Thank you for all of your support and your enthusiasm on the many projects that we have collaborated on in 2016. We’ve had successes and challenges, learnt new things, acquired new skills and brought commercial success to our businesses.

“Thank you for being the proof of our Christmas Pudding!” and here’s to an equally successful 2017.

As way of a festive thank you, and a seasonal summary of retail know-how,  we would like … Continue reading

The Battle to Change Retail Location “Mind-Sets”

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

Town Centre Retail Regeneration: The Complexity of Delivering Simple Principles

The simple truth of a successful and thriving retail destination is that you need the right assortment of shops and you need each one to be as good as it possibly can be.



It doesn’t take the proverbial brain surgeon but it does take a meeting of commercial minds, and the work of many hands to transform a simple theoretical plan into a living, breathing physical space.

This process of many actions must be separated into two fundamental stages.


The first stage … Continue reading

Changing Habitat: Survival of the Stylish

Since 1964 Habitat has been adorning the houses and apartments of design-minded Europeans consistently stylish in an ever changing world of taste whilst weathering its own personal storms as it passed from its visionary founder Sir Terence Conran through several corporate reincarnations until settling recently in the Sainsbury’s stable.



And so to Nine Elms in the increasingly attractive and desirable district of Vauxhall, where Habitat emerges as part of a brand new 9000sqm superstore, with its own shop-in-shop, as literally a shining light, … Continue reading

Lush Pastures New: More than Merely Cosmetic

Simply as a concept Lush began its life as one of the most innovative and exciting brands ever conceived. In a world of copycats and unsubtle insurgents it’s easy to forget that the idea of tasty toiletries dressed up as fresh fayre, chalk-boards championing cosmetic concoctions and bath-bombs transforming every aquatic adventure all came first from the land of Lush.



If the familiar concept is more akin to a delicatessen of delights then the new flagship store on London’s Regent Street has evolved … Continue reading