Barber Design https://barberdesign.co.uk Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:11:17 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 57168010 Angels Kidswear  – a retail design for AW Rostamani Group in Dubai https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/angels-kidswear-retail-design-dubai/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/angels-kidswear-retail-design-dubai/#respond Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:11:17 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7617 Last week our new retail design store concept for Angels Kidswear opened in the Dubai Mall, in Dubai. This project has been the latest development from our partnership with Dubai-based...

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Angels in the Dubai mall

Last week our new retail design store concept for Angels Kidswear opened in the Dubai Mall, in Dubai.

Angels in the Dubai mall

This project has been the latest development from our partnership with Dubai-based AW Rostamani Group to create a new brand identity and flagship store concept for their Angel’s kidswear brand. Having seen our work with the Discovery Channel and Emaar Store in Dubai which features the world’s largest retail media screen and a walk-through aquarium, AW Rostamani wanted a project that would have a similar level of impact with the sense of something that had not been done before – ‘at the forefront of something new.’

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

For locals, tourists, children and parents

Our brief was to create an exciting and magical shopping experience for both tourists and locals. Dubai is a hotspot for international luxury travel and we wanted this store to be a talking point and something that visitors with children would seek out on their trip. The Angels retail design has a modern, cool and contemporary feel with interactive elements to make the experience of shopping with children enjoyable and fun – rather than a chore. It is a place that children would specifically want to visit – but also luxurious and interesting enough that parents are encouraged to browse and buy. Inside the store there are jars of sweets and video screens set into the tables in a luxury seating area where children can enjoy themselves within clear view of their parents in the uncluttered open plan design.

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

Magical, adventurous and bold

The store design is luxurious, but without the bright, garish crayon colours often associated with childrenswear brands. At the entrance to the store, shoppers are greeted by a pair of vast 3D angel wings mounted on a floor-to-ceiling image of clouds at sunset. The wings create an opportunity for a ‘selfie moment’ where customers are able to engage with the brand and share on social media, thus promoting the store further with a ‘peer to peer’ endorsement.

Once inside, the flowing design features lots of curves and elipses – or ‘halos’ throughout the branding. Dramatic uplighting compliments the cascading ‘whalebone’ design of the ceiling which echos the shape of the angel wings with off-white drapes giving a theatrical feel. The predominant colours are a gentle off-white with lighting effects in subtle cloud colours of pale pink, violet and blue.

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

Doug Barber, MD of Barber Design has describes why he enjoyed working on the project:

”This project allowed us total creative freedom to create a flagship store for Angels by ripping up the rule book of what a brand might expect and allowing us to think outside the box in terms of what an engaging retail space could feel like.

“Without a doubt it is one of the most unique retail spaces we have worked on and successfully delivered for a fantastic client who was totally open to new and exciting ways to engage with their brand.  We were tasked with creating a new brand identity for Angel’s and a new store concept.   Research shows that customers nowadays are now looking for a ‘a total retail experience’ and this store will certainly entice, engage and delight shoppers …and leave a memorable imprint on their minds to ‘share and tell’ and re-visit with their families as brand advocates.  It is one of the most enjoyable projects we have worked on in the last few years and allowed us to also showcase our creativity to  our clients in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.”

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

The store reopened on Monday after the luxurious refit and is already proving a hit with shoppers. If you’re visiting Dubai this autumn do go and check it out and let us know what you think!

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

Angels in the Dubai mall

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Barber in Cannes – and Sherwood Forest https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-in-cannes-and-sherwood-forest/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-in-cannes-and-sherwood-forest/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 07:06:31 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7599 Last week we had a few exciting developments as some of our team headed to Cannes for the TFWA Conference, whilst back here in Britain the £5m Sherwood Forest Visitor...

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Last week we had a few exciting developments as some of our team headed to Cannes for the TFWA Conference, whilst back here in Britain the £5m Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre – featuring our retail design work – opened in Nottinghamshire.

Barber in Cannes

Barber in Cannes

Three members of our Barber Design travel retail team headed to Cannes to meet with both new and existing airport retail clients at the TFWA Show.

Barber in Cannes

A great week was had by all and it was exciting to see some new and innovative retail technology solutions at the event. The  airport retail industry is becoming very engaged in providing a holistic retail experience in order to surprise and delight passengers.

Barber in Cannes

In his closing speech at the conference, TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen revealed that the travel retail industry is continuing to grow and that members and associates of the TFWA should be very pleased at what they have achieved:

“This is very heartening considering the uncertainty of markets across the world. Despite these and other challenges, people are travelling and spending.”

Our trip finished on a high note when our clients at Mumbai Duty Free won a well-deserved award for ‘Best Marketing’ at the Frontier Awards ceremony –  the much-coveted Oscars of the Global Travel Retail industry. Congratulations to all of the shortlisted nominees and we hope to see you in Cannes next year!

Barber in Cannes

Barber in Cannes

New Visitor Centre Opens in Sherwood Forest

Meanwhile, back here in the UK the brand new visitor centre opened in Sherwood Forest with a special opening ceremony, ahead of their annual Robin Hood Festival.

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

The centre’s shop was designed by Barber and we were really delighted to see how the finished build looks within this amazing setting.  The structure of the brand new £5m building aims to complement the forest with prominent curves, which reflect the leaves and natural forms in the surrounding woodland.

The building is split over two levels, covering 558 square metres with a range of useful amenities including our Barber-designed retail space, a café, toilets and a section for seasonal displays and events. The curve of the building guides visitors on a journey through the information, retail and exhibition spaces and out into the forest.

We’re glad to see the autumn weather was so good for the opening and almost as warm as Cannes – if you pay a visit to the Forest then do let us know what you think of the design and share some pictures with us.

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

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What are hyper-local store concepts and can they really save bricks-and-mortar retail? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/what-are-hyper-local-store-concepts/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/what-are-hyper-local-store-concepts/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:28:52 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7594 In the news this week, we read that data-driven hyper-local store concepts are now being touted as the new saviour of bricks-and-mortar retail – but what do we mean by...

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In the news this week, we read that data-driven hyper-local store concepts are now being touted as the new saviour of bricks-and-mortar retail – but what do we mean by hyper-local? And does it really work?

People outside retail fashion store

Retail trailblazers Nike have been successfully trialling the hyper-local concept in the US and are looking to open more hyper-local concept stores – where the shop is tailored to meet the needs of a very specific local community. Describing their first data-driven store as an “experimental digital-meets-physical pilot,” Nike’s gamble seems to be paying off with shoppers flocking to the highly-personalised retail concept.

Situated in the prestigious Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles the 4,57 sq ft store has been inspired by and designed for users of the Nike Plus app. Using data from the app, Nike discovered that Melrose shoppers love to shop new trends and are particularly interested in running gear – so the store is designed with this in mind and stocked with lots of trendy new fashion items and rails full of of running gear.

The buying patterns and customer engagement data gleaned from the app has also been used to provide insights into how the store should be styled as well as stocked, so that Nike can serve the shoppers with the things they want the most, in an environment they enjoy regardless of nationwide or seasonal trends.

Blazing a trail

Talking about the experimental store, retail expert Siu Lan Choi suggests that Nike are blazing a trail for others to follow:

“Nike are pioneers on many fronts, which is why we’re seeing them make this move first, but I do think we will see lots more of this approach. What’s particularly interesting is that the brand has been able to open up a global community through the NikePlus app, and is now taking that specific information and data back to create something super-local.”

Data-driven

Paul West, a retail strategy director agrees that Nike are on the button with their data-driven approach:

“Customers are demanding a more relevant, personalised service because they are used to being able to get anything, at any time. It is also safe to say that in some markets big global brands are approached with cynicism, so a more localised approach can be a good strategy. From a customer perspective, shoppers today are bombarded with so much choice that a more edited offer, combined with good service, is appealing.”

“We are definitely seeing more localised formats and I expect that to continue, but retailers are also trying to create a ‘family’ of different spaces within their portfolios to get closer to customers – it could be localised but it could also be a service-led format or focusing on convenience.”

It certainly looks like Nike are onto something with their new hyper-local approach. The store has proved very popular with locals and they are already planning a second similar store in Tokyo, before potentially rolling it out in cities across the globe.

Could Nike’s tailored, local customer-focused approach really help solve some of the challenges facing the high street? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Picture credit: Anna Utochkina on Unsplash

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Barber listed as one of the Top 50 Retail Design Agencies https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-listed-as-one-of-the-top-50-retail-design-agencies/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-listed-as-one-of-the-top-50-retail-design-agencies/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 14:13:18 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7590 Exciting news in the Barber office this week as both our business and our retail design work have been recognised and rewarded. We have just been listed as one of...

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Exciting news in the Barber office this week as both our business and our retail design work have been recognised and rewarded. We have just been listed as one of the Top 50 Retail Design Agencies in the world by Insider Trends. And that’s not the only bit of good news as our client Flemingo Duty Free has just been nominated for Airport Retailer of the Year.

Flemingo Departures duty free

Barber listed amongst Top 50 Retail Design Agencies

It was an honour to find ourselves at number 2 (confession: it’s in alphabetical order) of the list of Top 50 Retail Design Agencies in the World by retail trend spotters, ‘Insider Trends’ last week:

“London-based design agency Barber has almost 20 years’ experience in designing retail environments and brand identities. Its work spans the full range of retail from luxury to fashion to travel to pop-ups for an impressive list of brands including Harrods, Nike, Topshop, Jigsaw and Diesel. We think it’s Barber’s eye for visual merchandising that helps set its concepts apart. We’re not the only ones with the likes of Drapers and Retail Week also recognising its work at their various awards.”

Flemingo nominated for a reward

We loved working with Flemingo Duty Free in Sri Lanka last year to help them to create a brand new Duty Free Departures Retail Concept – so we were thrilled to find out that they have just been nominated for a prestigious ‘Airport Retailer of the Year’ gong at the Frontier 2018 Awards.

Flemingo have been shortlisted from a record number of entries for what has often described as the ‘Oscars of the travel retail industry.’ The winner will be announced at the 34th Frontier Awards ceremony, which is taking place at the Congress Mandelieu Expo Centre in Cannes on the 3rd October, as part of the annual TFWA Show. Regular blog readers will know that we always attend the TFWA event, so this year it will be even more fun as we can be there to cheer on Flemingo and hopefully see them receive an award in recognition for their outstanding experience and expertise in travel retail.

You can read more about our work with Flemingo – and see some photos of the design here on our portfolio page.

Flemingo Departures duty free

Meet us at the TFWA Awards in Cannes

We’ve been regulars at the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit in Cannes for several years now and it really is one of our favourite industry events. If you are going to the TFWA show and would like to find out more about who we are and what we do then please get in touch and come and find us. We will be there from 1st – 4th October. Hopefully we will see you in Cannes!

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

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Clicks and mortar retail – can social media help the high street? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/clicks-and-mortar-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/clicks-and-mortar-retail/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:28:17 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7566 This week we’re taking a look at the burgeoning trend for clicks and mortar retail. Regular readers of our blog will know that the popularity of the internet and smart...

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This week we’re taking a look at the burgeoning trend for clicks and mortar retail. Regular readers of our blog will know that the popularity of the internet and smart technology has prompted some retailers to take another look at how they sell – both in physical and virtual stores. Some shops that started out online have even moved into bricks and mortar retail – as it becomes increasingly apparent that shoppers enjoy both the convenience of shopping online and the experience of shopping in store – particularly when those experiences are enhanced with apps and other cutting edge retail technologies.

A group of girls with their shopping and smartphone

Despite these developments, recent figures suggest that many retailers are still failing to catch on – especially smaller vendors and independent stores – those which are vital for making the high street more appealing as a destination for retail experiences, rather than just a place to grab essentials. Nearly half of small businesses don’t actually have a website – something which according to statistics, can impede growth by 40%. But even if a shop does have a website or even a Google Business page, a recent survey by PwC suggests that social media could be the new key to increasing retail footfall – as social networks are now the number 1 source of inspiration for purchases.

The number of retailers recognising the value of, and willing to invest in social media advertising is growing – with a projected increase of 40% on social media advertising spend forecast by 2020. And, whilst ad hoc tweeting and posting can trigger a spike in sales, more and more companies are planning ahead and integrating social media into their wider campaigns.

Encouraging shoppers into stores

This kind of multi-channel merchandising requires meticulous forward-planning. Graphic design, digital story telling and content scheduling are planned well in advance as part of an integrated product marketing strategy – where the visual merchandising reflects the wider campaign. This approach is so popular it has become a ‘thing’ with some retailers coining the phrase clicks and mortar retail – as online channels serve to enhance in-store experiences or encourage store visits.

According to PwC, social media is driving brand popularity and footfall more than ever with 71% of satisfied customers more likely to recommend brands to others based on their experiences on Facebook and Twitter. Social media also allows brands to create exclusive social media offers that can only be redeemed in-store: rewarding loyalty and encouraging shoppers to come in and visit.

A woman using hre smartphone in the high street

Instagram revolution

Where Facebook and Twitter enable brands to engage directly with customers, Instagram is revolutionising retail in a different way. Primarily visual, the popular and aspirational social platform helps retailers to showcase their most visually appealing products or experiences and creates communities where shoppers can check in to locations and create a sense of curiosity around products using specific hashtags.

So the next hope for saving the High Street and driving footfall to stores could be the clicks and mortar approach. A well-planned and executed social media campaign, which ties in with an existing marketing strategy could be a real boon for any size store – from franchises to smaller independents retailers – but whatever you do, do something! As the statistics demonstrate, being invisible online could seriously damage your business. Social media is here to stay – whatever your feelings about using it – and should be embraced. For now at least, one channel will not supersede the other – and many brands are developing some pretty decent strategies for making them work together.

Have you applied a clicks and mortar strategy in your store? Do you think online retail will ever see off bricks and mortar (or vice versa?) Let us know in the comments below!

Picture credits: Kevin Grieve and rawpixel on Unsplash

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Barber retail design for the new Sherwood Forest visitor centre https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-for-the-new-sherwood-forest-visitor-centre/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-for-the-new-sherwood-forest-visitor-centre/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:04:29 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7560 Next month a consortium of partners, led by the RSPB, will be assuming guardianship of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. As part of the new initiative, a brand new £5 million...

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Next month a consortium of partners, led by the RSPB, will be assuming guardianship of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. As part of the new initiative, a brand new £5 million visitor centre will be opening in the Forest in a few weeks time and we are very pleased to announce that we have been involved with the retail interior design and customer experience at the new centre – which is expected to be an iconic new gateway to area. Best known for the legend of Robin Hood, the Forest covers over a thousand acres and the new partnership, comprised of six agencies – including Nottinghamshire City Council and The Woodland Trust – will be working together to protect and enhance the space for future generations.

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Designed by JDDK architects, the new centre takes a distinctive, organic form which curves and twists into the forest environment, sympathetically enhancing the space and creating flow from the forest into the village of Edwinstowe. The centre presents a modern take on the traditional village square, comprising the new visitor attraction, YHA Hostel, cricket club and local craft centre.

The new Sherwood Forest partnership is committed to preserving the forest and protecting the wildlife in the area whilst welcoming visitors and helping them to experience all of the wonder and history of this unique environment.

The most notable feature of the new building are the striking curves, created using a series of staggered roof beams designed to reflect the woodland environment whilst also acknowledging the legends of the local area where Robin Hood and his men used the trees to hide from enemies and shelter from the elements. Spread over two levels covering 558 square metres the building will contain a range of useful amenities including a retail space, a café, toilets and a section for seasonal displays and events. The curve of the building is designed to guide visitors through the information, retail and exhibition space and out into the forest. Once outside the overhanging roof canopy leads towards an amphitheatre, ideal for group visits and talks, with the forest beyond.

We’ll have more pictures of the new visitor centre once it is opened. In the meantime, here are some pics of the exterior work in progress. If you’re planning a visit to Nottinghamshire over the summer hols do check out the new centre – we’d love to know what you think!

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Barber design Anoela cards first physical store in Lagos https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-anoela-cards-first-physical-store-in-lagos/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-anoela-cards-first-physical-store-in-lagos/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:40:55 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7549 We’ve been very busy recently with many international clients including Anoela cards. Anoela are a Nigerian-based online greeting cards company with a website that sells a variety of fun, quirky,...

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We’ve been very busy recently with many international clients including Anoela cards. Anoela are a Nigerian-based online greeting cards company with a website that sells a variety of fun, quirky, creative greeting cards for everyone and every occasion. Following a successful online launch, Anoela wanted to take their business to the next level by opening their first physical store in Lagos, Nigeria. After seeing our portfolio online, they reached out to us to help them to create the retail store concept. In addition to the retail designs we are also developing environmental graphics, way finding and other key features for enhancing the in-store customer experience and making sure that the new shop matches up to the brand’s, playful and friendly online presence:

“We believe in the gift of giving, card-giving, and how it connects people and impacts lives. We also believe in new homes, new babies, beard-lovers and wine-lovers! Give our cards to someone you love. Or someone you don’t, or perhaps a stranger.”

Anoela cards Lagos

Anoela cards Lagos

Anoela cards Lagos

The company started up in Lagos in December last year selling a huge assortment of cards which are delivered throughout Lagos, either on the same day or the next day, depending on when the order is placed.

Anoela cards Lagos

The client has clear brand values and a strong vision of how they wanted to position themselves in the Nigerian retail market. We wanted to do something completely new, that had never been done before but which also suited the brands ethos – which they described as “fun, unique, sarcastic, cool and social.”

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You can see from these visuals that we have has a lot of fun with this design and Anoela are delighted with our work:

I love all of the concepts and ideas you came up with and I definitely feel like you understand the brand identity in every sense. I’m so excited and grateful that I’m fortunate enough to work with you and your team!”

Watch this space to see how the new store looks once it is open, later this year!

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The use of scent in retail – can aroma save the high street? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/use-of-scent-in-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/use-of-scent-in-retail/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 11:09:58 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7544 According to a recent article on the PSFK website, the use of scent in retail or ‘scent marketing’ is about to revolutionise the customer experience. Retailers are looking to capitalise...

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According to a recent article on the PSFK website, the use of scent in retail or ‘scent marketing’ is about to revolutionise the customer experience. Retailers are looking to capitalise on the power of smell in store – to boost shopper’s mood, feeling and awareness of their environment.

A bowl of sweets

Speaking to PSFK, scent expert, Olivia Jezler, suggests that until now scent was added to store designs as an afterthought. But now people are starting to catch on and capitalise on the power of using scent as an integral part of the retail experience:

“Smell is often brought in at the end of the process. It’s like, “Oh, just add in something here” to make it feel like this or that. If you’re working from the beginning with the sound designers and with the interior designers, you can work on creating the whole sensory branding, the brand guidebook of all the senses, materials and feelings. That is something that is definitely happening and is slowly reaching into the commercial space, so there’s more evidence-backed sensory experience design.”

Lady online shopping and smiling

Scent is more closely linked to memory and emotion than any of our other senses. This means that it is more likely to influence a customer’s attitude towards and perception of a brand. Recent research by Nike suggests that the use of in-store scent can increase a shopper’s intent to purchase by 80%. And a study by Ambius Premium Scenting – exploring the power of scent in stores – reports that it can significantly increase consumer engagement with a retail experience by as much as 38%.

Studies have proven that the right scent can evoke an atmosphere of quality and desirability in store. It can also increase the amount of time that customers are willing to spend in-store, by promoting relaxation, and reducing their perceived wait time by making the whole in-store experience more pleasant and enjoyable.

How we use scent in our retail designs

Here at Barber we have been using scent in our retail designs for quite some time. Most recently we had a great time testing out some delicious scents for a childrenswear store design that we are working on. The scents included bubblegum, popcorn, chocolate chip cookie, gingerbread and candy floss. Our office favourites were the honeysuckle and pink grapefruit and we have referred our findings back to the client for a final decision.

Scent samples in the Barber office

Are you using scent in your store design? Know of a shop that smells really good? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The best and worst high street retailers 2018 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/the-best-and-worst-high-street-retailers-2018/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/the-best-and-worst-high-street-retailers-2018/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:51:05 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7477 Last week a survey by Which? magazine hit the headlines as they named the best and worst high street retailers according to shoppers. More than 10,000 people participated in the...

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Last week a survey by Which? magazine hit the headlines as they named the best and worst high street retailers according to shoppers. More than 10,000 people participated in the survey, answering questions regarding their experience at 100 major high street stores.

Card payment being taken by high street retailer

Sad news for WHSmith

High Street stalwart WHSmith was voted the worst store of 2018, having found themselves in the bottom two for 8 years in a row. Shoppers cited poor value for money, meagre customer service and cluttered stores as the main reasons for the low score.

One customer told Which? that the stores “badly need updating” whilst another said it was “hugely inferior to what it was in the past”.

WHSmith’s poor performance comes just one a week after it faced a backlash for overcharging customers for toothpaste and other toiletries in their hospital shops.

Good news for the other Smyths

At the other end of the scale and ranking highly in the survey were cosmetics brand Lush and Smyths Toys Superstore.

Customers particularly loved the smells of Lush stores, something we acknowledge here at Barber as we integrate smell into many of our retail experience designs. And they loved the friendly, approachable customer assistants in Smyths stores.

Speaking about the results, editor of Which? – Ben Clissitt suggest that stores such as WHSmith need to pull their finger out and move with the times:

“It is clear that our traditional high street is changing and while this is bad news for some retailers who have struggled to adapt, others have seized the opportunity to make their mark.

“Our findings show that if retailers can strike the right balance between good value, quality products and first-class customer service, shoppers will keep coming back to their stores.”

Not all good news for Lush

Despite riding high last week – Lush are now facing a backlash after using politically charged window displays to highlight the undercover policing scandal. Whilst not afraid to use their platform to publicise political messages in the past, this time the retailer has provoked a lot of flack for the wording of their campaign, which has been misinterpreted as an attack on the police force as a whole.

The UK government has waded into the debate with Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeting: “Never thought I would see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our hardworking police.”

Thoughts?

Do you think Lush have overstepped the mark? Do you like a store that smells good? What do you think WHSmith should do to pull their socks up – or do you like them just the way they are? Let us know in the comments below!

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Travel retail design project visuals for Flemingo Duty Free https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/travel-retail-design-project-visuals/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/travel-retail-design-project-visuals/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 13:38:59 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7433 This week we are pleased to be able to reveal some visuals for our travel retail design project for Flemingo Duty Free at Macau International Airport in China. This is...

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This week we are pleased to be able to reveal some visuals for our travel retail design project for Flemingo Duty Free at Macau International Airport in China. This is the second time we have worked with Flemingo. We also worked with them to develop a retail design concept for the departure lounge at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri-Lanka, last year.

Barber design for Flamengo

As you can see from these visuals, our latest travel retail design reflects the vibrant nature of Macau – a dynamic, exciting resort city in Southern China. Known for it’s casinos and luxury hotels, the city is a popular destination for business, entertainment and shopping. A hotspot for international tourists, some of the most prestigious brands in the world have stores in Macau and we wanted our duty-free store design to reflect this feeling of exclusive luxury.

Macau Duty Free visuals

Macau’s tremendous energy and character drove the inspiration for our design. The shapes are free flowing and organic while at the same time full of vitality and contrast – with an eclectic mix of historically and geographically-inspired patterns which suggest energy and momentum.

Macau Duty Free visuals

Elegant and modern materials are used to construct an optimal customer experience throughout the space with promotional hot spots and light boxes. Strategically used technological elements including video walls, a virtual reality wall and a digital price-checking screen provide opportunities for continuous visual communication with everyshopper as they travel through the Duty Free area.

Macau Duty Free visuals

At Barber we have developed our own approach to travel retail design. We understand that travellers generally browse travel retail and duty free stores in a different way to high street or other stores and we use this knowledge in each design project. Our concept work for Macau is tailored to the location and designed to enhance an already vibrant location within the Macau International Airport’s departure lounge to appeal to travel retail passengers to this beautiful resort.

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Doug moderates a panel at the Retail Design Expo 2018 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-design-expo-2018/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-design-expo-2018/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 13:49:07 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7368 Last week the Barber team attended the Retail Design Expo in London where Doug was honoured to be moderating a panel discussion on ‘New Store Formats’ The panellists were Emma...

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Last week the Barber team attended the Retail Design Expo in London where Doug was honoured to be moderating a panel discussion on ‘New Store Formats’

Doug at the Retail Design Expo

The panellists were Emma Gullick, senior 3D designer for Phoenix Wharf and Caroline Philipson, Head of Store Development for Ann Summers.

Doug kicked off the discussion by suggesting that Retailers need to emulate a seamless experience across both portals – physical and online. This was followed by questions and answers discussing what ‘Experience’ actually means in the context of retail.

Doug at the Retail Design Expo

Emma suggested that it is not just a transaction – it’s getting something extra and Caroline agreed. At Ann Summers it’s a good staff experience where you feel understood. Doug suggested that a good retail experience is one where the customer comes away feeling enriched:

“The staff are essential in informing and tailoring the experience to the needs of each individual client. You still cannot get this face to face interaction, recommendation, tactility online. This is what the bricks and mortar store needs to champion.”

Doug at the Retail Design Expo

Here are a few pictures of the panel and the event. If you haven’t been to the Retail Expo before it really is worth a visit. Book yourself in for the next one which will be on 1st – 2nd May 2019. It is free to attend if you’re a delegate and as you can see from this picture of the exhibition space, it is very well-attended.

Retail Design Expo

Did you attend the panel discussion? How important do you think it is that retailers have a seamless multi-channel experience? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Is retail really dying? Or do retailers just need to up their game? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/is-retail-really-dying/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/is-retail-really-dying/#respond Wed, 25 Apr 2018 10:37:22 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7360 This week we read an interesting article by Alex Sbardella, which proclaimed that Retail ISN’T dying – but retailers are. As ‘Retail Apocalypse’ gains its own Wikipedia entry, and high...

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This week we read an interesting article by Alex Sbardella, which proclaimed that Retail ISN’T dying – but retailers are. As ‘Retail Apocalypse’ gains its own Wikipedia entry, and high profile UK chains continue to drop like flies – is this assertion really correct?

Over the last few weeks, Toys R Us and Maplin became the latest big-name brands to join the sorry throng of well-known retailers who have bitten the dust in recent years, along with BHS, Woolworths, Blockbuster….and lots of other former family favourites. Newspapers continue to report doom upon gloom and for some retailers the future is looking very bleak indeed.

Of course in this situation we have to ask ourselves why. Sbardella suggests that many people are still blaming online giants such as Amazon –and ecommerce in general – for the dearth of high street sales, even though online purchases still only account for 9% of sales in the UK. And when tech isn’t getting the blame, then its those frivolous, unpredictable millennials that are getting accused of wrecking the industry instead. But Sbardella suggests that neither are culpable for what is happening on the high street:

“But the truth? None of the above. Retail’s not dead. In fact, it is undergoing something of a renaissance – just not for everyone. eCommerce is booming, yet 91% of UK retail still takes place in physical stores; there’s a reason Amazon bought Whole Foods.”

He says that retailers are to blame for the problems happening in retail – mid-market retailers to be precise. Those that don’t offer premium goods or heavily discounted items are struggling to find a new angle. Whilst for luxury goods and discount stores, the future is looking very rosy.

Premium retailers are opening three stores for every middle-market one that closes and their revenues are growing around 40 times quicker than those of their middle-market rivals. On the opposite end of the scale, discounters are also thriving. Lidl and Aldi have been the best-loved brands in the UK for four years in a row. And as for the millennials, according to studies their spending habits are no different to other age groups with the same income.

So, Sbardella asks: “What happened to the safe homogenous uninspiring proposition that has served retailers so well for 40 years?”

I think he’s answered his own question a bit there hasn’t he? ‘Safe?’ ‘Uninspiring?” Many times on this blog we have described how retailers need to be agile and forward-thinking to adapt and survive in the modern retail landscape. On top of this, the middle classes who used to shop at middle-market stores are in decline. According to research from Oxford University, there are now 30% fewer middle-income shoppers in the UK. And in these uncertain economic times, customers have also gotten smarter. They shop around for the best deals and use apps and websites to track bargains.

So what do retailers need to do to stay afloat? Firstly they need to understand that customers have a far wider set of needs than they used to – and they need the freedom, resources and agility to be able to meet those needs. By offering exemplary customer experiences, journeys, stories, sharing values and building relationships – or at the other end of the scale, by giving them convenience and affordability.

Sbardella asserts that retailers have secretly known all this for years but only now that shops and chains are going into administration all around them do they realise that they must put it into practice in order to survive:

“If you’re in the middle, it’s innovate or die.”

Time to get tough! Do you agree with his comments? Or do you still think Amazon and EBay (and the millennials!) have a lot to answer for? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you’re a retailer looking for an agile retail strategy and some innovative in-store experiences to help you move forward – give us a call, we can help!

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Barber News – Doug to Chair Panel at Retail Design Expo – and Apartment 51 website now live https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/doug-to-chair-panel-at-retail-design-expo/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/doug-to-chair-panel-at-retail-design-expo/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:56:53 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7353 Next month the Barber Design team will be heading to Olympia in London for the Retail Design Expo. We are really looking forward to meeting up with lots of clients...

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Next month the Barber Design team will be heading to Olympia in London for the Retail Design Expo. We are really looking forward to meeting up with lots of clients and fellow designers and checking out what is new in the world of retail design at this world-class event. We are also delighted to announce that Doug has been asked to chair a panel discussion about New Store Formats at this year’s show.

Shop window mannequins

The panel will be exploring a number of themes, including a look at how bricks-and-mortar stores should evolve to meet constantly changing and diverse consumer habits and how retail designers can create different spaces for different types of shoppers. From those running errands or getting a top-up-shop – to those taking more time to browse and discover products. Seamless customer experiences in store and online are the key to attracting and keeping customers in this rapidly evolving industry.

Speaking on the panel are a prestigious selection of experts:

Emma Gullick, a Senior 3D Designer at Phoenix Wharf, Caroline Philipson, Head of Store Development at Ann Summers and Stephen Spencer, Director of Store Development at Lululemon Athletica.

With this level of experience in the room we are expecting the discussion to be lively and very informative – so if you are going to the Expo then you can check out the panel at 12:00 on 3rd May. If you weren’t planning on going then the Expo is well worth a visit and it is free to attend. It takes place on 2nd and 3rd May this year and you can sign up here.

Apartment 51 website now live

In other news, the Apartment 51 website is now live. Barber have been working closely with the Dubai-based lifestyle brand, part of the prestigious AW Rostamani group to redevelop the logo and branding identity for Apartment 51. This work has been part of a continuing partnership with AW Rostamani – including a logo for Angels Luxury Kidswear, which is based in the Dubai Mall.

 

If you’re interested in rebranding your business or you’d like to find out more about new store formats then our whole team will be at the Retail Design Expo on 2nd and 3rdMay. If you would to attend the panel discussion or meet up for a chat at the show then get in touch. The Barber Design team will also be at the TFWA show in Singapore on the 6th – 10th May this year if you would like to meet up at the show, please let us know.

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Recent work by Barber – including a new store design for Neal’s Yard in Sheffield https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-design-for-neals-yard-in-sheffield/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-design-for-neals-yard-in-sheffield/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:04:45 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7232 We have been very busy in the first quarter of the year. Here are some of the store design and branding projects that we have been working on: These photographs...

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We have been very busy in the first quarter of the year. Here are some of the store design and branding projects that we have been working on:

These photographs are of our latest store design for Neal’s Yard Remedies at Meadowhall in Sheffield. We have also been working on the design for another new Neal’s Yard store due to open soon in London. We’ll tell you more about this project once it is complete.

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

This is part of a continuing roll out for Neal’s Yard which has seen us work on store designs for them all over the UK and abroad. Our redesign for their flagship Covent Garden Store was nominated for a Retail Week Interiors Award and we have also worked on the design for their retail store based at their eco factory HQ at Peacemarsh in Dorset.

In addition to our work with Neal’s Yard, we have also been working with AW Rostamani group to redevelop the branding identity for their Dubai-based lifestyle brand Apartment 51. Again this work is part of a continuing partnership with AW Rostamani. We also designed their logo for Angels Luxury Kidswear, pictured below with the new Apartment 51 branding.

Angels and Apartment 51 branding designs

We have also been working on lots of other international retail design and branding projects including assignments in India and in the Middle East, a duty free store in China and a jewellery store design for a cruise ship.We’ll keep you posted with updates and photos of all of these projects once they’re complete.

If you’d like to make a date to meet up with us to discuss your retail design project – do get in touch or make a date to meet up with the team at one of several retail events we will be attending this year. Doug will be attending the TFWA show in Singapore in May (6th – 10th May) and the whole team will be at the Retail Design Expo (2nd and 3rd of May) in Olympia London.

Neal's Yard Sheffield

Neal's Yard Sheffield

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UK Retailers sign up for Retail Sustainability Initiative https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/uk-retailers-sign-up-for-retail-sustainability-initiative/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/uk-retailers-sign-up-for-retail-sustainability-initiative/#respond Thu, 15 Mar 2018 15:16:51 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7228 This week more than 25 UK retailers announced that they have signed up for a special retail sustainability initiative, pledging to ‘lead the fight’ in sustainability with a raft of...

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This week more than 25 UK retailers announced that they have signed up for a special retail sustainability initiative, pledging to ‘lead the fight’ in sustainability with a raft of proposals designed to tackle many global sustainability challenges recently defined by the UN. The retail sector is one of the first industries to develop such an initiative to take collective action and it is hoped that other industries will follow.

Online grocery sales soar to over 11 billion

Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, retailers including Ocado, Dixons Carphone and Sainsburys have developed their own strategy, ‘Better Retail Better World’, in order to address issues including deforestation, modern slavery and greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is being launched at a special event in parliament today, which will be attended by both government and retail representatives along with environmentalists and campaigners.

