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Mar 29, 2009

WALL OF COLOUR

In Waterloo. Tile shop comes alive at night.

Mar 26, 2009

MELLOW YELLOW SELLS

Have you ever noticed how prevalent the colour yellow is in the visually cluttered supermarket environment ? Experts say that yellow is more visible than other colours in the spectrum. Certainly if you look at the accompanying video clip yellow stands out most prominently and blue is a very recessive colour in the relatively dimly lit supermarket. Whatever possessed Coles to issue blue uniform shirts to their staff is beyond me – maybe it was so they would blend in ? It is also very corporate, 'unfriendly', and unwelcoming.

Coming back to yellow, you can see how packaging designers would look to this colour. Not only does it stand out, it is warm, friendly and engaging, and suggests health and vitality. It also carries value connotations, especially when black type is used in bold on yellow backgrounds - which does, however, limit it's application for premium products. The PAK ' N SAVE brand in New Zealand is an outstanding example of the power of yellow when executed well.

Red/orange is a mixed bag in the store – often the red is too dark, the orange/ tomato red stands out a lot more.

Food for thought for those designing in-store,signage POS and packaging.

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RED HOT


Adairs new season look stands out. Moore Park.

SPLASH

Of iPod colour stands out in dull category. Harvey Norman Moore Park

MINI MAC

New mini Apple dept DSE Moore Park

OUT OF SPACE?

Fast growing Howard's Storage World franchise battles to cope with
deliveries. Moore Park.

Mar 24, 2009

ALIVE AND WELL











Great vitamin and health supplement store - GNC in Broadway. I like the way the entrance and the wooden floor are welcoming, as stores in this sector can often be intimidating to newcomers . The 'wooden' fixtures show off the colours of the busy packaging typical of this sector. Lighting and ceiling treatment is contemporary without being over the top. The wall graphics are complementary and do not dominate the shopfloor displays. The store is spacious. Also, good use of POS posters.


ORANGE KIOSK

Internet kiosk, Broadway mall, use of orange is tricky in low-light mall conditions. Warm colour, strong, friendly signage, perhaps a lesser ergonomic design than seen previously - see this post.
http://shoppologist.blogspot.com/2009/03/escape-mall.html

DAZZLING DIVA

Very busy Diva costume jewellery store, Broadway mall. Tuesday, lunch-time.

Targeting Gen-Y, selling low-value, high volume, fast-changing 'disposable' jewellery. Perfect for the recessionary environment. Interesting to note that while it attracts customers from a much broader group, it is very focused. Great, strong branding and use of brand iconography (the heart - for the blokes out there :) )




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CHARITY THAT SELLS

Charity store, Oxfam, clearly starting to up its standards - as it needs to, to compete in today's marketplace. Broadway mall, lunch time, Thursday.

Mar 19, 2009

PAINT IT BLACK











I am an habitual shopper of consumer electronics stores, one of the few retail domains which is male-friendly.  The Dick Smith electronics chain has always been on my repertoire list, but most of the smaller stores have tended to disappoint in terms of range, presentation and service,  and I have generally preferred the larger format Powerhouse stores.  In fact, the Broadway store featured in this mini-review looked more like a toy-store at Christmas, and a badly run one at that.

The new image campaign, including TV ads, has simplified the brand hierarchy - Powerhouse is gone, and the brand has returned to its heritage as Dick Smith - a place for 'tech experts'.  

As mentioned in a previous post - see below - the use of black in the logo is spot-on - male and 'techy', rather than the very corporate blue for Powerhouse, and straightforward and simple, rather than the use of many visual elements in the old logo. In the smaller stores, the yellow tended to dominate and distracted from the black.  Black is a difficult colour to use in a balanced manner outside a fashion environment, so the treatment for the re-launch was very interesting.

The video clip below shows that an excellent balance has been achieved in the new-look store in Broadway.  The clutter of the previous store has gone, and it looks like the range has been simplified and been presented with clear planogram-driven merchandising disciplines.

The layout is simple and easy to follow, despite the tight space in the (expensive rental mall) store.  The service area is well lit and easy to navigate, and the small items prone to stock loss are close by for easy observation.  

I liked the use of yellow accents with the web-site url on the black 'dump bins' - great reinforcement with a dash of colour. While some parts of the store are still a little dowdy - some product simply does not lend itself to display on grey/charcoal fixtures - the overall impact is positive, and a huge improvement.

