Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall

Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall I’m a great admirer of Amazon. So, let’s move away from the nonsense that Amazon is killing retail. Amazon is a retailer and is leading a retail transformation. It may not be founded on designing, producing and selling its own products (although that is gathering irresistible momentum) but it is no less a retailer than Toys R Us, or any traditional department store or shop selling “other people’s stuff!” Retailers of all origins and longevity would do well to learn quickly from its customer centric approach to everything. That…

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From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing

From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing Last week, in a further example of market consolidation, the UK’s leading book retailer Waterstones bought up the Foyles bookstore business. This included the famous Charing Cross Road store, recently moved and re-furbished. The stories surrounding Foyles are no less than retail folklore. They help to explain its survival, the re-naissance of Waterstones and the revival of many independent book shops. This is in direct competition to Amazon who, you will remember, began life as an online book retailer themselves. Nothing can compete with the price, convenience and efficiency of Amazon.…

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Retailers & Consumers: A Conflict of Space & Interests

The Evening Post:- 16th August “Retailers & Consumers: A Conflict of Space & Interests”   Many traditional retailers and their customers just don’t “get each other” anymore! A gap has appeared between the priorities of each, the desires, the realistic possibilities of buying & selling – a conflict of interest. The distance that divides the two camps is best seen when we look at the issue of space and more precisely space availability. On the one side we have retailers who are overladen with space. They have built huge store portfolios in times when the size of a retail empire was…

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“Selling other Peoples’ Stuff! Is it the end of Generic Retailers?

The Daily Post:- 23rd May “Selling other peoples’ Stuff! The end of generic retailers?   So what are the common threads amongst many of the retailers suffering in the current market climate? They’re certainly well publicized. Of course there are the issues with over-sized expensive store portfolios, a slowness to embrace omnichannel, a lack of consumer confidence and a dearth of disposable income…but certainly at the epicenter of the evolving shopping behavior storm is the “good old” retailer of generic product and brands. The reason is the crumbling of one of the foundations on which the retail industry was largely built.…

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“Take the Easy Money” – M&S Bakery Heaven in a Block!!

The Daily Post:- 16th March “Take the Easy Money” Wandering around a Marks & Spencer food court in the weeks before Easter is still a very pleasurable experience if you enjoy comfort eating at this inclement time in an inclement year. M&S has had its fare share of criticism over recent years, quite rightly in many cases, however it still remains one of the retail juggernauts emanating from sepia days which has managed to steer a reasonable course through the e-commerce revolution, managing a huge store portfolio, expanding its brand authority across a variety of new product sectors and establishing itself as…

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Maxximising Potential: TK Putting on the Style

As part of VM-unleashed’s 10th anniversary year we take a look back at some retail milestones from the last decade and explain why each store’s message is as relevant for us today as it was then. TK Maxx is now so central to so many customers’ buying plans that it’s difficult to remember the huge strides it has taken over the recent decade to propel its proposition into the mainstream and its results into the realms of high street fashion fantasy land.   It’s original UK arrival was so American and nothing like we had seen before. It was a…

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8th Joy of Retail Spring: Defining Omnichannel Assortments

The question “how much product should I put in my stores?” has always generated animated and healthy debate amongst retail businesses. That question, and the discussions around it, just got a whole lot more complicated as the opportunities and threats of e-commerce and true omni-channel assortment allocation has made store capacities one of the most important decisions for retailers to get right.   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…

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7th Joy of Retail Spring: Grading International Assortments

It used to be one of the great discussion points regarding customer demographics in the early days of international expansion. “Are all customers the same?” Clearly experience and time has shown us that they are not the same – not within a single country and absolutely not internationally. Any retailer expanding to new lands must be aware and take actions to focus and modify the proposition – starting with the assortment on offer.   Correct benchmarking and analysis of different international market trends in product taste, shopping behaviour and store delivery practices can successfully blend a strong central brand with essential local commercial factors. Failure…

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Am I displaying with the correct option density?

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 that in such dynamic businesses, change itself is not generally that welcome. The benefits of displaying at…

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John Lewis “over the moon” about Christmas!

Well, you’re going to see this a million times before the man in the red robes makes his way down your chimney this year. Like it or not its up to you, and as with all good things that make friends and build loyalty it will equally develop enemies on the less sentimental side of the spectrum. You don’t make good friends without good enemies and there is certainly enough to go round for a retailer like John Lewis.   On the subject of millions, as far as I know for every £ spent on the Christmas campaign by John…

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