The retailers will be using the initiative to share best practices and knowledge in relation to the issues outlined in the SDGs, with full transparency to disclose how they are helping people from underrepresented backgrounds as part of a growing movement for change.

A lady in a red coat gazes into a store window

Chairman of the British Retail Consortium, Richard Pennycook explained the idea behind the initiative:

“It is time for the retail industry to show what it can do for the common good. We are taking collective action to build a better, more prosperous and sustainable world, and demonstrating how we are making a positive contribution to society, in terms of the supply chain, food packaging, and waste.”

The move is being supported by other stakeholders and associations who have been campaigning for change, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Their Chief Executive, Tanya Steele is described her excitement at the move:

“We are delighted to support the Better Retail Better World industry goals which provide BRC members with some of the best information and guidance to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The goals are what the SDGs are all about: bringing business, civil society and government together to bring about change in the world. Retail businesses working with consumers are key to the success of the SDGs and key in the race to restore nature.”

Of course as reported here on the blog earlier this year, it isn’t just the environment that benefits from this kind of policy. Following the broadcast of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet program about plastic waste last year, consumers are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about the environmental impact of plastic packaging and other retail production methods. So it also makes good economic sense for retailers to demonstrate that they are taking action on sustainability and environmental issues as customers will vote with their feet when it comes to choosing products that are created and packaged in a sustainable fashion.

Does your retail business have a sustainability policy? Have you started to reduce your plastic packaging or look at other ways to reduce emissions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Half of UK retailers still lack digital retail strategy https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/half-of-uk-retailers-still-lack-digital-retail-strategy/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/half-of-uk-retailers-still-lack-digital-retail-strategy/#respond Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:09:23 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7217 According to figures published by technology company Fujitsu last week, more than half of UK retailers don’t have a formal digital retail strategy in place for their business, despite many...

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According to figures published by technology company Fujitsu last week, more than half of UK retailers don’t have a formal digital retail strategy in place for their business, despite many indications that there is growing consumer demand for change in this area.

Hands using iPad

The report, entitled ‘Technology in a Transforming Britain’ is available as a pdf on Fujitsu’s website and uses research taken from 2,000 UK consumers. Of these around 46% believe that AR (Augmented Reality) will have a positive impact on retail and around 22% have similar expectations for VR (Virtual Reality). These are both hot retail tech topics that we have spoken about on here on the Barber blog a few times before.

However, despite the anticipated value of using technologies such as AR and VR and many consumer’s apparent readiness to adopt it, retailers are failing to embrace this openness to change. The Fujitsu report found that only 50% of retailers have a digital strategy in place that plans to introduce AR and VR ‘at some point’. And around three quarters of respondents admitted that they have absolutely no plans to introduce VR, AR or even AI (Artificial intelligence) to their strategy within the next 12 months.

Speaking about the report, Rupal Karia, Managing Director of Fujitsu and Ireland’s Commercial Sector describes the findings:

“When it comes to retail, consumers already say that they would be happy to be served by a robot in a supermarket or to have an automated machine to deliver their goods. This presents an exciting opportunity for retailers, who may have thought such futuristic technologies would have scared customers away, when actually it will entice consumers towards them more”

Despite this, according to Fujitsu, business leaders remain very negative about the changes that technology is creating within the retail sector. Whilst they can see that life in Britain has been fundamentally transformed, they view the change as having an adverse impact on business, rather than embracing the potential possibilities of retail technology.

Online grocery shopping

Some are reluctant to invest in new technology because of the uncertainty of the return on their investment (ROI) – particularly if they are considering early adoption rather than following others. 25% reported that they were disappointed in the ROI that new technology had brought them so far. However there is some light in the tunnel. Retailers who have embraced change were far more positive about adopting new technology – although some said they were yet to experience the benefits of a forward-thinking strategy. Of those who did, increased productivity (35%), improved operational efficiency (37%) and business growth (44%) were the key take away.

Has your retail business got a digital strategy are you one of the 50% that are missing out? Has embracing (or hiding from) new technology worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The See-Now-Buy-Now approach and why it is good for retailers https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/the-see-now-buy-now-approach-and-why-it-is-good-for-retailers/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/the-see-now-buy-now-approach-and-why-it-is-good-for-retailers/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 06:58:06 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7209 Social media has enabled consumers to become more engaged with retailers than ever before – but this is not without it’s problems. Access to boundless, instant information has caused retail...

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Social media has enabled consumers to become more engaged with retailers than ever before – but this is not without it’s problems. Access to boundless, instant information has caused retail trends to become fragmented (“The new trend is that there is no trend”) making large-volume fashion sales harder to predict. And the supply chain route has slowed right down after many large businesses moved their manufacturing processes offshore to low-cost/cheap-labour locations. The “See-it-want-it” consumers want to buy what they’ve just seen on the runway right now – not several months down the road. But how can retailers possibly adapt to fit the see-now-buy-now model?

Someone shopping using a smartphone

Not everyone is sold on the idea, but other are reporting terrific benefits to adopting the process – including 264% sales rises and brand new items selling out despite inflated prices. Amazon recently patented an on-demand manufacturing process so that they can quickly create clothing and other items on demand, rather than mass-producing and mass-marketing them. But how can other retailers get in on the game?

Here are five ways that retailers are moving to adopt a see-now-buy-now strategy:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Some retailers are using machine learning to pull data from multiple sources in order to implement ‘optimised line planning’ (OLP). This creates a single view of different types of customer personas which help them to plan new products based on different customer segments, created with aggregated real-world data. This approach enables designers and retailers to be more bold with their line planning, using informed processes to achieve maximum sales with less waste.

2.Customer Collaboration in Product Creation and Launch

Many retailers are adopting a customer-centered design approach in order to cope with the fragmented and differentiated consumer segments. For example, Randa Accessories recently used consumer insights to discover that despite the fact that they are one of the world’s leading producers of men’s accessories, their main customers are women who purchase their products as gifts. This information enabled them to rapidly modify their marketing message to specifically target female gift-shoppers.

3. 3D Printing

3D printing has the potential to enable retailers to plan and adapt their designs at a moments notice. The fashion industry frequently suffers from overproduction and surplus production – so 3D tech offers disruptive innovations to the very early stages of a product’s life cycle, in order to cut production, inventory, shipping and waste. Shoppers can also participate in the creative process through co-designing personalised items, rather than browsing through racks, which also appeals to the fragmented market.

4. Downsizing deliveries

Some retailers are using smaller consignments to create a sense of ‘scarcity’ in order to boost sales. Likewise, “smaller batch” fashion startups are also using limited edition offers and producing limited batches of their collections, a few items at a time.

5. Domestic production

Increasingly corporations are finding that it makes sense to keep production closer to home as despite costing more, it dramatically reduces the lead times involved in getting a new item to market. When consumers demand the latest items from the runway sooner rather than later it makes sense to get them made up and on sale as quickly as possible. It also gives them greater control and flexibility over production – and some shoppers also prefer to buy locally manufactured goods.

What will boost consumer confidence?

Conclusion

Pressure is mounting on retailers to create items and get them on sale quickly before someone else pips them to the post. By embracing technology they should be able to adopt this trend without overstretching themselves. The benefits of applying see-now-buy-now are clear. They will vastly improve their chances of matching supply to demand to achieve the better sales and less waste in the long time.

According to Greg Petro in an article in Forbes magazine, “See-now-buy-now isn’t just a good idea – it’s the necessary approach for modern retailers to meet consumer preferences and demand.”
Do you agree? Are you adapting your sales strategy to suit see-now-buy-now? Or is it just another symptom of rampant consumerism? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Checking out before the checkout – why are mobile shoppers abandoning their carts? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/why-are-mobile-shoppers-abandoning-their-carts/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/why-are-mobile-shoppers-abandoning-their-carts/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 12:25:08 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7202 Surprising new research released at the beginning of this month suggests that some mobile shoppers are still wary about using their smartphone or tablet to make purchases online. Despite the...

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Surprising new research released at the beginning of this month suggests that some mobile shoppers are still wary about using their smartphone or tablet to make purchases online.

Mobile shoppers abandon before checkout

Despite the push towards a ‘mobile first’ web, it has been reported that small screens give cause for concern as shoppers tend to worry that they are not ‘seeing the full picture’ on a mobile app – or that they could be losing out on special offers or missing hidden costs. So, whilst they are very happy to look things up or do research on mobile devices, they often abandon their virtual shopping cart and log on to a laptop or PC to complete their final purchases.

Mobile shoppers abandon before checkout

According to figures, mobile apps are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to shop online, but in spite of this the ‘abandoned cart’ phenomenon is much higher amongst mobile users than desktop-based online shoppers. Market research firm Criteo report that the amount of ecommerce traffic from mobile devices steadily increased to 46% of global ecommerce traffic – but only 27% of mobile purchases were actually completed – and the conversion rates for mobile shoppers were much lower than those made on laptop or PC.

Mobile shoppers abandon before checkout

Overcoming the challenges for mobile shoppers

Dr Nikolaos Korfiatis of the Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia has been investigating the ‘abandoned cart’ phenomenon and suggests that it presents a big challenge for online retailers in 2018. Because the web is geared towards ‘mobile first’ retailers have been investing heavily in mobile shopping apps and responsive websites but they are not yet feeling the benefits from sales conversion – as potential customers frequently quit before checking out:

“Our study results revealed a paradox: mobile shopping is supposed to make the process easier – and yet concerns about making the right choice, or about whether the site is secure enough lead to an emotional ambivalence about the transaction and that means customers are much more likely to simply abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase.”

The data used in the study came from online shopping data from 2016-2017 from consumers in Taiwan and the US. The research team investigating the phenomenon identified the key reasons for hesitation at the checkout stage were generally the same in both settings. They also found that shoppers were far more likely to use mobile apps to research products in their spare time as they prepare for a purchase, which may also go some way to explaining why they don’t always go through with the deal.

One factor that isn’t discussed in the findings is the very nature of the device. It is used on the go – and it is a constant source of interruption. This may also have a significant impact on conversion rates. Whilst attempting to shop or research products on the move, a mobile user is more likely to be interrupted during the process by various unpredictable environmental factors, along with interruptions from texts and calls – or loss of signal.

This information certainly provides retailers with fresh challenges if they want to find a way to secure those sales or indeed find out if they have been completed elsewhere by the same user. We’d be interested to know how you might tackle the issue – let us know in the comments section below!

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Know your customers – how to stay profitable in 2018 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/how-to-stay-profitable-in-2018/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/how-to-stay-profitable-in-2018/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 12:13:15 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7185 This week, Retail Week published a guide for retailers identifying the four key factors that they need to know about their customers in order to stay profitable in 2018. In...

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This week, Retail Week published a guide for retailers identifying the four key factors that they need to know about their customers in order to stay profitable in 2018. In these times of economic and political uncertainty they suggest that understanding customer behaviour will be absolutely vital for retail businesses wishing to stay afloat next year.

A lady in a red coat gazes into a store window

Retail Week conducted the exclusive consumer research in association with Pure360, Oracle, Mastercard and Flixmedia. The results of the survey – from a sample of 2,000 consumers – indicate four key areas where retailers will benefit from knowing their customers in the coming year so that they are better able to manage their expectations and respond to their needs:

1: Know their Mood

The current economic climate and levels of uncertainty have significantly contributed to consumer anxiety.

Retailers are urged to help customers not just by offering discounts or value for money offers but also by lifting their spirits with positive messages which instil optimism, as Joe Staton, head of Market Dynamics at GFK explains:

“As consumers we now shop in a culture of coupons, vouchers and special offers. However, [we] will also respond well to positive messages and anything that promises a brighter future.

“Maybe now really is the time for a new ‘I’m backing Britain’ campaign to relaunch confidence in our homegrown produce and talent, and get us to open our hearts, minds and wallets.

“Retailers are being urged to help customers by not only offering value for money and providing discounts and offers, but by lifting dampened spirits”

2: Know what they want

Despite uncertainty, many shoppers report that they expect to spend more money in 2018. People will always need certain items and if retailers want to take advantage of this then they need to know exactly how much consumers have to spend and what they expect to spend it on. James Sawley, head of Retail and Leisure at HSBC’s corporate banking division describes how discretionary spending on non-essential items has changed:

“Grocery represents about 50% of retail sales and people need to eat. Food inflation has kept the numbers up despite Brexit uncertainty. More discretionary spending, such as clothing and furniture, has been hit harder.”

3: Know how they want to shop

Despite the steady growth in e-commerce many customers still prefer shopping in store. Staton suggests that they should be able to transition effortlessly from device to device whether at home or in-store:

“Retailers must ensure any transaction is frictionless, personalised and fast, irrespective of channel or location. Why prioritise one gadget over another when consumers expect and demand a seamless and similar experience however and wherever they choose to shop?”

4: Know the key trends of 2018

Retailer should be operating with full transparency and be able to demonstrate that they care about consumers and their values.

Sustainability and provenance of goods now rank highly in purchasing decisions. For example consumers have become aware that plastic waste is becoming a big problem and this may now affect how and where they shop.

Co-op and Iceland have responded swiftly to these concerns by signing up to a plastic bottle deposit scheme. By responding quickly and effectively like this, these brands are seen as really caring about their customers and they create a feel-good effect by making consumers feel like they are making ethical choices when they shop at their stores.

What steps are you taking towards a profitable 2018? Have you spotted any other trends like this which may affect customer spending over the next twelve months? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Profitable New Year from all at Barber Design!

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What will drive retail spending in 2018? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/what-will-drive-retail-spending-in-2018/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/what-will-drive-retail-spending-in-2018/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:16:57 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7179 2017 has been a tough year for retailers. Uncertain economic and political conditions have diminished consumer confidence and made spending particularly volatile. So what do retailers need to do in...

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2017 has been a tough year for retailers. Uncertain economic and political conditions have diminished consumer confidence and made spending particularly volatile. So what do retailers need to do in order to weather the storm? Recent consumer research for Retail Week conducted by 3Gem Research and Insight has highlighted the factors that will drive retail spending next year:

What will drive retail spending?

Christmas predictors

According to Retail Week, consumer spending over the festive period will determine spending in 2018. James Sawley, head of retail and leisure at HSBC’s UK corporate banking division agrees:

“Christmas is so important. For the average clothing retailer, it is the profit for the year. The momentum gained from Christmas is key and, at the moment, it is looking uncertain.

“October has been weak. Retailers are telling us consumers have got back from their summer holidays and seen the credit card bills and realised how much it has cost them.”

However the survey conducted by Retail Week implies that it is not all doom and gloom for the retail sector. 45% of respondents said that they expected to spend more next year than in 2017 and just 21% said they would spend less. Much of this projected spend is bolstered by grocery sales and people will always need to eat. 43% of shoppers said that they expect to spend more on food next year and just 16% said they intended to spend less.

Predicted spends on fashion and home improvements should expect to see a significant decrease as analysts observe a shift to experiential sales rather than physical goods.

A secure payment system

The experience economy

Over the past few years the high street has suffered where consumers have decided to spend their money on experiences and making memories, rather than on new furniture or clothes.

Speaking to Retail Week, Paul Lockstone, Managing Director of Corporate Communications at Barclaycard suggested that physical retailers should place greater emphasis on the experience economy:

“Time with friends and family is becoming more important than household items and physical goods. The notion of experience plays to the need for social media sharing”

But not everyone is using social media. Have retailers been overplaying the social aspect of their offer?

What will boost consumer confidence?

Going social

The retail industry has placed a lot of focus on using social media channels to lure and keep customers but despite this, Retail Week suggest that these efforts have failed to filter through to the majority of consumers. They report that 56% of shoppers said that they did not use any kind of social media.

However, they suggest that retailers should not ignore Facebook as 30% of consumers use it. When using social channels it is important to exercise caution and don’t assume that everyone is engaged with your business or has seen your Facebook post or your tweets.

Rising interest

Paul Martin, Head of Retail at KPMG, told Retail Week that he thought the recent rise in interest rates were making personal debt difficult for some. Where people have previously been happy to put things on the credit card, their debts are now becoming unmanageable and they are starting to exercise more caution.

Annual consumer credit growth in September was at 9.9%, with outstanding loans of £200bn – a figure not seen since 2008. But Martin suggests this is now untenable:

“Last Christmas, a lot of people were splashing out, in good-old British style. That was driven by an increase in personal debt.

“Overall, the economy is stronger than it was eight or nine years ago. That insulates retailers from a significant crash, unless there is a cliff-edge Brexit.

“Physical stores still account for 80% of sales; higher in some categories. [But] online sales are fastest-growing and at double-digit growth. We expect online sales to reach 30% of all sales by 2020, but we are seeing the first sight of that growth slowing down.”

Quality and price

When asked what they found important in physical stores, respondents suggested four key factors

  • A wide selection of products (58%)
  • Customer service (44%)
  • Deals and promotions exclusive to the store or branch (38%) and
  • Manned check-outs (35%).

When it comes down to it, no amount of clever marketing is going to compensate for traditional values. Perhaps retailers should be focusing on these.

The two key factors in driving sales are the same as always: quality and price. You can see this very clearly in the fastest growth sectors of physical retail: the discount market, as Paul Martin concurs:

“German supermarkets and budget clothing retailers mean the market is becoming polarised between premium shops and discount retailers. It is the middle market that faces the greatest challenge and in the UK that is the largest slice of the market. As the segment contains many highly leveraged smaller firms, the UK retail sector can expect to see some significant store closures in the next year.”

2018 is going to be another challenging year for retailers who must stay agile in order to survive. We hope that the key findings of the Retail Week survey will inspire you to succeed. And if you’re somewhere in the middle it may be time to ascend to the premium market or become a discount retailer. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Why online shopping isn’t working for all retailers https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/online-shopping-isnt-working/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/online-shopping-isnt-working/#respond Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:51:51 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7169 The Black Friday phenomenon (which refuses to go away despite some Brits’ refusal to adopt an American tradition) demonstrates the extraordinary impact that online shopping and multi channel have had...

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The Black Friday phenomenon (which refuses to go away despite some Brits’ refusal to adopt an American tradition) demonstrates the extraordinary impact that online shopping and multi channel have had on global retail. Nowadays you can buy anything from clothes and gifts to high value items such as cars and houses online. But there is still one sector that is falling far short of expectations: online grocery shopping. According to the latest figures from YouGov, most British shoppers are still unconvinced by the prospect of conducting their weekly shop online.

Online grocery shopping

According to the report, most shoppers are concerned about the freshness of food that is offered online. They prefer to squeeze their own potatoes – or if planning meals for the week they want to buy a packet of mince with a long date so they can cook it the following Friday. Whilst giving an indication of the available date range online, supermarkets cannot confirm the exact expiry date of the product being purchased and this means that sometimes groceries are delivered which are not suitable for the week. It is factors like these that can really put shoppers off.

Online grocery shopping

Another dominating factor is the social side of supermarket shopping. Most people are not keen to give this up. Although many people have tried online shopping, many of them do not return.

YouGov found that whilst almost half of consumers (46%) had tried online grocery shopping at some point, just 15% do it ‘regularly’ – i.e. a few times a month. And even when people are shopping regularly online, some 87% of them are still popping into a physical store to do a ‘top up shop’ and pick up additional groceries during the week.

Recent figures from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) concur, suggesting that overall, only 6% of total UK grocery sales are currently made online. Compared to other retail sectors, such as fashion or electricals, these figures are pretty low!

Why isn’t online working?

Look and Feel

YouGov found that 71% of those who do not shop online said that the biggest factor affecting their decision was that they were not able to touch the products before buying them. And of those that do shop online, 44% agreed that this was a disadvantage of the process. 57% of the group who do not shop online stated that they simply don’t trust the supermarket enough to make the choices on freshness for them. 31% of the group that do shop online also shared this concern. When it comes to choosing things like fruit and vegetables, individuals have different preferences on ripeness, shape or size that cannot be selected online at present.

Social and Fun

More than half of bricks and mortar customers (51%) suggest that they enjoy the social aspect of shopping: bumping into friends, chatting to the checkout assistant and getting out of the house. They enjoy the physical customer experience. 34% believe they would miss the social contact involved in a regular trip to the store.

Delivery Concerns

38% of non-online shoppers and 35% of online shoppers suggest that delivery charges are prohibitive. And 19% say they have not tried online shopping because they are worried that the delivery times will be inconvenient.

Online grocery shopping

Talking to the Mirror, Head of YouGov, Stephen Harmston, suggests that the online grocery sector is still waiting for a ‘lift off’ moment:

“Despite online grocery being around for years, we’re still waiting for the ‘lift off’ moment that has characterised other industries such as fashion and home retail. While some barriers might be tough to overcome – wanting to go shopping for social reasons, for example – others may be easier to address.

“A major one would be delivery charges. Grocery stores could look to implement top-up online delivery options throughout the week, so long as consumers commit to a minimum spend via their main shop.

“If traditional supermarkets aren’t able to do this, it may leave the door open for a disrupter – such as the likes of Amazon – to fill that gap and capitalise on the industry’s unlocked potential.”

Online grocery shopping

So it seems that online grocery shopping still has some way to go to match the online successes of other retail sectors. Do you buy your groceries online? What do you think supermarkets need to do to initiate that much-needed ‘lift off’ moment? Could Amazon swoop in and take the glory? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Barber Create new store concept for clothing brand Damsel in a Dress https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-concept-damsel-in-a-dress/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-concept-damsel-in-a-dress/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 12:03:08 +0000 https://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7155 Premium womenswear brand Damsel in a Dress design clothes for the modern woman who knows what she wants and what she wants to wear. After starting out as an online...

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Premium womenswear brand Damsel in a Dress design clothes for the modern woman who knows what she wants and what she wants to wear. After starting out as an online retailer, they recently opened concessions in John Lewis stores throughout the UK and this summer opened their first standalone store in Brighton.

In order to realise their goal of opening more stores and concessions across the globe and engaging with new customers, DIAD reached out to Barber to help them develop a retail strategy for the brand going forward. The brief included designing 3D retail environments, brand development, patterns , textures and collateral to support the stores such as bags, swing tags and colour palettes.

Damsel in a Dress store

The designs were developed within a tight deadline and the materials used were chosen to reflect the brand’s target customer group and their fashion and lifestyle aspirations. The retail designs feature copper, textured materials, refined timbers and sophisticated lighting effects that showcase the product effectively. During the project Barber worked closely with Damsel in a Dress to ensure that the brand message was on point and that the designs effectively conveyed their ideas.

Damsel in a Dress store

Damsel in a Dress store

The brand is one step closer to becoming a high street staple, with the recognition and customer loyalty that goes with global success. We are thrilled and excited to be part of this new retail journey for Damsel in a Dress and look forward to working with them on future projects.

See some of our original concept designs for the Damsel in a Dress below:

Damsel in a Dress store concept

Damsel in a Dress store concept

Damsel in a Dress store concept

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Barber at the Tax Free World Association Show 2017 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-tax-free-world-association-show-2017/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-tax-free-world-association-show-2017/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:52:51 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7136 It was great to get down to the Tax Free World Association Show in Cannes the other week with both our UK and Madrid teams in attendance. The TFWA World...

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It was great to get down to the Tax Free World Association Show in Cannes the other week with both our UK and Madrid teams in attendance.

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

The TFWA World Exhibition and Conference is the duty free and travel retail industry’s biggest event of the year. The show is a global gathering of more than 12,000 travel retail industry professionals. This event has become increasingly important to us in recent years, as we have carved out a niche in the travel retail design industry to firmly establish ourselves as leading retail designers for the travel industry. The TFWA show provides excellent opportunities to reconnect with existing clients as well as meeting new faces – whilst networking with other likeminded industry professionals and sharing ideas and insights.

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

THE TFWA event showcases innovative travel retail ideas from more than 3,000 premium brands. It also includes a conference featuring world-class speakers sharing their experiences and offering their own views on the state of the industry. This provides us with many valuable insights into where the travel retail industry is headed – particularly in the wake of Brexit and other global factors. It provides us with inspiration and shows us where we should be focusing our attention next, based on a well-informed understanding of the emerging and topical issues for both customers and retailers.

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

At this year’s event we had some great meetings with both new and existing clients from the global travel retail industry. We were delighted to discover that our most recent project – an international Duty Free Store design has produced an increase of 20% more than the client’s target sales. A very happy client and a very happy design agency! If you are interested to find out how Barber can help you grow your travel retail business please get in touch and we will be happy to show you more examples of our work.

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

Barber at the TFWA show 2017

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Come and find us at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/come-and-find-us-at-the-tfwa-world-exhibition-in-cannes/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/come-and-find-us-at-the-tfwa-world-exhibition-in-cannes/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:54:01 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7130 Next month we’re off on our annual pilgrimage to the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes. This Duty Free and Travel Retail Summit presents us with the chance to...

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Next month we’re off on our annual pilgrimage to the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes. This Duty Free and Travel Retail Summit presents us with the chance to showcase our talents to a prestigious selection of premium brands in an industry-wide forum along with the chance to network with many key influencers and decision makers in the travel retail industry.

Cannes October 2016

The TFWA World Exhibition and Conference is the duty free and travel retail industry’s most significant event of the year. Billed as an unmissable global gathering, the show is attended by more than 12,000 travel retail industry professionals. Our recent work for Sri Lanka Duty Free, Thomas Cook, Travelex and the Hong Kong Cruise Plaza, have helped Barber Design to firmly establish ourselves as leading retail designers for the travel industry and this event has become increasingly important for us. It provides some great opportunities to reconnect with existing clients as well as meeting new faces – whilst also connecting with other likeminded industry professionals.

TFWA event in Cannes

THE TFWA event showcases innovative new travel retail ideas from more than 3,000 premium brands. It also includes a conference featuring world-class speakers sharing their experiences and giving their own take on the state of the industry. This gives us many valuable insights into how the travel retail industry is headed – particularly in the wake of Brexit and other global issues. It provides us with inspiration and shows us where we should be focusing our attention next, based on our well-informed understanding of the emerging and topical issues for both customers and retailers. The conference is complemented by a series of excellent workshops providing further analysis and insights into the travel retail industry – which we pass directly on to our customers.

Along with the conference and workshops, the best part of the show for us – fabulous location aside – is the amazing opportunity for networking. With both formal and social events arranged throughout the week we are able to touch base with both existing and potential clients as well as meeting other industry peers, sharing our knowledge and expertise and learning from new experiences.

If you are interested in developing a travel retail offer and would like to meet up with us for a coffee in Cannes to discuss your business’ travel retail plans then we would love to meet you! We will be there from the 2nd October until the 6th October this year. Please get in touch with Jessica and we will be happy to come and meet you and tell you about our work. Email jessica@barberdesign.co.uk for more information!

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Barber open new Madrid office https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-open-new-office-madrid/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-open-new-office-madrid/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:19:31 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7110 This week we are very excited to announce Barber Design’s first overseas premises with the opening of our Madrid office in Spain. Located in Barrio de Salamanca, in amongst some...

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This week we are very excited to announce Barber Design’s first overseas premises with the opening of our Madrid office in Spain. Located in Barrio de Salamanca, in amongst some of Madrid’s most interesting high street fashion stores, the aim of our new office is to  strengthen our presence in continental Europe whilst opening up new potential markets in Europe and Latin America.

Martin Barona

The new office will allow us to share our award-winning design philosophy, ethos and methods further afield. Providing a full range of services from retail interiors, concessions, pop-ups, window displays, graphics, signage, wayfinding, 3D renderings and walkthroughs.

Heading the new office will be longtime collaborator of Barber Design, Martin Barona. Martin is perfectly positioned to strengthen our team and knowhow. Prior to being appointed director at Barber, Martin worked as the head of retail in the technical department at Tocumen International in Panama, where he developed and designed the retail master plan for the largest and busiest airport in Central America.  He also developed and delivered retail concepts and tenders across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. We hope that Martin’s wealth of experience in different types of retail project – from detailed design work to large scale planning for shopping centres and airports – will enable us to drive Barber to new international successes and strengthen our offer overseas. By combining Martin’s background and experience with our proven process we will be able to deliver exciting and unique customer journeys, across Europe – providing our clients with a comprehensive 360º design offer.

Keep reading the blog to find out more about the new Madrid office and all of the latest news and projects coming from our new studio in Spain.

If you’d like to speak to Martin directly, here are his contact details:

Martin Barona, Director, Madrid Office
Email: martin@barberdesign.es Tel: +34 62208 2840
Barber Design Madrid Velázquez 31, 5º A, Madrid. CP 28001

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Jack Wills – an inspirational brand story https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/jack-wills-inspirational-brand-story/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/jack-wills-inspirational-brand-story/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 22:36:47 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7116 This summer we visited Salcombe in Devon where we went to the original Jack Wills store and felt inspired to tell you more about their extraordinary brand success story. The...

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This summer we visited Salcombe in Devon where we went to the original Jack Wills store and felt inspired to tell you more about their extraordinary brand success story. The very first store opened in a tiny retail space in 1999. The aim of the brand was to encapsulate University Life into a branded set of clothing, with the slogan ‘University Outfitters’. Considering their humble and rural beginnings, the brand was very forward-thinking in their approach. They prepared their handbook, logo and mail-order system prior to the launch with a clear set of goals and guidelines from the outset. Despite this preparation, there were a few hiccups with manufacturers and at first they were ironing their iconic logo onto some of the products individually.

Jack Wills in Salcombe

The Jack Wills brand identified and positioned themselves in the market beautifully and just six years later – in 2005 – they moved their head office to London, hosting a fashion show at Kensington Roof Gardens and opening a new store in a converted launderette on Portobello Road. By the end of the year they had opened ten stores across the UK.

Jack Wills in Salcombe

Unlike some other fashion retailers, the brand took a fresh approach to marketing and selling their wares, taking them on tour to Fresher’s fares up and down the country to reach their target audience – epitomising what it is to be British, irreverent and carefree. Now with more than 70 stores across the UK  – and 320 locations across the globe- Jack Wills has gone from strength-to-strength from truly humble beginnings.

A Tiny space - Jack Wills in Salcombe

Here you can see some of the Barber team outside the tiny storefront that was the original Jack Wills shop. Brand founders Peter Williams and Robert Shaw slept above the space, which is named after Peter’s grandfather. This small store is now flanked by two additional retail spaces where it has spread into the adjacent buildings following its rise to fame. A true British retail success story and an inspirational example of what happens when you get your branding, target audience, retail design and marketing methods right.

Jack Wills in Salcombe

The Jack Wills story shows that you don’t necessarily have to be in a big city to be successful. It doesn’t matter what town you start up in, if you are getting all of the details right, you should succeed! Can you think of any other good examples of British brand success stories like this? Let us know in the comments below.

Orignal storefront - Jack Wills in Salcombe

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The Barber Design London Retail Safari https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-london-retail-safari/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-london-retail-safari/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:06:46 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7097 We recently had an insightful afternoon of retail adventure when we took one of our clients on a ‘Retail Safari’ in London in order to show them some of the...

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We recently had an insightful afternoon of retail adventure when we took one of our clients on a ‘Retail Safari’ in London in order to show them some of the excellent high tech retail technology being utilised in some of our favourite stores. If you’ve got a passion for retail technology and want to know what we saw and why – here’s the lowdown on some of our favourite stores (and street) and what makes them so successful:

Bird Street

We met the client at noon at Bond Street Station and headed to our first stop – Bird Street. Just off Oxford Street, this little alleyway is the world’s first eco-friendly ‘Smart Street.’ The floor here is constructed from a new technology called ‘Pavegen’ and is powered by kinetic energy – i.e. footfall! Visitors to the street can use a mobile app to see how much energy they are generating as they move down the street – on average about 5 watts per footstep. Their efforts are used to light LEDs and trigger bird sounds in this green oasis. The goal of the project is to open up parts of Oxford Street that weren’t previously being used, whilst encouraging best practices to reduce air pollution. Bird Street is lined with trees, plants and pop-up retail units – and also features a ‘clean air bench,’ which provides a relaxing place to sit with fresh, filtered air and real-time air quality monitoring.

Niketown

Our next stop was Niketown in Regent Street. En Route to the store we showed our client the Regent Street App, which uses Beacon technology to guide shoppers to their preferred stores along with lots of useful info. Once inside the flagship Nike store we made a beeline for the ID space on the ground floor where shoppers can create their own unique, personalised footwear. Nike were one of the first brands to introduce an in-store personalisation section like this and it’s still proving a big-hit with shoppers, in amongst some truly exceptional retail displays.

Molton Brown

Fresh from Niketown we hotfooted a couple of doors down and across the street to visit cosmetic brand Molton Brown. This flagship store features an excellent example of a ‘magic mirror,’ which uses augmented reality to take customers on a virtual trip around the world to look at some of the ingredients used in MB products. The mirror scans the customer to see which products they are holding and then uses this information to take show them exactly where and how the ingredients for each product were sourced. The experience finishes by presenting the customer with a short clip of their experience to share on social media and a 30ml sample of their chosen product – offering a both a satisfying customer experience along with the opportunity for the brand to share their story on different platforms, via individuals. Genius!

Pro:Direct

After having some fun with the magic mirror and loading up with samples we took a diversion off the beaten track, down towards Carnaby Street. Our first stop at Fouberts Place was at Pro:Direct. Previously online only, the world’s largest football retailer decided to go into bricks and mortar with style, in 2014. The result is this fully immersive digital experience, designed to make shoppers feel as if they walked inside the website. Lined with video screens and interactive touch-screen technology Pro:Direct are constantly changing the store and upping their game so there is always something new and interesting to see every time we visit.

