I’ve been very occupied with my work and therefor forgot to blog. Beside that I started my Flipboard where I post interesting, relevant news about retail. Since I discover that there are still a lot of viewers left I will try to rehabilitate my blog by starting to post an updated personal presentation about retail. Inhere I explain the driving forces, principals of retail and the movers and shakers in the field of retail. Hope you enjoy it.
Archive for the ‘brand’ Category
photo: Fare & Square
Convenient access to nutritious food is a growing and complex problem in the US. There are vast areas called food desserts where the offering of fresh food is scarce but fast-food restaurants and convenience stores selling prepared foods thrive. The City of Chester lays in one of these food desserts and has been without a decent grocery store for 11 years.
The largest hunger relief organization of the region that helps the poor and hungry realized that they had to come up with a more radical solution to tackle the problem. And last year they announced that they would open the first nonprofit grocery store in the country. The nonprofit grocery store will go by the name Fare & Square and will provide greater food access to the residents of Chester. At the same time the organization hopes to enhance the interaction in the community by partnering with local organizations and businesses.
Retail design consultancy and brand agency CBX has been retained to design a prototype for Fare & Square that will open its doors this summer. Build in the old supermarket to save cost, the goal is to design a neighborhood store that will have the look and feel of a traditional supermarket and can be replicate in other communities in the Delaware Valley.”
An interesting and sympathetic retail initiative that I hope will succeed, not in the last place to show that the mechanisms of retail not only are harmful but can also be helpful.
On the blog of Gensler architects Barry Bourbon always gives us, at the end of the year, a retrospective of what trends appeared the past year. This month he again pointed out 10 trends that got shape this year and will influence next year. I think with all points he hit the nail on it’s head but there are 3 that caught my attention because they aren’t talked about that much but seems to be just as significant.
Turning the pop-up into experience design: For years, pop-up shops have signaled fun if not fleeting introductions to new brands and new products, but my number one observation from 2012 is that pop-ups are here to stay. I don’t mean that we’ll see even more of the here-today-gone-tomorrow temporary shops (though I don’t think that trend is over), but rather I believe the experience that pop-up shops have provided is a major impetus for traditional retailers’ push to reengage their own customers. It’s about finding unexpected elements within retail – a health care advisor inside a grocery store or a tea shop inside a furniture store – that create value, convenience and unique experiences. Shoppers want to be wowed, and that’s a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Elevated brand image overseas: As Western brands increasingly migrate to new international markets, it’s exciting to see prototypes adapt to global consumers’ tastes for innovative, boundary-pushing design. If it weren’t for the logo, would you have guessed that this is a Starbucks? I think this is another trend that has a long future; in fact, I think retailers’ willingness to test new ideas in new markets will raise the bar for design and branding back at home in the U.S., too. One to watch.
Department store reinvention: With credit to my colleague Kathleen Jordan for her keen eye on this trend, I’m especially excited about what department stores are doing to make themselves relevant again – improving customer experience, integrating technology, offering exclusive brands, and de-cluttering their store designs.
The seven other trends are
- Personalized coupons
- Digital transactions simplified
- Local made products
- Big data
- Brazil in the spotlight
- Design collaborations
There is a new shopping experience that’s powered by robots and your smartphone. Founded by a former Amazon exec this shop has the potential to revolutionize the way we buy clothes! In the store customers can scan QR codes on jeans they like and robots will send their specific size to a designated dressing room.
The store carrying the name Hointer, located in the University District of Seattle, is still in beta mode and focuses on high-end jeans for male for now. But the company plans on selling all men’s apparel with various price ranges and eventually expands into the women and teen clothing worlds as well.
Main reason the focus is still men based is the simple fact that shopping is an arduous chore for most guys. They’d rather be efficient with their shopping, and Hointer gives them that with a tech twist. These shoppers are like hunters — that’s where the name “Hointer” comes from.
Why this concept is a glimps in the future? The design of the store requires less floorspace and fewer salespeople, which in turn allows Hointer to offer low prices and carry more stock. And the app allows Hointer to track everything in the store in real-time and lets customers rate clothing. Brands can then access that data via Hointer’s portal to see which apparel people tend to try on and not.
Now it is already so successful Hointer plans to open more stores in Bellevue, San Francisco and possibly abroad in Tokyo and Shanghai.
If you are interested in Retail innovations. Check out the slideshare of Ebeltoft Group they gave during the World Retail Congress 2012.
In this slideshow presentation they point out nine key innovation themes and show examples of retailers that excel in this theme either through format innovation or business innovation.
- Curated Collection
- On-line/Off line Mash Up
- Channel Transformers
- Service Experience 2.0
- Technology Intervention
- Customization/Ask the Crowd
Check also the rest of their presentations here
In Japan a new sort of coffee shop is generating a little buzz among designers. The coffee shop named Fab café is an idea of Digital media production company Loftwork to collaborate with a network of designers. The word ‘fab’ means fabulous or fabrication but might also refer to the famous Fablab, a place where you have access to tools for digital fabrication.
The new caffeine hang out will house a state of the art laser cutter, which, for a fee, everyone can use. All you need to bring is an adobe illustrator vector file, which you plug in to the cutter that does the work in paper, felt, acrylic, wood and other materials.
I consider Fab cafe as another great example of a smart collaboration but even more an example of the rise of in-store production. Hopefully this will also stimulate parties like Ponoko or Fab lab to start their own (off-line) retail adventure. For these companies joining forces with a place where a lot of creatives are hanging out can be a smart and easy move to connect with them.
Source Spoon tamago
The Dutch public libraries are having a hard time as a result of the cost cuts by the government. To stay alive the organization has to come up with unconventional solutions. They already introduced a retail formula approach, which resulted in a uniform house style and interior concept for all libraries in the Netherlands (Which I am proud to have contributed in). There are even experiments with un-manned self-service libraries.
Unfortunately it has to be even more cost efficient and therefor there are plans to combine power with retailers like IKEA, Starbucks, supermarket chains and gas stations. The retail branch is enthusiastic and sees it as a win-win situation for both parties. This merge is not only a win for the facilitating parties but also for their customers, like the busy mom who now can combine her groceries with lending some book for her kids. Nevertheless, for some people it will probably be more difficult to see this public icon becoming part of a store. But I think this is something that will fade by time.
Because I haven’t published that much this month I will therefore give you a wrap-up of the most interesting things I already twittered with some explanation why I consider it interesting.
1. Sleep above the store at Maison Rika in Amsterdam
A guest room above a store? What is more engaging than being so close to the store the brand and its story.
2. Small businesses can sell their product at Target
3. The first ‘Start up store’ opened its doors in New York
Individualism and an uncertain employment market infuses the rise of a new mercantile class. Retail concepts that offer more niche products/services and takes the (new) small entrepreneurs serious will be winners.
4. Top shop bus service to promote new store
If viral marketing is the word, than this ‘billboard’ bus that drives you to the new shop location is a winner.
5. Radio Shack recognize it roots and starts a community site
Acknowledge your heritage by giving your first fans a platform to meet and share knowledge is a wise marketing move for every brand. When this platform is all about creating, it’s spot on the current trends.
6. Swap vending machine
Now the environment and the crisis are dictating the way we think about consumption. New (commercial) initiatives around swapping are more relevant than ever.
7. JC Penny’s groundbreaking (price) strategy
In a time that service seems to be a must and price is leading. Thinking different about pricing your product can be a great way to keep the lead.