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Oct 31, 2009

Lucky For Some

Michael Hill Jeweller, East Gardens.  Note the blackboard sign: "It's your lucky day - ask for the manager's price".  So does this mean that if you didn't happen to see the sign, you would end up paying more ?  Why would you do this to your customers ? Why wouldn't you simply say - Managers' Special Pricing in-store ?  It just makes you feel like you could be ripped off even before going into the store.  Lucky for some, unlucky for others.  Perhaps a case of a retailer being too clever for their own good ?

Lotto confusion

Lotto, East Gardens.  Confusion reigns. Pick a prize number between $3m and $20m - who would know ? I'd settle for $1m....

Forever New and Impressive

Forever New, Bondi Junction.  Huge and impressive display from this fashion retailer, achieves maximum impact in a very busy part of the mall.

Oct 30, 2009

Cardiology's Cardiac Problem

Kenny's Cardiology, Bondi Junction.  This store has a wide range of card product, and is quite tidy.  But somehow it lacks soul - the colours and interior fittings are bland, the staff subdued, the Christmas decorations an afterthought.  There appears to be no brand 'attitude'. Does Cardiology have a heart problem ?

Sweet Packaging

Darrell Lea, East Gardens.  I thought this packaging was pretty good for a tricky product like liquorice.  I liked the playful colours.

Redundant Pre-Xmas Sale

Zarussi jewellery kiosk, East Gardens.  There is something redundant in this name.  I guess we will be seeing a lot more of this before Christmas.

How Lush is that ?

Lush, QVB.  A great example of 'engaging the senses'.  Lush is well known for its aromas, but note use of colour and light.  Also worth noting from an operations perspective is the staff member's tidy uniform, her smile, and the clean lines in the store fixtures to offset the visual 'clutter' of the product.  Perfect balance.

This is just, well, Hot

Surfection, Bondi Junction.  This graphic for SeaFolly at a busy end of the mall is impressive - for many reasons :)

What Colour is your Coffee ?

Nespresso, Bondi Junction.  Nespresso is matching the trend set by other big brand manufacturers to go 'retail' with flagship stores.  They typically spend up large on fitouts, and are loved by mall owners.  They don't really pay their way in direct sales, but are seen as 'investments' in the brand.  The question is, how do shoppers view them ? Do they feel more positively about the brand as a result ?  Personally I think that while awareness might be positively influenced, many of these brands have high levels of awareness already (think Sony), and sometimes having the brand 'personified' by a salesperson can remove the mystique of the brand.  What do you think ?

Oct 29, 2009

Simply Chanel

Chanel, Bondi Junction.  The power of the brand on display - simple, impactful.

THE BLANK CANVAS COMPETITION ! (Entries now closed - results due Monday)


#5. @stinginthetail entry

Yes, i gave in, lol - here's my entry - i was thinking one of those 'spoil yourself' shops - giftwares and lush body treatments

#4. Yet another Bambi @DoTheWoo entry
Homewares store. Get Nosh It Wood Fire Pizza portable oven into window - At set times during the day have gourmet pizza cooking (& sampling) demonstrations to promote sale of pizza stones, cutlery, china, etc.

#3. Another Entry from Bambi @DoTheWoo

Pet shop: Rocks, Cacti, Balls of String. Labels on each to tell us what great pets they will make - with a sign to tell the shopper that the really cute puppies and kittens are inside...

#2. Entry from Bambi, @DoTheWoo

Idea for an Art/Craft supply shop. I would like to conduct 10 to 15 minute How To Sessions in the window - with a live artist demonstrating, for example, how to paint sky; how to mosaic; etc. The demonstrater would be miked,with the window dressed as an art studio. Speakers just outside the window so that the crowd could stand & watch. Each 'show' to end with a art/craft pack.

#1. Entry from Stephen Glanville, the noSH-IT wood-fired pizza man:

Pic attached. It is also available online here - http://edits.nosh-it-wood-fired-pizza.com.au/2009/11/02/blank-canvas-contest/ (It's so unusual for me to enter a contest, I did a little blog article about it :-)
I may not qualify for the 'originality' bit...but then I thought it's a bit tough to come up with an original consumer item on a planet that sells everything from the land we live on and the water we drink to our own genes and even viruses :-P. So I opted to work with the image as provided and within it's actual context. The shop looked to me like some kind of office supplies shop that has delusions about being a gift shop as well. So I thought I'd focus on the 'Gift' side of things.