Pepe Jeans

Next, a short hop to the main street and Pepe Jeans. This store which opened in April, combines respect for Pepe’s traditional heritage with a sense of playfulness and fun. The store uses a fantastic array of cutting edge retail technology, which is integral to the design. Like Niketown, there is a customisation station where shoppers can personalise their denim. In the changing rooms, interactive screens enable customers to request different sizes and styles from within the cubicle. RFID technology in each garment hangtag identifies which items the customer has taken into the changing room and suggests other options and colours via the video screens.

Shopping aside, there is a genuine sense of playfulness in this retail design: with bright colours and a striking LED art installation at the centre of the retail space. A large Twitter wall also displays messages from anyone who tweets the store.

Burberry

For our last stop on the tour, we headed back up onto Regent Street to a true British fashion icon which – despite its 160-year-old heritage – has embraced retail technology with aplomb. The 44,000 square foot Burberry store effortlessly enhances the brand’s traditional roots with cutting edge digital technology. Refitted in 2012, when it was described as one of the world’s most technologically advanced stores the space features a digital gallery with 500 speakers and 100 screens, including one of the tallest indoor retail screens in the world. All of which have been installed sympathetically to compliment the 19th century heritage of both the brand and the building that this flagship store is contained within.

As customers traverse the store clutching potential purchases, RFID enabled hangtags trigger events on screen that engage them in emotive brand interactions. Changing room mirrors transform into video screens and shoppers are drawn into a fully immersive experience. Like Pro:Direct, the store is designed to be ‘like walking into a website’ but with a level of personalisation and human interaction only available in bricks and mortar.

After Burberry’s show stopper it was time for a late lunch and a discussion with our suitably impressed clients about the kinds of retail technology we are able to offer as part of our on-going commitment to retail innovation.

If you’d like to take the Retail Safari we’ve attached a downloadable pdf of our Retail Safari map. Do you think there are any other stores we should have added to the list? Maybe you’re thinking of developing your own Retail Safari in your hometown, with some innovations that you’d like to tell us about? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Our latest Travel retail design – the Departures Duty Free Store in Colombo, Sri-Lanka https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/travel-retail-design-colombo-sri-lanka/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/travel-retail-design-colombo-sri-lanka/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:57:39 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7083 Travel retail design is one of our specialisms at Barber and something that we really enjoy, so we were delighted earlier this year when Flemingo Duty Free asked us to...

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Travel retail design is one of our specialisms at Barber and something that we really enjoy, so we were delighted earlier this year when Flemingo Duty Free asked us to help them design and develop a new retail offer at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri-Lanka. Flemingo wanted the Departures Duty Free Store up and running as soon as possible. We started designing in March and the store opened in July – and our clients were delighted with the results.

Flemingo Departures duty free

The retail design work was preceded by a visit to the site in Colombo to get a feel for the location and see what was achievable within the space. Several design options were produced, focusing on maximising visibility and appeal – to ensure that potential customers would notice the store and be inspired or enticed to step inside and make some purchases.

Flemingo Departures duty free

Flemingo wanted to incorporate several departments into the store, which covers 5,000 square feet – with clear wayfinding and navigation between the different areas. Our solution was to create a dynamic walkway – accessible right through the store – leading to a central Perfume and Cosmetic hub that is designed to attract and engage customers.

Flemingo Departures duty free

Brightly lit ceiling features above the walkway define the space, leading customers through the shop and into the specific travel retail product sections.  LED flooring was developed and installed along with a comprehensive set of retail fixtures for the business. All of these features were designed to maximise product displays with the lighting showcasing each product. Large-scale video walls and screens were also installed in order to entertain and engage visitors to the store.

Flemingo Departures duty free

The ‘sense of place’ branding and wayfinding developed by our graphics team gives the shop a contemporary feel along with a nod to the rich culture of Sri Lanka, using traditional patterns and textures. This theme is repeated throughout the retail environment.

Flemingo Departures duty free

The project was developed on a fast track timescale from concept through to development and full store detailing.  We worked closely with manufacturers in Dubai and Sri Lanka during the process, who created and installed the equipment and retail fit out to our specifications.

The launch of the new departures store in July 2017 – just 4 months after starting the project – creates a new direction and image for the Flemingo Travel Retail brand, showcasing their products to maximum effect. Flemingo are delighted with the outcome and the brands showcased in the shop are also extremely pleased with the new store environment, as are our clients:

‘We opened the departure shop today. The shop has come out very well and has been well appreciated by the Airport Management. We have also got very good feedback from some of the P&C brands who were visiting. Thank you once again, look forward to working with you on the Arrival shop shortly.”

Barber Design are now working with Flemingo to develop a new Arrival shop at the airport. We will share news on this project with you as it develops. If you’ve travelled to Sri Lanka recently and seen the store we’d love to know what you think – let us know in the comments section below!

Flemingo Departures duty free

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Barber retail design for Jigsaw in Cobham shortlisted for Retail Week Interiors Award https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-shortlisted-for-retail-week-interiors-award/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-shortlisted-for-retail-week-interiors-award/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:50:23 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7070 We are thrilled to announce that our retail design for Jigsaw in Cobham has been shortlisted in the new ‘Best High Street Store’ category at the prestigious 2017 Retail Week...

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We are thrilled to announce that our retail design for Jigsaw in Cobham has been shortlisted in the new ‘Best High Street Store’ category at the prestigious 2017 Retail Week Interiors Awards! This is the 4th year in a row that our work has been shortlisted for an award at this even after previously being shortlisted in 2014, 2015 and 2016 – and winning in 2015.

Jigsaw in Cobham

The Best High Street Store category is a new addition to the awards and it is a real honour for our work to be recognised yet again, in a really strong category.  The Retail Week Interiors Awards acknowledge the store designs that set the standards for others to follow and we are humbled to be in such good company. The prizes will be given at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane London on November 2nd.

Jigsaw in Cobham

The Jigsaw store opened in Cobham, Surrey at the end of April this year. Unlike some High Street brands, each Jigsaw store is designed to have it’s own look and feel rather than a regulation format. Each shop reflects Jigsaw’s brand ethos of Style and Truth whilst also being sympathetic to the architecture and environment of the individual building and the heritage of the town where it is located. This is the second store that Barber have designed for Jigsaw, the first one was located in Shrewsbury and opened in December 2016. Our brief for Jigsaw in Cobham was to create a new concept store where consumers would wish to linger, a space where local culture and style converge. More than a transactional space, the Jigsaw Store evokes a lifestyle destination for the local consumers along with thefull women’s collection.

Jigsaw in Cobham

“Every new store is different and tailored to suit the surrounding community so we have chosen a modern, clean and sophisticated space that is bright and easy to shop.“
Jigsaw speaking about the new Cobham store opening

Jigsaw in Cobham

Doug from Barber design describes how exciting it is to work on such an interesting brief:

“We were delighted to work on this second store with Jigsaw building on the back of the successful Shrewsbury store. Each store is different and this adds to the excitement when we get a new brief as ‘uniqueness’ is part of the ethos of jigsaw, and also our own philosophy when designing stores.
The whole team from client to designers, shopfitters and lighting consultants work extremely well in total collaboration to deliver the retail projects from start to finish seamlessly. We are always delighted to get a new brief from Jigsaw.”

It’s now just over 3 months until the big event. Watch this space to find out what happens and we’ll be sure to give you a full report on the events of the evening as they happen!

Jigsaw in Cobham

Jigsaw in Cobham

 

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How Artificial Intelligence is transforming retail: from backend to front of house https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/artificial-intelligence-transforming-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/artificial-intelligence-transforming-retail/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:17:50 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7066 Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) have been making a big difference to the way that retailers do business – both online and in bricks and mortar stores. Technologies including...

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Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) have been making a big difference to the way that retailers do business – both online and in bricks and mortar stores. Technologies including AR and VR (augmented and virtual reality) are already changing the way that many retailers communicate with and sell to customers. But what does this really mean for retail staff? Will they all be replaced by machines? And would customers really prefer interacting with robots?

Shop window mannequins

Picking your brains

AI technology is already evident in most online stores, where the software looks at what you have previously purchased and makes recommendations based on your choices. Soon these algorithms will be presenting customers with more nuanced suggestions – for example if someone is browsing trousers it could recommend a belt or shoes to go with them, based on their personal taste. And this tech isn’t just for online transactions. Digital mirrors in store can suggest accessories to go with a particular item – or take the strain out of trying things on altogether – with AR enhancements that can show customers what they would look like in an array of different outfits, at the touch of a screen.

Someone scanning something in a shop with an iPad

Smarter interactions

And it’s not just the fashion sector that is benefitting from AI. As consumers place more trust in online retailers, they have begun to share more data with them. Retailers then use this data to fine tune the content, context and timing of their customer interactions by spotting patterns and habits in shopping behaviour. The technology is constantly learning, becoming smarter and making better informed, personalised exchanges – and the more that consumers use it, the better the interactions will become as more of their data is fed back into the system.

Visual Search

Have you ever tried searching for an item but weren’t sure how to describe it? Perhaps you’ve tried Google’s image search where you can drag a picture into the search box to find out what it is or to find something similar. Now fashion retailer ASOS are trialling technology for Visual Search where users can search for products using a smartphone photograph of the item that they want. For example if you see someone in the high street wearing a great red jumper but you don’t have the nerve to ask them where they bought it, you can snap it and scan it and see if ASOS have anything similar for you to buy! Visual Search is more specific than using keywords alone – and if it doesn’t return the results that you want you might find something else that you like along the way – where online shopping becomes more like browsing in store.

A window display

Rise of the machines

Although many retailers are readily experimenting with AI technology, others are uncertain about how they can apply it in store. There needs to be step-change in the way that both businesses and customers approach the technology. They need to be able to trust a machine to make decisions that have previously been made by a human. Does the computer really know best when it comes to managing your digital marketing or advertising strategy? Can an algorithm really replace a stylist or personal shopper? Will it have the same level of flair or creativity?

Whilst the technology has the capacity to enhance customer experiences by making them quicker, smarter and more personalised – where do we draw the line? Perhaps we need to focus on developing machines that work alongside retail assistants, rather than replacing them Surely consumers still need empathy and understanding – and whilst a machine can simulate this, it can not truly experience it. The fact is, one size does not fit all. Sometimes you might want to shop online or use the self service checkout because you don’t feel like talking to anyone, whilst on a another occasion you would prefer to have some expert advice from an experienced sales assistant – when choosing a bottle of wine, or a suit for a wedding. Technology developers need to acknowledge this by ensuring that the machines do not muscle in where they aren’t wanted, to create a retail environment that is beneficial for all. As always, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this subject – perhaps you’ve been replaced by a machine – or you’d prefer to shop with one? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Hot Retail Concept designs in May and June https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/hot-retail-concept-designs/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/hot-retail-concept-designs/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 15:13:13 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7054 This month we’ve been inspired by the concept of retail concepts, after reading a recent article in Insider Trends, looking at 4 of the hottest retail concept store designs from...

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This month we’ve been inspired by the concept of retail concepts, after reading a recent article in Insider Trends, looking at 4 of the hottest retail concept store designs from across the globe. So we decided to find out more about each one:

Fresh Story retail concept in NYC

Fresh STORY, New York

Fresh Story is the result of a collaboration between concept store big hitters STORY and one of the fastest-growing US e-commerce brands – Jet.com. The idea of the new concept store is to merge fashion, lifestyle and food in a new project called Fresh STORY

The original STORY store is a 2,000 sq ft prime retail space, located in West Chelsea, NYC. Here, every 4-8 weeks the store completely reinvents itself – a bit like a pop-up that keeps on popping up – over and over in the same place. Each time STORY changes, the focus is on a different brand, theme or trend and this month it is Jet’s turn to test drive the space.

The in-store experience at Fresh STORY is designed to get customers shopping online at Jet.com, whilst also raising brand awareness with food samples and cooking demonstrations promoting a community- feel which will entertain shoppers and encourage them to champion the brand.

Flora and Henri in Seattle

Flora and Henri, Seattle

Lifestyle brand Flora and Henri opened their first store in downtown Seattle in 1998, selling quality items for children aged from birth to 12 years old. In 2012 they took the decision to move fully online, focusing on e-commerce and wholesale. During this time they also branched out into selling other lifestyle products including menswear, ladies fashion and gifts.

The new boutique concept store in Seattle marks a return to Flora and Henri’s roots. The carefully curated selection of items on display are – according to owner and chief designer, Jane Hedreen – essential items for a thoughtful life. She explains the idea behind the store and her motivation for returning to bricks and mortar retail:

“The Flora and Henri concept store is where you will find everything you need to live a thoughtful life, filled with love and beauty, in a unique, artisanal space. We have missed the human interaction and the ability to have the quality of our goods available to touch and feel in full light.”

Alcantara in Shanghai

Alcantara, Shanghai Village

Described as a ‘place where art and fashion meet,’ this new opening is the Italian brand’s second concept store – the first of which is located in Milan. Alcantara describe their stores as a ‘museum in progress’ – a space designed to host creativity and showcase trends, innovations and ideas.

As the Chinese luxury market continues to grow, Shanghai is an ideal choice of location for the luxury material manufacturer to open their second high-brow, high-concept store. The new space in the fashionable Shanghai Shopping Village features a collection of bags, accessories and garments along with more abstract representations of how Alcantara fabrics have been applied – in industries ranging from fashion to interiors and automotive.

New Balance in Tokyo

New Balance Roppongi 19:06, Tokyo

In May, celebrated clothing and footwear brand, New Balance launched a brand new concept store in Roppongi in Midtown Tokyo. Called ‘New Balance Roppongi 19:06’, the store is a celebration of the footwear giant’s 111 year history and their continuous evolution which has helped them survive in a competitive marketplace since their inception in 1906.

At the grand opening, the store released 44 pairs of the brand’s limited edition 3D printed MS066 trainers. Other high tech WHOLEGARMENT seamless-knit clothing items were also available exclusively to customers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Moving forward, the focus of the new store will be on state-of-the-art clothing and footwear, with 3D printed, collaborative designs and high-concept sportswear being made exclusively available to shoppers. Over time the brand hopes that they will be able to offer unique brand services in store, to create the ultimate New Balance customer experience. And what better a place to do this – than Tokyo, one of the world’s most established centres of innovation.

What an inspiring range of concepts – with an interesting move from online to physical retail for Flora and Henri. Have you visited any of these stores? Or encountered any other new concept stores that you feel are worth a mention? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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Farewell to trolley rage? Online sales in grocery sector expected to top 11 billion https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/online-sales-in-grocery-soar/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/online-sales-in-grocery-soar/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:47:18 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7045 This week it was revealed that online sales of grocery products in the UK are expected to exceed 11 billion pounds this year, as more consumers are purchasing their weekly...

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This week it was revealed that online sales of grocery products in the UK are expected to exceed 11 billion pounds this year, as more consumers are purchasing their weekly groceries online than ever before. This is an increase of more than 1 billion pounds from 9.9 billion in 2016. According to the figures by Mintel Research, the amount of shoppers buying all or most of their food online is also continuing to increase.

Online grocery sales soar to over 11 billion

Mintel predict that by 2021 the online grocery market will be worth an estimated 16.7 billion pounds. Almost a third of consumers surveyed in the study reported that in the past 12 months they did the greater proportion of their shopping online. And the amount of people who say that they do their grocery shopping exclusively online has doubled over the past 3 years: 14% now do all of their shopping online – up from 7% in 2014.

Online grocery growth

Altogether, 48% of people now do some percentage of their weekly grocery shop online – that’s 5% more than in 2014. According to Nick Carroll, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel, this means that online grocery is now experiencing the fastest growth of any grocery channel:

”Once seen as simply a service to replicate the needs of a supermarket shop online, a number of new services came to market in 2016 that have the potential to elevate online grocery beyond this barrier and adequately serve the more fluid and frequent shopping behaviours seen in the wider market. Growth is being driven by encouraging users who have done most or some of their shopping online to do more. This suggests that it’s just as crucial for online grocery retailers to engage as much with their current consumer base as it is for them to attract new shoppers to drive sales.”

Online grocery shopping

Focus on younger shoppers

Only 1 in 3 over 55s have tried online grocery shopping. Half of this age group say that they have never bought groceries online and have no interest in doing so. Nick suggests that the key to growth and longevity in the market is to focus on the amount of younger consumers shopping for groceries online instead:

“The fact that younger consumers are far more likely to shop online highlights that rising smartphone ownership and internet connectivity has created an expectation from consumers that they can get what they want, whenever they want it. A younger online grocery shopping consumer base means it is crucial that grocery retailers have a well thought-out desktop and mobile site to best interact with the core online grocery consumer base.”

Online sales in grocery sector deliver

Same day delivery and discounters could tempt more online

What else can retailers do to entice online shoppers? Well it would appear that same-day-delivery is high on the consumer wish list. And up to 60% of respondents said that they would like to be able to shop online at discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, as Nick concludes:

“A number of same-day grocery delivery services have launched in the past year from both established players and new entrants to the market. While providing a same-day delivery service is highly challenging, it is something that consumers are demanding. When it comes to the discounters, they have been a disruptive force in the UK grocery market, but this has been limited to physical retail to date. Our research shows there will certainly be a market for the discounters if they decide to take the plunge into online retailing.”

If the forecast is correct, then it looks like the discounters would do well to get in on the online grocery trend, although they may experience some problems with fulfilment in the same way that discount clothing retailer Primark could not find a cost-effective way of selling online. If you buy your groceries online what would be high on your list for desirable factors when choosing an online supermarket? Perhaps you prefer to shop in store and pick out your own fruit and fresh produce? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Hands-free home retail: Will Amazon and Google really revolutionise the way we shop? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/hands-free-home-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/hands-free-home-retail/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 21:38:50 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7040 Last month Google launched their new virtual assistant technology ‘Google Home’ in the UK, in response to Amazon’s Alexa and Echo technology. According to the latest adverts, this tech allows...

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Last month Google launched their new virtual assistant technology ‘Google Home’ in the UK, in response to Amazon’s Alexa and Echo technology. According to the latest adverts, this tech allows you to ‘stay in the moment’ rather than staring at your smart phone and ignoring your loved ones. Touted in some quarters as a virtual ‘AI Butler’ – could these new technologies really revolutionise the way we approach home retail or are they just another flash in the high-tech pan?

Amazon Echo Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amazon_Echo_unpacked_(15978606333).jpg?uselang=en-gb

Voice search is on the Rise

Speaking to Retail Week, Oli Meakin, Chief Executive of Maplin says that he can’t call a winner as far as the tech giants are concerned. Although Amazon brought out their voice-activated ‘Echo’ device last year, he suggests that you wouldn’t want to bet against either Amazon or Google when it comes to their respective ventures in smart home technology:

“It is early days for voice technology but it is an area that is quickly gaining traction”

The Amazon Echo device uses Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition technology to enable users to ask questions and add items to their Amazon shopping list – and Google are now scrambling to catch up with the launch of their new Home device which is backed by Google Assist technology. In the US, Google Home users can already order products from a selection of retailers, with more being added to the list and it’s expected that this will soon be the case in the UK as well – but will it catch on?

Whatever the technology, the facts are that voice search is on the increase. In 2015, voice searches went from zero to more than 10% of searches made, and this is steadily increasing year on year. Last year Google reported that 20% of searches made by Android users in the US were conducted via voice search.

Voice Search for Retail

So what does this technology mean for retailers?

Remember a while back we blogged about the Amazon dash smart buttons for reordering domestic products that could be placed around the home? It seemed like a great idea at the time (unless your kids get hold of them!) But the capacity of voice technology to enable users to make purchases in context and ‘in the moment’ is one step beyond that. It takes home shopping to the next level – reducing the chore factor of requesting a refill or some other essential product to zero.

Rick Murray, Managing Director of digital consultants, Accenture suggests that this immediate level of convenience when selecting familiar products will mean that the grocery sector is most likely to feel the impact of this new technology first:

“Grocery is the most obvious area for disruption, both for mundane commodity items but also for inspiration. Imagine if I add things to a shopping list or even tell the voice device what sort of food products I’m thinking about at that point, and then in the future my voice device buys them for me or reminds me of them when I next walk into a supermarket by linking to my mobile app.”

But for other retailers, the benefits are less obvious. Sean McKee, Director of eCommerce at shoe retailer, Schuh is not convinced. He has this way down on his list of priorities for further investment or consideration:

“It will be a game-changer if it dovetails in a way that makes sense with artificial intelligence and helps us eliminate friction in the customer journey – but at the minute voice is not a good place to buy anything.”

But is he being too dismissive? Head of Global Technology at Planet retail, Miya Knights, suggests that some retailers will have to adapt their digital offer and target a specific audience, in order to feel the benefits:

“We know that shoppers will not go past the second or third page of a Google search result – voice will be like that on steroids.

“Retailers need to be thinking now about the technology that younger generations have been brought up understanding and experiencing. I might be nervous about using voice ordering technology, but my children will be completely fine with it.”

Research by Accenture seems to support this suggestion. Currently 38% of millennials say they are willing to use voice-activated ordering to make purchases, with some 10% of them having used it already.

Like the VR and AR technology that we reported on last week, retailers can’t afford to take their eye off the ball when it comes to the applications of voice technology and the types of shopper that might use it – this could be another trend that is set to take retailers by surprise – is your business ready for voice technology?

Picture credit:Amazon Echo from Wikimedia Commons

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Digital retail strategy – will virtual reality live up to its promise? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-strategy-virtual-reality/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-strategy-virtual-reality/#respond Mon, 15 May 2017 09:49:40 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7022 In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) has become the next big thing for hip tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. Some of this buzz has filtered down to retailers who are...

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In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) has become the next big thing for hip tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. Some of this buzz has filtered down to retailers who are keen to include it in their digital retail strategy– but does the technology deserve the hype and is it really suitable for retail applications? So far retailers have been slow to adopt VR. So what can they do to encourage users – and is it worth the effort?

Digital Marketing Strategy

Using VR in-store

When Facebook bought up the VR headset company, Oculus Rift, this gave many retailers the confidence to get on board and try it out. Big brands including Topshop and The North Face could see the potential benefit of VR and it’s numerous opportunities for enhancing customer experience and creative retail journeys. It offered high street retailers a new method for luring shoppers away from the web and back into physical stores, in order to experience something new.

Despite this, we haven’t seen many examples of mainstream adoption yet. But experts still insist that the forecast is good. According to Tom Moran, senior UX designer at TH_NK who work with Shop Direct and New Look; the future of VR is very bright indeed:

“It’s been predicted that within the next 10 years, a billion people will be interacting with virtual reality on a daily basis and that the sector will be worth $38bn by 2026. It’s a huge potential opportunity for brands,”

Some retailers including Ikea and M&S have been experimenting with creative VR implementations but according to Retail Week, consumers are yet to be convinced. Many don’t want to invest in a headset or take the trouble to download the apps needed to use it in store – and this has been the main barrier to mainstream adoption; as Andy Harding – former Chief Customer Officer at House of Fraser – explains:

“Three years ago, people were talking about how virtual reality could be the next frontier of retail, but as far as I’m aware, no-one has come out and said we’ve done it”

“Headsets haven’t penetrated the consumer market yet, and that’s a bit of a problem.”

“Plus, it doesn’t help that most home computers can’t support it.

Moran concurs:

“Currently, less than 1% of PCs used globally are capable of running VR. The high price point and current dearth of content leaves the industry in a ‘gap of disappointment’.

“Developers are nervous to invest in an as yet unproven market, but by hesitating they are also preventing the industry from really taking off.

“Likewise, consumers won’t buy the hardware en masse until the great experiences they expect are there. And businesses of all kinds won’t invest in those experiences until they know how big a deal VR will be.”

Moran suggests that the VR experiences which are delivered via mobile – using low-cost cardboard headsets to turn a smartphone into a VR screen – will probably be most likely to crack the market first as these are most readily accessible for users at little additional cost.

VR for online shopping experiences

So what about the web? Using VR in retail isn’t just about using VR in bricks-and-mortar stores to enhance the customer experience – or lure shoppers to the high street. There is another use for the technology which is potentially more significant for retailers in terms of sales: shoppable VR.

Chief of Client Strategy at digital agency Somo, Emma Crowe suggests that one of the best early examples of shoppable VR is the technology developed by Alibaba for famous US department store chain, Macy’s.

The project, named Buy+ was launched in November 2016 and aimed at people who really value the chance to shop in Macy’s from the comfort of their own home, in China.

Chinese shoppers can use the technology – along with an inexpensive cardboard headset and a smartphone – in order to take a VR trip to America and stroll around Times Square in New York. Here they can enter the iconic Macy’s store and browse departments at their leisure, to purchase shoes, clothes or handbags.

Speaking about the technology, David Lloyd of Alibaba explains how it entices shoppers to buy:

“VR empowers consumers to shop in virtual stores, immersing them in a brand and its culture and ultimately motivating them to make a purchase”

“As the technology becomes more advanced, we could indeed have a future in which VR is used to select and purchase products, not simply to view and experience them.”

So it’s not necessarily about getting shoppers into physical stores – VR has enormous potential for web stores too: providing real life experiences – which are fulfilled with purchases of physical goods – in a virtual environment.

Lloyd suggests that until recently, AR (Augmented Reality) was languishing in a similar fashion to VR – but everything changed after people Pokemon Go was launched and became a global phenomenon. He believes that VR just needs a similar ‘killer app’ to launch it into mainstream use and unlock the possibilities for retail, just as Pokemon has done for AR.

Do you have plans to use VR in your customer experience or have you seen some good examples of VR or AR in use in a retail environment? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Jigsaw opens in Cobham https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/jigsaw-opens-in-cobham/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/jigsaw-opens-in-cobham/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 14:09:01 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7011 Our latest retail design for clothing retailer Jigsaw opened last Friday in Cobham, Surrey. Each Jigsaw store is designed to have it’s own look and feel rather than a uniform...

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Our latest retail design for clothing retailer Jigsaw opened last Friday in Cobham, Surrey.

Each Jigsaw store is designed to have it’s own look and feel rather than a uniform identity – which means it can also be sympathetic to the building and street that it is situated in. More pics to follow!

Jigsaw Cobham

Jigsaw Cobham

Jigsaw Cobham

Jigsaw Cobham

Jigsaw Cobham

Jigsaw Cobham

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Retail Research shows that dialogue and interaction are the way forward for retail https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-research-dialogue-interaction-way-forward/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-research-dialogue-interaction-way-forward/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:34:47 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=7002 Economic pressures on the high street, including the shift from physical to online sales have had a dramatic impact on the nature of retail. Retailers are constantly developing more effective...

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Economic pressures on the high street, including the shift from physical to online sales have had a dramatic impact on the nature of retail. Retailers are constantly developing more effective methods for engaging with customers – not just to make a sale, but to promote their brand and instil customer loyalty. Recent retail research demonstrates that the future of this kind of retail marketing lies in showing rather than telling – by creating genuine dialogues and personalised interactions with customers in order to create meaningful connections.

Retail research - show don't tell

Showing rather than telling

In the past retailers would broadcast one single message for all customers to consume. Now, via social media and other digital channels there are myriad ways to get through to people on a personal level, by creating dialogues and tailoring campaigns – to show rather than tell.

For example, Waitrose have recently introduced a ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme for loyalty card users. On the scheme, people can select ten products that they would like to receive a 20% discount on every time they shop (with some exceptions), rather than being offered discounts on things that they might never buy. Tesco Clubcard offers a similar discount with vouchers based on past purchases – but Waitrose has taken this one step further by allowing people to pick their own deals. They can also change their selection at any time. This gives them a sense of control. They feel as though they are driving the relationship and are getting more benefit from it than a regular discount scheme. This should in turn, foster brand loyalty and encourage repeat trade.

Conversations rather than transactions

Award-winning Barber Design clients the Triathlon Shop in Bristol don’t just sell things, they engage with customers and are happy to talk and advise on any aspect of Triathlon training. They have a range of equipment in store to assist customers in finding the right products and are enthusiastic and knowledgeable which makes customers feel like they are engaging in a conversation rather than a transaction. This instils loyalty and trust in the store, who are able to offer specialist advice using gait analysis suites, an elite endless pool, a bike fitting service and bike workshop.

Collaborating on Creations

Crowdfunding platform Betabrand works with brands to help identify trends. For example, outdoor brand ‘The North Face’ uses the platform to test the market for new product lines. Potential customers vote for the products they would like to buy and get a 30% discount if their chosen product ends up being produced and sold as a result of the research.

But this site isn’t just about giving a discount to make a sale. The real value is in the feedback given on each product, Potential buyers are able to comment and ask questions about individual designs – for example is the material hypoallergenic? does it crease easily? is it waterproof? – or share their personal experiences of similar items that they have and why they like them. This give North Face a valuable insight into the clothing and shopping habits of their customer base.

In addition to this, if the product goes into production and the feedback is incorporated into the final design, customers feel valued as the brand has listened to them and responded to their suggestions. They also feel more connected to the product as they played a part in its development, which in turn instils loyalty to the brand.

Discovery through interaction

When it comes to showing rather than telling, one of the best forms of retail interaction is discovery. This is why, in the digital age, bricks-and–mortar stores are still popular – even with millennials. Nothing beats trying the product out for yourself, looking it over and pressing buttons to see what they do.

Barber clients Neal’s Yard is one brand that lets customers feel, smell and try products – a process that they would find hard to replicate online. Like the Triathlon shop, they encourage people to come to their stores, to engage in conversations and tailor solutions to suit their individual needs.

By showing, talking and responding to change and encouraging customers to discover and interact with products, retailers can create strong relationships and enduring brand loyalty where customers feel valued and respected. Are you engaging with your customers? Do you show or tell? Leave you comments below to continue the conversation!

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Barber at the visual merchandising and display show – plus current projects https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/visual-merchandising-and-display/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/visual-merchandising-and-display/#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:39:42 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6987 It’s been a busy few weeks for Barber Design with a retail show and plenty of new projects to keep us busy. Last week we showcased our work at the...

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It’s been a busy few weeks for Barber Design with a retail show and plenty of new projects to keep us busy. Last week we showcased our work at the Visual Merchandising and Display show at the Business and Design Centre in London. It was a very busy two days as we revealed our new exhibition display stand, centred around the theme of ‘blurring the lines between retail and digital’ and demonstrating how retail technology can be applied to increase footfall and sales. The display used innovative digital content platform and lightbox technology developed by Icon, to present some of our recent projects innovations that we have applied. In addition to this we are working on lots of exciting retail design projects for some top-quality brands including Neal’s Yard, Jigsaw and the RSPB.

Barber at the VM Show

Barber at the VM Show

Visual Merchandising and Display Show

The VM and Display Show is the longest running exhibition for our industry and covers everything to do with retail design and visual merchandising. It is the only UK exhibition dedicated exclusively to the creative aspect of the retail industry and brings together everything from mannequins, print and props to POP, lighting and fabrics all under one roof over two days. We had a terrific two days talking to clients, old and new and meeting lots of other industry professionals. As well as showing off some of our most recent work the show also provided us with the opportunity to see what’s new in the world of retail design – and gather some inspiration for our own projects.

Barber at the VM Show

Barber at the VM Show

Jigsaw store designs

Jigsaw store opening in Cobham, Surrey

The second in our series of store designs for fashion retailer Jigsaw will be opening next week in Cobham, Surrey. With an impressive portfolio of stores in the UK, Jigsaw take an independent approach to their retail design. Unlike many fashion chains, each store has it’s own look and feel, rather than a uniform design formula which is replicated in different locations. Each store is designed to be sympathetic to its surroundings and the existing architecture of the building that it is situated in.

Jigsaw store designs

Jigsaw store designs

The store is the latest move in Jigsaw’s on-going strategy to launch more stores throughout the UK.

“Jigsaw are very excited to be opening our new store in Cobham as part of our strategy of making the brand more accessible to local customers. Every new store is different and tailored to suit the surrounding community so we have chosen a modern, clean and sophisticated space that is bright and easy to shop. We hope it is well-received and we are looking forward to building good relationships with our customers”.

The new store will be opening on 28th April in Oakdene Parade on Cobham High Street – more photos to follow!

Jigsaw store designs

Neal’s Yard Remedies – 2 new stores opening

We have also been continuing with our roll-out of retail designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies, with our latest store designs for the iconic apothecary due to be revealed at two brand new store locations in the UK, very soon.

Flemingo and the RSPB

As these projects finish, we are getting stuck into some fresh projects for new clients, including a retail design project for Flemingo Duty Free in Sri Lanka. Our global reputation for travel retail design made Barber the obvious choice for this duty free arrivals and departures shop design.

Plus we have just been appointed by the RSPB to develop the retail and café elements of their brand new visitor centre in Sherwood Forest.

If you go and see any of our finished projects over the next few weeks let us know what you think – we’d love to hear your feedback on the customer experience – and we’ll be keeping you posted on our latest projects as they develop, here on the Barber blog.

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Barber at the 2017 VM and Display Show https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-2017-vm-and-display-show/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-2017-vm-and-display-show/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 23:24:25 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6983 Its that time of year again! We’re getting ready for our first big show of the year. Our stand is packed and ready to go and we’ll be heading down...

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Its that time of year again! We’re getting ready for our first big show of the year. Our stand is packed and ready to go and we’ll be heading down to the 2017 VM and Display Show next week on the 5th and 6th of April (Wednesday and Thursday). The show will be held in the Business Design Centre in London and we are really looking forward to showcasing our work and meeting up with clients and other professionals from the retail design industry at this exciting event.

Retail Design Expo

The VM and Display Show is the longest running exhibition for our industry and covers everything to do with retail design and visual merchandising. It is the only UK exhibition dedicated exclusively to the creative aspect of the retail industry and brings together everything from mannequins, print and props to POP, lighting and fabrics all under one roof over two days. The show is an international event. It features exhibits from across the globe and is also attended by lots of global businesses seeking inspiration and innovation.

