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.

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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

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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.

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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

Aaah Bicester! Tasty Temptations in “Tesco Town”

It’s fair to say that Tesco has always been at the vanguard of UK supermarket design from its famous 3D animated penguins and oversized banana signage to the opening of the UKs first true hypermarket concept, experimentation with category management with a focus on customer journey and missions to its collaboration on convenience and petrol forecourt retailing.



And so In a time of turmoil it is no surprise that Tesco has been working hard to stabilise its public perception through a range of … Continue reading

Personalised Promotional Activity for OmniChannel Customers

What has always been the most important thing when communicating with customers?
The answer is relevance.



A promotional message that is given in “the right place at the right time” is relevant to the customer, is of benefit and will deliver a sale – the customer will shake your hand. Equally a promotional message which is irrelevant will confuse and annoy, will certainly not generate a sale and the customer is more likely to “wring your neck than shake your hand” should … Continue reading

Apple Digital Garden: A Natural Evolution

It is a fair claim to say that Apple revolutionised retail just as it had with entertainment, work and communications channels before. This visionary business realised that the value of theatre and physical interaction was at the core of the retail experience; and that immediate sales were only a secondary objective for directly owned stores in the reassurance that an Apple sale would still be the likely outcome enacted efficiently across a myriad of sales outlets across a variety of channels.




Apple … Continue reading

Fashion, Fusion & Follies: Selfridges Studio Experience

Building excitement and new physical experiences is transforming the third floor of Selfridges London into a must-see destination as it unveils a series of lifestyle studios to entice & enthral its adrenaline driven customers.



The Design studio is the latest area to be unveiled and at over 1000sqm presents itself a home for innovative and exciting ladies wear brands from the international established to the emerging new talents. J.W.Anderson, Vetements, Christopher Kane, Marni and Joseph are joined by international brands such as Maison … Continue reading

Centrifugal Celebration: Dyson’s Hair-Raising Experience

To call the new Dyson experience on Oxford Street a museum would be to relegate its content to the realms on history whereas this celebration of centrifugal forces is a testament to the extraordinary inventions of the future.



This world-renowned company has of course cut its technological teeth on sucking seamlessly and extraordinarily efficiently every unwanted speck of dust and grain of dirt from the floors and hidden places of a million homes. Its super-suction cleverly combined with simple and sexy silhouettes has … Continue reading