The Shop at Bluebird: A Playground of Wonders

One of the pleasures of shopping in the physical world is the joy of discovery. However it’s not often that you stumble upon a completely new concept store in central London, especially not a 1,500 sqm one. Welcome to “The Shop at Bluebird” nestled in Floral Street, a stone’s throw from Covent Garden Piazza. Described by its creators Dalziel & Pow as a ‘playground of wonders’ it certainly creates a huge statement in an area rediscovering itself as a “jewel” in London’s retail crown.     If the name itself sounds familiar it’s no surprise as the Bluebird was an…

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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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Future of Visual Merchandising: Tim Radley- Retail Design Expo

“The Future of Visual Merchandising: – Are we there yet?” Tim Radley, CEO VM-Unleashed Speaking at The Retail Design Expo 3rd May 2018  – 10-40 am Olympia, London   You don’t need me to alert you to the fact that retail is in very unchartered territory at the moment as a combination of e-commerce & social media, expensive store portfolios, business rate adjustments and the customer’s changing behaviour towards almost everything from loyalty, possessions, experiences and value for money, all contribute to the tearing up the maps that we have always used to navigate safe passage to profit. The traditional…

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Hope Springs Eternal with the Beauty of a Retail Calendar

The Morning Post:- 5th April “Hope Springs Eternal with the Beauty of a Retail Calendar“   Helping a retail client to exit the Easter promotions and move into a mid-season sale the staff, and even the store itself, naturally succumb to some mild form of “Post Event Syndrome.” For sure April brings showers, certainly in the UK, but it also closes an intense period of retail activities driven by a condensed seasonal event calendar. From the gloom of February we brighten our days with Valentines pinks & reds and then onto early Spring, through Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s day and finally…

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Great Yarns: The Untold Riches of a Humble Past

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 shown us that brands need to connect very strongly on an emotional level with their customers in order to survive and flourish. New brands arrive with a fanfare of future expectations, but equally valid and valuable are the stories behind the brand evolution and history. It almost seems that the more humble and authentic the struggles of distant decades are, the more…

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Soho Alive & Kicking: The Jimi Hendrix Pop-up Experience

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. Two big themes of the decade were epitomised by the second coming of Jim Hendrix to Carnaby Street. Firstly the advent of the “Pop-up” shop. Now everyone’s favourite vehicle for testing out new product launches and brand marketing initiatives, made official and commercial by a growing number of temporary store property agents, it’s not so long ago that this phenomenum was only a tiny glint…

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Everything’s Coming Up Roses: Cath’s Cornucopia

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. Cath Kidston flagship store, Piccadilly London “Amongst the proud pillars of Piccadilly a little floral femininity has broken through the winter weather. Cath Kidston’s first flagship is a bright beacon of colour inviting the passer-by to explore a world of nostalgic designs, a celebration of classic kitsch, a veritable house of horticultural hype. Famous for its floral designs Cath Kidston lets its product do…

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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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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…

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“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…

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