It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten. -Anna Wintour
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.
Dear readers, I’ve started my own flipboard magazine. I believe in this medium specifically designed for tablets and smart-phones. For me it reflects the future of media consuming. The magazine carries the same name as my blog and its content is a selection of new reads on the web and my own blog post (which I hope to write regularly again in the distant future) .
here the link to my flipboard
First of all, my apologies to the regular reader for being off line for such a long time. I was extremely busy with off course retail and in the meantime switched jobs. Since a month I am working for the renowned retail (design) office Jos the Vries, where I have the privilege to work on some jobs in Russia and spread some retail knowledge.
How refreshing it is to dip yourself in a totally different shopping culture. You know there are cultural differences; I experience them as a foreign consumer quite often. But when you design shops for these other cultures you really get confronted with the differences. To design shops for these other cultures can therefore be a real ‘challenge’.
The catch is in the question of the client: ”Make for us just as good store like you have in the West. “ While your knowledge extensive and most of the time exceed that of these foreign retailers, the biggest danger is to forget respecting the local culture. Things are often like that for a reason, wether it is culture, the law or the system. Don’t forget that retail mirrors the society it serves.
For now I will bring a lot of ‘Western’ knowledge but I hope to see some interesting things that spark some reverse retail innovation here in the West.
And because I mostly bring news or interesting stuff from the West I will now share a slideshow with some ‘inspiring’ foreign (depends on where you live) retail ideas.
Jeans, retail and innovation seems to be a pretty good combination. And this recently opened San Francisco shop is nice example to prove that again. The shop constructed from three shipping containers is now home to an even more intriguing inventory system. To maximize space, the Aether team incorporated a custom-built rotating rack that spans all three floors. Watch the short movie to see how it works.
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.
Sustainable Jeans brand Mud Jeans has introduced “Lease a Jeans”. A rent a service they think make their already sustainable produced jeans affordable and even more sustainable.
When you pay your purchase you do not receive your receipt but a contract. Only ones you pay € 20,- for your jeans and after that for a year € 5,- per month. After a year you have paid eighty euros. What comes next is that you have three choices: you send the Mud jeans back, you choose a new one for € 7,50 or you pay for yet another four months € 5,- a month to wear your jeans.
When you want to return your Mud jeans after a view years, you get your warranty of € 20,- back for your next choice. The jeans will remain property by Mud Jeans because you are renting it.
An exciting initiative which stretches the boundaries of the temporary ownership economy.
Since December a lot of new things seem to appear that made me move again. All sorts of concepts and ideas caught my eye because they reflect the new reality. A few I already posted on this blog and I now want to share the rest of the most attention-grabbing ones with an explanation why I consider them interesting.1.) Polaroid announces plans to launch polaroid photobar experiential retail stores. We will see more old decaying brands develop a retail concept trying to become relevant again. 2.) Department store Selfridges introduces a ‘No Noise’ shopping experience. In our hectic information overloaded urban society tranquillity is becoming a rarity. Retailers and brands that can offer us an escape from this fast-paced world will win. 3.) Farmigo is an online farmer’s market connecting organic farmers directly with communities in their direct environment. The Internet has been collapsing supply chains and rewriting conventional business models for nearly two decades, but until now it has had limited impact on the food industry. 4.) The Billionaire Shop is an online store for the super rich created by gambling company Multilotto.com. The world is getting polarized and that counts for (on-line) retail too. 5.) The Tommy Bahama flagship store on NYC’s 5th Ave. generates two and a half times the sales per square foot than a regular store because of in-store restaurant and bar. Big cities become leisure paradises and people like to spend their leisure time shopping. But shopping doesn’t necessarily mean immediate buying. Therefore physical stores have to find new business models that cash in on the leisure ‘shopper’. A successful model is an in-store restaurant or bar to lure people and compensate the loss.” 6.) Takeo Kikuchi’s flagship store in Tokyo has no one-way shopping circulation and is a place to feel at ease. Online shopping changed the rules for offline retail. Not only became stores showrooms or places to relax, the way we enter the shop, how we browse and the moment we pay has all changed. Stores with a one-way shopping circulation will become a thing of the past
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