It could just have been 'opening week syndrome' but staff were helpful and friendly too. Worth a visit.

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Mar 18, 2009

SCARVES THAT FLY

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Outstanding window at Hermes, Collins St, Melbourne.

BLAND WINDOW DISAPPOINTS

Kikki.k QVB not up to usual standards. Colours are too insipid for a
busy commuter environment.

Mar 17, 2009

ESCAPE THE MALL

Internet kiosk East Gardens with colour that differentiates in sea of
visual clutter. Easy, friendly signage possibly overdone.

THE COLOUR SMIGGLE

Great use of colour throughout the store and in window creates funky
environment. Smiggle East Gardens.

BLACK POWER

New Dick Smith signage Moore Park is 'on brand' - masculine and techy.



WORLD OF COLOUR

World Square, Sydney has a lot of small, narrow spaces, and is a very busy commuter thoroughfare. I thought the use of changing colour in this section of the centre was a good way to 'lighten the sensory load' and draw attention away from the narrow space.

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Mar 15, 2009

AERO DYNAMIC

Aero Plus is the retail front for an Australian design company with presence in Melbourne and Sydney.  We came across this store in the quiet Southgate centre on the Southbank in Melbourne, and were impressed with how busy it was (Sunday afternoon), compared to the rest of the centre.  Expecting premium prices, I was pleasantly surprised how reasonable the funky designs of everyday items (from juicers to folders) were priced.  The designs have a slightly quirky aspect which enhances appeal.  The store is small (hence the poor footage - apologies).  Worth a visit. 

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Mar 14, 2009

TITLE BY NAME AND CONTENT

One of my favourite specialty shops is Title in Crown St, Surry Hills.  They provide an interesting arthouse blend of mainly music and movie content in a low-key environment.  The owners are importers and distributors into Australia of some specialised product which means the range on offer is always top-notch, although prices are usually premium.  Have a look at the review video - this shop is not for everyone, as the overwhelming range and the often low service levels mean that you have to know what you want, and be prepared to look for it.  The exploration can be hugely rewarding, and is a pleasant contrast with the commoditised way content is sold in 'mainstream' music stores.

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VOODOO WINDOW

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Smiggle's voodoo display catches attention, but unless you know the product on offer, the message is a little obscure.  it does, however,  have cut-through.  Broadway mall.

Mar 9, 2009

HIP MELBOURNE

Amazing hip area of Melbourne CBD, Centre Place,  shows why the city centre is such a retail magnet, offering customers a wide variety of experiences to suit eclectic tastes.   The city has done a great job of using lanes and alleys to create retail precincts (mostly around food and specialty boutiques) which are an excellent counterpoint to the more traditional high street and mall fare.  While this one is more 'hip', many of the others are in a more traditional European style.

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INTELLIGENT CO-HABITATION














A great example of retailers' intelligent use of their neighbours, and development of  a mini precinct.  Intrepid Travel draws the adventurous independent traveller, Kathmandu sells the gear, and A&R provides the travel books - good use of pavement signage and window display to maximise the benefit.  C/o Bourke and Elizabeth St, Melbourne CBD.  

SWEET SALE OR TOOTHACHE ?



An attractive sweet shop in Melbourne's Southgate complex - great use of colours and innovative window display use - see how they are angled, which maximises impact and space.  However, it must be a sign of retail pain when a sweet shop is 'on sale'.


ELEGANT GPO


























Best use I have seen for an old GPO - Melbourne's old GPO is a stunning renovation of the main post office into an upmarket 'galleria' of specialty shops.  More observational footage to come in 'Dissection of a Shoe Store' (to be posted later).

Mar 6, 2009

WORLD ON SALE

<<DSC00045.JPG>> A striking image from a luggage shop window, World Square, Sydney. Simple, yet effective, it shows importance of dramatic lighting.


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Mar 3, 2009

Mar 2, 2009

PLAYING GAMES ?

Visually cluttered store Moore Park that has commoditised its exciting product.

FREEDOM FOR COUPLES













Moore Park store, Monday lunch-time, a quiet day in the store which is undergoing a major merchandising re-lay, probably to reflect new seasonal stock coming in (autumn look).


