What makes a successful physical retail shop? 75% Astute Strategies & 25% Creative Concepts

What makes a successful physical retail shop?: 75% astute strategies & 25% creative concepts Without doubt the first-hand customer experience is the essential interaction that makes a physical retail shop a commercial and brand success. But as with the proverbial iceberg, there are a multitude of strategies and operational activities that go towards delivering that first-hand experience, and into making any shop, a success. And now that physical shops exist-

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‘The Good Store’ – A product of the sustainable community

‘The Good Store’ – A product of the sustainable community For those wishing to buy sustainably the problem of finding genuine brands takes time and commitment. The Good Store is a department store in central London that has curated 600sqm of space dedicated entirely to products made from recycled materials and upcycled into attractive things to buy. The store carries a selection of sustainable products and brands across clothing, accessories,-

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On-Demand & Second-Hand: The Yin & Yang solutions to over-production

Supply and Demand has always been the driver for commercial brands and retailers. In new and growing markets, the demand temporarily outstrips supply. For those retailers who simply have the means to manufacture and get their product to the marketplace and to the customer, there is a lot of easy money to be made. A lot of easy money has been made. That was the scenario over recent decades. One-

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Is it right to celebrate beautiful retailing, from less than beautiful retailers?

Is it right to celebrate beautiful retailing, from less than beautiful retailers? This is a conundrum I consider every time I come across an amazing new shop, but from a business I prefer not to buy from. Can creativity be tainted by its retail context? In the same way that we are often told to keep sport separate from politics, I wonder whether it is right that we separate design-

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Talking about ‘Experiential Retailing’ for SMEs with Startups.co.uk

Very pleased to have collaborated with Startups.co.uk on an article about Experiential retailing.Thanks to Helena Young, for inviting me to contribute. Of course, creating and delivering a good customer experience is so important for every retailer. But will it be the saviour of the high street, the knight in shining armour for independent retailers?Well, not necessarily! As with many aspects of the shop environment, ‘Experiential Retailing’ has also become something to copy.-

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My exciting collaboration with the London College of Fashion

Pleased to announce that I’m working with the London College of Fashion this Autumn, as part of their Collaborative Challenge Industry Partner Programme. The fashion industry is more exciting and dynamic than ever. Students entering this world, across a wide range of disciplines, now need to be fully prepared and be able to collaborate and integrate with a variety of internal teams and external partners. With this in mind, we-

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Can the ‘cost of living’ educate us on the ‘price of owning?’

The ‘cost of living’ crisis affecting all of us, is an opportunity to educate everyone on the wider sustainable issues around the things we buy and own. There are of course so many powerful and compelling reasons why we should think more deeply about the repercussions of what we buy. The environment, climate change and the ethics behind how we respect workers’ conditions and rights are fully in the news-

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Why disruptive retail models must still implement good old-fashioned inventory management?

Why disruptive retail models must still implement good old-fashioned inventory management? The worlds of sustainability and the circular supply chain are clashing headlong with traditional retail principles and processes. This new wave of businesses specialise in, and operate, a variety of models across renting and re-selling. Some of these models still rely on a controlled supply-chain, and pre-ordering, however for many their product assortments exist and evolve through a combination-

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What the guardians of Oxford Street should learn from the citizens of Valencia.

I was sucked into a discussion recently on the woes of Oxford Street, London’s famous shopping destination. The fact is it is no longer the destination that it was. It has suffered more than most from the COVID lockdowns, reduced tourist numbers and home working, but the focus of the grumblings went back further than that, bemoaning the numerous failed attempts to pedestrianise this most famous of streets. Whilst I-

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If galvanising your workforce is your main objective as a retail leader, then consider this checklist…

The road to achieving a fully-functional modern retail business with an empowered workforce is not an easy one to take, or a simple one to execute. Success comes through addressing a wide variety of issues and activities. Encouragement and empathy are a good start but they will only ease the journey, not get you to the desired destination. This requires collaboration & integration throughout the business. To make the most-

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Delivering successful sustainable retail: Bringing ‘Meaning to the Retail Madness’

Retail is balancing on an unprecedented tightrope of change. Between the precipice of exploitative disaster, and the leap to sustainability and a commercially viable circular future. Where do you begin as a sustainable retailer? Opportunities are emerging for businesses of all sizes, scenarios and origins, to engage with the growing customer sentiment for products made and sold in sustainable ways. The direction is not going to change. The speed of-

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Should ‘recyclable trump recycled’ in the product design & buying lottery?

