Why Independent Retailers need to be Less Independent!

It was my great pleasure to be the guest of Health Stores Ireland, at their “Putting Our Best Foot Forward” gathering, in Shannon last weekend. The health store sector is perfectly placed to grow and flourish in a world where consumers are increasingly looking to be more proactive in their health, wellbeing, fitness, and mindfulness. It is also a sector filled with passion-driven independent retailers owned by people who embrace-

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Why Local Shopkeepers have more ‘Retail Intelligence’ than retail multiples!

Disruptive pureplay retailers have brought about an essential change to traditional business structures and processes. Well, ones that have watched and have quickly learned themselves. Best practice retail businesses now put the customer and customer data at the heart of the business. Customer centric & data centric. Everyday processes and new initiatives begin and end with the customer. Informed business act quickly, learn again from the customer, adapt, and improve.-

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Why Independent Retailers should naturally make the best social media influencers!

Have you ever wondered why shopping on a good local high street takes so long? Well, there may be negatives such as finding somewhere to park, particularly if its popular, but once in situ it is largely down to becoming immersed in the whole shopping experience. You discover new and unusual products that require further inspection, you bump into friends in the street and pass some time, and maybe you-

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Retail winners in 2023 will combine ’New Thinking & Processes’ with ‘Old Values & Channels.’

Retail winners in 2023 will combine ’New Thinking & Processes’ with ‘Old Values & Channels.’ My own Top 5 predictions for the year ahead… 1. The ‘Pureplay bubble’ will continue to burst. 2. Physical retail, in one form or another, will almost always be essential. 3. The convenience and reliability of Click & Collect will become even more widespread as a game-changer. 4. Traditional retailers will continue to decisively get-

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How ‘Passion Supply Chains’ enable Local Independent Retailers to compete commercially and win!

I’m often asked how small independent retailers can compete against the scale efficiencies and operational expertise of larger chains. There are in fact, many ways, but always my first answer is about being authentic, about generating a unique passion. That ‘passion’ must be genuine. It needs to be engaging and infectious. And that can only be a reality if the owner and the colleagues take an active interest in the-

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In 2023, Keep your ‘Retail Feet’ firmly on the Ground. Physical is back with a vengeance!

It’s the time of year when the Christmas period sales results come in, and the assessment of winners and loses takes place. It is an interesting challenge this year as we are comparing 2022 to 2001, and also to pre-lockdown 2019. There is rich and unique analysis that can be drawn from this double comparison. My own Top 5 conclusions… The ‘Pureplay bubble’ has dramatically burst. Physical retail, in one-

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What can ‘we hardened retail professionals’ learn from the students at the London College of Fashion?

My collaborative project with the London College of Fashion has come to an end, for this year at least. Sad to say goodbye for now, but what an amazing and rewarding experience for everyone. The student’s final presentations were professional and polished. I can honestly say that I have sat through far worse presentations from professional businesses. Whilst I would like to take some credit for my input into their-

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Invisible Technologies that turn ‘Product Graveyards’ into ‘Perpetual Distribution Centres!”

In the annual debate about the best use of retail technology budgets, heads are often turned by the ‘sexier’, and highly visible software solutions that enhance the visual interface and the customer experience. The rise of pureplay, the need for graphic stimulation, digital interaction, and brand immersion, all catapulted augmented and virtual reality to the top of IT director shopping lists. They are of course equally amazing and important. But-

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Is 2023 the year when being a “Worthy Retailer” is no longer enough?

There are many examples, from politics to business, where those who were at the forefront of driving change failed to benefit from the arrival of those changes. New retailers, born from the ambition to create a world of sustainable shoppers and ethical businesses, have stood out from the traditional crowd of retail alternatives. Namely the exploitative business of recent decades. But as sentiment and sales swing to more ethical choices,-

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Merry Christmas & a huge Thank You!

I would simply like to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has connected, reacted and engaged with me, during 2022. Retail more than ever is about ‘Communities!’ Communities of like minded-people, and some with differing opinions, but who all educate & stimulate each other to increase the depth and richness of our understanding of this great industry. It has been my pleasure to post and write about more retail issues-

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Can we find hope for ethical retailing in the fallout from Black Friday?

Black Friday is generally recognised as the epitome of mass-market retailing, a customer celebration of huge price reductions, and the shifting of eye-watering volumes of merchandise. For retailers a big blow to margins, but the salvation before Christmas in terms of units sold, and this year an opportunity to offload unprecedented unsold, unwanted overstock to clear the shelves for the next year’s refill. Dreaded by advocates of sustainable & circular-

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Is eBay and its ‘Luxury Exchange’ the new face of sustainable ownership?