It's interesting how couples shop together to reduce the perceived risk of major purchases, typically for the home. Contrast the first vignette where a woman is shopping alone - her body language is quite introspective. Now watch the second vignette - the sales assistant is engaging the woman, but he is clearly pretty disinterested, maybe a bit embarrassed by the discussion about the duvet set. In the third snippet, she asks him if he is worried, but he is leading her into the linen department. All in all different dynamics. What could the retailer do differently to reduce perceived risk for 'blokes' in this situation, or at least increase their comfort levels ? They're a tough audience.


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ANACONDA - THE GRASS ON THE SNAKE


Anaconda recently opened a huge new store at Moore Park to huge fanfare. The Shoppologist cruised through there on a Monday lunch-time. The store was predictably quiet.

The huge barn-like atmosphere shouts range and low price but lacks ambience and theatre. The no-frills features like concrete floors and high stud lights reinforce the low price proposition. The wooden check out and service counters are a bit hokey, as are the staff members' vests.

However, I found the staff member I encountered friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

The advertising is of the unfortunately ubiquitous 'shouting deal' variety.

This is undoubtedly a destination if you are looking for any camping or outdoor leisure gear, a traditional category killer model - they feel a bit like the Super Cheap Auto of camping, which is ironic as that business has its own BCF (Boating, Camping, Fishing) large format business.

It will be a haven to blokes looking for a male-friendly environment, but a turn-off to those looking for a more engaging shopping experience.

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Mar 1, 2009

WINDOWS THAT SELL- SHOPPOLOGIST REVIEW

Some observations while drinking a coffee in the Broadway mall - just off city centre, a strong fashion mall, mainly mid-market, with a sprinkling of more upscale stores. dotti is a national womenswear fashion chain owned by Just Group, and is experiencing strong growth. The core target market is the 25 year old working woman. Merchandise is reasonably priced, and of a reasonable quality. In the Broadway mall, the store is located on the top floor, in the specialty fashion precinct - its neighbour immediately left is Esprit.

I was struck by the impact the windows had on passing foot traffic. The store gets a disproportionate share of the passing traffic in a relatively quiet area of the mall, and leaves its far larger Esprit neighbour for dead. The contemporary fashion direction (return to hippies/60s era) was well demonstrated. The clear background to the display lends impact.

The window display was mirrored with key items merchandised at the front of the store (next to the security bollards). The video below also shows the importance- long understood by successful retailers - of strongly merchandising the 'facing' wall - that is the one facing the highest traffic flow - in this case from left to right.

The video shows about 2 mins of continuous running footage taken at approx 2pm - 2.15pm on a recent Thursday.
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UPDATED: A BASIC NUMERIC ANALYSIS

  • In the 2 mins of this observation, 24 consumers passed or entered the store, or 1 every 5 secs.
  • Of these, 13 were from the left, 11 from the right side of the store.
  • Of the 24, 17 (71%) were female, 7 male.
  • Of the 24, a staggering 11 looked at the window (7 from the left, 4 from the right)
  • Of the 11 looking at the window, 10 were female, meaning that 10/17 (59%) female customers observed the window.
  • Of the 10 who observed the window, 7 (70%) went into the front of the store and examined the merchandise displays.
  • Thus of the original 17 female customers (target market), 7 (41%) were converted into examining the displays at the front of the store.



SOLE-FUL CHEMIST

(forgive the double entende) Chemist, Soul Pattinson, Miranda Mall is obviously big into orthotic shoes - this window looks more like a shoe-store - perhaps forgot to sell the health benefits, but gets ticks for trying to make an unsexy category fashionable.  It will be interesting to see how they go. 


THE 60s ARE BACK

Latest seasons look at Forever Young Miranda mall

OFF BRAND OFF TARGET

Poor promo concept inconsistent with brands on display Myer Miranda

RIVETTING





















New Levis store format good use of brand iconography Miranda mall

A STEP AHEAD

Strong use of background colour Quiksilver Miranda mall

Mmmm CHOCOLATE

Good merchandising Lindt store Miranda mall

DREAM

At David Jones good use of security bollards Miranda mall

FISHY BUSINESS

Impressive range and display Miranda mall, service was good too

THE TOPLESS LATTE

(Source: CNN) http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/02/27/topless.coffee.shop/index.html

  • STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Men, women without tops wait tables at Maine coffee shop
  • Owner says high number of applicants a reflection of tough job market
  • Staff hired on basis of friendliness and willingness to "treat everyone equally"
  • "People leave here happy and can't wait to come back," owner says

Video report here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0flr8790g0