retail marketing strategy, consulting assignments, executive workshops, conferences and research services, merchandising ideas, advertising ideas, consumer behavior, shopper behavior, shopper marketing, shopper insight, retail e-commerce

Nov 30, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

Harrison's Pharmacy, Broadway.  I think this pharmacy generally does a good job, but they have missed a trick by not using the security bollards for messaging.  They have one of the highest foot counts in Sydney past their store.  It can be done tastefully to fit in with their store.  Hey, you heard it here first... :)

The dark side of Christmas

Jeans West, Broadway.  This 'noir' look is very dark for summer and Christmas - what do you think ?

Bad Timing, No ?

Portmans, Broadway.  One helluva time to refurbish your store, isn't it ?  less than 4 weeks to Christmas ...Mr Lew cannot be happy ...

Needle Tracks

Tattoo shop, Elizabeth St, Surry Hills.  With the prevalence of tattoos these days, it is a wonder that tattoo shops are not more mainstream, although one could argue the element of mystery and rebellion is part of their appeal.  Either way, they could be promoting their business a lot better.  I thought these two graphics are more than eye-catching, imagine what they would look like (especially at night) if they were backlit ?

Industrial Strength Sunscreen

Target, Bondi Junction.  I know sun protection is an important social issue, but that doesn't mean the associated marketing should be boring.  Have a look at this packaging - maybe the design agency was also working on some industrial or automotive cleaners ?    Packaging is very important in sending consumer cues - perhaps way too important to be left to some.

Head- Scratching Marketing

Pharmacy, East Gardens.  Undoubtedly a serious issue if your child has it, but this left me literally scratching my head.  I think it shows the danger of using vendor-funded advertising.  Not the most positive message for either entering or leaving a store.  What were they thinking ?  Did they think parents would need to be reminded ?

Fresh Competition Hots Up

Danks St markets, Waterloo.  As mentioned in the previous post, our local area has seen the opening of a farmers-style market this past weekend.  Saturday was pretty quiet, but Sunday was very busy, drawing as it did on the 'ready-made' market from the large and very busy Hillsong church across the road (see pic), which has multiple services on a Sunday. The range of produce was reasonable, but disappointing for not having the promised wine.  The interior is very basic, and some operators were pleasant and outgoing, encouraging you to taste the food.  Another positive is the parking, which is a rarity in the area.

On the downside, the warehouse structure has very poor ventilation, and will suffer on the warm summer days.  The range is currently somewhat limited, and quality looked ok, but not as consistent as the more upmarket Fratelli Fresh around the corner. Some operators seemed more like producers than retailers - more smiles and service required, I think :))

Apart  from this market, which will be open Saturdays and Sundays, the area also has the aforementioned, and long-established Fratelli Fresh, a Macro Whole Foods organic store, and the brand new Coles supermarket (see below), in addition to the nearby competition in Surry Hills, including a wide variety of fresh food stores in the village shopping centre.  The competition is hotting up.

How local is 'local' ?

Coles, Waterloo.  We had a good shopping experience at our brand new local supermarket the other day.  I will be posting some of the pics and observations over the next week.  However, it was interesting to see this 'claim' - I wondered what the % sourced locally and regionally would be ..... It did also occur to me that NSW is rather a large state....  At the same time we have had a local 'farmer's style' market open in the Danks St precinct, and a few speciality fresh produce grovers opening in Crown St Surry Hills not very far away - Thomas Dux (owned by Woolworths), Crown St Grocer, Maloney's.  Watch this space.

Retail Landscape

Nov 29, 2009

Boring - must be for Blokes

Myer, East Gardens.  They surely don't expect to sell anything from this display for Christmas ?

Not something you see everyday

East Gardens. His and hers foot spa treatments ?

Nov 28, 2009

The Boost Juice lighting saga: conclusion

Boost Juice, East Gardens.  Regular readers will recall my ongoing comments about Boost Juice here: http://shoppologist.blogspot.com/2009/11/saga-of-blown-light-bulb.html

Suffice to say, on my Friday visit to East Gardens I noticed they have now refurbished the store - although in a relatively minor way - and the offending light fitting has been removed.  It will be interesting to see how the store is maintained going forward.  As previously mentioned, retail is detail.

