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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Is your retail brand ready to succeed in a complicated, customer orientated world?
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?
How to have your cake and eat it!
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
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.
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
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
“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.
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
Selfridges opens its biggest ever department, Body Studio, encompassing everything that is exciting and inspirational about London’s leading department store.
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
“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?”
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
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.
Important as these insights are, in many cases incremental opportunities to improve … Continue reading
Stylish and socially sophisticated Max&Co still packs a huge punch of personality into every meticulously planned meter of its store experience.
A warm welcome from manicured mannequins with lipstick, lashes and a coy curiosity immediately alerts any casual customer that this lady of the more fashionable lanes offers a lifestyle proposition both feminine, fashionable and fun.
The store design from top to bottom communicates an individualistic tone of voice from the spindle legs of its fixtures and furniture, the lazy lamps that splash light … Continue reading
Urban regeneration can sometimes be unemotional terminology for some of the most exciting enterprises across retail and leisure. Never more the case in the variety of schemes bringing vigour, life and energy to the revitalised heart of the Andalucian capital.
In response to the ever-changing commercial and industrial landscape Seville is now home to centres of social rebirth, magnets for a wide variety of its resident population and transient tourists. Within a kilometre of each other the old railway station no longer receives … Continue reading
Inspiration often comes from the strangest sources at the most unexpected times as I recently experienced when listening to a quote from possible the world’s most quoted source of eternal wisdom, although definitely not one usually associated with retail even if it is the world’s second oldest profession.
The quote was from Confucius, and was the following, although I apologise in advance for any minor deviations from the original:
“If the heart contains love, then the man is content. If the man is … Continue reading
Italian cuisine has always travelled well, but its global reach and reputation has been taken to new levels of excellence by the Eataly concept, combining its prestigious packaged products and finest fresh fayre with a variety of eateries from formal restaurants, to pizzerias and casual coffee bars.
From New York to the New East it continues to evolve and engage.
Its latest incarnation comes home to Milan, to the heart of Italy and to its toughest test of quality and authenticity. However, the perpetual buzz … Continue reading