What makes a retailer essential?

This blog post is an extract from the new book by Tim Radley Meaning the the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’ What makes a retailer essential? Our viewpoint of what an essential retailer is has been re-focused by the covid19 era. Consumer goods were put into perspective within the wider social context. The people in our lives, and those who effect our lives, were recognised with-

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The Land of Creativity: The Future for Visual Merchandising

The Promised Land of Creativity: The Future for Visual Merchandising There’s always much talk about the future of visual merchandising but surprisingly little about the evolution of the role of the visual merchandiser. It’s almost as though beautiful stores happen by magic. And that misconception is certainly one that still holds back the VM profession, its recognition and rewards. However, all markets and individual retailers are on a retail journey.-

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Community Location Planning: A Circular Approach

Community Location Planning: A New Angle on a Circular Approach Retailers are having to drastically re-think many of their commercial practices. Location planning departments will be at the head of the queue when it comes to looking for new answers. Scratching their heads for an alternative strategic approach to where and why they open and close stores. Traditional traffic analysis and demographic profiling should still be the bedrock of decision making.-

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Amazon Wardrobe: Facilitating returns to drive sales

Amazon Wardrobe: Facilitating returns to drive sales Taking the customer’s money is only half the story of retail. In fact, giving the money back is threatening to become the primary activity in an online world where the customer is now calling the shots. A landscape has formed where the customer returns at will, and the retailer picks up the bill. Buying many sizes and styles with the intention of returning-

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Bloom & Wild: Delivering a fragrant revolution

Bloom & Wild: Delivering a fragrant revolution I’d recommend that we all spoil ourselves with flowers. Not, for the hell of it, and not any flowers. Just those delivered by Bloom & Wild. Their story is not about flowers, no matter how beautiful they are, but about disrupting a market where with one decisive initiative they transformed the sector. From that point they have blazed a trail of disruption through the-

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Retail Stores or Retail Brand: What drives customer loyalty?

It’s an interesting discussion. What drives a customer to a specific shop? Is it the individual store itself and the experience in it? Or is it the wider retail brand and its portrayal to the customer? It’s particularly relevant because currently everything in retail is up for change. Loyalty is in the balance. So, lets take the individual store. The correct way to deliver this is to create an amazing experience-

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Selfridges Designer Street Room: VMUnleashed “Strategies behind the Scenes”

Strategies behind the scenes: “Plan experiences, not assortments” For several years Selfridges strategy has been to create flexible and dynamic spaces. Each space is a complete concept. Built around the assortment it includes the music, installations, fixtures and fittings. Down to display techniques and up to showcase features such as the Skate Bowl. The spaces are customer focused “end-use” propositions such as the Designer Street Room or Body Zone. They are complete-

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Waterstones Social Club: Actions Speak Louder than Words

Yet another survey was published last week showing how the number of closing retail stores on the high streets of the UK significantly outweighs those opening. Sad as that is, it’s no surprise to anyone in the current omnichannel climate. What is surprising is that the store category with the healthiest number of openings, compared to closures, is bookstores. A decade ago the mere thought that bookstores would be leading-

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Selfridges Designer Street Room: A Pavement Perspective

As you’d expect there’s been a bit of a media blitz surrounding the appearance of a Skate Bowl in the middle of Selfridges flagship store on Oxford Street. Never one to shy away from innovation it is nonetheless a refreshing story, a positive spin on the department store sector. Whilst the Skate Bowl is sensational in concept and delivery, it is part of a wider departmental concept, which is the-

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Incredible Universe: “Welcome to the Global Shopping Mall”

Tim Radley speaking at the PLUGin event – “Welcome to the Global Shopping Mall – future of E-commerce and Retail” 31st October 2018: 6-30 to 8-30 pm Central Working Victoria, 25 Eccleston Place, London. SW1W 9NF For more information and to book: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/plugin-welcome-to-the-global-shopping-mall-future-of-e-commerce-and-retail-tickets-51031747330?aff=ebdshpsearchautocomplete   Those, with a longer retail tooth, will remember an extreme retail concept from the 1990s called Incredible Universe. At 17,000 sqm it was a retail heavyweight,-