Retail Design Expo

At Barber we are experienced at working with international clients. Our retail designs have been installed in stores and malls across the world – from Hong Kong to Dubai. This year we will be showcasing some of our recent work including our retail designs for Neals Yard’s flagship Covent Garden store and Peacemarsh HQ, the Sovereign Centre in Weston- Super-Mare, SugarSin in Covent Garden, the Discovery Store in Dubai and Love Brand and Co. Visitors to our Barber Design stand can expect an enthusiastic welcome and some expert advice on any aspect of retail design and branding. We can help you to turn your retail dream into a reality – from concept to installation. We have created award-winning designs for a wide range of retail businesses worldwide – from small, independent start ups to global franchises. Just ask us to find out more!

SugarSin London

There are just a few days left if you want to sign up for the show. It is free to attend and you can register on the VM and Display show website: www.vmanddisplayshow.com/registration. If you do make it to the event make sure you come and find Barber Design on stand G2 to check out some of recent work and find out what we can do for your retail business.

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Six of the best digital retail strategies for 2017 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/six-of-the-best-digital-retail-strategies-for-2017/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/six-of-the-best-digital-retail-strategies-for-2017/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 09:57:11 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6970 Does your retail business sell online? If so, how are you performing in the constantly changing digital marketplace? This week we’re taking a look at six of the best digital...

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Does your retail business sell online? If so, how are you performing in the constantly changing digital marketplace? This week we’re taking a look at six of the best digital retail strategies to help you to stay on top of your e-commerce game this year:

A womn using her computer with a cup of coffee

Mobile First for online stores 

Over the past three years online activity has shifted from PC to mobile, with the majority of web users now preferring to browse via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. But despite this mobile sales only accounted for 30% of online sales.

John Surdakowski, founder and creative director of NYC-based digital agency Avex Designs suggests that this was partly due to people using their phones for socialising and contacting people, and their computers for ‘serious’ stuff, like work and shopping.

In addition to this, many retailers simply weren’t ready for the mobile marketplace. But now this trend has started to reverse. Savvy retailers have refined their mobile offer, heralding a ‘mobile first’ approach – acknowledging and preparing for the fact that the majority of future sales will be mobile transactions.

A smartphone beside a laptop

Social Marketing for Social Engagement

Social media marketing is flourishing. More and more retailers have cottoned onto the fact that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts make it much easier to display and attract attention to their products than other more complex online platforms.

However, Sudakowski warns that posting pictures and discount codes is no longer enough to tempt buyers. The competition on across social platforms has become intense and not everyone is seeing every post:

“To give you a sense of the scale of this problem from an e-commerce entrepreneur’s point of view, consider that many posts are seen by 16% of a company’s fans or fewer. As your following grows, that number could shrink all the way down to 2%!“

There are solutions to these problems. Surdakowski recommends that you post images and videos rather than text as these get around 15 times more likes or shares. Use things that will attract a response – such as a call to action – and make sure you study your social media insights and analytics to see what works and what doesn’t and tailor your campaigns accordingly.

Create engaging content

Sometimes your customers know exactly what they want and go directly to your site. But more often than not, they have a problem that needs solving – and sometimes they’re not even sure what it is that they are looking for.

The most successful e-commerce retailers are already onto this – and they tackle it by creating useful content. Blogs, videos and whitepapers that don’t just draw attention to their products but also give insights to steer potential customers towards the best solution.

User generated content is also invaluable. Online reviews and positive social posts make shoppers feel confident and comfortable, increasing sales and reducing returns.

A person browsing on desktop computer

Video Demos and Reviews 

According to recent research, 73% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product after watching a short clip that explains it first. So the effect of video on a retailers website could outstrip any traditional online marketing methods such as SEM/PPC (Pay per click advertising) and SEO.

Video product reviews – whether created in-house or submitted by satisfied customers – demonstrate the value of a product in a more significant and transparent way than simple marketing spiel.

Retargeting – Try, try again

Retargeting is a process whereby retailers track their visitors and their behaviour using cookies and invite them to come back and take another look at their site via adverts which appear on other websites that they are looking at. Some retailers report that retargeting has helped them to double or even triple their sales and conversion rates over time.

Of course the process is not simple and Surdakowski asserts that the devil is in the details with the following advice for anyone considering this trend:

  • Be subtle: don’t simply ask them to come back and finish their order.
  • Be careful in your approach. How much are you willing to pay for each ad? These are usually pay-per-click (PPC) so set a realistic budget.
  • Segment your campaign with time-sensitive discounts and targeted reminders.
  • Limit exposure – to reduce the ‘creep factor’ where your customers might feel like you are following them around the net, from one website to another. If they see too many ads you’ll scare them away and they’ll most likely take their business elsewhere.
  • Study your analytics to see what works and keep a close eye on your bottom line.

Buyer Loyalty is Better than New Custom

Many traditional marketing techniques have developed into digital equivalents. For example, viral marketing has become the online version of good press. And in the online marketplace, word-of-mouth is replaced with online reputation.

Retailers are waking up to the fact that it is easier and more cost-effective to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones. Engaging with their customers and placing emphasis on customer service and trust will create brand advocates.

By actively pursuing ways to attract repeat trade – such as loyalty discounts, engaging newsletters and special online events for existing customers – they can expect to see a significant positive impact on sales. According to figures, people who have made a successful purchase from a particular online retailer before are far more likely to place bigger and more frequent orders in the future.

Certainly a lot to think about in terms of online sales – without even beginning to consider the added layers and effects of omnichannel. The key here seems to be constantly monitoring user activity and results and staying agile in response to these rapidly changing trends. If you’ve got an online store we’d be interested to know your thoughts on these topics and whether you have been implementing any of these strategies on your own e-commerce site. Use the comments section below if you’d like to share your views.

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Multi channel retail solutions – why are omnichannel consumers so important for retailers? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/multi-channel-retail-solutions/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/multi-channel-retail-solutions/#respond Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:01:53 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6960 As discussed a few times here on the blog, this year retailers will really need to start making more of integrated marketing technologies in order to get a better understanding...

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As discussed a few times here on the blog, this year retailers will really need to start making more of integrated marketing technologies in order to get a better understanding of individual customer behaviour across both physical and digital outlets. By developing multi channel retail solutions which create seamless interactions across all of their retail touchpoints, they can keep ahead of the competition and provide the sort of service that today’s tech-savvy shoppers expect.

Retailers must embrace omnichannel

Whilst establishing an effective multichannel offer was a key strategy for retailers wanting to hold onto their market share last year, it won’t be enough to maintain that place in 2017. They should now be looking at more ways to extract value from the technology and what it reveals about their customers – and then applying that knowledge to provide a unified customer experience, both online and in store.

Speaking to Retail Week, Managing Director at VoucherCodes.co.uk, Claire Davenport, explains why it is so important for multichannel retailers to acknowledge this information and act now:

“Retailers now operate in a world of tech-savvy, channel-agnostic consumers who expect an experience with any brand to be seamless across mobile, web and in-store.

“Facing ever-decreasing brand loyalty from consumers, retailers can win through the coherence and quality of service across all consumer touchpoints.”

Why are multi channel shoppers so important?

Tailoring services to multichannel shoppers is going to be key in 2017. But why is it so important? According to a recent report from payment service provider, Worldpay, consumers who shop both online and in-store will spend between 50-300% more than those who shop solely via a single channel.

But implementing new strategies won’t be straightforward. There are currently many obstacles to prevent retailers from immediately adopting multi channel retail solutions, as Davenport explains:

“There are, of course, barriers within organisations that will prevent an immediate shift to a truly omnichannel approach, however, smart companies are plugging the gaps in their offering by working with third-party providers who are able to provide technological and data-driven solutions.”

Speaking about her own business approach, Davenport told Retail Week how VoucherCodes.co.uk utilises location technology in order to analyse consumer shopping behaviour, and highlighting the impact of digital content on physical retailing. She asserts that this has become incredibly effective in enabling retailers to connect the dots between digital spend and online footfall, as she explains:

“…After all location is to mobile what the cookie is to desktop [and] retailers who can create an omnichannel shopping experience for their shoppers will thrive.”

“Online and offline siloes will need to work as one unified retail team in order to succeed in 2017 and beyond.”

Is your retail business ready for the challenge?

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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Are Amazon developing a retail strategy? Insiders say they are about to get physical! https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/amazon-developing-a-retail-strategy-to-get-physical/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/amazon-developing-a-retail-strategy-to-get-physical/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:05:34 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6952 According to one major American shopping centre company last week, online retail giant Amazon are developing a retail strategy to open around 400 bricks-and-mortar bookstores throughout the US. The move...

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According to one major American shopping centre company last week, online retail giant Amazon are developing a retail strategy to open around 400 bricks-and-mortar bookstores throughout the US. The move is thought to have been prompted by the success of a pilot store, which they opened in their hometown of Seattle, last November. But why are Amazon so interested in getting physical? Whilst the retail giant has not specifically confirmed this new retail strategy, it’s seems to be a given that this will be the direction that they are headed in next – according to retail analysts – as Chief Executive of General Growth Properties, Sandeep Mathrani confirmed:

“You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores,”

He compared Amazon’s plans to those of other US brands, which started out online – like Bonobos and Warby Parker.

Are Amazon about to move into physical retail?

Going back to their roots

If the news is true, the move confirms a return to Amazon’s online retail roots. They initially started out as a bookseller 20 years ago – before branching out to offer everything from fresh groceries to original streaming TV shows – and everything in between! Amazon have revolutionised the publishing industry with Kindle, encouraging people to self-publish and creating downloadable volumes, with consumer trust generated from online ratings and reviews.

As you would expect, Amazon’s flagship bookstore in store in Seattle uses innovative selling techniques too. It stocks books based on their online customer ratings and popularity. The storefront presents a space for shoppers to try out different versions of Kindle, Fire TV and other related devices.

Although Amazon are widely credited for revolutionising book sales, they also contributed to a sharp decline in sales for other physical stores, including Waterstones and Barnes and Noble. Currently the largest American bookstore chain, with 640 stores across the US, rumours of Amazon’s intended move open a chain of physical stores caused Barnes and Noble shares to plummet by more than 5% overnight.

Despite this, perhaps their rivals should have been preparing for the news – and working on a strategy to deal with the competition. According to one source, Amazon has been hinting at their intention to move into bricks-and-mortar stores for years. Back in 2012 Chief Executive and Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos said that he would ‘love’ to open some physical stores as long as he could find an idea that was unique to Amazon. According to a survey published in the Telegraph recently, consumers would like to see Amazon move into physical retail more than any other online store – so the interest is certainly there!

Developing a retail strategy - are Amazon capitalising on the facts?

Picture credit: Daily Telegraph 

Amazon Go – where have the people gone?

And it’s not just books that are whetting Amazon’s appetite for physical sales. The Pop up City recently reported that Amazon have more plans afoot for innovation in other physical retail domains, including an 1,800 square foot ’Amazon Go’ supermarket which will be opening in Seattle later this year.

This prototype supermarket will have no staff at all, with fully automated processes throughout the store. Customers will begin shopping by checking in with their payment details as they enter, using their smart phone. As they walk around taking items off the shelf, an array of cameras and sensors will detect each item and add it to their bill. Once their shopping is complete the payment is taken automatically without the need to checkout.

Of course Amazon must have done some research into the ethics of this type of transaction, but it will be interesting to see what effect this has on both the labour market, potential for crime and also whether people really want to shop without any human interaction – something we have discussed a few times on the blog before.

Whilst Bezos wants to innovate and create things which are ‘uniquely Amazon’ is he doing it just because it is expected of him – innovation for innovation’s sake? Or does he really think that it’s necessary in order to give them Amazon the edge over other physical retailers? What is the consumer cost and will people really go for it? Would you like to shop in a store with no friendly faces, where they are monitoring your every move? As reported the other week on the blog, even millennials prefer to shop in store – but is this because of the human element? Or something else? We’ll be interested to see when and where Amazon are going with these ideas.

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Fancy working for Barber Design? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/fancy-working-for-barber-design/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/fancy-working-for-barber-design/#respond Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:40:59 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6946 Ever fancied working for Barber Design? We’re looking for a new Office Manager/PA to join our small, friendly and busy team. You must be an organisational and administrative whizz, who...

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Ever fancied working for Barber Design? We’re looking for a new Office Manager/PA to join our small, friendly and busy team.

VM and Display Show

You must be an organisational and administrative whizz, who enjoys a varied schedule, and has strong interpersonal and written/spoken communications skills.  It goes without saying that in a role like this, superb attention to detail is a must, as well as the ability to take initiative, work autonomously and go the extra mile when needed.

You will get some great exposure beyond the normal admin tasks in this role, helping out with agency marketing & PR (awards entries, social media management, press releases) and creative development (researching & collating materials, helping out with pitch presentations), as well as all the usual reception duties, diary management, supplier liaison and invoice/budget management expected of a PA and Office Manager.

Essential requirements: proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook).  Also: knowledge of (or a desire to learn) InDesign, Photoshop & WordPress.

Staring salary to be reviewed after 3 months with 21 days holiday.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a graduate looking to make their way in the design industry.   Please email lucy@barberdesign.co.uk with your CV today to register your interest.

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Latest retail marketing research reveals that ‘Generation Z’ still prefer real shops https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/latest-retail-marketing-research/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/latest-retail-marketing-research/#respond Fri, 03 Feb 2017 14:47:26 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6941 According to the latest retail marketing research by IBM, ‘digital natives’ still prefer shopping in bricks and mortar stores to shopping online. And retailers must acknowledge and respond quickly to this...

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According to the latest retail marketing research by IBM, ‘digital natives’ still prefer shopping in bricks and mortar stores to shopping online. And retailers must acknowledge and respond quickly to this – because ‘Generation Z’ is going to be much bigger than ‘Generation X’.

The Yellow Submarine in the store

The IBM Institute for Business Value spoke to more than 15,000 consumers aged 13-21 from 16 countries. The findings of this ‘Uniquely Gen Z’ study, released on Jan 12th by IBM and the National Retail Federation, reveal that despite being what they describe as the first ‘digitally native’ generation – born in the mid-nineties – Gen Z still prefer to shop-in store. The global Gen Z population grew up in a world of mobile phones, home computing and internet access and now the retail industry is beginning to take notice of their habits, as their number is expected to swell to 2.6 billion by 2020. Brands need to get on board to create more opportunities for digital engagement in order to serve what this ‘always on, mobile-centric, high-spending demographic.’

Discussing the findings, Steve Laughlin, General Manager of Global Consumer Industries at IBM asserts that Generation Z expects technology to be intuitive, relevant and engaging because “their last great experience is their new expectation”:

“This presents a significant challenge for retailers and brands to create a personalised, interactive experience with the latest digital advances – or risk falling behind. This kind of innovation is not linear or a one-time project – it is a new way of thinking, operating and behaving.”

Matthew Shay, CEO and President of NRF concurs:

“Just as Millennials overtook Gen X, there’s another big buying group retailers need to plan for, and it’s even larger: Generation Z. They appreciate the hands-on experience of shopping in a store. With technology constantly evolving but some shopping habits remaining the same, retailers need to be agile enough to serve both needs. Retailers are constantly focused on experimenting with new innovations both online and in-store to remain relevant to evolving consumer demand.”

Initially coined by Marc Prensky in 2001, the terms ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’ are used to describe people born into the digital age – and those who were not. The metaphor is not about what people can or can’t do with technology but about their culture and attitudes. Digital immigrants have lived in both the digital and pre-digital age, whereas digital natives have only experienced digital culture. Many digital immigrants attitudes and preferences were formed in the pre-digital culture and age and are reflected in their attitudes and behaviour.

Although they prefer to shop in store, Gen Z consumers also enjoy engaging with brands online, especially with those that present interactive environments or facilitate personalisation, enabling them to tailor their retail experiences.

74% of respondents said that they spend their free time online. 25% are online five hours or more each day. The degree to which bricks and mortar sales are influenced by digital has become inevitable in modern retail – and continues apace. The study provides a number of useful insights into digital native shopping habits, which retailers can leverage for maximum effect:

  • 73% of Gen Z primarily use their phones socially – to text and chat to friends and family – but they are willing to extend these conversations to brand relationships.
  • They demand a seamless digital experience and have no patience for technology that is not easy to use.
  • They require transparency. They are fully aware that their personal information is valuable to retailers and want to know how brands are using it and how their personal data is protected.

As retailers develop their offer and respond to these results, Shay suggests that it is important to stay agile in their approach, continually responding and adapting to feedback from consumers. This generation is known for their loyalty, as brand champions both online and offline, especially when brands acknowledge and value their opinions.

How is your brand preparing for Gen Z and the influx of digital natives? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments section below.

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Retail layout strategy – a space to park your husband? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-layout-strategy-husband-parking/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-layout-strategy-husband-parking/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:31:20 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6930 We like to think we’ve got our finger on the pulse when it comes to store planning and retail layout strategy here at Barber, but this new idea from China...

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Chinese husband nursery

We like to think we’ve got our finger on the pulse when it comes to store planning and retail layout strategy here at Barber, but this new idea from China has got us wondering if we should be heading back to the drawing board. According to the Pop Up City, The Vanke Mall in China has just unveiled it’s own ‘Husband Nursery.’ This novel idea consists of an exclusive place for women to park their husbands so that they can both have a more fulfilling time whilst shopping in the mall. What we would like to know is does it work – and could it catch on here?

We’ve all seen those uncomfortable men shifting from foot to foot outside New Look, loaded with carrier bags, glancing at their watch and avoiding eye contact with each other. Some stores provide a chair or two outside the ladies changing room where husbands and partners seek refuge. They stare half-heartedly at their smartphones – whilst their better halves emerge sporadically, parading a series of increasingly unsuitable outfits – like Julia Roberts in the makeover scene from Pretty Woman.

Chinese husband nursery

So perhaps some might welcome this new idea from the East – where the recently opened shopping complex, in Qibao has taken this concept one step further with a room especially for ‘husbands that don’t like shopping.’ Located on the third floor of the Vanke Mall, the ‘Husband Nursery’ contains TV sets, men’s interest magazines and relaxing massage chairs. The space features a minimal design,aimed at transporting each visitor to their own quiet place, far from the madding crowds of the mall.

Chinese husband nursery

As we’ve reported many times on the blog, one of the keys to the survival of traditional shopping centres in recent years is the notion of redeveloping them into ‘destinations’ for ‘experiences’ rather than just places to shop. So people can eat there or pursue leisure activities including sports or going to the cinema – and shopping is just part of the equation. By putting in the extra effort to entice and include visitors, could the ‘Husband Nursery’ business model work over here? We can see a few drawbacks to the plan – for example if hubby is relaxing in the man zone, their wife could be going crazy with the credit cards. Plus by calling it a ‘nursery’ some men might object to being equated with children and simplistic behaviour. Perhaps ‘man parking’ would be a better description for this facility. It is certainly in the mall’s interest to keep both parties happy and enjoying themselves for as long as possible. What do you think – could it work here? We’ll have to check in and see if it catches on – and don’t forget that if it does – you heard it here first!

Picture credit: The Pop Up City

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Looking back on 2016: Barber branding and retail design review https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/2016-barber-branding-retail-design-review/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/2016-barber-branding-retail-design-review/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 23:03:32 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6926 It seems like a long time since Christmas and we seem to be hurtling towards the end of January with renewed vigour after our festive break. We’ve been having numerous...

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It seems like a long time since Christmas and we seem to be hurtling towards the end of January with renewed vigour after our festive break. We’ve been having numerous meetings with clients and have many exciting new projects in the pipeline. But, before we tell you about those we thought we would take a moment to reflect and have a look back at some of our successes from last year. With many exciting projects and award nominations for our work across the globe. Here is our 2016 Barber branding and retail design review:

January

Our retail design work was featured on Channel 4

We got off to a flying start last year when a pared down version of our retail design work was shown on Channel 4’s ‘Secret Shopper’ television programme, presented by ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas.

The show is still available to view on the Channel 4 website, so if you haven’t seen it, grab some popcorn and settle down for a treat! The eccentric storeowners and their unusual retail strategy are a treat to watch!

March

Neal’s Yard Peacemarsh opening

Neal’s Yard Remedies are an award winning ethical, organic health and beauty brand with 52 stores and more than 470 outlets across the UK as well as 80 stores internationally.

We have been creating a series of store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies across the UK (and beyond) over several years and in March 2016 our latest store design was revealed at Peacemarsh in Gillingham, Dorset, on the site of the brand’s ‘eco factory’.

The new retail store was a new addition to the factory site – which had recently expanded – and was the latest phase on our new series of retail design concepts for the organic beauty brand.

2016 Retail Design Expo

Also in March we found time to showcase our work at the 2016 Retail Design Expo in London’s Olympia. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to touch base with hundreds of potential clients and suppliers whilst getting some fresh design inspiration from other exhibitors and industry specialists at the event.

Retail Design Expo

April

2016 VM and Display Show

In April we took our stand to the VM and Display Show at the Business Design Centre in London. The VM and Window Show is an international event with many different countries from across the world represented. The show is also attended by global companies looking for innovation and inspiration. We relished the opportunity to speak with other like-minded businesses.

Retail Design Expo

May

Neal’s Yard Remedies Covent Garden Opening

On May 26th our design for the Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store was unveiled in Covent Garden. The brand opened their first store at this location in Covent Garden in 1981 and it was an honour for us to be asked to help them redevelop the interior of such an iconic store. This event was the latest stage in a series of designs for Neal’s Yard stores across the UK and internationally in Alberta, Canada, Taipei, Taiwan and Makati in the Philippines.

The Covent Garden store was shortlisted for an award at the 2016 Retail Week Interiors Awards.

June

Discovery Store Opening, Dubai

On June 1st, one of our most exciting international retail design projects to date – the Discovery Aquarium – opened for business in the Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates. The vision for this store was for a first-of-its-kind retail initiative, offering a unique retail experience with inspiring footage of marine life on big screens and the primary storefront suspended over an aquarium.

Our retail design work for the Discovery Aquarium was shortlisted for a gong at the 2016 VM and Display Awards.

Discovery channel store in Dubai

SugarSin Covent Garden Opening

Also in June, our second retail design for SugarSin opened in Covent Garden. The store was relocating to new premises following the success of their original Covent Garden store, which was also designed by Barber.

The stores owners, Swedish sisters Anna and Josefin describe the ethos behind their idea, which was used as the basis for our bold and colourful design:

“The idea of SugarSin was to create a magic, modern Willy Wonka factory that appealed to grown ups as well as children. Inspired by the candy store in Pippi Longstocking, the store has been designed in a soft pastel colour theme with bold, candy inspired interior. We love contrasts, and the shop features a great mix of contemporary pick ‘n’ mix shelves, a high gloss pastel pink counter, a retro neon sign and turquoise marshmallow tables filled with sweets in gorgeous apothecary jars.“

This store design featured in Premier Retail magazine and was also shortlisted for a 2016 Retail Week Interiors Award.

Love Brand & Co. Brand and Retail Guidelines

June was a busy month for us here at Barber as it was also the month that we helped Love Brand & Co. to create a new a set of brand and retail guidelines which would showcase the classy swimwear brand in a new light, focussing on theirethos of conservation and philanthropy.

Each item of swimwear sold raises awareness and funds to help elephants from extinction in the wild. A distinctive idea entitled “Trunks for Trunks”

Love Brand & Co. hats

October

Sovereign Centre food court revamp for Vixcroft opens in Weston-super-Mare

In October our retail design work for Vixcroft, owners of the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare was opened. The £500k retail revamp was the first phase of our work at the centre and we are now working on the rebranding and retail planning of the entire shopping centre. This work includes a new website design, signage and promotional materials throughout the area.

2016 TFWA Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit

Also in October we found time to enjoy some autumnal French sunshine at the TFWADuty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit in Cannes. In recent years Barber Design have carved out a bit of a niche as travel retail designers, working for Thomas Cook, Travelex and the Hong Kong Cruise Plaza, to name but a few. The TFWA Summit is always one of our favourite annual events as it presents us with an excellent opportunity to reconvene with existing clients as well as meeting new ones, whilst also connecting with other professional vendors in the travel retail industry.

TFWA event in Cannes

November

Shortlisted for 2 Retail Week Interior Awards

November marked the start of awards season. As mentioned our retail design work for Neal’s Yard and SugarSin were shortlisted for 2 prestigious awards at the Retail Week Interiors Awards. This was the third year in a row our work had been nominated. In 2015 we won the coveted ‘Best Large Format Store’ award for our work with the Triathlon Shop in Bristol.

Retail Week Awards

December

Finalist in the VM and Display Awards

In December our work for the Discovery Channel was acknowledged when we were shortlisted as finalists in the 2016 VM and Display Awards.

VM and Display Awards

Christmas Mannequin Challenge

We rounded off the year with a bit of office fun when we filmed our own version of the ‘Mannequin Challenge.’ Watch it to the end to see if you can spot Doug blinking!

And in 2017?

So that was our 2016 and we’ve hit the ground running with lots of interesting projects in progress for the coming year. We are continuing with our work for Vixcroft at the Sovereign Centre and Neal’s Yard Remedies  and we are working on an exciting new retail project for Jigsaw to be launched on the High Street this spring!  Plus a lot of other things that we aren’t allowed to talk about just yet! We are already preparing our display stands for the Retail Expo and the VM and Display Show and with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we will hopefully be bringing the tuxedos out again when award season comes around too!

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Christmas sales bigger than Black Friday https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/christmas-sales-bigger-than-black-friday/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/christmas-sales-bigger-than-black-friday/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:44:07 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6920 Christmas sales bigger than Black Friday Good news for retailers and traditionalists alike this week as the latest figures reveal that Christmas sales trounced Black Friday during the last quarter...

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Christmas sales bigger than Black Friday

Good news for retailers and traditionalists alike this week as the latest figures reveal that Christmas sales trounced Black Friday during the last quarter of 2016. According to the latest figures, like-for-like sales have risen 1% year-on-year and the food sales sector reported the highest three-month average in over three years. Could this signal better times ahead for 2017?

Christmas sales

Latest Sales Figures

Hot off the press, the figures published in the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor report that the total amount of retails sales climbed to 1.7% during the five weeks up to December 31st, when compared to the same month in 2015. According to BRC-KPMG the majority of growth happened in the week directly before Christmas – which proved to be an even bigger sales period than Black Friday – in contrast to 2015 where Black Friday saw the most sales prior to Christmas.

During the whole three month period leading to the 31st December, revenue from food sales increased by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis and 2.4% on a total sales basis. Heralding good news for grocery retailers as the figures marked the highest three-month average growth in total food sales in well over three years.

And it wasn’t just the food sector experiencing a seasonal boost. Non-food like-for-like sales also rose 1.1% across the three month pre-Christmas period up to New Year’s Eve, with the total amount of sales up 1.3% overall. However, according to Retail Week, this represented the lowest three-month average growth in total non-food sales since October 2012.

A Steady Market

Speaking to Retail Week, Paul Martin, Head of Retail at KPMG UK suggested that this could be a sign of a steady market, rather than exponential growth:

“These are some of the first signs that the market is not slowing down but starting to show signs of maturity where double digit growth rates are not going to be possible every month across every category anymore.

”The 2015 Christmas period was the big bad year for the grocers and this festive period is where they have recovered, meaning it’s easier to post positive comparables. This wasn’t the case for non-food so its more difficult to deliver those barnstorming numbers.”

Helen Dickinson, BRC Chief Executive echoed this positive message:

“December is the most important trading period of the year and with sales across 2016 growing more slowly than the previous year, it was all to play for in the final month.

“Despite the slow start to the Christmas trading period, the week itself was a bumper one and exceeded expectations.

“It delivered the majority of sales growth for the month, proving even bigger than the Black Friday period – which is the reverse of what we saw the year before.”

So, a positive start to the year for retailers, in increasingly uncertain times – here’s to a happy new year for all of our customers and long may it continue!

Image credit: By Daniel Hughes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Boxing Day sales debated in Parliament https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/boxing-day-sales-petition/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/boxing-day-sales-petition/#respond Fri, 16 Dec 2016 01:42:25 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6902 Are Boxing Day Sales killing Christmas? Here in the UK the recent trend for observing the American post-Thanksgiving sales frenzy of Black Friday has received a mixed reaction from both...

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Are Boxing Day Sales killing Christmas? Here in the UK the recent trend for observing the American post-Thanksgiving sales frenzy of Black Friday has received a mixed reaction from both consumers and retailers. Whilst some welcome the increased business or chance to grab a bargain, others resent the US import – and the ensuing chaos – as some shoppers shamelessly wrestle over bargains in a very unBritish manner.

Now some consumers are taking a further stand against the increasing commercialisation of the festive period. More than 230,000 people have signed an online petition calling for shops to remain closed on Boxing Day in order to respect the religious holiday and give retail employees some well-deserved family time.

The largest of several online Boxing Day petitions, started by Ian Lapworth has gained almost a quarter of a million signatures since it was launched in October. Lapworth states the case for the closure, suggesting that shops do not need to open on Boxing Day and that retail workers need some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Despite the popularity of the petition, a spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium suggested that British businesses would continue to decide their opening hours based on customers’ needs and preferences:

“Boxing Day is a popular time to take advantage of the post-Christmas sales and retailers will respond accordingly to cater for this customer demand.”

Once a petition gathers more than 100,000 signatures in the UK it is debated in parliament – and so it was on Monday evening (12th December). The process did not involve a vote so could not enforce a change in the law; but it did allow us to ascertain how the issue is regarded, both by different parties and individual MPs.

Government wants them open

Prior to the debate, the Government released a statement suggesting that they would not propose a ban on Boxing Day opening:

“We do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers … therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.”

Following the debate it became clear that the majority of MPs discussing the proposed ban were in agreement with the government and were not in favour of making any changes to Boxing Day trading.

Conservative Philip Hollobone stated that enforcing a Boxing Day ban would place MPs “on the wrong side of history”. His colleague Andrea Jenkins concurred that the UK should not “bite the hand that feeds us” by dictating to retailers what they can or can’t do on what is potentially one of the busiest shopping days in the retail year.

Hollobone stressed that whilst he sympathised with employees who may only get Christmas Day off, forcing bricks-and-mortar stores to close would not necessarily help the situation, as many online stores would be receiving and fulfilling orders on Boxing Day. Whilst some critics have responded to this by suggesting that online stores should be closed on Boxing Day too, according to one source around 24% of consumers will make an online purchase on Christmas day – so where should they draw the line?

In contrast to Hollobone and Jenkins, Helen Jones, Labour MP for Warrington North was in favour of the ban, saying:

“Christmas is a family time. Retail workers work extremely hard during the Christmas run-up and only get one day.”

Jones suggested that many shops only open on Boxing Day simply because their rivals do – not because Boxing Day provides a massive boost to sales:

“I doubt very much anything would change if they did not start until the 27th,”

This appears to be a lively topic of debate on the BBC news website with over 500 comments and many agreeing with Jones – what difference would it make if the stores were closed – the bargains would still be there the next day:

“It is a little worrying that those advocating the status quo don’t seem to be able to work out that if the shops are closed on the 26th there will be exactly the same bargain available on the 27th – so everyone’s happy!”

Despite this, it looks as though – like Black Friday – the Boxing Day sales are here to stay!

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Happy Holidays from Barber Design! https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/happy-holidays-barber-design/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/happy-holidays-barber-design/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:46:14 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6884 We’ve had a fantastic year here at Barber Design and now it’s time to celebrate – here’s our festive take on the ‘Mannequin Challenge!’ We would like to wish all...

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Happy Holidays from BarberWe’ve had a fantastic year here at Barber Design and now it’s time to celebrate – here’s our festive take on the ‘Mannequin Challenge!’

We would like to wish all of our customers and followers a very Merry Holiday Season – and here’s to a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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Barber at the VM and Display Awards 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-vm-and-display-awards-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-vm-and-display-awards-2016/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:59:27 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6860 Awards season is in full swing and last week we were lucky enough to attend the VM and Display Awards at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London. This year Barber...

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Awards season is in full swing and last week we were lucky enough to attend the VM and Display Awards at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London. This year Barber were shortlisted as finalists for our work with the Discovery Channel Store at the Dubai Mall. We didn’t win one of the prestigious awards this this time, but it was an honour to be recognised and acknowledged along with so many industry specialists.

Here are a few snaps of our big night out in this fantastic venue. As you can see we had a fabulous time at the event. The awards were presented by the effervescent (and very tall) Rylan Clark of X-factor/Big Brother/this Morning fame!

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

VM and Display Awards

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Is Black Friday here to stay in the UK? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/black-friday-stay-uk/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/black-friday-stay-uk/#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 21:24:29 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6840 It seems like yesterday that we wrote our first post about Black Friday but it’s now been a couple of years since the US retail phenomenon first appeared in British...

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It seems like yesterday that we wrote our first post about Black Friday but it’s now been a couple of years since the US retail phenomenon first appeared in British stores, back in 2014. In the US, Black Friday is a day of heavily discounted sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving – a festival which is not celebrated in the UK. This has prompted some people to question why we are even holding this event and why we don’t at least call it something relevant to our culture.

Black Friday UK

What is Black Friday?

Traditionally in the US, Black Friday is a time for sharpened elbows, swarming crowds and frenzied shoppers fighting for bargains. A retail melee which has in some cases resulted in injury or death. This all seems terribly unBritish for a nation where queuing politely is almost considered a national sport. Back in 2014 when the event first appeared here – prompted by Amazon and US Walmart-owned Asda – it seemed that us Brits were just as eager to stampede, trample and climb over each other to wrestle over a flat screen TV as our American counterparts. However, the resulting press coverage was very quick to condemn this unwelcome behaviour, with videos of bunfights posted on social media and many people questioning what was happening to our society. The following year many Black Friday events were toned down or cancelled.

