Customer Experience Analytics: Which comes first…the Chicken or the Egg?

Which should come first, the chicken or the egg? How long will the chicken stay for, where will she go, and how many eggs will be in her basket?   The answers to customer experience analytics still seem tantalisingly out of reach for many retailers.   This year’s RBTE event at Olympia had its fair share of new IT initiatives as well as more established applications, refreshed, re-invented and re-packaged. And it’s a few years now since store traffic & customer movement analytics first burst onto the scene and certainly into my personal consciousness. It claimed to offer to physical…

Continue reading

“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.…

Continue reading

“Spoil you Staff with Space!” and “Your Space with Staff!”

The Morning Post:- 22nd May “Spoil you Staff with Space!” and “Your Space with Staff!”   Many discussions I have been having recently on allocating space within stores. The whole model is changing from those large product areas, static stockrooms, over-spaced or unruly queuing areas and pitiful backroom facilities for staff to one that reflects not only the requirements of the shopper but in fact what generates the income. Or it should be. And due to popular demand the whole area of backroom space and facilities is the most vibrant and vociferous discussion…not surprisingly. On average only 10% to 15% of…

Continue reading

The 2 different ways to encourage customers to spend

The Evening Post:- 5th April 2 different ways to encourage customers to spend    Do your retail sales blow hot & cold?  Well, with the sun shining today in the UK and for most, at least, the winter snow receding into memories if not from the balance sheets, it reminds me of a more than relevant story. Anyone remember the tale from when they were younger about the wager between the North wind and the South wind on who could remove the quickest the coat from the man walking in the country. To cut a long story short, the north wind…

Continue reading

“The Story of the Old Shop, the New Shop & the Other Shop!”

The Daily Post:- 20th March “The Story of the Old Shop, the New Shop & the Other Shop!”   Now the story I’m about to tell is a true story, and its a story about one of the UK’s biggest retailing businesses. They shall remain nameless as their identity is not the issue but to illustrate that improvements are always there even amongst the most seasoned operators. The retail business had in place a store refreshment programme and had allocated a dedicated team to work through its store portfolio applying a refreshment programme to each store. The process took 2 days per…

Continue reading

Celebrating Omnichannel: Exorcising the ghosts of Christmas past, present & future…

So the winner yet again this Christmas was online retail. Also, apparently and a little contradictory, Amazon was at the same time killing off retail itself, which is a little strange considering that the last time I logged on to Amazon, it was indeed a retailer.   It all makes for good headlines, even if becoming a little stale and increasingly confusing, however beyond being pedantic about headlines, retail is far from dead, physical stores are still hugely popular and Amazon itself opened only last week its first open-to-the-public physical store. Now that’s that all cleared up. Of course what…

Continue reading

Dark Sugars: Passion & Pride in Chocolate Heaven

Being passionate about chocolate wouldn’t rank as being unusual in our sweet toothed society, however converting an indulgence into a thriving business riding the crest of a chocolate wave for two decades takes more than simply applying recipes.   Dark Sugars is destination number one for chocolate experiences in London, nestled appropriately on Shoreditch’s Brick Lane amongst the famous facades of its many frequented Indian restaurants. Decidedly sweeter though no less spicier Dark Sugars provides a world of sensory wonder to those who cross its dark threshold. As its name suggests the passion and inspiration for the brand comes from…

Continue reading

Lush for Life: Believing in the Body & Soul of Beauty

It’s not often that the atmosphere in a store is so real and tangible you can almost touch it and taste it. And whilst the assortment on offer may look good enough to eat in Lush, it is the experience which is something to die for and not a misguided mouthful of soap-suds.   Complete strangers are struck instantly by the friendly welcome, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the staff, and the intensity of customer engagement where it seems every customer is the most important ever to cross this therapeutic threshold. Lush, of course, has been around for a while. Originally…

Continue reading

“The Flow of Retail Passion!”

It is a very long way from the product drawing board to an exciting store full of inspiring stock and enthusiastic staff. The journey is complicated logistically, commercially, geographically and emotionally, and involves the passing of the product baton between many hands.   First and foremost the outcome in terms of product proposition must be commercially complete incorporating all the processes and parameters that deliver an assortment plan that learns from past experience as well as future predictions. Logistically that plan must be delivered on-time, in sequence and coordinated to present the perfect proposition complete and in its utmost glory…

Continue reading

Packing the Hackett Punch: Attending to Vending Detail

Value is not a reality of price alone but the perception of benefit over price. Perception in itself can be the clear communication of reality or the addition of emotional attributes that ultimately constitute brand value.   For a retailer like Hackett in a competitive swell of quality menswear brands using every available tool to enhance the value of the brand heritage, leveraging every luxury thread to add value and quality, working with every breath of quiet customer care is an essential to converting every precious customer into a loyal and regular devotee. The Hackett process of presenting and packaging…

Continue reading