The competition
I was walking past this store, when I thought I wonder what I would display or merchandise in this window ? And then I thought - what would fellow tweeps and friends do ? So the idea was born.

Your challenge ?
You can assume you run whatever retail store you want to (or is your favourite). Come up with an idea or concept to make maximum sales from this window for the next 2 week period ending 11 November, 2009.

The rules ?

1. Your idea cannot be a discount idea.
2. Your idea can be represented in any of: words, a message or a drawing (handrawn is fine :) ) A video clip would also work :)
3. Some size limitations: words - no more than 100, drawing - no more than 1Mb, video clip to be YouTube compatible.

The Prizes ?

3 prizes !

1st prize: TWO hours' free consulting from The Shoppologist on any marketing problem PLUS a FREE copy of Open Wallets (see here).

2nd prize: ONE hour free consulting from The Shoppologist on any marketing problem PLUS a FREE copy of Open Wallets.

3rd prize: A FREE copy of Open Wallets.

Terms and conditions:
1. Entries must be entered as comments below on The Shoppologist blog, including links to images.
2. Images to be emailed to me at shoppologist@gmail.com Contact me for any links to any other sites. Images must be in standard formats - jpg, tif, gif, png, bmp etc.
3. The idea must be original, and 'owned' by the entrant.
4. The Shoppologist's decision is final.
5. The consulting prize must be utilised by 15 December, 2009. Consulting may be delivered telephonically, electronically or in person.
6. Entries close at 12 noon AEST on Friday, 6 November, 2009.
7. The winners will be announced on Monday 9 November, 2009 on The Shoppologist blog.

That's it ! Good luck .... and happy to take any questions via the blog too.

Trick, Treat and Trash

Dollar store, Bondi Junction. Grown-ups hovering at the Halloween display - some kids could get a nasty shock ? ;)

Havaianas Anyone ?

General Pants, East Gardens.  Cool poster - summer without the words.

Retail Landscape

Oct 28, 2009

Retailer's Hot Water

Fragrance Connection, East Gardens.  A stand out Hot Water by Davidoff display.  This is in contrast to the visual clutter of the rest of the store, showing that 'Less is More'.

JB Hi Fi - tall people need not apply ?

JB Hi Fi, East Gardens.  Even I had to duck to get into this store, and then decided it was too much trouble. I walked out. (PS - it's one of my favourite stores to browse)

Why are the lights STILL out at Boost Juice ?

Boost Juice, East Gardens.  I visited my favourite juice bar today, the subject of earlier posts about their failure to replace the blown lightbulb.  Would you believe that, months later, the offending bulb has STILL not been replaced ?  A closer inspection revealed the ones in the 'ceiling bulkhead' had a few blown bulbs as well - at least 4 out the 12.   Do they really think these things do not matter ?    Now, here's the point - if they cannot take care of the little things like broken lightbulbs what hope is there they will take care of the big ones, like product safety, good quality ingredients, good hygiene and customer service ?

Is Charity for Sale ?

Oxfam, Broadway.  Oxfam have been running a sale with 'over 1500 lines to clear'.  Now for the typical size of their store, 1500 lines is a lot. For a 'for-profit' retailer this is just the pain you take for having  mis-read demand - either in terms of volumes, or preferences.  It is a truism of retail that you need to move slow-moving stock (SLOBS - slow obsolescent lines)  to free up cashflow to replace it with stuff that shoppers DO want.  

However, this raises some interesting questions about how a Not For Profit (NFP) entity operates in the retail space.  Let me say that I have no idea how Oxfam have structured their retail operation, and that I applaud the way in which they been able to distribute product from suppliers who would normally not have had access to the retail channel.

Ok, so caveats aside, here are some of the questions:

1. Is the retail entity expected to do more than simply break-even ? Who pays the cost of capital ?

2. Who carries the pain for markdowns ?  presumably suppliers have been paid a fixed price ?

3. Does the scale of these markdowns suggest a broader problem with this type of business model ? In other words are shoppers only prepared to do so much 'ethical' purchasing ?

