Archive for 'Retail Trends'

The Thrill of the Old

The Thrill of the Old

Posted on 13. Dec, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Retail has rushed to embrace technology in recent years. Just as consumers have armed themselves with a dazzling array of devices (I sit now with a laptop perched on my knees, a smartphone in my pocket, and a tablet in my bag), merchants have kitted out their stores and staff with tech. Done right, [...]

The Coming Retail Singularity

The Coming Retail Singularity

Posted on 04. Dec, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet In 1993, a US scientist named Vernor Vinge wrote an essay entitled “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era”. Vinge’s “Singularity” was the time “within thirty years (when) we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” Cheery stuff! And his [...]

The Penguin that Stole Christmas

The Penguin that Stole Christmas

Posted on 14. Nov, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Forget the Grinch stealing Christmas. This year, it is a cute little penguin called Monty that not only steals the show, but also the hearts and minds of the UK populace (and softies everywhere). British department store John Lewis has done it again, with a £1 million commercial (US$ 1.5m) that tells the story [...]

On the Wild Side: South African Retail

On the Wild Side: South African Retail

Posted on 27. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet There’s a word for South African (SA) retail: wild (which can be both positive and negative, as I’ll reveal later in this article). It’s unlike anything we see in mature Western markets like the US, UK, and Australia, which seem relatively staid and tame by comparison. On a recent trip to the southern tip [...]

Embracing “Showrooming”

Embracing “Showrooming”

Posted on 17. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Over the last few years, “showrooming” has received a bad rap. This is the practice where a smartphone-enabled shopper goes into a physical store to touch and feel the merchandise, gets expert advice, and then compares prices on their device and purchases online elsewhere. The classic example is of a customer visiting a Barnes [...]

Scary Good or Just Plain Scary

Scary Good or Just Plain Scary

Posted on 10. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet If there were an Olympics of shopping, the US would win hands down. This year, American shoppers will spend in excess of $4.6 trillion dollars on stuff, which equates to somewhere north of 25% of GDP (some estimates put the figure higher). The Brits by comparison lag behind with about 20% of GDP apportioned [...]

What’s Your Horrorstör?

What’s Your Horrorstör?

Posted on 01. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Some retail outings fill the shopper with sheer dread. “Horrorstör*” takes that notion one step further, by setting a “traditional haunted house story” in a fictional big box furniture retailer called Orsk. The store is eerily close in style to a certain well-known Scandinavian retailer, and the book looks and feels like one of [...]

Can Retail Rescue a Dying City?

Can Retail Rescue a Dying City?

Posted on 25. Sep, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Detroit is at once the American Dream and the American Nightmare. Built on automotive manufacturing, and turbo-charged by the construction of freeways in the 50’s and 60’s, the Motor City hit potholes in the 2000’s, with the Great Recession, a corrupt local government and a population decline of 25 percent in the first decade [...]

The World’s Most Unique Flagship

The World’s Most Unique Flagship

Posted on 09. Sep, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet Flagship stores dot the major shopping thoroughfares of the big cities of the world. Often they are distinguished as much by their size as by their distinctiveness – they are monolithic versions of their mall-based cousins. Yes, they may have a feature or two – a massive digital screen here, a café there – [...]

Cashing in on Customer Laziness

Cashing in on Customer Laziness

Posted on 29. Aug, 2014 by Jon Bird.

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Tweet The single most motivating notion in retail today can be boiled down to a single word – “Convenience.” I was reminded of that fact again early one day this week, when, dashing out the door with a slice of toast gripped between my teeth, I briefly caught a fascinating discussion on America’s NPR Morning [...]

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