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 ‘design’ 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
In an extremely mature retail environment like Japan, retail is less generic and often very niche, specialized or single subject focused. An example of this single subject focused retail is lifestyle or gender orientated stores. One of the most recent cases is from Japanese mobile carrier DoCoMo who has just opened a new communications concept called The Shelf. It is a relaxing environment for young women where technology is being presented as part of people’s everyday lives rather than a (beautiful designed) technology orientated phone store.
Located in the backstreets of Omotesando (Tokyo, Japan) The Shelf has two floors to explore and test the communication technology, books, magazines and make-up. The first floor features four areas surrounding the themes of Travel, Work, Beauty, and Fashion. All the different services and products are curetted by a popular role model who represents one of the themes. They have collaborated in creating a space that shows how the smart phone integrates into everyday’s life for young women. The second floor is the café and lounge to sit down, enjoy tea, read a magazine and check out some make up.
The Shelf is a fascinating idea That is based around understanding lifestyle and need instead of features and models.
via Shift East
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
It was just a matter of time and now it it is reality. The chinese are here to stay also in retail innovation!
A 2000sqm combined bookstore, fashion retailer and gallery has been named the world’s best designed store of 2012.
Fangsuo Commune in Guangzhou, China, was judged the best from some 100 entreis from all over the world. The massive store, which encourages shoppers to visit to rlax and ‘hang out’ as well as to shop, aso features a cafe, home living collection and space for special cultural events.
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.