4. How aggressive should they be with the markdowns before it impacts on the perceived quality of their offering ? Do they then negotiate tougher trading terms with their suppliers (as most retailers would) ?

5. As a donor to Oxfam, would you be comfortable with the idea that your dollars might (I say this advisedly) be cross-subsidising their retail activity ? I would guess most donors would not. So, if not, what is the situation ?

6. As a donor to Oxfam, would you buy some of the 'distressed' merchandise ? Or would that make you feel slightly guilty ?

7. As a shopper, you can probably find similar 'ethnic' merchandise in other stores ? Does this influence your perception of price and value ?

I would be most interested to hear some perspectives, including from Oxfam.

Shoes come in Threes

Nine West, Broadway.  Here's an odd fact.  Have you ever noticed how many shoe styles are displayed in threes ?  It seems counter-intuitive, but the human eye seeks out symmetry.  Three styles look better than two styles and better than four styles.   If you observe carefully, you will see the leading footwear retailers, especially in ladies footwear merchandise like this for key lines, although not for every line - that would be too monotonous for the eye.  Interesting isn't it, and there we thought shoes always came in pairs :)

A Flock of Tutus

Cotton On Kids, Broadway.  This retailer normally appears on this site because of ambiguous and potentially misleading pricing.  So it is good to find something positive to say.  I thought the presentation of these tutus and shoes, was simple but eyecatching.  Mums and Dads with little girls on their way to the Target store down the way would not be able to walk past without a look.  Great product placement - and not a Sale sign in sight.

Oct 27, 2009

When shoe retailers stumble

Wittners, Broadway.  This retailer generally runs a very tidy operation with high visual merchandising standards.  So, it was a bit surprising to see this promotional rack display.  My issue is not that there is a promotional display - that is fine, but that it is not in keeping with the rest of the store. It looks like an afterthought, whereas a promotional unit is used so often in retail and occupies such a strategic spot at the front of the store, it should be carefully considered and designed. It should be smaller and carrying less stock.   Sometimes even the best retailers chase sales at all costs.

The Humble Pricetag

Tarocash, Broadway. It is amazing how  seldom you see retailers presenting their pricing so that it is clear and unambiguous.  Top marks to Tarocash for doing the simple things right.  By the way I thought the shirt was over-priced and not so humble :P.

Is Diesel over-claiming ?

Adidas, QVB.  Personally I think Diesel might be stretching it with this line.  What do you think ?

Boyz Toyz

AllPhones, Broadway.  Here's something you don't see often - a telecomms retailer dressing up a window.  In this case it was to profile a new Sony Ericsson phone.  I thought it was quite ...eh .. evocative :)

Forest Nymph Footwear

Novo, TGV. Eyecatching displays. I am not sure it communicates the full benefit of the 'ipanema' footwear brand - but nonetheless attractive.

Seriously Hot Lips

Gift shop, QVB.  Dramatic lighting adds to eyecatching product display.

A Rush of One-Legged Visitors ?

Paul Dane, QVB.  This store (which sells dresses, shoes and accessories) is either seriously over-stocked or seriously under-sized.  Mall retail space is very expensive and many retailers try to maximize the amount of stock they display - they also often have very little storage space on-site preferring to utilise floor space as selling space. 

However, this is often self-defeating - the store becomes so cluttered that it puts shoppers off and detracts from presenting a quality image.  This, and other Paul Dane stores, seem to be examples of this.  While the chain's young target market may not mind, I question whether they are making the sales they should from the space.  

In New Zealand and in some Scandinavian countries there is a custom that you remove your shoes when entering someone's home.  Maybe this store had a rush of one-legged visitors ? Or is the shoe on the other foot ?

White Hot Execution

The Body Shop QVB. This is a great example of a retailer thinking through their marketing. The campaign idea of 'White Hot Summer' in the window is reflected as soon as you walk into the store and spot the promo table. This makes the window work that much harder and helps to quickly convert busy browsers in this high-traffic location. And, as with all campaigns from this retailer, the presentation standards are high.

Oct 26, 2009

Packaging the Fragrance

Marc Jacobs Lola, Perfume Connection, QVB.  Eyecatching packaging.

Stunning Russian romanticism

Perfume Shop, Broadway.  Some of you may have previously see this stunning window display.