Despite being one of the original instigators for bringing the discounting event to the UK, Asda were one of the first retailers to distance themselves from the idea. Last year they opted out altogether and many other British retailers, including Jigsaw and Made took an ‘anti Black Friday’ stance.

According to Retail Week, many British retailers have expressed their concerns about Black Friday and what it means for British shoppers:

Ray Kelvin of Ted Baker said that he spoke for many retailers when he said that he would rather nor participate – and that everybody else would rather not as well.

Anthony Thompson of Fat face agrees – suggesting that shoppers should not have to worry about fluctuating prices in the run up to Christmas. Fat face have issued a price promise across all of their stores, stating that they will not lower prices on any products before Christmas Eve:

“I’m putting my money where my mouth is … People should be able to buy their Christmas presents and be confident that it’s the right price and that price will not move.”

Black Friday UK

Adapt and Survive

But despite many retailers taking a stance, it appears that Black Friday is here to stay – just in a different form. As we reported on the blog last year, many retailers were concerned about the bad PR surrounding a one day event where people came to blows over heavily discounted goods. Now many have chosen to spread the event over several days or weeks instead – and share discounts online.

Paul Martin, Head of retail at KPMG asserts that this pre-Christmas discount event is here to stay. He agrees that it needs to adapt to suit the British market:

“I think it’ll change its shape to a degree over the coming years…it obviously originated in the online space with Amazon bringing it over.

“Rightly or wrongly, everybody tried to embrace it, which meant that a lot of the physical execution was pretty poor.”

“[Now] It’s more category specific, specifically in the non-food space for consumer durables. You would argue that planning of the event would be easier for retailers selling those products because they can plan the type of stock they’re going to get on board months in advance with suppliers.”

Black Friday UK

Sparks fly in electrical discounting

After a shaky start it appears that those retailers that have chosen to embrace the event are now making sure they are planning it properly and have suitable logistics in place to fulfil orders if they are placed online. The electrical sector is one area that do not seem to be shying away from Black Friday and John Roberts founder and Chief executive of AO explained to Retail Week the complexities of preparing for uncertainty:

“We’ve been preparing since last November…there’s a vast range of predictions around Black Friday but the reality is no one knows what the scale is going to be. It’s a challenge for retail but amazing opportunity for consumers.”

Seb James, Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone agrees that Black Friday is worth the effort. Hes suggests that that businesses that were struggling to perfect their offer just weren’t putting enough thought or effort into their plans. Black Friday offers should be different from other types of sale:

“Some shops just put on deals on the crap that’s been lying around, but with us you’re going to find quality and branded goods.”

Extended sale period

As noted last year, some retailers are steering away from the American Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale model and are now prolonging the sale period for up to two weeks. Paul Martin suggests that this is to give online retailers more time to structure their offers and fulfil orders:

“There was a significant number of very well-known retailer brands in the UK who had significant website and delivery issues in early years and looking beneath the bonnet of a lot of those retailers the capacity issues haven’t gone away.

“Extending the sale period could take the strain off the actual back-end capabilities of an organisation and also has the advantage of looking great to a customer perspective.”

Peaked too soon?

Despite retailers’ mixed response to the event as they prepare for their third year, Richard Hyman, analyst and founder of ‘Richard Talks Retail’ reckons that black Friday may have had it’s day in the UK:

“Last year was much less impactful and this will be dialled down a little further. That first year was before today’s rampant discount market really gained traction. As it is, Black Friday is just another in a never-ending stream of promotions.”

Hyman suggests that as the event evolves it will polarise the industry:

“You’ll have some categories that will do really well and others will be able to quietly retreat.”

So whilst the number of retailers participating in the event may reduce, it certainly isn’t going to disappear. Instead it will adapt and evolve until it finds an acceptable place in the British retail calendar. Maybe a rebranding or at least a new name, rather than one with American and Thanksgiving connotations – which mean very little here in the UK – would be more appropriate? Whatever happens, it looks like it is very much here to stay and we’ll be watching with interest to see what happens when the stores open tomorrow!

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Customer experience innovations for 2017 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/customer-experience-innovations-2017/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/customer-experience-innovations-2017/#respond Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:31:35 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6836 2016 has been quite a tumultuous year for retail. We’ve seen the Brexit effect followed by plummeting markets after Donald Trump’s surprise win in the US presidential election. We’d really...

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2016 has been quite a tumultuous year for retail. We’ve seen the Brexit effect followed by plummeting markets after Donald Trump’s surprise win in the US presidential election. We’d really like to put it all behind us by taking a look at some of the big customer experience innovations in store for retailers in 2017.

Whilst there is no denying the success of e-commerce – as revenues continue to grow worldwide – 85% of shoppers say that they still prefer to shop in real, physical stores. They want to see, touch or try on the goods before they make their purchase. They like the experience of browsing in store or discovering unexpected items.

Speaking to Marketing Land magazine, Tamar Weinberg suggests that retailers should be focusing on user experience if they want to keep their physical stores alive:

“There’s just something about walking into a store and touching products with our hands that the online world can’t replicate. And that’s why amping up on user experience is what will save brick-and-mortar retail. UX is after all, the new marketing.”

Weinberg suggests four big marketing innovations that will help keep the High Street alive in the coming year:

1. A unified, cross-channel customer experience
2. Interactive displays and digital signs
3. Beacons and wearable tech
4. Augmented reality and games

Unifying the cross-channel experience

A great example of a brand who have successfully translated their product aesthetic into the design of their physical stores is Apple. The tech giant’s elegant and distinctive retail designs have not gone unnoticed on this blog. When you walk into an Apple Store the brand is instantly recognisable through it’s skilful translation into the retail design.

Weinberg suggests that we are going to see much more of this cross-channel aesthetic applied in order to reinforce brand identity in the coming year. She suggests that many more physical stores and storefronts will be consistent across all channels – including social media, e-commerce, apps and in store.

The principle challenge for retail designers will be to engineer the flow of this multichannel experience so that customers discover exclusive incentives during their retail journey – whether they shop online or in person.

Digital Inspiration

As discussed on the blog over the past year, many stores have begun to incorporate LCD signs and touch screen technology in store, in order to facilitate tactile and engaging brand interactions with customers.

In 2017 – as the Internet of Things (IOT) grows more pervasive – these interactive displays will become commonplace and will work even harder to engage with customers. As well as providing entertainment or information, screens will track customer’s traffic and attention and can even scan faces to target advertising. This information can provide retailers with valuable insights into customers and their shopping habits in order to create more engaging experiences.

Wearable Tech

Beacons – which push information to customers via smart devices or wearable tech via Bluetooth – are also becoming increasingly popular. Weinberg suggests that we can expect to see many more of these used to enhance customer experience in the coming year. Marketers are finding more creative ways to incorporate them into retail environments.

The Pokémon Effect

The rise of augmented reality and virtual reality gaming holds a world of exciting possibilities for retailers and according to Weinberg, have already begun to transform how people buy.

pokemon-in-retail

As the technology becomes more accessible, we can expect to see more of it being utilised in bricks-and-mortar stores. For example, within interactive displays or smartphone apps which augment what is physically visible in store.

Advances in virtual reality also provide shoppers with opportunities for improved visualisation. ‘Holoroom’ kiosks can help users to visualise how their room might look with different furniture or fittings before they commit to large purchases.

Branded games can stimulate brand loyalty and incentivise sales with rewards including coupons, deals and samples. These have evolved from simple product placement to fully immersive experiences.

The popularity of augmented reality games like Pokémon have also helped drive traffic to specific physical locations where retailers are then capitalising on the increased footfall, as we recently reported on the blog.

Personalisation to support experience

As we’ve often discussed on the blog, personalisation is the key to creating the perfect customer experience – and Weinberg agrees, suggesting that retail must adapt to the shifting nature of consumer behaviour. What all of these four innovations seek to address is how the retail experience can be personalised to appeal to each individual customer in order to resonate with their individual preferences and feelings – to ultimately drive sales, increase brand loyalty and encourage repeat custom.

m-commerce gains popularity

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Barber at the Retail Week Interiors Awards 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-week-interiors-awards-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-week-interiors-awards-2016/#respond Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:03:17 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6806 Here are a few snaps from our night out at the Retail Week Interiors Awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane last week. Sadly this year we didn’t...

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Here are a few snaps from our night out at the Retail Week Interiors Awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane last week. Sadly this year we didn’t win a prize – but we were very honoured to be shortlisted for the third year in a row. The Retail Week Interiors Awards really set the bar within the retail design industry. They showcase the best store designs of the year and exemplify the standards which others follow.

Retail Week Awards

This year we had two designs nominated in one category – ‘Best Small Store.’ The nominations were for our work for sweet store SugarSin in Covent Garden and the iconic Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store – also in Covent Garden. Despite not winning we had a really fabulous evening and it was great to see so many of our fellow retail designers having their excellent work recognised and rewarded in this way.

Retail Week Awards

Retail Week Awards

Retail Week Awards

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First phase of Barber retail revamp for Sovereign Centre is complete https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-revamp-sovereign-centre/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-revamp-sovereign-centre/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2016 20:51:55 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6745 Regular blog readers may remember back in August we told you how we had been appointed to redesign the new food court at the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare. Today...

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Regular blog readers may remember back in August we told you how we had been appointed to redesign the new food court at the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare. Today we are happy to announce that the £500k retail revamp is now complete and the food court has just opened to the public. This is the first phase of our work with the centre’s owners, Vixcroft to be completed – as we are currently involved in the rebranding and retail planning of the entire Sovereign Shopping Centre. This work includes a new website design, signage and promotional materials throughout the revamped retail centre.

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The whole food court area has been completely refitted and rebranded and is now known as ‘The Galley’. Drawing inspiration from Weston’s close proximity to the sea the new seating area offers wonderful views across the coastal town and is decorated in a modern seaside style, with clean lines and integral nautical design elements. There is also a nod to the area’s tradition of summer entertainments with a summer shed selling delicacies and a grand piano incorporated into the setting.

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Sovereign Centre manager, Nick Cooke expects the new food court to be a big draw:

“The Galley will definitely draw in more visitors to the Sovereign Centre.  Customers are commenting on how it is a bright and airy space  – well worth visiting.”

A new Druckers patisserie and café offering speciality sandwiches and delicious cakes is one of the focal points of the new design, which took two months to complete.

Vixcroft chief executive Daniel Carter describes how the revamp is attracting new brands to the area which will benefit the town:

“Having Druckers in the Sovereign Centre reinforces our appeal and the Sovereign Centre’s status as a quality regional retail and leisure destination.  This is just the start of our investment programme at the Centre which will complement the wider regeneration of the town centre which will see widespread improvements to Weston.”

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Working with both the Sovereign Centre management team and Vixcroft has been a delight and our vision for the new food court has been followed right through from concept to completion with the highly skilled team and shopfitters Hutcheon Construction.

We do hope that the residents and visitors to Weston-Super-Mare are delighted with the results and variety of food on offer which will the gastronomic delights into the 21st century.

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Formed in 2014, Vixcroft already have an established profile in the property investment market as a skilled team of professionals with a hands-on approach to turning around the income and value of problematic real estate assets. Their aim is to benefit all who depend on these assets – from shoppers and visitors to users and occupiers – as much as their investors. They purchased the Sovereign centre in February 2015 and they wanted the new food court design to ‘break the mould of traditional shopping centre eateries” They are committed to enhancing the centre and it’s dated restaurant area and contributing to Weston’s long term economic revival.

Stuart Kearney of retail and leisure agents Fawcett Mead, who act for Vixcroft adds:

“The scheme attracts a loyal customer base and the relaunched food court is attracting interest from branded leisure operators and local catering operators.  The way we shop today is very different from when the Centre was first built and this refurbishment will cater for the needs of visitors to the centre.”

The new design acknowledges this change in shopping and eating habits. The Galley needed a dramatic rebrand to bring it up to date and make it appealing to visitors of all ages. Our designers focused on the premise of beach inspired dining with kiosks individually named, branded and themed, with a modern twist on traditional British cuisine.

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The rebranding is set to continue online as Barber also supervised an overhaul of the centre’s website to include matching design elements. The new food court is now open so if you’re in Weston for the half term hols – or perhaps for the traditional Christmas panto – be sure to check it out and let us know what you think!

Some of the original designs for the project:

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The work in Progress:

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The finished result:

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Barber meets the Hoff at the Brand Licensing Europe event in Olympia https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/brand-licensing-europe-event/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/brand-licensing-europe-event/#respond Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:06:46 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6724 Last week we met up with lots of potential new clients at the Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) event at London’s Olympia. The BLE show describes itself as the definitive event...

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Brand Licensing Europe Event

Last week we met up with lots of potential new clients at the Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) event at London’s Olympia. The BLE show describes itself as the definitive event for the European brand licensing industry. It is aimed at connecting retailers, licensees and sales promotion professionals in one place. At this year’s event there were over 300 leading brand owners showcasing their brands and characters. These included industry leaders such as Nickelodeon, Sony, TLC, CPLG, Cartoon Network, Beanstalk and Universal, to name but a few.

Brand Licensing Europe Event

The Hoff

Of course our time at the show wasn’t all work, work, work – we had some fun as you can see from our pics. We got to meet a few larger than life characters including the legendary David Hasselhoff and ‘Masha and the Bear.’

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Earlier this year we worked closely with the Discovery Channel Licensing Team on the Discovery Aquarium at the Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates. This first-of-it’s kind retail initiative was the result of a partnership between Emaar Entertainment and Discovery Consumer Products . We are hoping that our trip to the BLE show will lead to some interesting and innovative work like this with other branding and licensing partners. Watch this space!

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

Brand Licensing Europe Event

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SugarSin – nominated for an award and featured in Premier Retail magazine https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/sugarsin-nominated-premier-retail-magazine/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/sugarsin-nominated-premier-retail-magazine/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:17:26 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6670 Last week our work for SugarSin was featured on the cover of Premier Retail magazine. Our work with SugarSin is the second of our designs to be nominated for an...

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SugarSin London

Last week our work for SugarSin was featured on the cover of Premier Retail magazine. Our work with SugarSin is the second of our designs to be nominated for an award at the Retail Week Interiors Awards. The store has been shortlisted in the Best Small Store Category – alongside another one of our designs – for the Neal’s Yard Flagship store in London’s Covent Garden.

SugarSin is situated on Russell Street, also in Covent Garden and is the second design we have created for the brand after they moved to more prominent premises earlier this year.

SugarSin London

Willy Wonka and Pippi Longstocking

The stores owners, Anna and Josefin describe the design of the SugarSin store and the inspiration for the brand:

“The idea of SugarSin was to create a magic, modern Willy Wonka factory that appealed to grown ups as well as children. Inspired by the candy store in Pippi Longstocking, the store has been designed in a soft pastel colour theme with bold, candy inspired interior. We love contrasts, and the shop features a great mix of contemporary pick ‘n’ mix shelves, a high gloss pastel pink counter, a retro neon sign and turquoise marshmallow tables filled with sweets in gorgeous apothecary jars. “

If describing the store to someone who had never heard of them, the sisters suggest that they are a “colourful and modern Willy Wonka inspired candy store with a nostalgic touch”. Premier Retail magazine seem to agree, suggesting that the design is something that “Willy Wonka would be proud of.”

SugarSin London

SugarSin success story

The SugarSin store belongs to Swedish sisters Anna and Josefin. In their home country sweets aren’t just for children with many adults indulging in sugary treats. As a nation, the Swedish eat more pick n mix sweets than anyone else in the world and the sisters wanted to share this cultural passion with the rest of the world. They envisioned a niche in the market for original and sophisticated confectionery retail with treats including prosecco flavoured gummies and a range of cocktail-inspired sweets.

Since opening the original SugarSin store, the brand has gone from strength to strength. Their success has seen them returning to Barber for this second retail design project. The new store concept is enticing, colourful and appeals to all ages – and the panel at the Retail Week Interiors Awards!

Unfortunately for us with two designs nominated in one category only one can potentially win – but it does double our chances! We are getting very close to finding out now as the awards ceremony is just a few short weeks away. The Retail Week Interiors Awards really set the bar within the retail design industry. They showcase the best store designs of the year and exemplify the standards which others follow. The prizes will be given at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane London on November 3rd. Keep watching this space to find out what happens!

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

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Retail trends – department stores invest in beauty sales https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-trends-department-stores-invest-beauty-sales/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-trends-department-stores-invest-beauty-sales/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 09:00:05 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6632 Following on from our post about organic skincare brand, Neal’s Yard Remedies – it looks as if the iconic retailers are onto a winner as the latest retail trends suggest...

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Following on from our post about organic skincare brand, Neal’s Yard Remedies – it looks as if the iconic retailers are onto a winner as the latest retail trends suggest that health and beauty is a growing area of focus for many retailers – including major department stores John Lewis, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols.

Beauty Retail

Last week John Lewis revealed plans to expand their beauty offer by investing a further £9 million into the sector and increasing the size of their beauty halls at their larger stores in Cribbs Causeway, Cambridge and Bluewater bv 50%. Meanwhile, Harvey Nicks opened a dedicated Beauty Lounge service and Debenhams also reported rising sales in this sector. But why is it growing? And is this growth sustainable?

As fashion retail sales have been hit hard by unseasonable weather – the health and beauty sector has proven more buoyant – with people wanting make up and beauty products all year round, whatever the weather.

Sales of colour cosmetics have risen by a third over the last five years –and soap, bath and shower products have also recorded a healthy 4.3% sales increase.

Debenhams suggest that their improved sales are the result of ‘rebalancing’ their offer to place greater emphasis on non-clothing categories, especially beauty and gifting – and this tactic appears to have paid off as they highlighted beauty products as a stand-out category in their half-year results in April.

John Lewis have also identified a change in the beauty sector and responded accordingly – speaking to Retail Week, Ed Connolly, Director of Buying for Fashion explained the motivation behind their increased investment:

“Beauty is one of the best performing categories at John Lewis and a significant footfall driver, so this investment is a reflection of our ambition in this space.”

Within the beauty category, luxury products appear to be a significant driver of growth for both department store beauty counters and specialist stores. Debenhams recently reported a 16% sales increase for luxury products whilst specialist retailers like Burberry and the Body Shop have also increased their range of premium products. But in times of austerity and economic uncertainty, why is the luxury category experiencing such a boost?

Rebecca Marks, Prospect Analyst at Retail Week suggests that it’s down to emerging retail trends including ‘the kale effect’ and the rise of the leisure sector.

“There’s a whole lifestyle retail trend developing in terms of health and beauty and fitness, which means that consumers are willing to invest more.

“Retailers and brands are creating a more specialist offer and consumers are buying into it.”

However, whilst beauty sales can boost a department store’s overall sales record, Marks suggests that retailers should proceed with caution and that this is not necessarily a sure-fire route to increasing sales:

“In the short-term it’s a good way for retailers to protect themselves but you can’t rely on one sole area for growth, particularly not for the long-term.

“Typically a department store shopper will be in her 40s so one of the main reasons for retailers to invest in beauty is as a means of drawing in a younger customer.”

Fashionable brands aimed at younger shoppers, such as MAC and Urban Decay have helped to entice new customers into stores such as Debenhams. Marks asserts that the trick now is to encourage them into other departments, once they are through the doors. Perhaps by placing fashion mannequins beside the beauty counters, to signpost them towards the clothing department. So that as department stores develop new ways to position themselves as destinations rather than simple stores, beauty can be seen as first step to enticing quality footfall into all of their departments.

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Barber enjoying the TFWA Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/duty-free-travel-retail-global-summit/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/duty-free-travel-retail-global-summit/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:48:49 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6628 We’re currently in Cannes attending the TFWA Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit which is on from the 2nd – 7th October. The Summit is a global showcase for...

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We’re currently in Cannes attending the TFWA Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit which is on from the 2nd – 7th October. The Summit is a global showcase for premium brands; with exhibitors, workshops a conference and plenty of networking and socialising opportunities. In recent years Barber Design have carved out a bit of a niche as travel retail designers, working for Thomas Cook, Travelex and the Hong Kong Cruise Plaza, to name but a few. This event is one of our favourites as it gives us the perfect opportunity to reconvene with existing clients as well as meeting new ones whilst also connecting with other likeminded professionals in the travel retail industry.

TFWA travel retail  event in Cannes

The TFWA show has more than 3,000 premium brands on display, showcasing all the latest product innovations from many of the travel retail industry’s leading suppliers, along with original ideas from emerging retail talent. The event always gives us a great insight into the new trends in travel retail across the globe, with almost 500 exhibitors from around the world showing off their wares.

Cannes October 2016

The event also includes a conference featuring world-class speakers giving their own take on the state of the industry – with plenty of valuable insights into how it is headed and where we should be focusing our attention. There are also lots of excellent workshops offering the latest analysis and insight – which we can pass on to our customers.

Along with the conference and exhibition, the best bit of the show for us – apart form the fabulous setting – is the networking opportunity. With both formal and social events arranged throughout the week we have been able to touch base with lots of existing clients as well as meeting potential new clients and other industry peers, sharing our knowledge and expertise and learning from new experiences.

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Neal’s Yard Remedies – one of our shortlisted designs at the Retail Week Interiors Awards 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/neals-yard-remedies-shortlisted-designs/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/neals-yard-remedies-shortlisted-designs/#respond Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:35:40 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6603 As regular readers of our blog will know, Barber Design have been shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards this year. And as we wait in anticipation for the awards...

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As regular readers of our blog will know, Barber Design have been shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards this year. And as we wait in anticipation for the awards ceremony next month – we’re taking a closer look at one of our shortlisted designs: for Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store in London’s Covent Garden.

Neals Yard Flagship

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the iconic organic brand and they wanted to honour the occasion by redesigning and refitting their original store at 2 Neal’s Yard, in Covent Garden. The company wanted the new design to reflect the two key areas of business: organic skincare and natural remedies and they worked closely with Barber to capture the history of the brand at this location. The new store design acknowledges the brand heritage, whilst accommodating recent changes to both the business and customer shopping habits. Herbs and natural health are at the heart of the store and the new design gives a fresh, clean reboot to their popular apothecary shop styling with the core brand values: natural, ethical and British.

Neals Yard Flagship

Retail Interior Design

Inside, the store features traditional natural wood and tiled surfaces mixed with the brand’s trademark blue glass bottles in backlit displays and a cluster of blue glass bottle pendant ceiling lights and a backlit blue glass bottle display. The unique displays and shelves are constructed from premium materials which infuse the Neal’s Yard Remedies’ ethos and clear brand identity throughout the store. The displays exhibit their organic beauty products including a ‘most loved by you’ feature plinth to display the ‘Top 10’ Neal’s Yard Remedies products. There is also an experiential tincture area to the rear of the store, which creates customer engagement and interaction in a friendly and welcoming setting.

Neals Yard Flagship

The Director of UK Sales at Neal’s Yard Remedies describes the changes to the design:

“For me the key really is in the improved look & feel and customer journey / navigation…the improved layout, size and interaction on the shop floor will also play to improve the customers experience and discovery of both the brand and individual products of focus.”

Neals Yard Flagship

The Covent Garden Flagship retail design is the latest in our international roll out for Neal’s Yard Remedies with many more to come. As promised in a previous post here are a series of shots of the new interior and a short video describing the refit.

Alex Leach, Director of UK Sales at Neal’s Yard Remedies is delighted with our work so far:

“We recently won the Best Branded Store at the Natural Beauty Retail Awards which we were incredibly pleased with. Huge thanks to Doug, Alex, Neil and all the team for their hard work in designing the new store concept.”

Neals Yard Flagship

Although we have been shortlisted for two designs in the same category and only one can win, we are really thrilled to be shortlisted again – our third time in a row. The Retail Week Interiors Awards really set the bar within the retail design industry – showcasing the best store designs of the year – exemplifying the standard for others to follow. The prizes will be given at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane London on November 3rd – so keep watching this space to find out what happens!

Neals Yard Flagship

Neals Yard Flagship

Neals Yard Flagship

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Repurposing spaces for retail – Red Phone Boxes become Mobile Repair Shops https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/repurposing-spaces-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/repurposing-spaces-retail/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:00:22 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6588 As retail designers, here at Barber Design we do like to see an interesting space being re-used creatively for retail – so this story about some of the UK’s most...

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As retail designers, here at Barber Design we do like to see an interesting space being re-used creatively for retail – so this story about some of the UK’s most iconic high street stalwarts really captured our imagination this week! A new startup company has just embarked on an exciting mission to turn more than 40 disused red phone boxes into mobile phone repair booths – repurposing spaces for retail in some of London’s best shopping hotspots where prime selling space is scarce!

LoveFone repair shops

As mobile phones have become ubiquitous in society, so the need for phone booths has diminished – but the bright red kiosks remain in thousands of locations throughout the UK. Whilst many have tried to develop new ways to make sure that the booths retain some sort of purpose and relevance, this new idea by new UK company ‘LoveFone’ has to be the best we’ve seen.

LoveFone repair shops

For many people mobile phones have become an extension of their being, used for so much more than making calls – with apps, cameras, browsers, games, social media and messaging – some rarely use them for making calls at all – but when tragedy strikes and a mobile phone breaks it can be devastating! Just one false move and it could slide out of your pocket into the toilet or the screen smashes on the floor. Even something as simple as a dead battery can cause anxiety or frustration – as you feel disconnected from your social network before locating and plugging into a power source. LoveFone have identified these weaknesses in the mobile user experience and addressed it with convenient mobile support – by transforming red phone booths into repair shops and charging stations for needy urbanites.

LoveFone repair shops

Since the rise of the mobile, our beloved red phone boxes have been slowly disappearing – disconnected or sold off, causing some enthusiasts to find ways to keep them in position by using them for other things. The red phone box first appeared in the UK in 1936, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the celebrated British architect who also designed Waterloo Bridge, Liverpool Cathedral and Battersea Power Station. The little red boxes with their series of glass panes are recognised throughout the globe as an unequivocal symbol of Britishness.

LoveFone repair shops

Starting in London, LoveFone plan to repurpose six phone boxes in Greenwich and Knightsbridge – with plans to spread to a further 35 locations within 18 months of their initial launch. The phone boxes will be leased via a Brighton-based company called Red Kiosk who use some of their profits to fund projects in the community surrounding each phone box – so everyone benefits from the scheme.

Once each phone box has been refitted, it will become a repair space for a lone mobile repair engineer to work from. Creating the new retail space within each booth was a bit of a challenge for the firm as they had to work within the cast iron structure of each kiosk whilst also maintaining the heritage features which makes each one so special. Each booth contains a wooden workbench and a storage unit containing equipment and spare parts for different makes of phone. The windows of each phone box are kept clear – providing a shopfront for people to peer in and view what is going on inside each miniature workspace. The focus of LoveFone repairs is efficiency and convenience, with the best possible result. They want the service to be as accessible as using a payphone – and the charging docks will be free to use.

According to Red Kiosk who are leasing the booths to LoveFone, this is just one more in a long line of innovative ideas for their booths. Over the last few years they have seen them turned into coffee shops, smoothie stalls and ice cream stands. At the core of Red Kiosk’s strategy is the desire to make a quantifiable and positive impact upon the local community that each kiosk serves. By giving a new lease of life to these iconic booths, they hope to create employment opportunities, regeneration and growth within their immediate vicinity. In addition to Red Kiosk, BT also runs an ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme, which allows local communities, charities, or individuals to ‘buy’ a phone booth for £1 and re-purpose it for creative uses, such as a library or gallery. Since the launch of the BT program, more than 3,500 neighbourhoods across the UK have taken the opportunity to redevelop their local booth for the greater good.

As always, we’ll be interested to see if this idea takes off – but we do think that the idea of using the phone boxes to repair and recharge the things which made them obsolete in the first place is a brilliant idea – perhaps applicable to other spaces and things – we’d like to see this one roll out across the UK – and beyond.

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Shopping centre developments back on the rise https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/shopping-centre-developments-rise/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/shopping-centre-developments-rise/#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:55:45 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6582 Great news for retailers this week – as Retail Week reports that new shopping centre developments in the UK are going to hit a four-year high in 2017. Marking the...

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Great news for retailers this week – as Retail Week reports that new shopping centre developments in the UK are going to hit a four-year high in 2017. Marking the biggest spike in development since 2013, the anticipated growth will see more than 2.7 million sq ft of floor space open for business next year.

Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre

These new figures come from a detailed Shopping Centre Development Report by commercial property agents Cushman and Wakefield, who confirm that this space is currently being developed or revamped in the UK and scheduled to open in 2017 – primarily driven by six specific new developments including the 580,000 sq ft Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell, Berks. The report confirms that this will be the largest increase in shopping centre development in a single year since 2013 when the iconic Trinity Leeds mall opened for business.

Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre

Along with the six new large-scale developments described in the report, eight existing shopping centres will be getting refurbished or extended. These include Westgate in Oxford which will be getting an extra 488,600 sq ft and Westfield in London which is set to gain an additional 740,000 sq ft. During the first half of 2016, shopping centre redevelopments were scarce – but due to the success of certain stores, things are moving again and a total of 1.4 million sq ft of new retail space is due to open by the end of this year. As we previously reported on the blog, John Lewis has been going from strength to strength and two of the developments – Bond Street in Chelmsford, Essex and Victoria Gate in Leeds will both be centred around a John Lewis store, like the Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol.

Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre

Speaking to Retail Week, the Head of Shopping Centre Development at Cushman and Wakefield, John Percy described 2016 as a ‘year of two halves’:

“After a quiet first six months, we will see schemes completing up and down the country and 2017 will be busier still.

“More than half of this new space consists of extensions to, or refurbishments of, existing centres, reflecting the additional risks and costs of establishing a new build project and taking it through the development process.”

Percy suggests that the rise in popularity of leisure in retail has also been a key factor in these new levels of growth. According to recent figures, almost a fifth of units in the UK’s top 30 shopping centres are leisure-focussed:

“Developers are devoting more space to leisure in new build schemes following the lead of successful schemes such as Grand Central Birmingham.

“This is an international as well as national trend, and we await some of the new leisure trends that are starting to emerge that will help drive the next generation of customer engagement.”

Justin Taylor, Head of Retail at Cushman and Wakefield suggests that despite the uncertainty surrounding the UKs recent decision to leave the European Union, prime retail space is still in demand and that the retail market is now looking far healthier than it has for a long time. This growth in shopping centre development is something we’ve experienced first hand at Barber where we have been directly involved in revamping the food court of a popular shopping centre in Weston-Super-Mare – check out the blog next week for more news on that development!

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Retail gadgets – Amazon launches Dash ordering button in the UK https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-gadgets-amazon-launches-dash-ordering-button-in-the-uk/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-gadgets-amazon-launches-dash-ordering-button-in-the-uk/#respond Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:00:45 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6567 Regular blog readers may remember that a while ago we wrote about the futuristic ‘Amazon Dash’ button – a physical device which allows you to order specific household items at...

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Regular blog readers may remember that a while ago we wrote about the futuristic ‘Amazon Dash’ button – a physical device which allows you to order specific household items at the single touch of a button. When we wrote our initial blog post about the Dash button and how it might impact grocery shopping it all seemed very space age and not likely to be seen in the UK anytime soon so imagine our delight when we read this week that Amazon have just rolled out these marvellous retail gadgets in the UK!

Amazon Dash Button on a washing machine

According to reports, Amazon are using the buttons to lure more UK shoppers to use Amazon Prime. The service is currently only available for Prime users and provides instant ordering for around 40 brands (each requiring an individual button) including air fresheners, nappies and washing powder.

Amazon Dash Buttons

Increasing Brand Loyalty

And it’s not just Amazon that benefits from the use of Dash – the buttons also increase brand loyalty. Each WiFi enabled button bears the logo of a particular brand or product and is conveniently positioned within the customer’s context for use – so the washing powder button is on or near the washing machine, the nappies button is near the baby changing station (but hopefully out of reach of small children!). Both the brand and Amazon are then able to secure the sale in real time. If the service is convenient and efficient the customer will continue to repeat the sale. It is expected that initially, the novelty of the button will appeal to gadget fans, rather than budget conscious users, but the convenience may make the latter change their shopping habits too.

Amazon Dash Button for coffee

The service was first launched in the US last September and since then Amazon have reported a threefold increase in orders made from the devices. Surprisingly, shoppers must pay for each button with £4.99 deducted from their first order when using each one – although presumably this deters misuse and ensures that customers look after their buttons. All Dash button orders are fulfilled via next-day delivery – so perhaps they are best pressed when you see that you are running out of something rather than after you have run out – depending on the product.

Desirable devices

Speaking about the UK launch, Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash described what makes the devices so desirable:

“Dash Buttons offer the convenience of one click shopping from anywhere in the home – they can be placed near those frequently used items you don’t want to run out of, and when you see supplies running low, the Dash Button makes it easier than ever to order more.”

Amazon Dash Buttons in the Kitchen

In addition to the Dash buttons, Amazon are also rolling out their ‘Dash Replenishment Service’ in the UK. This uses the ‘internet of things’ (IOT) to enable connected devices such as printers to monitor their own ink levels and automatically order more when required. This service is already included with some other devices using their own fulfilment services but Amazon has now taken steps to forge partnerships with home appliance suppliers including Samsung and Siemens in order to exclusively integrate Dash replenishment Services into all of their connected devices, with more partnerships expected in the coming months as the service gains momentum in the UK.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice-resident of Amazon’s European arm explains why the two services are being rolled out together:

“Dash button gives you the convenience of one-click ordering in your home, and with Dash Replenishment we’re taking it one step further – enabling connected appliances to automatically reorder supplies on your behalf.”