Is eBay and its ‘Luxury Exchange’ the new face of sustainable ownership? The recent initiative from eBay only to promote re-sell products for Black Friday has re-established the brand as a genuine and very significant player in the world of sustainable retailing. A market that is set to grow rapidly as a hybrid of reselling, upselling, recycling, and rental. The common thread is the principle of buying less and using-

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Is eBay the Sustainability Hero of Black Friday?

In case this sounds far-fetched we should remember that eBay began life as the online equivalent of a glorified car-boot sale. We all spent time selecting our target products, planning our bid strategies, and we passed some enjoyable and exciting times counting down the auction clock and firing in our last-minute offers. Before sustainable retailing became a significant movement, and re-sell was still largely restricted to charity shops, eBay was at the-

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“2p or not 2p:” What is the point of Ultra-Fast Fashion?

This story begins with a Channel 4 documentary behind the scenes of the world’s largest ultra-fast fashion retailer. Against a backdrop of endless working hours and horrendous working conditions, apparently each worker earns as little as 2p for every garment they stitch and sew! The next chapter takes us to the inventory bloodbath of what has become Black Friday. For ultra-fast fashion, this is not about exclusive product drops and-

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Discussing ‘Experiential Retailing’: Next – ‘The Smooth Operator’

Listen to myself, Tim Radley, on the Louise Lally podcast, discussing the much vaunted but little understood concept of ‘Experiential Retailing!’ Join the free podcast now through this link…Retailing with Meaning Ep1 Store Concepts (podbean.com) The podcast features a discussion on Next, a highly successful mid-market clothing & home brand, but not one you would usually associate with the expression ‘Experiential Retailing.’ The fact is that a great customer experience-

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Discussing ‘Experiential Retailing’: Hotel Chocolat – ‘Vertically Integrated Indulgence’

Listen to myself, Tim Radley, on the Louise Lally podcast, discussing the much vaunted but little understood concept of ‘Experiential Retailing!’ Join the free podcast now through this link…Retailing with Meaning Ep1 Store Concepts (podbean.com) The podcast features a discussion on Hotel Chocolat, a brand that not only transformed the ways to create, package and display chosolate, but also revolutionised the vertical supply chain behind the beans. Hotel Chocolat is-

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Discussing ‘Experiential Retailing’: Dark Sugars – ‘Drama & theatre in Chocolate’

Listen to myself, Tim Radley, on the Louise Lally podcast, discussing the much vaunted but little understood concept of ‘Experiential Retailing!’ Join the free podcast now through this link…Retailing with Meaning Ep1 Store Concepts (podbean.com) The podcast features a discussion on Dark Sugars, and its chocolate destination shop on Brick Lane, with its wonderful and beguiling atmosphere. Dark Sugars is no ordinary chocolate shop. The trademark truffles, in evocative flavours,-

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Discussing ‘Experiential Retailing’: Lush – ‘Nurturing Shiny Happy People’

Listen to myself, Tim Radley, on the Louise Lally podcast, discussing the future of physical shop concepts and omni-channel ‘Experiential Retailing!’ Join the free podcast now through this link…Retailing with Meaning Ep1 Store Concepts (podbean.com) The podcast features a discussion on Lush. I absolutely love taking people into Lush. My favourite shop is the one near Oxford Circus, in London. It is an experience where every sense is brought to-

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Read “Creating Customer Lifecycles:” Coat Paints – A Brighter Future!

Join me, Tim Radley, in “Meaning in the Retail Madness,” discussing how considerations about the product lifecycle must now be extended forwards to the customer purchase, their relationship with the product, and its disposal. The retail lifecycle must evolve into the customer lifecycle. Solutions must make more use, and more uses, of what the customer buys. Turning away from the throwaway, embracing and enjoying what we have. The terminology needs-

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Discussing Visual Merchandising & Shop Design: Zara – ‘A Storyteller by Design’

Listen to myself, Tim Radley, on the Louise Lally podcast, discussing the future of visual merchandising, and the changing world of physical shop spaces for both large brands and small independent retailing. Join the free podcast now through this link…Retailing with Meaning Ep2 ”Shop Merchandising and Display” (podbean.com) The podcast features a discussion on Zara. For me their name represents so much more than fast-fashion. They are restless innovators, from-

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