Store Concepts

Offline Retail: Get Out of the Comfort Zone!

An open letter to all offline retailers on how to attract new customers in the face of online competition (if you’re not too tired for a pillow fight).

It’s a sunny afternoon and I’m on a business trip somewhere in Bavaria. As the phone rings, a local German radio station wants a short interview. ‘Tomorrow is the Day of Online Shopping …’, they say. ‘Did you proclaim it?’ I ask.  ‘No, it is a conference in Berlin. We want to report on it and would like to get a statement from you on what e-commerce means for physical retailers and how they can attract new customers’, explains the editor, and we arrange a second call later that day.

(more…)

Inspiring Brand Retail Best Practices for 2018

Pick the brand retail best practices from 24* cities and 6 topic areas that will work for you. To a good start and comp growth in your new business year!

It was a good year for the brand lifestyle industry in Europe and the US. Reading interim reports suggests that the majority of top brands have grown despite challenges in wholesale and full price retail distribution. While not true for all, this goes to illustrate another year of beautiful distribution complexity and financial challenges.

(more…)

Is It Magic? A Retail Survival Check of the First German Disney Store

Disney opened its first brick and mortar store in Germany three weeks ago. Let’s perform a retail survival check to guesstimate its chances of sustainable success!

Truth be told, it is not actually the first Disney store to ever open its door to magic in Germany. Disney ran four stores in the 90ies which, according to Disney, had to close due to licensing problems. With its new store on one of Germany’s busiest high streets, Disney starts a second attempt to conquer the German market with its merchandising products.

(more…)

Retail Performance: I Like Like for Like – I don’t Like Like for Like

H&M gave up their monthly reporting in July. An indication of an ailing retailer? Debatable – Zara never did it in the first place.

Three years after H&M gave up on like for like reporting, they stopped publishing monthly sales figures altogether. H&M follows the path of other well-known retailers that no longer publicly report monthly details of their like for like retail performance. (more…)

Is Your Store Format Ready for International Expansion? Part II

Customer Service levels and consumer expectations differ from country to country. This post (Part II of this series) shows how those differences affect your staffing and how you select, train, motivate and pay your store staff when expanding into new markets.

In Part I I talked about the specifics to consider when taking a proven retail format international with regards to store location, adjacencies, assortment, product mix, store size, dimensions, layout and store look and feel.

(more…)

Art Sells!

To store and offer goods is no longer the main task of stores. Innovative retailers need to reinvent themselves – and for some, that’s like curating an art gallery.

While online shopping is growing and retailers mutate into logistics experts, the question of sense or nonsense of brick and mortar stores remains pending. Some innovative retailers respond by regularly questioning their own perceptions. They have realized that, to many people, high streets have become sources of inspiration rather than just stockrooms to satisfy their needs.

(more…)

Is Your Retail Format Ready for International Expansion? Part I

The days, when brands could establish a successful retail format at home and just roll it out internationally without major adaptations, are long over.

Customer centricity is the new holy grail in the retail business, promising prosperity and success for any retail format. Surprisingly, many brands still start to roll-out a retail format without even trying to understand whether and how consumers and their behaviors differ in a new market. This post illustrates what to explore and adapt to establish a successful retail format when going international.

(more…)

The Amazon Book Store – Zero Cross Channel Services and Other Surprises

A retail pro report from Amazon’s brick & mortar book store in Seattle, a consumer experience with zero cross channel services. Only an app secured the sale.

I have to admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon. As a consumer, I like their ultimate convenience for need shopping, yet find their attempts at inspiring my impulse shopping utterly over the top. As a brand and retail manager, I love them for (more…)

Have We Forgotten the Customer? The Necessary Fashion Retail Revolution

(more…)

Suitsupply – Achieving Brand Growth Through Courage, Innovation and Passion

The young Dutch brand for formal men’s wear wins globally by combining European tailoring culture with modern lifestyle. A fan report.

Yes, I am a fan of Suitsupply. When I started my career in the late 1980’s, I had the privilege to work as a creative buyer with a traditional, high class German menswear retailer in Berlin. As a result, I am now ruined for ever with regard to my quality requirements when it comes to suits and accessories. I believe the Italians and the English manufactories, who traditionally tailor their suits, using the finest local fabrics, are the best. Naturally they are unaffordable for most customers, therefore maintaining an air of elitism.

(more…)

Now Open: The Trump Retail Store

Donald Trump is a seller. After his career in real estate, he is now taking the next step by opening his own Trump Retail store today – as a pop-up.

The address could hardly be more famous: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C., USA. Admittedly, the White House is not known as a classic high street spot for commercial retail. But Mr. Trump has often enough proved he has a feeling for locations with potential. His next brand growth project, the Trump Retail concept as a pop-up format, partly reinvents former shopping rules:
No shop windows, no footfall through the building for some protective reason, therefore no conversion at the no tills inside. The receipts for the sold products in Trump Retail will be presented to customers in a more diverse, sophisticated and sustainable way. (more…)

Engelbert Strauss: A Family Turns Workwear Retail Into Lifestyle

A German former mailorder company develops itself from a multibrand dealer to an omnichannel lifestyle brand – in workwear retail.

This post is about Brand Growth Inspiration, driven by a traditional family business. It’s about the Strauß family, based in a little village called Biebergemünd in central Germany, 50 km east of Frankfurt. Established in 1948 by founder Engelbert Strauß, the company of the same name today is still led independently by second and third generation members of the family. The company’s growth within the last ten years shows that a rather conservative and non-urban background can actually be a fruitful basis for remarkable innovation in branding and retail. Especially when based on traditional family values like quality, reliability and predictability.  (more…)

Kalashnikov – a Sterile less Authentic Brand Store

Russia’s global brand has gone into brand retail, at the Moscow Airport. Weapons on display are fake, but the retail ambition is true.

You can build a authentic brand store and fill it with coffee capsules from Switzerland, sandals from Brazil, paper notebooks from Italy, BBQs from the US, or water pressure cleaners from Germany. Whether you name your store Nespresso, Havaianas, Moleskine, Weber or Kärcher, the list of brands that have ventured into brand retail is already colourful. The moment you think it can’t get any crazier, along comes a new entry. (more…)