Should ‘recyclable trump recycled’ in the product design & buying lottery? Surely, as customers we must educate ourselves, and teach the businesses that make our ‘stuff’ that truly and literally ‘enough is enough’ It is correct to prioritise ‘keeping product out of landfill’ This is most important. That is why the evolution of resell, remaking, repairing, reinventing and renting is so important. The more existing products that can remain in-

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Empowering & Organising Retail People: Bringing ‘Meaning to the Retail Madness’

Retail has a chequered history of human resource management, to say the least. Sadly, some of us will still remember the aggressive cultures that used to pervade the offices of some our biggest retail businesses. Even recently, I have experienced the painful charting of an executive hierarchy, stating with precision who is more important than who. The damage that such behaviour and activities cause to the culture within a business-

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Don’t you think that beautiful shop experiences always come from the people who work there?

Don’t you think that genuine, beautiful shop experiences always come from the people who work in the shop? In other words, the most important thing in retail is people. I have always loved shop design. There is something magical in the creative impact from colour,  materials, lighting, and textures. I admire it to this day, the way that true experts in shop design bring these elements together. I have also-

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Is there another Zara? Or is it running out of ‘fast-fashion time?’

Zara is extraordinarily successful. But will it become a victim of its own success, so long as sustainability remains a victim of Zara. Zara has become the most amazingly successful fashion retailer ever. It perpetually fills its stores with new and exciting styles, that customers across the world constantly fall in love with. To achieve this, it has been incredibly clever and innovative. It has led the way in the-

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Not sure if you enjoy being sustainable? You need to get into the world of Loanhood.

In the meantime… Renting, recycling and the circular supply chain is featured in the new book – ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’ If you’d like to read my book for many more retailer insights and best practice. And to here my thoughts on retail’s future, then that’s an excellent idea. I hope that the sections on how to flourish in the ‘The life-

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TK Maxx, making every customer’s visit into their luckiest day!

TK Maxx, making every customer’s visit into their luckiest day! The best brands make extraordinary things very simple. And the clever use of visual merchandising does not need to be complex or sophisticated to define a brand and create unique experiences. I’ve been involved recently in the research for the Channel 5 documentary about TK Maxx. The interview with one of the producers made me distill why the shopping experience-

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Just Eat, does ‘reading between the lines’ ruin your appetite?

Just Eat, does ‘reading between the lines’ ruin your appetite? With brands communicating such a ‘plethora’ of data and performance statistics, it seems transparency is not only an issue with sustainability, but with performance itself. Whilst it cannot be argued that Just Eat is narrowing its losses, marginally increasing its revenue, and increasing its sales in its UK & Irish markets, there are some concerning trends when it comes to-

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Is ‘Rental’ becoming the new ‘Must-have proposition’ for retailers struggling with customer loyalty, falling sales volumes and profits?

Is ‘Rental’ becoming the new ‘Must-have proposition’ for retailers struggling with customer loyalty, falling sales volumes and profits? What has been until recently a niche offering, largely restricted to luxury goods, and offered by specialist rental businesses, is now being adopted across different categories. It is certainly a growing trend, and what is most interesting is that traditional retailers are now looking more to offer rental in parallel to selling.-

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So, ‘clothing rental’ is only commercially viable for expensive outfits worn on posh occasions? Think again!

So, ‘clothing rental’ is only commercially viable for expensive outfits worn at posh occasions? Think again! To make clothing rental work it must be a commercial success for both the retailer and the customer. If either party loses out, then the business model will simply not work. With that in mind, perhaps you’ve been under the same delusion as I have, in thinking that the only way that clothing rental-

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Is Primark following up its sustainability claims with decisive actions?

Is Primark following up its sustainability claims with decisive actions? We have had a week where momentum against fashion retailers who are ‘greenwashing’ has been gathering pace with investigations by the CMA, and threatened legal action. So against this it is good to see a concrete commitment by one of biggest volume clothing retailers in the world. The fashion giant has announced it is to become the first retailer to feature-

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