Despite the initial outlay costs for each button, recent retail figures indicate the rising popularity of both smart devices and appliances connected by the IOT . This appears to be a very smart move for Amazon as they continue to develop their Prime offer in the UK. What we’d like to know is – which button would you use the most?

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New organisation forms to help save the high street https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/save-the-high-street/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/save-the-high-street/#respond Mon, 05 Sep 2016 22:41:45 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6563 Despite recent reports suggesting that consumer confidence is returning following some post-Brexit jitters, the poor old British high street is still taking a hammering and a new organisation has recently...

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Despite recent reports suggesting that consumer confidence is returning following some post-Brexit jitters, the poor old British high street is still taking a hammering and a new organisation has recently launched to help save the high street by offering retailers a range of skills and tools to enable them to remain strong during turbulent trading conditions.

High street in Oxford

Savethehighstreet.org is an industry-wide initiative which aims to support and empower local shopkeepers. Initiated by a consortium of organisations including the Future High Streets Forum, Google Digital Garage and Tech City UK along with a number of retailers, the group have produced a 10 point ‘Connected Digital High Street Manifesto’ aimed at helping both local shopkeepers and the local retail economy to thrive for generations to come.

Primarily aimed at smaller businesses, the group aims to get at least 125,000 retailers signed up in their first year as they suggest on their site:

“The more of us who join, the stronger we all become as a group and the faster we can accelerate towards a more sustainable local retail economy.”

By merging the strengths of local and digital commerce – helping smaller businesses to strengthen their multichannel offer they suggest that they will work better together – finding strength as a group to create a ‘better-connected digitally enabled high street.’

According to recent figures, it’s not just the larger retailers that are suffering – following the well documented demise of high street favourites including BHS, My Local and Austin Reed, it appears that small shopkeepers are also feeling the pinch. It is estimated that around 45,000 shops closed last year and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have warned that we can expect more closures as small businesses struggle with rising rental payments and business rates. Some businesses including Store 21 and Beales have recently been forced to enter into company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) in order to cut their rental payments and stay afloat.

The BRC suggests that the doom will continue, as the future for many retailers remains bleak. They estimate that one million retail jobs could fall by the wayside over the next ten years.

Faced with this depressing forecast, savethehighstreet.org were compelled to launch their manifesto, which includes the following tenets:

“A world where the benefits of digital commerce can be harnessed by any local shop in ways only a bricks and mortar store on the high street can.

“A world where it’s clear what to do next in this rapidly changing world and why.

“A world where the organisations and individuals who can and want to help, do so in a coordinated and substantial way.

“A world of local and online, rather than local or online; bringing customers to the local high street and the local high street to customers.

“A world where local shops remain a central part of the shopping journey.”

The first step for savethehighstreet.org has been canvassing small retailers across London to raise awareness of the scheme as they prepare to take their mission across the UK.

Speaking to Retail week, James Roper, the chairman and founder of the IMRG described why the new consortium is so important for retail:

“High streets must change to remain relevant in the internet age but most [retailers] don’t know how to and need a lot of help.

“I am pleased to see Savethehighstreet.org arriving to bring a centralised, substantial solution that can directly enable all local retailers to fully engage in the digital economy.”

Eileen Naughton, head of Google UK and Ireland explained why Google also felt the need to get involved with the group:

“In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful and, when it comes to business, it’s essential.

“We are welcoming people to seminars delivered by Google’s Digital Garage experts, to learn more about how digital can help them grow.”

As we’ve discussed on our blog many times before there is a place for bricks and mortar stores in the digital age and by helping small retailers to develop and play to their strengths we hope that the BRC’s predictions for doom and gloom do not come to pass!

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Elements of retail strategy – Retail like-for-likes bounce back after Brexit https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/elements-of-retail-strategy-after-brexit/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/elements-of-retail-strategy-after-brexit/#respond Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:00:47 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6559 Apparently it’s not all doom and gloom this week. Following a post-Brexit slump in consumer confidence which caused a corresponding slump in like-for-like sales, BRC-KPMG sales monitor report that sales...

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Apparently it’s not all doom and gloom this week. Following a post-Brexit slump in consumer confidence which caused a corresponding slump in like-for-like sales, BRC-KPMG sales monitor report that sales have rebounded during July. Indications are that this heightened performance was driven by elements of retail strategy and promotional activity across the retail sales industry during this period.

The Virgin Store in Oxford Street

In the first full month since the EU referendum result, like-for-like retail sales jumped by 1.1% and total sales climbed 1.9% – their strongest performance since January. These new figures are prompting a new air of hope for retailers in the wake of Brexit and it’s knock-on economic effects. According to BRC-KPMG sales monitor, during the last three month period, to July 30th, total sales were up 1.1% – driven by a 1.4% uplift in non-food sales.

The best selling products were watches, jewellery and household appliances. These all sold well on both a like-for-like and total sales basis during the past month.

Fashion was hit hard during the Brexit period with several months of faltering sales. The industry now appears to be making a recovery, but some commentators have expressed concerns that the rise in sales is due to very heavy discounting of products within this sector and might not be sustainable going forward.

Promotion-driven retail strategy

Speaking to Retail Week about these latest figures, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of BRC suggested that the continued heavy use of discounting to boost sales presented a challenge to retailers to continue to flourish when not in a Sale periods:

“The big question for retailers is whether that success can be carried forward into full-price sales… whilst retailers continue to monitor the situation in the wake of Brexit, responding to rapid and complex change in consumer behaviour in the midst of a highly competitive market remains the substantive challenge.”

Food sales rise

According to the report, last month’s warm weather also prompted increased sales in certain food sectors – including picnic goods and soft fruits – causing food sales to rise overall by 0.8% over the three month period – the best performance for food sales since November 2013, excluding Easter distortions.

Joanne Denney-French, Chief Executive at IGD, suggest that these figures are very encouraging:

“Given the sharp drop in food and drink spending in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, a return to sales growth during July was very encouraging. The next few months’ sales figures will hinge largely on whether we see the return of food inflation, following the drop in sterling. If so, this is likely to be a gradual effect.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, suggests how retailers can continue to remain confident by planning to weather the storm:

“This first full month of retail sales figures post-vote suggests that UK shopping patterns haven’t changed versus previous years.

“For retailers, plans to improve productivity remain top of mind to guard against recent increases to their cost base as well as making sure they can weather what are likely to be more uncertain times ahead.”

By planning effective promotion and retail strategies and remaining flexible in the face of uncertainty, retailers can hope to improve sales and continue to succeed as the economy recovers from our most recent round of political shocks.

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Restaurant space planning – making use of temporary spaces for co-working https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/restaurant-space-planning-for-co-working/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/restaurant-space-planning-for-co-working/#respond Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:17:21 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6553 According to the Pop Up City we aren’t doing enough to cater for ‘digital nomads’ and ‘global citizens’ – that is, people who move around for work and set up...

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According to the Pop Up City we aren’t doing enough to cater for ‘digital nomads’ and ‘global citizens’ – that is, people who move around for work and set up office wherever they can find a space to plug in a laptop. Apparently these bright young sparks often feel alienated or lonely in their experiences and would like to feel more involved with others in similar situations. So, we were heartened this week to read about an excellent bit of restaurant space planning, in the form of ‘Spacious’ – a New York based company that is making maximum use of the available space in the city, by opening up restaurants – which are normally only open during the evening – and transforming them into temporary co-working spaces during the daytime.

Spacious restaurant

The scheme charges a very modest $95 a month and provides a sophisticated app for the ‘cosmopolitan tribe’ to use to check in to any Spacious location. Along with a desk (or table) each location offers free Wi-Fi and unlimited coffee to all service users. In addition to providing these excellently priced co-working spaces, (I could spend $95 a month on coffee alone, never mind the desk and the Wi-Fi!) the company also helps the restaurants by paying them for the space used and effectively sharing their profits.

Talking to GDR, CEO and founder of Spacious, Preston Pesek describes their vision for the Spacious brand and what sets them apart from other co-working arrangements and traditional offices. For starters, it’s not just a case of ‘bums on seats’ – the participating restaurants are specially chosen for their design and location:

“We look for beautiful spaces that people would want to be a part of, so we spent a lot of time thinking about quality of design and ambience. The aim is to find inspired but productive space that’s not necessarily an office. We also considered location very carefully. Each restaurant needs to be located in a good neighbourhood that’s central and easy to get to. We’re opening our third location in July and we’ll continue to open about one space a month after that. We want each restaurant to benefit from the buzz around the opening, which is why we’re staggering them.”

He suggests that Spacious has the advantage over other existing co-working schemes such as WeWork ($450 a month) because they have a much more flexible arrangement with their vendors:

“The big advantage for us is that we haven’t had to enter into any long term fixed leases with landlords. By partnering with restaurants, we’re using space that is otherwise sitting empty, so we can do that at a much better price point.

“It’s also really advantageous for the restaurants – it’s a win, win, symbiotic relationship. Running a successful restaurant in a city like New York or London is no easy feat. We hope that partnering with Spacious will allow existing and future restaurant partners to focus on what they do best in the evenings, their food and hospitality, without having to worry so much about the rent. We hope to enable restaurants to take a few risks and experiment.

“Also, with Spacious members in the space all day, there’s a direct sales opportunity. Chefs are already working in the kitchen all day, and Spacious members provide an audience for them to test small plates and new ideas on those working in their space. Our members love this idea too, a little taste of the dinner menu while you’re working throughout the day.”

According to Pesek, Spacious are now seeking to expand to other cities in the US, such as San Francisco, which is a hub for co-working spaces, startups and young entrepreneurs – but if their workspaces are transient, surely their living spaces are too? How can this be addressed?

INside the Nest apartments

Spacious could do worse than to open a chain in Denmark – where one group have proven that co-living doesn’t have to be a depressing side-effect of the housing crash! In Copenhagen young entrepreneurs and digital nomads are also developing flexible co-living spaces in order to accommodate their needs. Nest is one such project – a 21 room apartment complex which is home to some of the city’s most promising entrepreneurs. The project has been running for around three years. The environment is community-oriented and requires residents to participate in regular traditions and events, such as weekly dinners.

Resident chairman Analise Winther explains why this is so important for their community:

“If you don’t add value, you don’t receive value…when you have smart people living together: good things happen!”

Inside Nest - the communal living space

Residents are required to be highly skilled and interested in developing a startup. While residents do not have to have necessarily started their own business, all need to be quite high-level in terms of their experience, and must be working within the startup industry – and living together helps to fan the flames of creativity. Over 56% of people living at Nest have ended up working together on startup projects.

Winther asserts that: “There’s no way you can leave Nest without having something good happen to you!”

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Retail Design Awards – Barber shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-design-awards-barber-shortlisted-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-design-awards-barber-shortlisted-2016/#respond Wed, 10 Aug 2016 09:00:38 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6544 This week we are delighted to announce that once again our work has been shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards. This is the third year in a row that...

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This week we are delighted to announce that once again our work has been shortlisted for two Retail Week Interiors Awards. This is the third year in a row that we have been nominated for one of these prestigious retail design awards. We are hoping to emulate last year’s success where we won the coveted ‘Best Large Format Store’ award for our work with the Triathlon Store in Bristol. This time our work for two very different stores, both based in London’s Covent Garden has been shortlisted in the ‘CAPS group Best Small Store’ category – unfortunately this means only one can win – but I guess it also doubles our chances!

SugarSin London

The two stores shortlisted are SugarSin and Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store:

SugarSin

SugarSin is the brainchild of Scandinavian sisters Anna and Josefin who hail from Sweden – where sweets are a common treat for adults and children alike. As a nation, the Swedish eat more pick n mix sweets than anyone else in the world. Following the demise of the Woolworths pick n mix concession, the sisters were keen to bring their own cultural take on the concept to the UK, envisioning a niche in the market for an original, more sophisticated brand of confectionery retail.

SugarSin London

We worked very closely with SugarSin to reboot their brand in a new, highly sought after location in Covent Garden. The brief was to create a bright, unique and fun store with an inviting atmosphere in order to showcase SugarSin’s unique and irresistible range of products. After developing the concept we then produced and supplied a detailed drawing pack for the client to give to their contractors to work from. The fixtures and fittings in the store feature an exaggerated design with strong bold colours to create a larger than life look, which feels both fun and contemporary. Design features include black and white candy striped flooring, hanging glass bubbles, harlequin wall tile patterns and liquorice rope-effect pillars. The client told us that they wanted to play with different materials to make the shop more alive – with vibrant colours and high gloss tables. It’s a look that certainly grabs your attention – setting SugarSin apart from the other retail giants in this legendary shopping street.

SugarSin London

Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship

Neal’s Yard Remedies are an award winning ethical, organic health and beauty brand with 52 stores and more than 470 outlets across the UK as well as 80 stores internationally. The brand opened their first store at this location in Covent Garden in 1981. It was an honour for us to be asked to help them redevelop the interior of this iconic store, following our recent retail design work for other Neal’s Yard stores across the UK and internationally in Alberta, Canada, Taipei, Taiwan and Makati in the Philippines.

Our design for the Neal's Yard flagship in Covent garden has been shortlisted for an award

During the project, Barber Design worked closely with all of the stakeholders within the organisation to understand their brand vision for the ideal beauty retail experience. This process took more than six months to perfect.

Inside, the store features traditional natural wood and tiled surfaces mixed with the brand’s trademark blue glass bottles with retail counters and shelves of products. There is also an experiential tincture area to the rear of the store. Each of our retail interior designs for Neal’s Yard follow a theme but feature unique, bespoke displays particular to their individual location. High quality materials and bright colours help to infuse the Neal’s Yard ethos and brand identity throughout each store, whilst also providing a refreshing approach to their traditional apothecary environment.

Alex Leach, Director of UK Sales at Neal’s Yard Remedies is delighted with our work so far:

“We recently won the Best Branded Store at the Natural Beauty Retail Awards which we were incredibly pleased with. Huge thanks to Doug, Alex, Neil and all the team for their hard work in designing the new store concept.”

This Covent Garden Flagship retail design is the latest in our international roll out for Neal’s Yard Remedies with many more to come.

Retail week Interiors Awards 2016 logo

Although only one can win, we are really thrilled to be shortlisted again – the Retail Week Interiors Awards are recognised within the retail design industry as acknowledging the store designs that set the standard for others to follow. The gongs will be given at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane London on November 3rd so watch this space to find out what happens and we’ll be sure to give you a full report on the events of the evening as they happen!

 

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Retail planning – Barber revamp food court in Weston shopping centre https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-planning-revamp-food-court-weston-shopping-centre/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-planning-revamp-food-court-weston-shopping-centre/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 23:48:52 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6536 This time last year street artist Banksy put the sleepy North Somerset seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare firmly on the map with his ‘Dismaland’ art installation at the abandoned Tropicana site...

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This time last year street artist Banksy put the sleepy North Somerset seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare firmly on the map with his ‘Dismaland’ art installation at the abandoned Tropicana site on Weston’s sea front. This could not have come at a better time for property investment group Vixcroft who had recently acquired the Sovereign Shopping Centre at the heart of the town with plans to revamp it. Barber Design were appointed to aid in the retail planning and rebranding of the entire shopping centre, including complete modernisation of the centre’s food court, a new website design, wayfinding, signage, and promotional materials for the centre.

New food court design for the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston

The Sovereign shopping centre was purchased by Vixcroft in February 2015. Vixcroft have an established profile in the property investment market as a skilled team of professionals with a hands-on approach. They are committed to enhancing the centre and it’s dated restaurant area and contributing to Weston’s long term economic revival. The £500k food court revamp is intended to break the mould of traditional shopping centre eateries by offering six new units to both national and independent local retailers, which will incorporate a sense of fun within the centre’s food offering.

The quirky design includes an ice cream van

New Food Court Design

After careful retail planning, design and rebranding by Barber, the refurbishment works started on 25th July and the dramatic interior overhaul will transform the Sovereign shopping centre’s food hall into a light, airy and modern design, ready for launch in September. In the meantime, the rest of the shopping centre will remain open during the food court refurbishment.

A coffee bar at the new food court revamp

The redesign is expected to increase tenancies within the space, and strengthen the brand identity of the mall as one of the region’s premier local shopping destinations in the lead up to Christmas. Barber were involved in all aspects of the design process from initial concept sketches right through to complete material specification and comprehensive detail drawing packs.

Speaking about the new development, Daniel Carter chief executive of Vixcroft emphasises their commitment to enhancing the local area:

“We are committed to not only the regeneration of the Sovereign shopping centre but also to the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare. We want to see Weston’s economy thrive, and we want play an active role in making it happen.”

Galley with a Sea View

The new food court will be called ‘The Galley’ – inspired by the centre’s close proximity to the seafront and local views, which can be enjoyed from the new seating area. The colour palette is infused with a modern seaside style, incorporating clean lines and strong nautical design elements, with a nod to the area’s tradition of summer entertainments with a traditional ice cream van and a grand piano incorporated into the setting.

Nick Cooke, manager of the shopping centre describes the motivation behind the new interior features:

“The Galley will offer more variety for our customers and will greatly improve our offering as a leisure destination. I am sure our visitors of all ages will enjoy it, from a tinkle on the piano to a lick of an ice-cream with sauce and sprinkles!”

Changing Eating Habits

Barber have taken into account the fact that both shopping and eating habits have changed over the last few decades and have completely revamped the existing food hall floorplan in response to this, as Barber Design Creative Director Neil Overall explains:

“The way we shop today is completely different from twenty years ago. In response, the Vixcroft owned centre is undergoing a full rebrand, bringing it up to date and appealing to visitors young and old. We have focused on beach inspired dining with kiosks individually named, branded and themed, and centred on traditional British cuisine.“

The rebranding is set to continue online as Barber are currently supervising an overhaul of the centre’s website to include matching design elements. The new food court and website will both be launched in September so if you’re in Weston this autumn be sure to check it out and let us know what you think!

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Digital retail trends – the gamification of retail stores? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-trends-gamification-retail-stores/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-trends-gamification-retail-stores/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:00:26 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6497 As discussed in our previous article earlier this week, the phenomenal success of the new location-based Pokemon Go smart phone game has captured the public’s imagination like no other. It...

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As discussed in our previous article earlier this week, the phenomenal success of the new location-based Pokemon Go smart phone game has captured the public’s imagination like no other. It has drawn people out of their homes to play in the streets – as they chase those elusive Pokemon through parks, down the high street and into retail stores.

A Pokemon bird hovers above a street

Bricks and Mortar Still Vital

A recent survey by Verdict and British Land suggests that despite a consumer shift to digital sales, bricks-and-mortar stores play a part in 89% of all retail sales. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all the sales were made in store but that shoppers may have visited the location to browse or look at products before buying online.

According to the research, retailers shouldn’t view digital technology as a threat but rather as a bonus. Retail technology creates opportunities for sales and customer engagement that were simply not possible a few years ago. Purchases that have been made online after browsing or asking for advice in store, or via click-and-collect services boost shop sales by an estimated 5%.

Transforming Roles

As the role of stores transforms, from retail hubs to showrooms or collection points, we must ask questions about how these spaces can be utilised for maximum benefit: are they too big? What is the best way to utilise the space? And how can stores be adapted to cater for constantly evolving retail trends?

Products must be displayed effectively, to entice additional purchases if they are being used as click and collect points – and staff must be trained to provide all of the information that a customer might need, generating brand loyalty by creating a welcoming and friendly experience. How can digital technology be used in-store to enhance the shopping experience?

Pokemon Go – Capturing the Imagination

As we mentioned earlier this week, the new Pokemon Go phenomenon amply illustrates the power of the smartphone – especially when used with augmented reality and location based technology. Retailers should consider partnerships with Pokemon developers, Niantic in order to drive footfall or present rewards. Alternatively they can develop their own location-based smartphone apps which capitalise on shoppers’ obvious interest in this kind of technology – by gamifiying or personalising their customer journeys and shopping experience or offering digitally distributed rewards and information within the store. Additionally they can appeal to non-shoppers within the party. E.g: offering in store augmented reality in-store games for bored children or loyal partners who usually wait patiently outside the changing rooms waiting as their other half tries on ten outfits.

Observing and adopting digital trends

Recent research by the BRC and Springboard reveals that Brexit uncertainty caused some unrest amongst consumers last month, with a rapid decline in footfall. Retailers must start capitalising on digital trends in order to develop some resilience in the marketplace. According to research, shoppers aged between 16 and 34 display the most brand loyalty and are ‘most attached to stores’ so by catering for this group by combining new technology and experiences retailers can help bricks and mortar stores to retain their position at the heart of the retail industry.

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Digital Retail marketing – how can Pokemon Go entice shoppers into bricks and mortar stores? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-marketing-pokemon-go/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/digital-retail-marketing-pokemon-go/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:28:55 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6494 Regular readers of our blog will know that we like to keep abreast of the latest trends in digital retail marketing and retail technology. And unless you’ve been hiding in...

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Regular readers of our blog will know that we like to keep abreast of the latest trends in digital retail marketing and retail technology. And unless you’ve been hiding in a cupboard then you’ll know that last week the UK was the latest country to be hit by the Pokemon Go game craze. As soon as we downloaded the free mobile game onto our phone and started playing we immediately thought about the implications of this type of technology for retail. The premise of the game is to get users moving and playing outside, using location tracking and augmented reality. These two technologies which have been catching retailer’s attention for a number of years as they have attempted to create personalised and immersive customer experiences to increase footfall in bricks and mortar stores.

Digital retail marketing - a Paras Pokemon rolling in the aisles in Sainsburys

Most Popular Game Ever

According to news reports, Pokemon Go is already the most popular game ever played in the US – with 21 million active users – but why is it so addictive? In case you haven’t played it yet, the game basically entails hunting for little Pokemon animal characters, collecting prizes and engaging with other users and their Pokemon at special ‘gyms.’ The game is available as a free download for smartphones and uses GPS to track a users location, showing them where they are on a map as they move around. Once they get a Pokemon in their sights then the game view switches to augmented reality with the Pokemon superimposed over a view of the users real-world environment. The phone vibrates when a Pokemon is nearby and also alerts users to the location of Pokéstops – places where they can collect extra points and prizes or even Pokemon eggs.

Location-based, VR mobile games have been around for as long as smartphones have, but the familiarity of the Pokemon characters and well-structured gameplay has captured the public imagination – which is big news for retailers.

Capitalising on Popularity

Speaking to Retail Week, EMEA general manager of location-based marketing specialist xAd; Theo Theodorou explained the implications of game’s popularity:

“There’s always a tipping point in any space when something brings technology that already exists to the forefront of everyone’s mind and for location tracking and augmented technology Pokemon Go is that watershed moment.”

“It’s great news for retailers as it’s really demonstrating how to harness the power of shoppers’ locations through the number one screen that shoppers are using every day.”

Luring Customers

Part of the games involves creating ‘lures’ which attract Pokemon to certain areas and it has been reported that some retailers in the US have been setting these to increase footfall, in the hopes that users might also make a purchase whilst in store.

Dan Calladine, Head of Media Futures at Carat Global explained how the location of game features such as Pokéstops can impact on sales:

“If a Pokéstop is near where you are you can advertise that on your Facebook and interact with people catching Pokemon nearby – it could be a really cost-efficient way of getting potential shoppers through retailers’ doors.

“It’s about how retailers get new sorts of customers to spend money they wouldn’t usually spend. People will be walking around with an open, exploratory mindset in areas of town they might not have been before and retailers could really take advantage of that increased customer traffic.”

But he does warn against leaping in to the trend without taking a proper look first:

“Retailers really need to ask the question of how valuable that trend is – would they rather drive new people into their bricks-and-mortar stores or ensure their existing customers have an undisrupted shopping experience?”

Ask yourself some questions: Will it enhance sales or distract shoppers? How are other retailers using it? Is there anything else they can do with the game to personalise or enhance the customer experience?

Enter the Game

According to Retail Week it won’t be long before retailers can get their store listed within the game, John Hanke, CEO of Pokemon Creator, Niantic has suggested that ‘sponsored locations’ including retail outlets could provide a new revenue stream for the game, which is currently free to download and relies on in-app purchases to generate a profit.

As this undoubtedly becomes a reality, the anticipated benefit to retailers could be huge, as Dan Calladine asserts:

“There will be opportunities for people to buy location-based advertising on it, Nintendo seem to be monetising it quite cleverly already.”

“There’s lots of scope for people to be quite creative around this location based and augmented reality technology and lots of way retailers could piggy back on it to disrupt and make it their own.”

Come and play

In addition to displaying retail locations and adverts, users could claim rewards from visiting stores or making specific purchases – and retailers don’t just have to use this technology within the confines of Pokemon Go – the potential uses for this kind of technology for digital retail marketing are endless. Although it has been around for a while, Pokemon has opened the floodgates and made using this kind of technology familiar to users. Imagine a Supermarket trip where children are kept occupied by augmented reality games in store – or personalised shopping experiences with animated characters guiding you around the store and answering questions about specific products.

Theo Theodorou concurs:

“Pokemon Go is one thing but we’ll see a lot of new ways that this technology can drive new traffic – it’s limitless and this app will really put it at the forefront of retailers’ mind,”

In our post-Brexit economic uncertainty, retail footfall has been declining as consumer confidence wanes – so we do hope that the normalisation of using this kind of technology in a retail environment can bring a much needed boon to bricks and mortar stores. Let us know below if you have been playing Pokemon Go – how would you apply this type of technology within a retail environment?

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A new futuristic store display for Dyson on Oxford Street https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/futuristic-store-display-for-dyson/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/futuristic-store-display-for-dyson/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:00:51 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6484 Sticking with Oxford Street – and the future – this week, take a look at this ultramodern space age store display for Dyson’s brand new flagship store ‘Dyson Demo’ which...

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Inside the new Dyson Street on Oxford Street

Sticking with Oxford Street – and the future – this week, take a look at this ultramodern space age store display for Dyson’s brand new flagship store ‘Dyson Demo’ which opened on Oxford Street last week. Describing the new store in Retail Week, John Ryan describes the buzz around the new retail design:

“You might have thought that a shop selling pretty much nothing but electrical implements that either blow or suck air would have relatively limited appeal. Yet such is the design aura that surrounds Dyson products that the opening of a store bearing the name of the founder and presiding genius has been keenly anticipated.”

He’s right. The new store is the first of it’s kind in the UK and the only place where you can go to test drive the entire enticing range of Dyson products. Just a short hop from Selfridges, the brand new two-floor store offers an engaging visual treat from consumers, with interactive displays inviting you to try before you buy. For example, in the vacuum cleaner department, you will find illuminated shelves filled with rows of small tubs of dirt, ready to be tossed onto the floor in order to test drive the array of glamorous looking machines.

After starting out with vacuum cleaners in 1991, the company has seen it’s product range expand in recent years to include lighting, humidifiers, fans, air purifiers, heaters and most recently, hairdryers.

In store, a wall of dryers on display is presented along with the explanation:

“It took 600 prototypes to re-think the hair dryer.” There is a hair salon where customers can book an appointment for a blow-dry from one of the innovative blade-free dryers – or you can try a dryer for yourself with a fantastic gadget which allows you to blast a black screen with the dryer and watch it glow as the heat hits it – allowing you to see how precisely the heat from the dryer can be directed during the styling process.

Inside the new Dyson Street on Oxford Street

The store was ‘personally designed’ by Dyson founder, James Dyson who worked closely with the store’s architects and designers to realise his vision of an Apple type tech store where customers can not only come and try the products but also receive expert advice on how to get the very best from them. Mr Dyson has applied his gift for inspired innovation to the store display design and, like the vacuum cleaners – it really works! The store is only the second stand-alone Dyson store of it’s kind in the world and already it is grabbing the attention of retail designers as a bold example of how to create an outstanding customer experience.

John Ryan suggests that the store is currently the best example of retail storytelling in London:

“[It gives] the shopper the background to the product that is being considered and pointing out why it is better than others that may be looked at.

“The products are not cheap. One of the new hair dryers will set you back around £300, but that’s not the point…It’s all about creating an experience and an environment that will convince and at a stroke Dyson has not only reinvented the hair-dryer, but it has also come close to creating something new in retail.

“Dyson is about looking at a workaday piece of consumer electronics and making it different, appealing and futuristic.”

As we have noted in earlier blog posts this year – technology is a strong growth area for retail – tech companies dominated the recent Brandz Report and stores like John Lewis are focusing on new display areas to showcasing the latest in consumer gadgets and smart technology so this new store opening certainly appears to be a smart move for Dyson and as John Ryan suggests, it’s well worth visiting the store for a look at their customer experience set up – “…even if you’ve not got £300 for a hair dryer.” If you happen to be on Oxford Street this summer we recommend you check it out – and let us know what you think!

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Retail news – Oxford Street to be car-free by 2020 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-news-oxford-street-to-be-car-free/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-news-oxford-street-to-be-car-free/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 22:25:23 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6481 Amid this week’s post-Brexit drama, new prime minister and cabinet reshuffle we found an exciting bit of retail news that had been consigned to the bottom of the pile! New...

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The Virgin Store in Oxford Street

Amid this week’s post-Brexit drama, new prime minister and cabinet reshuffle we found an exciting bit of retail news that had been consigned to the bottom of the pile! New London Mayor Sadiq Khan has just announced plans to pedestrianise London’s iconic Oxford Street by 2020.

The move comes as part of a new clean air initiative set out by the incumbent Mayor’s office in order to tackle the rising air pollution levels in our capital. The proposal sets out a plan to phase out all road traffic over the next four years. This includes banning buses and taxis from the street, one of the most famous retail areas in the UK and home to many flagship stores.

Speaking to the London Assembly, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Valerie Shawcross outlined the plans for the new pedestrian area, which will run from

Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch and is timed to coincide with the opening of the new Crossrail system.

At present, cars are already banned along one section of the famous street between 7am and 7pm but it is still a major route for taxis and buses. Oxford Street and adjacent Regent Street have closed the street to traffic for special occasions in the past – particularly in the run up to Christmas – but this is the first time that traffic has been banned along the Eastern section of the famous thoroughfare.

One group who have been campaigning for less traffic in the West end for a number of years is the New West End Company, whose chief executive, Jace Tyrrell is delighted at the move:

“We look forward to seeing and discussing detailed proposals for Oxford Street following Ms Shawcross’s statements but feel very strongly that any form of vehicle free zones must lead to a genuine reduction of traffic, rather than large scale re-routing down smaller residential or commercial streets.

“In addition, it must be accompanied by a full economic assessments to measure the impact on businesses and the shoppers and workers that travel to the West End every day via public transport.”

It’s certainly going to be a bit of a headache to implement and we think Tyrrell has some valid points regarding how they are going to reroute the traffic. No wonder it’s going to take four years to implement! If you’ve got any ideas on how they can tackle the problem then please drop us a comment below and we’ll forward them onto the Mayor’s office!

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Man United remain most valuable brand in football https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/man-united-valuable-brand/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/man-united-valuable-brand/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:00:41 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6460 Sticking with branding reports this week – and keeping it topical as the nation is gripped in the thrall of Euro 2016 – Brand Finance have just released their annual...

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Sticking with branding reports this week – and keeping it topical as the nation is gripped in the thrall of Euro 2016 – Brand Finance have just released their annual Football 50 report, naming Manchester United as the most valuable brand in football, despite the fact that they failed to qualify for the Champion’s League.

Manchester United - football's most valuable brand

Published just before the start of UEFA Euro 2016 the Football 50 report calculates brand value by examining each brand’s current revenues and estimating future sales and royalty income.

Premier League mega deal

Despite their recent failures, Manchester United retained their position at the top with a brand value of $1.17 billion. Their position was supported by a new broadcasting deal. The new Premier League TV contract is worth $1.5 billion, with television rights to be divided between Sky and BT Sport for the next three years. This epic deal not only boosts the brand value of Man United, but all of the clubs in the Premier League – with Man U in pole position just above Spanish team, Real Madrid.

Real Madrid come second

Coached by former French international, Zinedine Zidane, real Madrid have risen to second place in the chart this year with a brand value of $1.15 billion – following their recent success in the Champion’s League. Zidane’s appointment has also strengthened the brand by reinforcing their image as the ‘home of footballs biggest names.’ Their brand value was also increased by product endorsements from Adidas and a renegotiated TV deal with La Liga.

The best of the rest

UK football clubs occupy a further five positions in the top ten with the rest of the list as follows:

FC Barcelona
Manchester City FC
FC Bayern Munchen
Arsenal FC
Paris Saint-Germain FC
Chelsea FC
Liverpool FC
Tottenham Hotspur FC

Leicester the fastest growing brand

The biggest mover and shaker in the list this year was of course Leicester City. The shock Premier League winners saw their brand value increase by a whopping 132% to $237 million – placing them at No. 16 on the global top 50. This is a rise of 26 places from their previous position at No. 42 in 2015. David Haigh, Chief Executive Officer at Brand Finance explains what this means for the club’s sponsors:

“Leicester’s success is something their existing sponsors will only have dreamed of and their return on investment has been spectacular. Armed with a thorough understanding of what its brand is really worth to potential sponsors, Leicester will now need to carefully manage the flood of offers and opportunities it receives to both maximize revenue and create partnerships that will reinforce the club’s brand as well as its bottom line.”

You can download a pdf copy of the Football 50 on the Brand Finance website.

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BrandZ report: Tech industries dominate brands https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/tech-industries-dominate-brands/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/tech-industries-dominate-brands/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 23:08:17 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6456 This week on the blog we’re focusing on branding and licensing news, starting with the latest trends. According to the recently released annual BrandZ report by WPP and Millward Brown,...

