A Retail Dilemma: “No Business, No People!” or “No People, No Business!”

A Retail Dilemma: “No Business,  No People!” or “No People, No Business!”   Thanks to everyone who contributed to last week’s post on John Lewis and their approach to investment in the face of cost-cutting and delivering profit. One really important issue raised is a fundamental dilemma for current retail strategists. “No business, No People!” Of course, if there is no business then there will be no people, so every attempt must be made to make any business viable and protect its workforce. However how you ensure this survival and growth is a matter of debate and strategic differences. Certainly, for John…

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Let’s applaud John Lewis: Putting People over Profit

Let’s applaud John Lewis: Putting People over Profit   Let’s put this simply. Retail in the UK is undergoing destructive changes never seen before. There are less consumers with disposable income than previously. These customers prefer to buy online from Amazon and spend whatever else they can on experiences rather than possessions. Department stores are more at risk than most because their traditional model is focused on selling brands, most of which you can now buy cheaper elsewhere. Operationally they are also expensive to run, particularly against the back-drop of hikes in business rates and an apathetic government. Add into…

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John Lewis: What’s in a logo?

The Morning Post:- 10th September “John Lewis: What’s in a logo?”   So, John Lewis has dramatically unveiled to the world the delivery of its new strategy. A variety of channels, most noticeably a glorious new TV advert, bring to life the retailer’s desire to create an unparalleled customer experience based on its services and the historical strength of its people – or partners. As part of these ambitious initiatives it has rebranded and created new logos and identities for both the John Lewis and Waitrose chains. Sadly, but predictably, a large proportion of the popular debate has centrered around these…

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John Lewis: The Revolutionary “Loved & Found”

Still my retail highlight of the year for many reasons was to see the opening of the new John Lewis at the Westfield London extension. But whilst the popular headlines latched onto the innovative and original idea to train the store personnel with actors so as to be able to engage and sell more successfully, there was another less covered fact, which altogether has deeper repercussions for John Lewis and the retail industry in general.   John Lewis is on a quest to sell more unique and exclusive products in its stores. Not a token gesture and with an initial…

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Westfield London: New footprints in Experiential Retailing

The Morning Post:- 27th March Westfield London: New footprints in Experiential Retailing   Fresh back from viewing the advance guard at the extension to the Westfield London centre in White City. It is already impressive and will be spectacular, I have no doubt, when all the stores are open in a month or two. What you see in the first openings from retailers such as Lush, White Company, West Elm, Boots, Currys, and of course the showcase John Lewis, is a real and tangible response to the pressures put on stores through the migration of sales to online. In this omnichannel environment these…

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Pop-Up for Tea: Tasteful Treats from Wedgwood

A mere meander from the horticultural highlights of the Chelsea flower show is a marriage made in heritage heaven between Wedgwood and John Lewis.   Just a few steps into the foyer of Peter Jones in Sloane Square is a land of serene ceramics and tasteful elegance, a month-long pop-up experience that turns tasteful into tasty as the setting for the Wedgwood Conservatory Cafe, a place of tranquil relaxation and quiet indulgence. The Wedgwood world is emblazoned in powder blue, provided on this occasion by graphic walls, plinths and packaging, the backdrop for six Wanderlust tea designs in yellows, reds,…

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Sitting Pretty: John Lewis gets Materialistic

Sitting Pretty on the crest of the omni-channel retail wave John Lewis continues to be a master at combining the strengths of the past with the opportunities of the future.   Sometimes exemplified on a substantial scale as in the mammoth overhaul of its operational structure for cross-channel availability and delivery, sometimes seen through delicate detailing as in its stunningly simple wireless headphone windows, it seems this most traditional of brands always has a new idea or two up its crisply creased sleeves.   A fine and innovative example of this forward thinking phenomena are the new seated focal points…

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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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Why do retailers use consultants?

In many areas of our everyday lives we seek the expertise of others to keep ourselves healthy, to maximize our investments, to make us beautiful and attractive and to find the best holidays and leisure destinations.   Whilst we acknowledge some degree of personal knowledge in these areas the value of the “consultant” is that this level of expertise lays well beyond our own and as a result we are happy to pay for that advice and the benefits that come from it.   However, why should a retail business, run by and employing retail experts, require the advice of…

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VM&RD: “What’s The Future of Visual Merchandising?” Part 3

“What is the Future for Visual Merchandising?” – Part 3 An article by Tim Radley in India’s VM&RD Magazine   Extracted from the article on “What is the Future for Visual Merchandising?” a first collaboration with VM&SD Magazine, India’s only magazine to focus on all aspects of retail design and visual merchandising in the context of branded shopping environment.   “What is the future for visual merchandising?   Part 3 “Education or Compliance?” Against a backdrop of retail uncertainties and technological innovation it’s ironic that one of the UK’s most traditional retailers has become the leader of the omni-channel pack learning how to create a variety…

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