Smiggle takes on Kris Kringle

Smiggle, East Gardens. Clever marketing for a recession-affected gift giving season.

Nov 27, 2009

Who is Copying Whom ?

Sportsgirl, East Gardens.  This palm tree looks suspiciously similar to the Havianas one spotted the other day - link here http://shoppologist.blogspot.com/2009/11/tropical-christmas-tree.html  imitation, flattery and all that ?

Mac The Knife

Surry Hills, Friday afternoon.  I was impressed with this guy's service - generator and blade-sharpener on the back of his motorcycle, services food establishments.  I thought many retailers could learn from this principle in dealing with time-poor customers: get closer to customers, be timely, solve their problems, make it easy to deal with you, minimize overheads.

Abundantly Guilt-ridden

Darrell Lea, Bondi Junction.  A very impressive store that is clearly in the festive 'zone'.  My only minor gripe - they only stock coconut rough as a 'winter' line :( I am not sure I understand the logic of that ?? Not that there was any shortage of other sweet stuff to buy.  Not that I should have, but I did.  Guilt reigns supreme .... so I shared my sweets and halved my guilt :)

The Un-Riot

Riot! Art & Craft, Bondi Junction. Often, if not always, the 'un-glamourous' parts of retail are the most important.  Call it a hygiene factor if you will, but being in stock 4-5 weeks out from Christmas is pretty important.  This display was not good.  It was for goods you would normally use to decorate party outfits - go figure.

Who is on your List ?

Rebel Sport, Bondi Junction.  I thought this was an innovative approach from this sports retailer.  They have certainly lifted their game for Christmas.

Gifts that Come Alive

Australian Geographic, Bondi Junction.  I was quite impressed with the idea behind this execution - it shows imagination, a key value for this brand, and one which should appeal to their customers.

Post Shop sales no picnic

Australia Post, World Square.  Amazing that an inner city post shop would think it would be able to profitably sell picnic basket sets (see end of gondola), outdoor equipment and hydration packs.  Someone is not thinking.

Nov 26, 2009

Impressive and impactful

Dior, Myer, Bondi Junction.  Impressive presentation at the front of the store sets the tone for the cosmetics department.

A tropical Christmas tree ?

World Square.  Is this Havaianas' quirky take on a Christmas tree ? I liked how it stood out, was colourful and cheerful, and said something about the brand's attitude. An innovative approach to window display.

The Chocolate Pharmacy ?

Priceline,  World Square.  Hugely crowded entrance to this Priceline store makes it look more like chocolate shop than pharmacy.  A cynic might say, sell them chocolate now and weight loss products later :()

Small Steps for Telstra

Telstra store, World Square. This store has some potential.  I like the wide open feel, in contrast to the narrow format of many other T-stores.  The use of back-lit graphics and the dramatic lighting creates a soft, cool mood.  One of their challenges is in the use of the  corporate blue - a very difficult colour to have dominating a retail store. It absorbs light, and too much can look overly heavy and corporate. In this particular location, in a dark narrow end of the mall, it is problematic.  The grey carpet is functional, but also absorbs light - however the in floor graphic looks interesting, if a little dated in terms of retail design trends. Best practice these days is for security bollards to be 'merchandised' with display material.  Overall, though a small step forward on the somewhat sterile T-shops which have tended to  copy the Apple format.

Glue that Holds the Brand Portfolio together

Glue, Rebel Sport, World Square.  A new Glue store - best described as urban street and sportswear apparel  and footwear - has opened in World Square.  It is notable that the Rebel Sport store has also undergone a brand identity update - check out the logo, which has a welcome softening of the black colours in the Rebel logo, with the addition of orange.  Not a coincidence, I am sure, that both businesses are owned by Ascendia who also own Amart (mainly in QLD).  They or their designer -  clearly like orange and black, and the white accent.

Dead Parrots and Lawyers

JB Hi-Fi, World Square.  If you are looking for a quirky gift or a dead parrot, look no further. (Monty Python).