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This week on the blog we’re focusing on branding and licensing news, starting with the latest trends. According to the recently released annual BrandZ report by WPP and Millward Brown, tech industries and brands that utilise new technology (apps, wearable tech) are experiencing the greatest success, with a proliferation of technology companies appearing to dominate the BrandZ: Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list.

tech industries dominate brands top 100 list

In order to calculate the value of each business, each brand’s equity is measured using a combination of data. Interview findings from over 3 million consumers worldwide are used to evaluate the public perception of each brand. This information is then combined with their financial and professional performance data to produce their brand value.

Tech comes out on top

According to the BrandZ report, Google have nobbled Apple and pushed them off of the top spot. Apple are now at number 2 having seen their brand value decline by 8% over the past year. Microsoft, AT&T and Facebook are at 3,4 and 5 with Facebook experiencing a 44% increase in brand value, rising from number 12 in last year’s survey.

Why keep score?

The BrandZ report provides a really valuable insight into consumer trends and the global marketplace, not just for retailers, but for all businesses. As discussed in our recent post about the future of retail; it is vital for retailers to examine growth areas in order to decide where they should focus their own activities. The data allows analysts to make educated predictions regarding the rise and fall of specific industries and the projected stability (or instability) of the global economy over the coming months.

Innovation and Disruption

As suggested in our retail insight blog post last week, technology is paving the way for sea changes in the way that we do everything – businesses must remain flexible and innovative in order to survive. According to recent trends, it is no surprise that the top 5 businesses in the report this year are technology firms. The Brandz report authors, Millward Brown concur:

“This was a stable year for the world’s most powerful brands in the face of global financial pressures, including the economic slowdown in China… and that innovation and disruption were major trends across all industries.
“Brands of all kinds moved to build a multi-faceted ecosystem around the consumer’s needs and desires, often by diversifying into new categories.”

Apparel also rising

Also notable in the report is the apparel category, which – after experiencing some decline in recent years – is rising once again, with a 14% increase in value this year to $114 billion. Within this sector, Nike saw a rise of 26% and newcomers Under Armour also made the list. Millward Brown suggest that this success is due in part to technology where sporting brands such as Nike have added value to their offer by incorporating wearable tech into their premium ranges. Built in heart monitors and integrated apps have broadened their market appeal by offering personalised products and enriching consumer experiences.

Technology invigorates brands

Technological innovation has also boosted growth in other brand sectors. Coffee chain Starbucks rose 49% over the year and the authors suggest that this was partly due to their convenient new smart phone app.

Global head of BrandZ, Millward Brown, Doreen Wang suggested that innovation and diversification have invigorated the strongest brands:

“By stretching their brands in innovative ways and expanding into new categories, the strongest brands in the Top 100 are increasing their penetration and their relevance in people’s day-to-day lives. There is a risk in doing this, however: It blurs the lines between categories and can leave brands struggling for identity. Defining and articulating a very clear positioning and purpose will play a more crucial part than ever in building a strong, distinct brand.”

According to David Roth, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP; the brands that thrive are the ones which are flexible and respond quickly to change:

“The brands that thrive, regardless of sector, are those that behave like challengers and adopt disruptor models and mindsets. They’re shaking up other categories with innovation that goes beyond new products or technologies–transforming the way a service is delivered, enhancing the consumer experience or changing a format. The power these brands already hold, combined with the strength of their platforms, is enabling them to quickly and successfully move across sectors.”

Check out the full report at Brandz.com

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SugarSin London photos https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/sugarsin/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/sugarsin/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:01:34 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6437 Following our recent post about our work with SugarSin, here are some professional photos of the finished store which opened recently in London’s Covent Garden:

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Following our recent post about our work with SugarSin, here are some professional photos of the finished store which opened recently in London’s Covent Garden:

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

SugarSin London

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Insights into the future of retail https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/insights-into-the-future-of-retail/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/insights-into-the-future-of-retail/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6419 As regular readers will know, we’ve written a few times about the future of retail. Many high street staples were forced to close due to a lack of insight or flexibility...

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As regular readers will know, we’ve written a few times about the future of retail. Many high street staples were forced to close due to a lack of insight or flexibility in responding to change – both in the retail market and in society as a whole. This week we were really intrigued to read a post about what one man expects to happen to society in the near future – and what we can learn from the past.

Udo Gollub talks about the future

After attending a Singularity University event in Berlin, Udo Gollub described what he learned about our changing culture and how this will affect us in the future. We’ve picked through it to find the parts which are relevant to retail – how retailers have failed and where we might be headed in the future. If high street brands like Woolworths, BHS and Blockbuster had paid a little more attention in class then perhaps they’d still be around – if perhaps in a slightly different format:

“In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years.”

Huge changes for industry

Gollub suggests that this kind of sea change will now occur across a broad range of industries. These include artificial intelligence, healthcare, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and the job market. He describes it as “the 4th Industrial Revolution” or the “Exponential Age.” He suggests that software will disrupt most traditional industries during the next 5-10 years:

“Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.”

3D printing is going to have a big impact on retail – for example, consumers will be able to scan their feet and print out bespoke shoes at home:

“The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports.

“At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.”

Obsolete business models

According to Gollub, many jobs and business models will become obsolete. If you are considering entering a particular profession, then you should ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?”

If the answer is yes, then you should work out how you can make it happen sooner. If it doesn’t work with your smartphone, then you should simply forget it:

“Any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century.”

He also predicts a big shake up in our currency. He says that Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and could even become the default reserve currency.

Gollub’s predictions are certainly food for thought and are being widely shared on social media. Companies like Kodak had years to work out how they could adapt to the digital age, but they didn’t act until it was too late. By asking what is going to be relevant and sustainable and developing flexible and responsive business models, future retailers should be able to stay on top of their game. We predict that despite these seismic and exponential changes, people will always enjoy a retail experience and bricks and mortar stores will never be fully replaced by online retail.  – but should work in synergy with it, to offer personalised and convenient consumer experiences. You can read Gollub’s post in full on Facebook.

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Barber work with Love Brand & Co. to develop branding https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-develop-branding/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-develop-branding/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 21:22:02 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6408 Established in 2010, Love Brand & Co, London is a stylish and vibrant swimwear brand, driven by a unique ethos. The brand is the brainchild of husband and wife team...

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Established in 2010, Love Brand & Co, London is a stylish and vibrant swimwear brand, driven by a unique ethos. The brand is the brainchild of husband and wife team Oliver and Rose Tomalin, who share a passion for elephants. It was this passion combined with Oliver’s entrepreneurial spirit and Rose’s heritage that inspired them to start their own philanthropic swimwear label to raise awareness and funds in order to help save elephants from extinction in the wild. They named their distinctive idea “Trunks for Trunks”

Love Brand Logo

Ever since we sold our first swimming trunk, we have been committed to two things, designing exceptional swimwear and saving wild elephants” – Oliver Tomalin

Barber's work for Love Brand and Co.

Branding and retail guidelines

Oliver approached Barber Design to assist in developing a set of brand and retail guidelines for Love Brand & Co. to showcase the brand in a new light. We responded with a series of refined client and supplier facing brand documents – plus a set of retail guidelines which consisted of a toolkit of retail environments to support the growth of the brand into different retail locations globally in order to strengthen the success of the brand. Love Brand & Co. currently have two dedicated Retail Stores – a flagship just off the Kings Road in Chelsea, London and a beach front shack in Barbados. The product is also stocked in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Love Brand & Co. branding by Barber

Not just a swimwear brand

Love Brand & Co. help elephant conservation by donating 5% of their sales to three inspirational elephant charities; Elephant Family, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Tusk Trust. They work to raise global awareness of the role of these charities and how they are helping the elephants. The Love Brand & Co. logo features two elephants, face to face forming a heart with their trunks and forelegs. The brand’s beautiful beachwear ranges from swimming trunks, caps, shirts, shorts, towels, to beach caps.

A section from the Love Brand & Co. Brag book

Why elephants?

But why have the Tomalins made saving the elephant the focus of their business? The couple profess to have both loved elephants since childhood – a shared passion which laid the foundations for their relationship. Elephant conservation is incredibly important to them and they assert that it should be important to everybody. The Love Brand & Co. website offers a startling list of reasons why we should all be saving the elephants. If we don’t act right now the species could actually be extinct from the wild by 2025:

  • In some countries of Africa including Sierra Leone and Senegal, elephants have already been driven to extinction.
  • Communities across Africa are dependent on elephants for an income through tourism. Saving the elephants also means preventing poverty, sustaining livelihoods and promoting sustainable tourism.
  • Elephants are a keystone species. Other animals, plants and entire ecosystems rely on them for survival.
  • ‘As go the elephants, so do the trees.’ Elephants are known as ‘nature’s gardeners’, plants and trees rely on elephants to disperse their seeds far and wide through their dung.
  • By uprooting trees to feed, they control the tree population leaving grasses to thrive and sustain animals such as wildebeests and zebras.
  • Elephants share the same emotions and cognitive behaviour as humans. They grieve for their lost loved ones, they feel fear, joy and empathy and are highly praised for their intelligence.

“We are saving elephants, one pair of swimming trunks at a time.” – Oliver Tomalin

You can see all of the couples quality trunk designs and find out more about elephant conservation and the charities that they support on their website: www.lovebrand.com.

Love Brand & Co. hats

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Barber design flagship Discovery Channel store at the Dubai Mall https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-flagship-discovery-channel-store/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-flagship-discovery-channel-store/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 22:21:12 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6402 Last week on June 1st, one of our most exciting international retail design projects to date – the Discovery Aquarium – opened for business in the Dubai Mall, United Arab...

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Last week on June 1st, one of our most exciting international retail design projects to date – the Discovery Aquarium – opened for business in the Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates. The vision for this store is the result of a partnership between Emaar Entertainment and Discovery Consumer Products in a first-of-its-kind retail initiative. The concept for the design is rooted in conservation and philanthropy, centred around a unique retail experience and awe-inspiring footage of marine life – with the main storefront suspended over an aquarium.

Discovery channel store in Dubai

Barber have been working closely with the Discovery Channel Licensing team to develop this epic new flagship store concept which features the world’s largest media screen and is entered through a huge aquarium filled with exotic marine life.

The store offers a unique experience for visitors to the Dubai Mall

Once inside the store, visitors are greeted by screens showcasing a range of Discovery Channel media, with mid-level customer touch points, including kiosks where they can order online or browse a range of innovative and exclusive Discovery brand offers.

The Yellow Submarine in the store

At the centre of the store, the focal point of the retail environment is a fully functional submarine, which compliments a range of aquarium-themed retail products. As you can imagine we have had tremendous fun working on this project and the blue sky freedom afforded by the Discovery Channel’s development team really allowed us to push the boundaries of customer experience and retail design to create a truly unique retail environment within this prestigious location.

Speaking about the project, the International Licensing Creative Director at the Discovery Channel expressed their enthusiasm for working together with Barber on this unique opportunity:

The Dubai Aquarium store project is a unique opportunity for Discovery to showcase our brand to the largest Mall in the world and we needed to work with a forward thinking and innovative retail design agency. With Barber we were able to create a bespoke customer journey within the store, amplify our brand message plus retain the integrity and brand experience consumers would expect from Discovery. Innovative, experiential and much more…”

Paul Hamilton, General Manager and Curator of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, describes the motivation for the setting:

“Our partnership with Discovery and their world-recognised brands, reflects our vision of connecting our guests with the natural world, and is also a part of Emaar Entertainment’s mission to continually strive to enhance the visitor experience. [The] opening of the new Discovery store at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is just the beginning of our partnership and we look forward to sharing the exciting initiatives we have planned for the upcoming months, including the upcoming launch of our exciting new and interactive ‘Shark Week’ exhibit.”

Amanda Turnbull, VP Country Manager, Discovery Networks MENA adds:

“Discovery has been satisfying curiosity for more than 30 years, providing on-screen experiences that entertain, inspire and educate audiences across the world. Through our new partnership with Emaar Entertainment and the opening of the Discovery Channel store, we can take the best of Discovery off-screen and provide a fun, innovative and interactive brand experience for our local audiences.”

The Underwater Zoo, located on Level 2 of the mall offers an interactive approach to educating guests of all ages on the ecology and sustainability of marine life. The experience consists of three ecological zones: Rainforest, Coastline and UAE Night Creatures, where a variety of aquatic animals are featured including Penguins, Crocodiles, Piranhas, Giant Spider Crabs, Water Rats, Sea Horses and Sea Jellies.

If you’re planning a visit to Dubai in the near future then do go and check it out – you can find out more about the aquarium on their website: thedubaiaquarium.com

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A new store design for Neal’s Yard Remedies opens in Covent Garden https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-design-for-neals-yard/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/new-store-design-for-neals-yard/#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:11:14 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6397 Last Thursday (26th May) saw the grand opening of another Barber designed store – this time in London where our latest new store design for popular organic cosmetic brand Neal’s...

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Neals Yard retail store design

Last Thursday (26th May) saw the grand opening of another Barber designed store – this time in London where our latest new store design for popular organic cosmetic brand Neal’s Yard Remedies was unveiled in Covent Garden. This project is a redesign of the store’s original flagship location at 2 Neal’s Yard.

Neal’s Yard Remedies are an award winning ethical, organic health and beauty brand with 52 stores and more than 470 outlets across the UK as well as 80 stores internationally. The brand opened their first store at this location in Covent Garden in 1981 and it was an honour for us to be asked to help them redevelop the interior of this iconic store, following our recent retail design work for other Neal’s Yard stores across the UK and internationally in Alberta, Canada, Taipei, Taiwan and Makati in the Philippines.

During the project, Barber Design worked closely with all of the stakeholders within the organisation to understand their brand vision for the ideal beauty retail experience. This process took more than six months to perfect.

Inside, the store features traditional natural wood and tiled surfaces mixed with the brand’s trademark blue glass bottles with retail counters and shelves of products. There is also an experiential tincture area to the rear of the store. Each of our retail interior designs for Neal’s Yard follow a theme but feature unique, bespoke displays particular to their individual location. High quality materials and bright colours help to infuse the Neal’s Yard ethos and brand identity throughout each store, whilst also providing a refreshing approach to their traditional apothecary environment.

Alex Leach, Director of UK Sales at Neal’s Yard Remedies is delighted with our work so far:

“We recently won the Best Branded Store at the Natural Beauty Retail Awards which we were incredibly pleased with. Huge thanks to Doug, Alex, Neil and all the team for their hard work in designing the new store concept.”

This Covent Garden Flagship retail design is the latest in our international roll out for Neal’s Yard Remedies with many more to come. The picture shown is from our recent retail design for the Neal’s Yard HQ in Peacemarsh, Dorset.  We will be adding some images of the latest store to the blog as soon as we have them so make sure you check back to see the new designs.

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Google launch Android Pay in the UK https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/google-launch-android-pay-in-the-uk/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/google-launch-android-pay-in-the-uk/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 09:00:49 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6388 Last week Google launched their Android Pay contactless payment technology in the UK – in direct competition with Apple’s Apple Pay service. Android Pay supports both contactless and in-app purchases and...

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Last week Google launched their Android Pay contactless payment technology in the UK – in direct competition with Apple’s Apple Pay service. Android Pay supports both contactless and in-app purchases and the tech giant have high hopes for the new technology here. The UK is only the second market the product has been launched in following it’s debut in the US two months ago.

android-payMore than half a million merchant partners have signed up to accept payments via Android Pay in the UK – including famous high street names, such as Boots and supermarkets including Aldi.

The payment technology offers two levels of access – making it less susceptible for high value fraud. Payments under £30 can be made simply by tapping the user’s Android Pay enabled android phone onto the payment device – the same as contactless payments being made by card, which are also available up to £30. For payments over £30 the user can unlock their phone – either with a pin or fingerprint login – to provide an extra level of security, reducing the opportunity for theft.

Android Pay differs from Apple Pay, in that it is more accessible. Apple Pay is only available for people who use relatively recent iPhone models (iPhone 6 and above), whereas Android Pay has been specially designed to work on both new and older model android phones – as long as they are enabled with NFC (near field communication) technology.

Speaking to Retail Week about the launch, Pali Bhat – senior director of product management at Google – explained how they expect this increased level of accessibility to drive widespread adoption of the new technology:

“The majority of Android devices will be able to use the technology and certainly any Android phone made in the last three years.”

Google hope that by making the technology more widely available at launch – and with a strong network of participating merchants, the contactless technology will be more widely adopted than it’s first-to-market predecessors. They have also added payment facilities for making contactless payments on the London Underground and anticipate that this will also drive implementation.

As more android smart watches and devices become available, the popularity of contactless payments shows no sign of waning. More and more consumers are using them, both via card transactions and mobile devices. Visa reported that contactless payments accounted for more than 3 billion transactions in Europe last year – and Mastercard are taking steps to replace all of their payment terminals in the UK so that every single one will be contactless by the start of next year. Banks such as Nat West have also offered consumers incentives to try using contactless technology with 1p in the pound cashback for each transaction made. In this climate, it seems that Google have picked the perfect moment for this launch and surely now the days of chip and pin are numbered.

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Barber retail design work for SugarSin in Covent Garden https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-work-for-sugarsin/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-retail-design-work-for-sugarsin/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 23:18:04 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6391 Regular readers of our blog may remember our previous retail design work for sweet store SugarSin in one of London’s prime shopping spots – Covent Garden. Our original design was...

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Retail design work by Barber for SugarSin at Covent Garden

Regular readers of our blog may remember our previous retail design work for sweet store SugarSin in one of London’s prime shopping spots – Covent Garden. Our original design was named one of the 10 most beautiful candy shops in the world by architectural digest who described it as a “colourful and quirky emporium” – so naturally when SugarSin decided to move to different premises in Covent Garden they called on Barber to design the new store for them.

Retail design work by Barber for SugarSin at Covent Garden

The brand

SugarSin is the brainchild of Scandinavian sisters Anna and Josefin who hail from Sweden – where sweets are a common treat for adults and children alike. As a nation, the Swedish eat more pick n mix sweets than anyone else in the world. Following the demise of the Woolworths pick n mix concession, the sisters were keen to bring their own cultural take on the concept to the UK, envisioning a niche in the market for an original, more sophisticated brand of confectionery retail. Since opening their original store the sisters have happily been proved right and this success has seen them returning to Barber for a second retail design project – to develop a contemporary store concept that is enticing, colourful and will appeal to all ages.

The project

We worked very closely with SugarSin to reboot the brand in their new, highly sought after location in Covent Garden. The brief was to create a bright, unique and fun store with an inviting atmosphere in order to showcase SugarSin’s unique and irresistible range of products. After developing the concept we then produced and supplied a detailed drawing pack for the client to give to their contractors to work from. The fixtures and fittings in the store feature an exaggerated design with strong bold colours to create a larger than life look, which feels both fun and contemporary. Design features include black and white candy striped flooring, hanging glass bubbles, harlequin wall tile patterns and liquorice rope-effect pillars. The client told us that they wanted to play with different materials to make the shop more alive – with vibrant colours and high gloss tables. It’s a look that certainly grabs your attention – setting SugarSin apart from the other retail giants in this legendary shopping street.

But don’t just take our word for it, come and see the newly opened store out for yourself at 1-2 Russel Street, WC2. Check out the SugarSin website for more details!

Retail design work by Barber for SugarSin at Covent Garden

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Another successful appearance for Barber Design at the VM and Display Show 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-vm-and-display-show-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-design-vm-and-display-show-2016/#respond Thu, 12 May 2016 09:00:49 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6367 Here are a few snaps from our stand at the VM and Display Show 2016 in London a couple of weeks ago. Our stand was designed by designed by b2 Exhibition...

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VM and Display Show

Here are a few snaps from our stand at the VM and Display Show 2016 in London a couple of weeks ago. Our stand was designed by designed by b2 Exhibition Specialist @b2exhibitions. The show gave us a great opportunity to showcase some of our latest projects including our series of retail store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies – plus our recent work with Jigsaw, SimplyBe, Nuance and the Discovery Channel – to name but a few. Visitors to the Barber Design stand received a warm welcome and a knowledgeable discussion with our team of experts, who were happy to chat about any aspect of retail design and branding with them and we really enjoyed the opportunity to talk with both existing and potential clients.

VM and Display Show

Apart from networking, the Barber team spent some time perusing the other exhibits, taking in some of the latest advances in visual merchandising, display and retail design trends and seeking inspiration from the vast array of displays and stands from all over the globe. The VM & Display Show is the only UK exhibition dedicated solely to the creative aspect of the retail industry – bringing together everything from mannequins, print and props to POP, lighting and fabrics all under one roof across two days.

VM and Display Show

Due to popular demand, last year’s show was extended into the galleries at the Business Design Centre and this year’s show smashed their previous attendance record with increased numbers of both exhibitors and visitors flowing through the doors over course of the two days. The VM and Window Show is an international event – with many different countries from across the world represented – it is also attended by global companies looking for innovation and inspiration and we relished the opportunity to speak with other like-minded businesses.

Next years event will be held on the 5th-6th April at the same venue – the Business Design Centre in London and we expect to be there again. Stick it in your diary now and you can find out more info nearer the time on the VM and Display Show website: www.vmanddisplayshow.com.

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Brexit uncertainty causes concern for both consumers and retailers https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/brexit-concerns-consumers/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/brexit-concerns-consumers/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 14:29:57 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6365 With less than 50 days to go until UK citizens decide whether to remain in the EU with a historic vote on June 23rd, it was revealed last week that...

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ThomasCook2

With less than 50 days to go until UK citizens decide whether to remain in the EU with a historic vote on June 23rd, it was revealed last week that concerns over how this might effect our economy have had a considerable effect on consumer behaviour. Brexit anxiety is being blamed for a drop of 3 points to -3 – pushing consumer confidence levels into negative territory for the first time since January 2015.

Consumer Confidence Index figures released by GfK show that consumer confidence levels are down by 7 points year on year and that this decline in confidence is reflected across all of the different measures that they use to calculate the index. It appears that mixed messages over what might happen whether we stay in or leave the EU are having a considerable impact on both consumers and retailers.

Speaking to Retail Week, Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK explained the effects of this uncertainty:

“Mixed messages about a post-Brexit world and the ongoing Eurozone crisis are casting a cloud over our economy.

“The biggest dent to confidence comes from consumers’ depression about the general economic situation in the UK for the next year, dropping 20 points in 12 months. Against this backdrop, even faith in our personal economic fortunes has taken a battering contributing to the overall fall in the numbers.”

Unsurprisingly, confidence in the UK’s economic situation in general has also slumped and now stands at -14 which is 17 points lower than it was this time last year. However, shoppers are more optimistic about their own finances – these have only dipped 1 point to +3 which is 3 points higher than it was this time last year.

Staton suggests that these figures help to give a bigger picture of what’s really going on:

“Trends in confidence show our degree of optimism about the state of the economy and this indicator will make for interesting reading between now and the EU referendum on June 23.”

Whether you’re in or out , the uncertainty of what might happen to the economy – particularly if we leave the EU – is clearly having an effect on consumer behaviour. So where does this leave retailers? Preparation is key – by analysing these trends and planning for a variety of possible outcomes with a flexible and responsive retail strategy they should be able to weather any potential economic storms.

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Adapt and survive – why retailers should acknowledge and embrace digital technology in physical stores https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/embracing-digital-technology-in-physical-stores/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/embracing-digital-technology-in-physical-stores/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 09:00:28 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6361 Following on from our blog article earlier this week regarding the apparent demise of UK High Street stalwart BHS, we look at what they could have done to improve the...

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Following on from our blog article earlier this week regarding the apparent demise of UK High Street stalwart BHS, we look at what they could have done to improve the chances for their physical stores in what has become a rapidly changing, multi-channel retail environment.

Retail trends

Managing needs and expectations

Consumer needs and expectations have changed immeasurably in recent years as the ubiquitous rise of the internet and pervasive technologies have been welcomed into our lives. Online shopping has changed the retail landscape forever – but technology has also influenced the ways in which consumers themselves behave – prompting a marked change in the types of things that they now want or need. A third of consumers confess to having done something out of the ordinary just so that they can boast about it on social media – and the most popular type of purchase amongst millennials last Christmas was experiences, rather than products. Thanks to social media, people’s motivations have evolved and these new levels of engagement, sharing and control have directly impacted the way that they shop – with a focus on convenience and choice.

Bricks and mortar evolution

As we have often discussed on the Barber blog, stores who want to survive in the current climate are responding to these changes in consumer expectations by offering shoppers personalised, localised sensory and discovery-led experiences. They embrace the interconnectedness of online and physical retail as high street stores become showrooms for online sales and click and collect fulfillment. By placing stores in convenient locations such as travel hubs, the customer journey becomes more streamlined. More and more retailers are offering mobile apps to guide customers around larger stores or provide them with tailored, interactive in-store experiences.

Future Challenges

The best thing retailers can do now to stay ahead of the game is to closely monitor consumer behaviour and ensure that they remain flexible enough to respond rapidly to change. 64% of in-store retail transactions are influenced by customer’s online experiences – be it something they have seen online, on an app or social media. Successful retailers are focussed on developing unique interactive customer journeys and digital experiences throughout each store – from the window displays to the tills. They also embrace and enhance the things which set physical stores apart from their online counterparts – providing sensory opportunities and training staff to focus on service rather than sales – in order to increase brand loyalty as well as footfall.

Perhaps if BHS had been more flexible in their approach and met customer needs and expectations more efficiently then they would have continued to flourish. John Lewis are one example of a traditional high street brand who have managed to respond rapidly and stay on top of their game when it comes to meeting the needs of a constantly evolving consumer base. We hope that if someone is able to salvage BHS and resurrect the brand that they pay closer attention to what consumers really want and need – providing a highly evolved store, which is both physical and digital.

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What happened to BHS? Did the iconic high street retailer fail to move with the times? https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/bhs-iconic-high-street-retailer-enters-administration/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/bhs-iconic-high-street-retailer-enters-administration/#respond Wed, 04 May 2016 21:48:45 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6357 Last week was a sad day for retail chain BHS, as the iconic high street retailer admitted defeat in the modern marketplace, entering into administration last Monday. Sir Philip Green...

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Last week was a sad day for retail chain BHS, as the iconic high street retailer admitted defeat in the modern marketplace, entering into administration last Monday. Sir Philip Green – who acquired BHS for £200 million in 2000 and then sold it for a £1 last year – has come under harsh criticism from many who say that he could have done more to help the troubled retailer – which now faces potential job losses of 11,000 across the UK if the stores close for good.

British Home Stores

So what went wrong for the 88-year-old high street staple? When Green took the helm in 2000 there were no indications that the chain was in any sort of trouble. BHS had been present on the high street since 1928 and looked likely to remain there for a long time to come. Now in the face of administration, it has emerged that they have been operating at a loss for the past seven years. A failure to respond to shifts in consumer habits following the emergence of online rivals could certainly have contributed to their decline, but for Dominic Chappell – leader of the Retail Acquisitions consortium that acquired BHS from Philip Green – the blame lies firmly with the previous owner as he sensationally claimed last week that he would like to buy the business back.

Chappell told the Financial Times that he wasn’t done yet and would like to “finish what we have started.” He suggested to the Mirror that he would like to buy back up to 120 BHS stores and the fact that the retailer had entered administration felt like “the handcuffs have been taken off.”

However, Chappell is going to have to get in line if he wants to forge ahead with his plans, as so far more than 30 expressions of interest have been offered since the administrators Duff and Phelps moved in last week.

Whilst BHS’ financial shortcomings have clearly played a part in their downfall – there appears to be some discrepancy as to who is really to blame in terms of financial wrangling and a disputed pension deficit – it is clear that BHS’ own retail strategy in a rapidly changing marketplace had a considerable impact on events. In order to survive in the current economic climate, bricks and mortar stores must focus on what makes them special – with strong retail design, personalisation, structured customer journeys or experiences and the integration of new trends in digital technology and data analysis.

Right now there is a glimmer of hope for the BHS brand, in the form of Philip Day – the man behind Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks. According to the Telegraph, Day has expressed interest in a considerable portion of BHS’ stores – with a view to potentially rebooting the brand with a pared down chain, created from a “smaller, leaner” section of their current 164-store estate.

Lets hope this isn’t the end, but rather a new chapter for the retailer –will BHS make it to 100?

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Tiger set to launch retail outlets in travel hubs as they plan the first of a series of stores on the London Underground. https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/tiger-launch-retail-outlets-in-travel-hubs/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/tiger-launch-retail-outlets-in-travel-hubs/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:00:24 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6350 Last month Danish value retailer Tiger were named one of the fastest growing retail outlets in the UK. Their quirky chain of what have been described as ‘posh pound shops’...

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Last month Danish value retailer Tiger were named one of the fastest growing retail outlets in the UK. Their quirky chain of what have been described as ‘posh pound shops’ sell a multitude of cut-price items from bicycle bells to cake decorations and everything in between.

A Tiger Store in London

Following on from this success, Philip Bier, UK managing director of Tiger has announced plans to focus on travel hubs with a series of small scale stores. Bier hopes to open Tiger stores in at least 10% of London Underground Stations, starting with a 700 square foot small format store opening in St James Park Underground Station this week. Speaking to Retail Week, he described the move as opening up a whole new scope for the business:

“There are 270 Underground stations. I’m not proposing 270 Tiger stores, but 10% of stations could take a Tiger shop.”.

Bier opened the first Tiger store in the UK ten years ago and suggests that their recent success has been achieved by opening stores in more affluent areas such as Kingston-upon-Thames and Brighton. They now have 38 stores now installed in London and the South East – and many others opening further afield. Shoppers are drawn to their range of affordable homewares, gifts toys and quirky objet d’art – often entering the shop for one item and coming out with bags full of other curious items that they didn’t realise they needed.

Tiger have experienced steady growth in the past four years, opening between six and eight stores a year – taking their total amount of stores in the UK to 74 – with 900 employees. Bier expects this growth to continue for the foreseeable future – besides his plans for Underground stations he also has his sights set on many other locations in London which do not yet have a Tiger store – these include Hackney, Covent Garden, The Strand, Leicester Square, Balham, Brixton and an additional Oxford Street store, where he does not view their potential proximity as a problem:

“We still have loads to do in Central London and we could have the shops very close to each other.”

UK Tiger stores account for more than 10% of their total worldwide offer – they have a total of 605 stores in 28 countries – most of which are also very successful. Last year Tiger’s parent company, Zebra reported a 68% increase in profits to £18.6 million. As we reported on the Barber blog earlier this week, homewares have seen a rise in sales during March as consumer confidence increases so we can only expect to see Tiger’s success continue into 2016.

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The rise of m-commerce – online sales made using smartphones double during March https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/m-commerce-online-sales/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/m-commerce-online-sales/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:35:39 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6346 As previously reported on our blog, m-commerce – online sales made using smartphones – is continuing to grow exponentially, with the latest reported figures showing that the value of retail...

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As previously reported on our blog, m-commerce – online sales made using smartphones – is continuing to grow exponentially, with the latest reported figures showing that the value of retail sales made via m-commerce has more than doubled in comparison to the same sales period in 2015 – with a 101% increase compared to a mere 6% rise in sales made via tablets.

m-commerce gains popularity

According to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, this m-commerce trend was the driving force behind an overall increase in online sales of 11% – with the average basket size of an online order rising to £82. The main stand out sector during this period, in terms of sales growth was home and garden. This sector experienced it’s best performance since February 2014, demonstrating a 26% increase in sales, year on year. The average basket value of a home and garden sale during March was £93.

The accessories sector also experienced a surge in sales – performing particularly well in March with a 58% increase in online sales – it’s most significant level of growth since May last year.

Speaking to Retail Week, Richard Tremellen, Retail Insight and Data Specialist at Capgemini suggested that these increases across the first quarter marked a sizeable shift in consumer confidence in online shopping.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG suggested that improvements in technology contributed to this increased confidence:

“There is no doubt that larger screen sizes have enhanced the user experience on smartphones over recent years which is a key factor in the shift towards shopping on these devices.

“Not surprisingly, many retailers are placing a significant focus on their mobile strategy as consumers shift towards handheld devices when purchasing online.”

Now it is up to retailers to work with this information and continue to tailor their m-commerce offer – with responsive online shopping websites and apps, tailored specifically for m-commerce. As we noted in last weeks blog on John Lewis’ smart show room – thanks to retail technology – the industry is changing rapidly and the most successful retailers are those who effectively analyse the available data and respond rapidly to consumer trends, whilst also forecasting for the future.

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John Lewis open smart home display at flagship London store https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/john-lewis-smart-home-display/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/john-lewis-smart-home-display/#respond Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6337 As regular readers of our blog will know, we’ve been watching John Lewis with interest over the past couple of years as they seem to be one of the retailers...

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As regular readers of our blog will know, we’ve been watching John Lewis with interest over the past couple of years as they seem to be one of the retailers that has been ‘getting it right’ in terms retail strategy. During these continued times of economic uncertainty in the UK high streets, John Lewis’ increased sales and ongoing success have been a reflection of their excellent policy for planning ahead and flexibility in adopting new retail technology in order to stay on top of their game in an increasingly volatile market. So, last week we were very interested to see that they have opened a new smart home display in their Oxford Street flagship store – embracing the growing popularity amongst consumers for interconnected devices and the rise of the ‘internet of things’.

John Lewis Smart display

The new display covers 1,000 square feet of prime retail space and has been developed in direct response to an 81% increase in smart home product sales at John Lewis over the last two years.

John Lewis Smart display

In addition to growing sales, the retailer noted a dramatic increase in online searchers for smart home products on their website and – as always – responded swiftly and directly to these trends – a strategy which has been paying dividends for the retailer so far.

John Lewis Smart display

Talking to Retail Week, Jonathan Marsh, buying director for electricals and home technology at John Lewis described the new smart home display as a move to demystify the latest smart technology for their customers:

“In-store experiences are now key as we’ve seen customer demand for physical experiences before committing to purchase increase.”

