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!”

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

When will head office let me get on with my job?

Store Managers headache no.03

When will head office let me get on with my job?

Instant messaging, store operations and the blessing and curse of constant communication

 

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For many retailers with multiple outlets, and any retailer with a wide store geography, international portfolio and a combination of direct and franchise operations, direct communication tools accessible via in-store tablets and mobile phones are a blessing of the highest order.

These software communication tools are being rapidly deployed and have many operational and social functions.

Continue reading

Retailers – “You’ve never had it so complicated!”

Is your retail brand ready to succeed in a complicated, customer orientated world?

 

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Without doubt, life used to be easy for retailers. To echo the famous words directed to the general public “you’ve never had it so good” the equally valid claim to retail businesses was definitely “you’ve never had it so easy!”

In a world of low expectations, it was buying things that was generally difficult. The world was full of average shops selling average products, but with customer expectations low we … Continue reading

Am I displaying with the correct option density?

Am I displaying with the correct option density?
How to have your cake and eat it!

 

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Some of the most obvious questions are often the hardest to answer, or to be more accurate it would seem, are the ones that no one wants to answer.

The repercussions of this “small question” are very great for a number of functions within a retail business and though ultimately the answer may prove favourable to the majority, if not all, it still remains an irony … Continue reading

Fossilisation: A Personal Investment

Far from remaining in the history of time, Fossil’s latest incarnation inhabits the modern world of customisation and personalisation, with new products, new services and a whole new store with a clear focus on the “his” & “hers.” An investment in individual identity.

 

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Most noticeable in the latest concept is the introduction of the “Personalisation Shop” offering instant satisfaction on a range of services from accessories embossing, monograms, engraving, personal charms and the customisation of watches with colours across straps, casing materials and … Continue reading

“10 ways to make more money from stores! No.1 Rules….”

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It was Les Wexner founder of the Limited group, a man responsible for the success of some of the most iconic of fashion retailers from Victoria’s Secret to Express, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Bath & Body Works and quite possibly the first retail guru, who said that “retail is detail”

He was right and anyone in retail doesn’t need to be a modern day guru to know that.

That detail begins with the buying and merchandising chain where getting detail right is essential … Continue reading

Why can’t head office communicate to stores in a coordinated way?

“Headaches of a Store Manager…No2″

Why can’t head office communicate to stores in one coordinated way?

 

An inbox audit of any store manager’s email system will reveal instantly how well, or not, communication to stores is organised, channelled, filtered and prioritised.

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Common headaches apart from sheer volume of messages are repeated messages from different head office functions, or even the same function and person, to direct contradictions in instructions and apparently competing priorities for time and attention.

Time is precious and definitely finite … Continue reading

Body Beautiful: Selfridges Studio of Serenity

Selfridges opens its biggest ever department, Body Studio, encompassing everything that is exciting and inspirational about London’s leading department store.

 

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Never the laggard Selfridges is ahead of the trend as its manoeuvres gracefully to gain a fitness foot hold in the fastest growing area of fashion – Athleisure. The department brings together an intimate experience, despite its many metres, catering for everything feminine from lingerie, nightwear and seasonal swimwear, through fitness, yoga and exercise to casual comfort wear.

As always the assortment is … Continue reading

“What on earth is happening in my stores?!”

“How can I actually know for certain what is happening in my stores and what my customers are doing, and so ultimately know what to do to improve their experience and my commerciality?”

 

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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.

The situation is symptomatic of the gap that still exists in many retailers between head office and stores, and the lack of communication and integration … Continue reading

Retail analysis: The Usual Suspects – Personalisation & Patterns

It’s very easy for a retailer to go chasing in circles attempting to catch the evasive scraps of essential new data, insights and analysis blown into a constant ferment by the prevailing winds of new information. Throw into this cyclone complex omni-channel data, progressively pervasive loyalty programme insights, beacons pursuing the personalisation profile of every customer and we have nothing less than a hurricane force of facts at our out-stretched fingertips.

 

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Important as these insights are, in many cases incremental opportunities to improve … Continue reading