“Global Local Retailing” – Familiarity & Contempt in the Backyard

The Morning Post:- 14th March “Global Local Retailing” The combination of a powerful global brand with local creatives, craftsmen and manufacturers has to be a recipe for success in this international world with its ironically specific local tastes.   Passing through central London on an Oxford Street East to West route taking in the crisp morning air it seems that the better US brands have come to understand this assortment strategy better perhaps than many European brands. At the top of this highly stylised tree would be Anthropology and Urban Outfitters where a strong and consistent eclectic taste allows a variety of…

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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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Spanish Statement: The Primark Pinnacle of Pre-eminence

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. The last decade has seen the rise of Primark as a tour de force in the world of value fashion as it strides from the UK and Ireland across Spain, Germany, Italy and now to the United States. It is easy but incorrect to brand Primark as simply low prices. These it certainly has through its volume driven supply chain efficiencies however the success…

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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…

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Converse Relationship: Clever Footwork to Customer Loyalty

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. Converse flagship store, New York City “Converse know who they are! The key to brand success in 2013 is the commercial and emotional maximisation of the brand personality. Converse is the best example of taking an iconic product and bringing it to life through celebration of the classics, adaptation to new trends, celebrity, cultural and creative endorsement and collaboration and personalisation for customer empowerment.…

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House of Hackney: passionate people producing amazing experiences

To step from Shoreditch High Street into the House of Hackney is a journey into such a wonderful world of sumptuous colour and texture that a visit to Narnia itself would be no more astounding. And that is not to sleight Shoreditch but to extoll the voluptuous virtues of this home emporium that it so appropriately houses.   House of Hackney is a print-based lifestyle brand, founded in London in 2010 as an interiors label by husband and wife team Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley. Its origins unsurprisingly are in Hackney but it has now serenely settled both its…

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Untold Riches of a Humble Past: The Telling of Brand Stories

In a strange turn of events and in part reaction to the fabricated fantastic world around us there has become a clamor for brands with true heritage, roots, tradition and history. In many ways the greater the brand struggle, the deeper the hardship, the more humble the history then the more credible collateral a business has to take into the future firmament.   At the heart of this consumer desire is “trust.” Always an essential of any brand relationship, but now not just about “trust in performance,” the faith in the prestige and prowess of a product to propel the…

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The Sound of Silence: Stimulating Airport Retail

As an increasing number of airports opt to turn down the din, Tim Radley contributes to an article in Frontier Magazine which takes a look at whether low-noise environments can pave the way for happier shopping   While the warm and welcoming voice over the tannoy and accompanying ‘bing bong’ are often associated with happy holiday memories, loud terminals combined with the noise from the latest travel gadgets are leading to a sensory overload among passengers. In turn, this can heighten stress levels and dampen the desire to shop. The concept of the silent airport is a step in the…

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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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Retail Planning Workshops: Where to begin with your town?

Managing a single retail chain is complicated enough however when it comes to retail locations, town centres, shopping centres, retail and leisure destinations then simply the number of stakeholders and agendas involved can create an insurmountable complexity making the whole decision process impossible, never mind the delivery itself.   So if you’re in a quandary as to how to move forwards with a coordinated and workable retail strategy for your location then how to begin? One thing is for sure, effective change cannot be imposed but must be reached through discussion and consensus between all relevant parties. The successful delivery of…

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