Not Wishing you a Trashy Christmas

Hot Dollar, World Square.  What can I say ?  Perhaps the best thing that can be said is it is likely have awesome markdowns just before Christmas if you want to leave your decorations that late or buy them early for next year.  I heard an unconfirmed rumour that two staff members went missing there last week...

Nov 25, 2009

Deadly Sin at Christmas

Target, Bondi Junction.  Without overstating it, it is NOT a good look when you are out of stock at any time, yet alone Christmas (last Sunday afternoon).  You cannot make sales without stock, and it really annoys time-poor shoppers.  #FAIL

A Rebels' Christmas

Rebel Sport, Bondi Junction.Impressive thinking and creativity behind their Christmas decorations.  The imagery on the bollards neatly integrates Christmas and summer sports (Southern Hemisphere).

Mrs Claus gets Marked Down

Target, Bondi.  I was amused to see how many people stopped to have a look at this product, placed cleverly at the entrance to the fitting rooms.  Perhaps it was the 'hotspot' lighting, or perhaps it was blokes trying to persuade their partners .. .there weren't many takers.... either way, it looks like Mrs Claus has been marked down this season :)

Dandelion Dreaming

Bed Bath 'n Table, Bondi Junction.  This surprising combination of stripes and dandelions works because of the ephemeral and soft nature of the image.  

Christmas Meringue for tea ?

Wheel and Barrow, Bondi Junction.  Effective use of a graphic and colour to create an attractive product-based seasonal window.

Splash the Colours of Summer

Bondi.  A simple colourful example of using an on-street window to store stock in a way that also makes a brand statement.  Summer is here !

Nov 24, 2009

A Retail Nightmare

Target, Bondi Junction.   The footwear department last Sunday afternoon - looks like a bomb has hit it.  I thought they must be re-merchandising but couldn't see a staff member anywhere. Perhaps messy kids or messy parents or both ?   Looks a bit like my office desk :P  

The Not-So Fine Print

Target, Bondi Junction.  Not a good look, running out of toner/ink - or is it a limited time only offer ? ;)

Looking after Rudolph

Plenty, Bondi Junction.  Cute looking quirky product this Christmas. For the reindeer in your life :)

Be careful of what you wish for ?

Myer, Bondi Junction.  One the challenges for retailers at this time of the year is how to execute their Christmas campaigns in-store.  I think the basic idea behind this Myer campaign is sound, with a great graphic.  However, the translation of the idea into the other elements and the in-store execution has, in my view, let them down.  They are only likely to look more tacky as the weeks go by.


Pandora, Bondi Junction.  The dreamy quality of the lighting and the behind counter graphic have added another dimension to this otherwise functional, but stylish store.  

Nov 23, 2009

Wood for Christmas ?

Country Road, Bondi Junction.  Ok, so I took it perhaps too literally, but seriously, what does wood have to do with Christmas ?  If they want to say 'natural' are there not other better ways of doing it ?   Maybe they recycled some of the wooden hangers they had in their windows recently.....

Gauche ?

Louis Vuitton, Bondi Junction.  Gauche or stylish ?  Personally I think LV are 'off-brand' with this - it looks too crude to be associated with a premium luxury brand.  What do you think ? Comments below please ..

Shockingly boring

Newsagents, Bondi Junction.  This is 'jaw-droppingly' poor.  Not only is the display totally boring at a time when other stores are putting their best Christmas foot forward, but this is on one of the busiest walkways in one of the busiest malls in the country.  They appear to have suffered from an imagination failure.  Diaries - even black ones- don't have to be boring !

To make you smile

Bondi Junction.  Full marks to Westfield for creating this spectacular Christmas experience.  The kids were beside themselves with excitement.

Shopping on a diet

Industrie, Bondi Junction.  A fundamental premise of retailing is the store should be welcoming, at the very least to customers in your target market.  This brand new Industrie store breaks that principle with a tiny entrance.  I am not sure whose bright idea it was - perhaps a hamhanded attempt at 'exclusivity'.  Perhaps they are targeting really thin people only ? Which seems odd when your garments are in every David Jones and Myer store.....  I give the store frontage six months max.