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The Consumer is Dead: Long live the Retailer Community

The Consumer is Dead: Long live the Retailer Community Consumer is such a terrible way to describe the people who come into our stores and spend money with us. It’s equally inappropriate and impersonal even for those who never dare to darken our doorways. Consuming is a process of devouring without consideration.  Power stations devour fossil fuels. Blue Whales devour plankton indiscriminately. Ultimately consuming is only about necessity. Consumers of-

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Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall

Amazon 4-Star: When Online Retail Hits a Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Wall I’m a great admirer of Amazon. So, let’s move away from the nonsense that Amazon is killing retail. Amazon is a retailer and is leading a retail transformation. It may not be founded on designing, producing and selling its own products (although that is gathering irresistible momentum) but it is no less a retailer than Toys R Us, or-

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Lush: Creating Communities and always in Conversation

Lush: Creating Communities and always in Conversation Even those customers who would never consider crossing the threshold of a Lush store, never mind investing in a bath-bomb or a slice of specialist soap, are charmed and engaged by the customer experience they find. I’ve accompanied many clients and colleagues to stores and what astounds them is the life, energy and enthusiasm of the store teams. From a state of embarrassment,-

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Retail & the Circular Economy: Square Pegs in a Round Whole?

Retailers can learn from the Circular Economy by becoming communities and not just sequences of job functionality. Positive actions & interactions stimulate others. Waste is minimised. Waste of resources, products and of time. And the waste of people – their energy, goodwill, knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm. I have to say that the concept of the “Circular Economy” is a rather recent discovery to me. Perhaps not the philosophy and the-

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Pitch Perfect: Sports Direct Playing the Field

Pitch Perfect: Sports Direct Playing the Field If you want to see some clues as to what the new Mike Ashley House of Fraser might look like, then a good starting point are the new Sports Direct/USC/Flannels superstores. One of the latest is at Lakeside where a 10,000sqm sports and lifestyle experience has taken shape. The Mike Ashley’ jigsaw put together piece by piece. Recent years has seen a subtle-

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A Retail Dilemma: “No Business, No People!” or “No People, No Business!”

A Retail Dilemma: “No Business,  No People!” or “No People, No Business!”   Thanks to everyone who contributed to last week’s post on John Lewis and their approach to investment in the face of cost-cutting and delivering profit. One really important issue raised is a fundamental dilemma for current retail strategists. “No business, No People!” Of course, if there is no business then there will be no people, so every attempt must-

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Elvis & Kresse: Fighting Fashion Fire with Fire

Elvis & Kresse: Fighting Fashion Fire with Fire So much of the exciting retail scene of today is coming from people with a real passion. The passion is not necessarily for retail initially but comes as a natural evolution of a wider passion for a philosophy, for values and for life. Elvis & Kresse is one of those truly inspirational retail brands that you don’t come across every day. However,-

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From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing

From Foyles to Anthropology: The “Lure” of Eccentric retailing Last week, in a further example of market consolidation, the UK’s leading book retailer Waterstones bought up the Foyles bookstore business. This included the famous Charing Cross Road store, recently moved and re-furbished. The stories surrounding Foyles are no less than retail folklore. They help to explain its survival, the re-naissance of Waterstones and the revival of many independent book shops.-

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Digital Signage Summit 2018: Disrupting the Store Design Model

Tim Radley, presenting at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit 8-45 a.m. – 24th September Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted https://digitalsignagesummit.co.uk   Looking forward to speaking at this very interesting summit on Digital Signage and the Store Experience. It’s a very relevant subject for retailers so hoping to set out the main issues, benefits and pitfalls with the opening presentation of the conference. Look forwards to see you there,-

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