Cool stuff from Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander, Pitt St mall.  Cool looking lifestyle product and colourful packaging.

Coffee vs Sex

Gift Shop, QVB. Engaging window - especially the card message :) the lighting makes the display come to life.

Dick Smith's Bad Habits

Dick Smith, Broadway.  I know the consumer electronics business has always had an element of 'pile it high and watch it fly'.  But I was disappointed to see that, having refurbished their Broadway store, Dick Smith have fallen back on bad habits.  The clean lines of this new store design are diluted by the TV in the prime promotional spot at the front of the store being display on a cardboard box - it just degrades the quality of the product and the offering. It draws one's eye away from the back of the store - which is an important aspect of attracting a shopper further into the store.  And it's not even level.  The Techxperts are obviously just 'tech xperts' not 'retailing xperts'.

Redheads on the Corner in Surry Hills

Coles, Surry Hills.  My local supermarket has been steadily lifting its game with regard to merchandising.  I was impressed to see a product as potentially boring as firelighters given this treatment.  The angled presentation makes it stand out from the crowd and catches your eye as you turn the corner.  And I've always liked redheads :)

Retail Landscape

Oct 25, 2009

Recycled Billboards

Danks St festival, PYD, Waterloo.  These cool satchel bags and journal covers were made from recycled advertising billboard posters.  Very innovative.

For those with headaches and hangovers

Coles, Surry Hills.  Impressive merchandising of Berocca - obviously a market for it in Surry Hills.

Marilyn Monroe's Mitts

Coles, Surry Hills.  For those who want to get their mitts on Marilyn Monroe, or alternately want to handle their white powder carefully :)

iSnack2.0 is marked down

Coles, Surry Hill.  The new 'controversial' much-maligned iSnack2.0 from Kraft has already been marked down. 

Oct 23, 2009

Want lemon with your Bergamot ?

L'Occitane, Broadway.  Would you like lemon with your Bergamot ? A stunning, atmospheric window.

By the way you could always use the lemon for the Coronas :)

Simply Smiggle video

Smiggle, Broadway (video). (apologies for quality) Simple concept that is eye-catching.  They have done a consistently good job at using the plasmas in their windows.  They are also good at keeping the content fresh. 

More tacky jewellers

Prouds, Warringah.  By request from readers, this one is arguably 'worse' than some previously shown.

Apple's Refund Policy

Apple, Chatswood.  Here is an interesting story from the 'frontlines' of customer service.  Kudos to the Apple staff involved.  Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent people involved :)  

Letter received today:

Dear Stephen,

As per our brief chat here is my experience which you are welcome to add to your website if you think it will help anyone.

I purchased a MacbookPro 2 weeks ago and was very happy and excited ever since.  Apple have just introduced a range of new and improved products and also have dropped the price of my particular MacbookPro by $299. I thought "great I just bought something that has devalued in front of my eyes" and left it at that.

So I went along on Thursday to #nscm and got talking to K[] about how great Mac's were and she has just bought a very similar model for the reduced price. When I mentioned that I had to payr a lot more that she did. K[] then told me that Apple would refund the difference if the computer was purchased within the last 2 weeks.

She gave me the number for the Chatswood Apple Store (02) 8064 6303 which is a great number in itself as you get someone from the actual store rather than a general Apple sales number, that you get when trying to talk to the city store.

So I called and asked about a refund and they were more than happy to do it. So I printed my electronic receipt out went in and within 15 minutes had a $299 refund in my account.  So the Apple policy that I was unaware of is that if an item was purchased within 2 weeks of a new discounted price range a refund is given on the difference.

Now I feel great that I didn't buy at the wrong time and have the latest Macbook Pro at a fantastic price and want to keep promoting how good Apple is. Smart policy in my book.


Another Tacky Jewellery Sale

Zamels Jewellers, Broadway.  Not the best-looking jewellery sale I've seen.  

Your Year in Monochrome

Kikki.K Broadway.  Tidy window display and neat looking product.

Oct 22, 2009

Bright and buzzing

Vodafone, Warringah.  This Voda store seemed like a 'happening' place - bright and cheerful and buzzing. The lighting is quite cool. I would be interested to hear what experiences readers have had in their stores.