And it’s not just the customers that need to be demystified: The store’s core staff have all received extensive training to help them to be able to understand and effectively demonstrate all of the smart technology included in the display.

The new section comprises four displays of interactive technology; focused on kitchenware, entertainment, sleeping and home monitoring.

Products in the kitchen area include a Samsung refrigerator that allows you to monitor the contents of your fridge via a mobile app – and a smart oven that can be switched on and off remotely. Meanwhile the home monitoring display features a range of innovative interconnected gadgets including a home security camera that uses facial-recognition technology.

John Vary, Innovation Manager at John Lewis, explained why the new display is such a strong move for the store:

“Smart home technology is designed to make life more convenient, and the introduction of this new curated experience – the first on the high street – marks a brilliant step in innovation for John Lewis.

“Showcasing the latest smart products, this experience demonstrates in a real-life setting, how technology has exciting and far-reaching implications for today’s lifestyles.”

Once again, John Lewis have responded to consumer trends and taken swift steps to make sure they are ahead of the rest of the pack in delivering what customers want. We are sure others will be scrabbling to follow their lead – and we will be watching with interest to see what they do next.

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Barber to exhibit at the VM and Display Show next week https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-exhibit-at-vm-display-show/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-exhibit-at-vm-display-show/#respond Thu, 14 Apr 2016 13:02:56 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6334 This week in the Barber office we are making the final preparations for our stand at the 2016 VM and Display Show, which takes place in the Business Design Centre...

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This week in the Barber office we are making the final preparations for our stand at the 2016 VM and Display Show, which takes place in the Business Design Centre in London next Wednesday and Thursday (20th and 21st April).

Retail Design Expo

The show is an opportunity for us to showcase some of our latest projects including our series of retail store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies – plus our recent work with Jigsaw, SimplyBe, Nuance and the Discovery Channel – to name but a few. Visitors to the Barber Design stand can expect a warm welcome and a knowledgeable discussion with our team of experts, who will be happy to talk about any aspect of retail design and branding with you – from the use of retail technology to enhance customer journeys to the best way to present products in a travel retail environment.

We will also be using our time at the show to take in some of the latest advances in visual merchandising, display and retail design trends and seeking inspiration from the vast array of displays and stands from all over the globe. The VM & Display Show is the only UK exhibition dedicated solely to the creative aspect of the retail industry – bringing together everything from mannequins, print and props to POP, lighting and fabrics all under one roof across two days.

Due to popular demand, last year’s show was extended into the galleries at the Business Design Centre and this year’s show is also set to smash their existing attendance records with increased visitor and exhibitors expected next week. The VM and Window Show is an international event – with many different countries from across the world represented – it is also attended by global businesses looking for innovation and inspiration.

Here at Barber we are experienced at working with international clients – and both small independent stores and larger chains. Our store designs have been implemented in shopping malls across the world – from Hong Kong to Dubai. Last year we were nominated for a total of six industry awards and we won the prestigious ‘best large store format’ at the Retail Week Interior Awards for our retail design work on the Triathlon Shop in Bristol.

There are just six days left if you want to register for the show – you can sign up here for free: www.vmanddisplayshow.com/#!registration/mainPage – come and find Barber Design on stand H7-8 to see what we can do for your business.

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New retail store designed by Barber Design for Neal’s Yard Remedies in Peacemarsh, Dorset https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-store-designed-by-barber-for-neals-yard/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-store-designed-by-barber-for-neals-yard/#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2016 11:07:22 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6295 Regular readers of the Barber blog will know that we have been creating a series of store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies across the UK (and beyond) and we are...

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Regular readers of the Barber blog will know that we have been creating a series of store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies across the UK (and beyond) and we are pleased to announce that our latest instalment has just opened at at Peacemarsh in Gillingham, Dorset. The new retail store is a new addition to the brand’s existing ‘eco factory’ site – which also recently expanded – and is a continuation of our new retail design concept for the organic beauty brand.

Neals Yard retail store design

Neals Yard retail store design

Neal’s Yard Remedies are an award winning ethical, organic health and beauty brand with 52 stores and more than 470 outlets across the UK as well as 80 stores internationally. Barber Design worked closely with Neal’s Yard to realise their brand vision for the ultimate natural beauty retail experience – a process which took more than six months to perfect – but we are sure you will agree the results have been worth the effort.

Neals Yard retail store design

Inside, the store features traditional style natural wood and tiled surfaces mixed with the brand’s trademark blue glass bottles. The unique, bespoke displays use premium materials to infuse the Neal’s Yard ethos and clear brand identity throughout the store whilst also providing a refreshing approach to the traditional apothecary style interior. Each Neal’s Yard store is more than just a shop – they also offer workshops and events and the new eco factory store serves the local community – so the design needed to be enticing and invite shoppers to come in and browse, try different remedies and engage with the shop assistants in a hospitable and comfortable environment.

Neals Yard retail store design

Alex Leach, Director of UK Sales at Neal’s Yard Remedies has been very pleased with our collaboration so far:

We recently won the Best Branded Store at the Natural Beauty Retail Awards which we were incredibly pleased with. Huge thanks to Doug, Alex, Neil and all the team for their hard work in designing the new store concept.”

Our next store design for Neal’s Yard will be opening in Covent Garden in the next couple of months – so keep your eye on the Barber blog for my details of the latest exciting instalment of our Neal’s Yard retail design series.

Neals Yard retail store design

The Peacemarsh Eco Factory site was recently featured on the BBC’s Shop Well for Less – you can see it here on iPlayer at around 29 minutes in:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b074b9cv/shop-well-for-less-episode-2

Neals Yard retail store design

Neals Yard retail store design

Neals Yard retail store design

Neals Yard retail store design

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Barber to exhibit at the VM and Display Show 2016 – 20th-21st April in London https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-to-exhibit-at-the-vm-and-display-show-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-to-exhibit-at-the-vm-and-display-show-2016/#respond Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:49:50 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6255 Following on from our success at the Retail Design Expo last week, we are now gearing up for the VM and Display Show 2016 – also in London – at the...

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Retail Design Expo

Following on from our success at the Retail Design Expo last week, we are now gearing up for the VM and Display Show 2016 – also in London – at the Business Design Centre on the 20th and 21st April. This years VM and Display Show describes itself as “the most spell binding, eye-grabbing and hair raising visual merchandising and display show on earth” – and with a promise like that how can we not be excited about this event?

Retail Design Expo

“We are really looking forward to exhibiting again this year at the VM and Display show. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with existing and new clients in the fun and friendly surroundings of the Business Design Centre. It’s also an opportunity to discuss collaborations with manufacturers so that we can work together on innovative designs and build projects.”

Like the Retail Design Expo, the VM and Display Show is also free to attend. Feature areas at thisyear’s show include the Underground Network, Designer Network, Graduate Challenge (where visual merchandising students from various universities compete to win work experience at Harrods) and Graduate Showcase. Alongside this there will be more traditional displays of VM and Display equipment and inspiration, including mannequins,props, fabrics, hangers, Christmas decorations, point of sale equipment, design, print, graphics, lighting and lifestyle ideas and acrylics.

Unlike the Retail Design Expo, the VM and Design Show has been running for a very long time – in fact it is the longest running showcase of its kind for the VM industry. This year marks the 26th consecutive event and we are more than excited to be taking our place in the lineup at this extraordinary and inspiring show.

Along with showing and telling people what Barber can do, we look forward to networking at the event and picking up lots of inspiration from other exhibitors. The show provides a unique opportunity to meet like-minded industry experts who – like Barber – make retail store environments and displays a reality, from concept to installation. Visitors to our stand can see lots of examples of our most recent and award-winning work and we will be happy to discuss any visual merchandising and display requirements with our team of experts on hand to ensure that potential customers are seeing the best of what Barber Design have to offer.

The VM and Display Show is the only UK exhibition dedicated specifically to VM and Displays and we had a fantastic time at last year’s event, which was so popular that it was extended into the galleries at the Business Design Centre. This year the organisers are expecting even more interest, predicting record visitor and exhibitor numbers, with many countries from across the world represented and even more stand space allocated.

We’d love to see you at the show – you can sign up here for free: www.vmanddisplayshow.com/#!registration/mainPage – and make sure you come and find us on stand H7-8 to see what Barber Design can do for your business.

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Barber celebrate success at the 2016 Retail Design Expo https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-celebrate-success-at-the-2016-retail-design-expo/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-celebrate-success-at-the-2016-retail-design-expo/#respond Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:18:49 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=6226 We had a terrific time at the 2016  Retail Design Expo last week at London’s Olympia. This is the second year of the relatively new – but extremely popular event...

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We had a terrific time at the 2016  Retail Design Expo last week at London’s Olympia. This is the second year of the relatively new – but extremely popular event – and also our second time exhibiting.

Retail Design Expo

The Retail Design Expo is one of our favourite events on the business calendar. It is Europe’s leading event for anyone working within the retail design, marketing, visual merchandising and shopfitting industry and this year’s show was positively bursting with influential and innovative exhibitors and visitors from across the globe.

Retail Design Expo

As regular readers of our blog will know, last year we won the ‘best large format store of the year’ at the prestigious Retail Week Interiors Awards – beating some very tough competition from top global retail design agencies to scoop the award. We were also honoured to be shortlisted in several other categories at the awards including ‘best use of technology in-store’ and ‘best small store’. Our presence at the Retail Design Expo gave us the opportunity to talk about our successes with both existing and potential customers and explain to them exactly what it is that makes Barber Design such a winning team.

Retail Design Expo

The Expo also provided us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our latest work for clients including Neals Yard, Jigsaw and SimplyBe. We chatted to lots of potential new clients and suppliers and picked up a lot of design inspiration from walking around the show and talking to other exhibitors. We are particularly interested in innovative design and lighting and the increasing use of retail technology to improve retail customer experience and increase personalisation and engagement. Lots of people stopped to take pictures of our display and have a browse through our exhibit. The stand itself was built by Jeremy Boyce from B2 exhibitions.

Retail Design Expo

We really had a great time at the show and enjoyed so many potential customers and collaborators – next up is the VM and Display Show at the Business Design Centre in London on the 20th-21st April. As with the Retail Design Expo, this event is free to attend and you can sign up here: www.vmanddisplayshow.com/#!registration/mainPage

We look forward to seeing you there!

Some more shots from our stand at the Retail Design Expo:

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

Retail Design Expo

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Restaurant design – McDonalds introduces unpopular graffiti tag design to newly-refurbished Brixton branch https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/restaurant-design-mcdonalds-brixton-branch/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/restaurant-design-mcdonalds-brixton-branch/#respond Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:52:57 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5799 When restaurant designs go bad: A recent roll out of a new ‘urban’ themed McDonalds restaurant design across many outlets in the UK has been criticised yet again this week...

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When restaurant designs go bad: A recent roll out of a new ‘urban’ themed McDonalds restaurant design across many outlets in the UK has been criticised yet again this week after it was introduced as part of a refurbishment program at one of their larger fast food outlets in Brixton, South London.

McDonalds Design

According to a report in the Independent, locals are not impressed, describing it as a “a poorly thought through, corporate attempt at being down with the kids…trying too hard to be urban cool.”

What locals don’t seem to realise is that the design wasn’t created just for their store, it is part of an identikit design, which has been poorly received throughout the UK – and not just in deprived urban areas. However, in an area were graffiti and vandalism have caused problems for retailers and homeowners alike for decades, this celebration of the scribbly art form has not been well received at all – with one local critic describing it as a ‘truly offensive idea’ in an area where street art is generally considered as a ‘blight’ of on the local landscape.

One spokesperson for a local youth support project expressed his concerns about the impact of the design, which appears to be disrespecting Brixton’s reputation: “This is just another misguided attempt by suits to identify with ‘edgy’ Brixton. They should have opened up another outlet in Brixton Village and used Laura Ashley lampshades for all the middle class poseurs around them.”

Despite being generally panned, one local resident was prepared to look on the bright side, suggesting to the Independent that: “Hopefully this is another step towards graffiti being really dated and corporate and thus not worth doing…”

Of course, the street artists disagree with general consensus– describing how murals have been used to brighten up some of the retail shutters and run down local areas as part of a campaign against a new development – and McDonalds themselves are clearly unrepentant:

“The exciting and fresh designs used in Brixton are in use across the UK and in other markets and have received a great reception. With self-order kiosks and free-to-use tablets, the refreshed restaurant has digital innovation at its heart and provides customers with more choice in how they order and pay. We look forward to hearing what local residents think of their new McDonald’s.”

So, what do you think of the design? The same urban-themed McDonalds interior has been received in comparable circumstances throughout the UK, where – in some instances – the opposite reasons are given for disliking the design: i.e. not that it is ‘mocking the area’ but that it isn’t posh enough! For example a similar restaurant interior unveiled in Redhill, Surrey last year was described by locals as ‘too ghetto’ and complaints for every other version of the new retail interior have been received from Leicester and Northampton right down to Brighton.

But is street art old hat now? Riding on the success of Dismaland, whilst Banksy continues to intrigue and delight the crowds perhaps consumers should accept that it is going to be infiltrating our culture for a while longer – and that this particular restaurant design wasn’t created especially for Brixton – it has been broadly panned throughout the UK!

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Countdown to the Retail Design Expo 2016 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/countdown-retail-design-expo-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/countdown-retail-design-expo-2016/#respond Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:49:05 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5796 We’ve been very busy in the Barber Design offices this week as we gear up for the Retail Design Expo 2016, which is taking place next Wednesday and Thursday –...

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We’ve been very busy in the Barber Design offices this week as we gear up for the Retail Design Expo 2016, which is taking place next Wednesday and Thursday – from the 9th-10th of March at London’s Olympia. Last year was the inaugural event and according to organisers, the pre-registered visitor numbers for this year’s event are up by more than 40 per cent compared to this time last year, suggesting that this years’ event is going to be spectacularly successful!

Barber at the Retial Design Expo

We had an absolute ball at last year’s expo and are really looking forward to setting up our stand next week and meeting more potential and existing retail design customers from across the globe. The Retail Design Expo has rapidly become Europe’s leading industry-specific event for the retail design, marketing, visual merchandising and shop fitting industry and we are assured that this years’ event will be bursting with even more influential and innovative exhibitors and visitors from around the world.

retail-expo

According to the Retail Design Expo event director, Annie Swift all the signs are indicating that last year’s launch has firmly established Retail Design Expo as one of the main events in the retail industry calendar:

“Every aspect of the event has grown, with more exhibitors, more theatres and more speakers. We have added Retail Digital Signage Expo, and we are still co-located with the indispensable RBTE, which showcases the retail technology we will all be using in the future.

“With massive investment in retail property set to happen over the next couple of years, this is due to be an unmissable event. These trends in design, in-store marketing, digital signage and technology are more important than ever as brands compete for the most effective stores in the most appealing locations,”

More than 200 companies will be exhibiting at this years’ Expo event, which will be joining forces with RBTE and Retail Digital Signage Expo in order to offer a total of more than 650 suppliers showcasing their latest products and ideas.

We are immensely excited about showcasing our work at the Retail Expo again in 2016. On the back of last years show we met some exciting brands and have developed some great retail projects for new clients both in the UK and globally. We look forward to meeting you all again soon and discussing how we can be of help with your brand aims and ambitions for the coming year and beyond!

Doug Barber, Barber Design

The event is completely free to attend so if you are interested to find out what the Barber Design team can do for your business come and find us on stand G21 and see what we’ve got to offer! Sign up here:

http://www.retaildesignexpo.com/free-registration

retail design expo

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Argos and Google trial real-time location-based adverts https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/argos-and-google-trial-location-based-product-adverts/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/argos-and-google-trial-location-based-product-adverts/#respond Wed, 02 Mar 2016 10:00:50 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5793 Last week, Google announced a trial of their new location-based adverts, which display ads showing relevant products in their local stores, alongside Google search results. One of the first retail partners...

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Last week, Google announced a trial of their new location-based adverts, which display ads showing relevant products in their local stores, alongside Google search results. One of the first retail partners to try the scheme is Argos who have been testing the new online advertising method in partnership with the technology giant since January. The new ads are called ‘local inventory ads’ and show potential shoppers what is available in their local area, for immediate purchase, using real time computing and location-based technology.

argos

The ads work with a data feed that is updated every two seconds – pulling stock inventory information from across 850 UK Argos stores – before returning search results showing the availability of specific items at the users’ nearest Argos store.

Speaking to Retail Week, Argos digital marketing controller Matt Roberts explained why Argos were keen to be one of the first to trial the new technology:

“Connecting digital customers to stores allows them to get hold of those products immediately and also works in harmony with our new fast track collection offer, where those who have pre-paid online can get their purchase in their hands in as little as 60 seconds.

“Core to the Argos model is our real-time view of stock and using that as part of our mission to be at the forefront of digital is key to our success.”

As discussed many times before on the blog, by thinking ahead and utilising a business model that embraces multichannel retail, businesses will continue to thrive in our turbulent economic climate. Google’s advertising tool is good for the High Street as it’s use of localised information and product availability drives online shoppers into local stores.

We’ll be interested to see how Argo measures their ROI on this latest venture and whether other retailers will be picking up on the new technology and using it too. For stores like John Lewis – where shoppers may go in for one thing, spend hours browsing and come out with six others – it could prove extremely valuable as the specialist localised product knowledge encourages footfall and local shopping and browsing – where the goods might otherwise have simply been bought online.

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Legal action threatened over proposals to revise Sunday trading hours https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/revise-sunday-trading-hours/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/revise-sunday-trading-hours/#respond Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:07:33 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5791 Last week campaign group ‘Keep Sunday Special’ threatened the UK government with legal action over their proposed plans to extend Sunday trading hours. The group issued a ‘letter before action’ outlining...

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Last week campaign group ‘Keep Sunday Special’ threatened the UK government with legal action over their proposed plans to extend Sunday trading hours. The group issued a ‘letter before action’ outlining plans for a judicial review to examine the government’s idea to allow councils to let shops extend their Sunday opening times.

jigsaw-29

Keep Sunday Special argue that the government used poorly-sourced evidence as the basis for their original review of Sunday trading practices and that they have not examined how any changes to the existing laws might impact families or society in general.

Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesperson for the group said:

“We do not enter into this action lightly, and do so with a heavy heart.

“There are fundamental flaws in the process that the Government has taken and full consideration is needed, not the inadequate process that has taken place to date.”

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores agrees with the group’s stance and suggests that the government should think more about the impact of any changes before making a decision:

“Longer opening hours will serve only to benefit out-of-town stores, whilst hurting high streets, Post Offices and small shops – resulting in a net loss of jobs to the economy.

“We fully support this legal action to hold Government to account for their actions.”

The government counters that the power will ultimately lie with local councils who will make the decisions for individual areas, and that shop workers rights will be protected – although they do not state how

“Extending Sunday shopping hours has the potential to help businesses and high streets better compete as our shopping habits change.

“The rights of shop workers are key to making these changes work in everyone’s interests. We are protecting those who do not wish to work Sundays, and those who do not want to work more than their normal Sunday working hours.”

Are the current Sunday trading laws sufficient or would you like to see more stores opening for longer? And how will this affect family life in the UK? We’ll be watching with interest to see how this story develops.

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DripApp – Coffee retail innovation for London – and beyond https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/coffee-retail-innovation-for-london/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/coffee-retail-innovation-for-london/#respond Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:00:32 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5785 As the burgeoning café society and cult of coffee continues to grow in the UK – along with a piqued interest in retail innovation and gadgets, this week we were...

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As the burgeoning café society and cult of coffee continues to grow in the UK – along with a piqued interest in retail innovation and gadgets, this week we were interested to hear about a new app that allows shoppers to buy their coffee without fumbling for change, by using their phone to pay for their daily cuppa.
Coffee app retail innovation

DripApp is the brainchild of Ruben and Jeremy, two self-reported ‘coffee addicts’ who ‘appreciate a nice cup of coffee in a nice independent coffee shop’ who developed the app in order to support local independent stores. The app enables customers to save up to 50%, whilst discovering hidden stars in the independent coffee firmament. The duo describe the app as an ‘Oyster card for London’s best cafes.’ Enabling people to order coffee without all the hassle of looking for change, whilst also encouraging them to check out small, independent coffee stores rather than the larger chains. As the prices are fixed, there are lots of opportunities for discounts and this app gives great value for money as well as convenience.

Coffee app retail innovation

Consumers can choose from a number of pre-paid coffee plans from ‘original’ for water-based drinks including espresso and tea, ‘Fancy plans’ for other drinks including cappuccinos and lattes – right up to the ‘unlimited’ monthly plan – at £89 per month for ‘all kinds of drinks’ – which at less than £3 a day is very reasonable when you consider that one of the larger speciality coffees at Starbucks can cost more than four pounds. Presumably the app has some kind of safeguard in place to prevent people buying a round of coffees for the whole office six times a day – or staggering from shop to shop on a caffeine-fuelled excursion.

At present the app is only available in London, where more than 120 independent coffee bars have signed up so far, but according to their website they are aiming to take it global – with expansion to Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Oxford expected in the coming months. Location–based technology combined with an in-app map shows DripApp users where their nearest participating café is, offering them the chance to explore and enjoy great coffee in stores which they might otherwise have missed so it’s a win-win for both consumers and retailers – especially if the service is rolled out to more areas.

We think this is a very interesting and innovative way to encourage people to discover and support independent stores and wonder how the principles could be applied to support other similar businesses. If you’re already using DripApp – either as a consumer or retailer – then we’d love to know how it’s working out for you…

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High street retail footfall increases for first time in two and a half years https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/high-street-retail-footfall-increases/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/high-street-retail-footfall-increases/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:02:11 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5783 Last week Britain’s retailers reported their first rise in high street retail footfall since July 2013. The number of visitors to the high street increased by 0.2% year on year...

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Last week Britain’s retailers reported their first rise in high street retail footfall since July 2013. The number of visitors to the high street increased by 0.2% year on year in January – the first increase in over two years. This is a significant turnaround for retailers after a worrying decline in footfall was recorded over the festive period when visits dropped by 4%.

shopping

And it wasn’t just the high street that was seeing a promising increase – footfall was up across the board – from the high street to retail parks and shopping centres – all experienced their best overall performance for retail traffic in well over two years.

According to Retail Week, figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard showed that the average footfall across all the types of physical store location increased by 1.2%, which was significantly above the 2.2% drop in December and the first increase recorded in any location following nine consecutive months of decline.

However, despite this promising sign for the high streets, retail parks still appear to be beating them at their game – as the number of shoppers visiting retail parks increased by 5.2%, more than double the 2.1% increase the previous month with an average rise for the three month period at 3%.

Meanwhile in the shopping centres, recorded footfall remained consistently modest – despite the fact that they saw their best performance since January 2014, and were up from the 1.6% drop in the previous month.

Along with the footfall, the number of reported retail vacancies also exhibited a positive impact. With the overall recorded town centre vacancy rate in the UK dropping to 8.7% – this is the lowest reported vacancy rate since BRC and Springboard started measuring the vacancy rate in 2011.

Speaking to Retail Week, marketing and insight director at Springboard, Diane Wehrle suggested that the new figures indicate that town centres are still important to both retailers and shoppers:

“The increase in footfall across all retail destination types, the first since December 2011, alongside the rise in spending in January, finally demonstrates what is well known – that bricks-and-mortar shopping environments are still important to consumers.

“The improved vacancy rate is an encouraging sign, but there needs to be caution about being too optimistic as evidence shows the driving force to be an increase in pop-ups and temporary lets in the run-up to Christmas and which are still occupied.”

Only time will tell if the tide is turning for the high street – and whether they can keep up the momentum in both footfall and occupied retail spaces. As always we’ll be watching with interest and writing about what happens – so keep following Barber for more updates and info.

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How the trend for customer convenience is transforming global retail experiences https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-experiences/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/retail-experiences/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:54:54 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5777 Following on from last week’s look at some of the retail technology success stories of 2015, this week we look to the future, at some of the retail trends which...

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Following on from last week’s look at some of the retail technology success stories of 2015, this week we look to the future, at some of the retail trends which will be shaping the customer experience in 2016 – where the buzzwords for smoother retail experiences appear to be personalisation and customer convenience.

Retail experienes

Automating back-end processes

Some of the most exciting innovations in retail experience at the moment are actually the ones which are hidden from view:. Speaking to Retail Week; president and global chief retail officer at marketing agency Cheil Worldwide, Simon Hathaway suggested that automisation and robotic interactions are the way forward:

“The buzz phrase is robotic process automisation (RPA). It is starting to be adopted by some retailers as it helps to both take out cost and improve efficiency.”

During 2016, Hathaway expects to see an upward trend in RPA being used to link and power a range of processes which usually operate on a standalone basis, separate from each other. He envisages that this will enable retailers to get all of their back-end systems to integrate seamlessly – improving both ease of use and efficiency. These processes include; digital customer services, supply chain processes, returns and customer refunds. By streamlining these processes, retailers can also improve customer personalisation which – as we have discussed on the blog before – is one of the key areas for improved customer satisfaction.

One retailer leading the way with their RPA is clothing brand, ‘The North Face’ who have integrated their systems to create an online recommendation engine for customers. This tool uses natural language processing to help users to refine or determine product selections by asking them questions about their context for use, before suggesting suitable products.

Personalisation

As already mentioned – personalisation continues to be an important factor in boosting retail. By filtering out the mundane aspects of a transaction and keeping customers in the flow of their retail experience, their satisfaction can be dramatically enhanced.

Some good examples of filtering out the mundane include the use of RFID technology at Westfield Shopping Centre in London, where shoppers do not need to worry about the hassle of getting a parking ticket or paying for one when they leave as the RFID debits the money directly from their account.

Similarly, JetBlue airline’s automated check-in and Starbucks’ Order and Pay app are two more great examples of tech being used to smooth the retail process and enhance customer experience by filtering out the mundane aspects of a retail experience and enabling customers to focus on the more pleasurable aspects of each transaction.

Contextual retail experiences

By anticipating what individual customers might want at a specific time and place, retailers are also finding real value in creating more context-driven services. Again using personalisation to target distinctive requirements.

For example, US retail giant Walmart have developed an iPhone app, which offers store-specific in-store product searches, interactive maps and promotional information, prompted by the user’s location information when they are in a particular branch of the store – this service is not only contextual, but also personalised to the needs of each individual shopper.

Shopping trolleys with mobile phone holders

First introduced in South Korean supermarket chain E-Mart, Hathaway predicts that we will start to see this innovation appearing closer to home this year. Although it may seem pretty ‘lo-fi’ alongside some of the other innovations predicted for 2016, the anticipated success of this new addition is driven by it’s simplicity.

E-Mart introduced the mobile phone holders or ‘cradles’ to make it easier for customers to use their contextual shopping app in-store, by directing shoppers to promotional ‘hotspots.’ But the appeal of being able to look at your phone, hands-free will surely make the cradles a must-have in UK stores with or without an app, as the ‘big four’ UK supermarkets continue to fight it out with the discounters to give the best retail experience to their customers.

The immersive retail experience

Again, this is something that we have previously written about on the blog as one of the emergent retail trends of last year and it looks as if these successes have paved the way for further immersive experiences as the trend continues to grow.

Retail technology features heavily in the new wave of immersive retail experiences. For example, the new Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York features walls comprised entirely from gaming screens and virtual racetracks. Meanwhile, here in the UK, Marks and Spencer launched a series of pop-up stores, which used virtual reality headsets, powered by Oculus Rift – to showcase their new ‘Lofts’ homeware range.

Marketing with Snapchat

Burberry recently caused a sensation by deciding to launch their first 24-hour fashion campaign via Snapchat.

The Burberry Spring/Summer 2016 campaign was shot by photographic legend, Mario Testino and the app – which famously deletes photos and videos after a maximum of 10 seconds – offered viewers an exclusive sneak preview of the new Burberry collection in tiny bursts, over a 24 hour period – prompting customers to engage immediately before the images disappeared.

According to Hathaway, the fleetingness of the campaign and it’s temporary nature added to the it’s sense of urgency and exclusivity, which in turn helped to create a buzz about the products.

A gentle nudge 

Last month, HSBC announced that they were trialling a new app called ‘Nudge’. Described as ‘the world’s first banking app to combine customer data and nudge theory,’ the aim of the app is to improve customer satisfaction by gently ‘nudging’ people to take action on their accounts, based on the premise that – according to nudge theory – positive or indirect suggestions can influence a person’s decision-making processes to promote positive outcomes.

By using the software to analyse customer accounts and spot patterns of use, HSBC hopes that the app will identify individual user trends and spending habits – offering regular, digital ‘nudges’ to encourage them to be more mindful of their actions and positively gain control of their spending. If HSBC can help manage their accounts effectively without repeatedly going into the red, then they will be perceived more positively by their customers and improve their overall banking experience.

According to HSBC the idea behind the app is to encourage people to be more prudent with their money, without making them feel as though they are being ‘nagged.’ A fine line to tread but one which will be very beneficial to both the bank and it’s customers, if it can be successfully achieved.

Empowering customers

By facilitating transparency in their business practices, some retailers have recognised the benefits of allowing customers to access aspects of the business which might previously have been hidden. This helps to reduce customer anxiety whilst also offering another personalised retail experience.

Two recent examples of this are Hilton hotels, who have enabled members of their HHonors reward scheme to book a specific room online – and Domino’s Pizza who have developed a new tracker app, which shows the progress of a delivery. Not only does this help customers to access more specific information – so that they know exactly where they are staying (or where their pizza is) but once they have this information they can act on it. We expect to see a lot more of this type of information being made accessible to customers over the coming year.

So another exciting year for retail technology looms – as always we will be watching with interest to see which other retailers will be jumping on these trends and developing them to enhance their own customer experiences – and sharing them with you on our blog. Which do you think will be the most significant in 2016 – and have we missed anything out? Let us know what you think!

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The top 10 mobile shopping mcommerce sites of 2015 https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/top-10-mcommerce-sites/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/top-10-mcommerce-sites/#respond Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:00:31 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5772 Sticking with mobile retail and mcommerce this week, consultant OC&C released a set of figures indicating the top 10 mobile shopping (mcommerce) sites of 2015. According to consumers, eBay has...

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Sticking with mobile retail and mcommerce this week, consultant OC&C released a set of figures indicating the top 10 mobile shopping (mcommerce) sites of 2015.

According to consumers, eBay has the best mobile shopping site, followed by Amazon and then Apple.

Mobile retail with Lush

OC&C surveyed 400,000 people for their ‘Proposition Index’, making it one of the most comprehensive sets of data for this sector – and here are the top ten mobile retailers, according to their findings:

Retailer 2015 Rating
eBay 86.8
Amazon 82.9
Apple 81.8
Burberry 80.1
John Lewis 79.1
Lush 78.6
Asos 77.6
Moonpig 77.4
Ikea 77.3
Boohoo.com 76.4

As you can see, there is a balanced mixture of online-only and multichannel retailers in the top ten. The John Lewis multichannel success story continues to unfold despite some controversial changes to their charges for online purchases last year – here is some proof that their strategy is working as they appear in the top five. Joining them in the line-up are Burberry along with primarily online-only retailers, Moonpig, ASOS and Boohoo.com.

Matt Coode, partner at OC&C told Retail Week that this was the first year in which the quality of a retailers’ mobile site or app had demonstrated a direct impact on how consumers rated their overall shopping experience, indicating once again that mobile sales and m-commerce are fast becoming a “critical battleground” for UK retailers.

As primarily online retailers, EBay and Amazon have invested millions in their websites and mobile apps and this has really paid off. With their wealth of user-friendly features such as effective search, one-click ordering and transaction speed being the main key to their success – and often emulated by newcomers.

However, Coode also suggests that it’s not just the way that the sites function that is pivotal to their success. Some brands are achieving something quite unique in their m-commerce approach, by connecting with customers at a personal level. He suggested that the appearance of brands including Burberry and Lush in the top 10 proved that these smaller brands have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve an emotional connection through mobile devices, trading on their reputation and popularity with certain market sectors:

“It’s challenged the perceived wisdom that mobile shopping is purely transactional. When you go on to the Lush mobile site you get the essence of the brand and that it is passionate about product.

No mobile app required

According to Retail Week, the OC&C’s Proposition Index also highlights the fact that mobile shopping apps are not critically important to consumers. If someone is purchasing a lot of different things from one site, such as Ebay or Amazon then they might go to the trouble of downloading and installing an app – but for the most part they do not want to clutter their device with dozens of different shopping apps – some of which might only be used once a year – for example at Christmas. Coode suggests that retailers should instead focus on creating responsive, mobile-friendly websites, geared towards sick and streamlined user experiences:

“For apps to be useful there needs to be a very high frequency of use. Outside of grocery or perhaps Argos, you’re not going to get that frequency.”

So it looks like 2016 is already shaping up to be the year of mobile marketing – and it looks like some British bands, including Lush and Burberry are already o top of their game – it’s up to everyone else now to pull their socks up and rise to the challenge to embrace m-commerce and acknowledge it’s significance as an important and valuable retail channel.

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Christmas web traffic for UK retailers driven by international shoppers performing mobile searches https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/web-traffic-for-uk-retailers/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/web-traffic-for-uk-retailers/#respond Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:29:35 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5770 According to figures released by the BRC-Google online retail monitor this week, Christmas web traffic for UK retailers was positively influenced by a surge in the amount of web searches performed...

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According to figures released by the BRC-Google online retail monitor this week, Christmas web traffic for UK retailers was positively influenced by a surge in the amount of web searches performed by international shoppers using mobile devices.

Online mobile

This increase appears to be part of a wider retail trend, as searches on mobile devices have risen steadily year on year – highlighting the need for retailers to develop responsive, mobile-friendly sites and retail apps. – but these new figures show that a lot of this traffic is now coming from abroad, so now retailers must rise to the challenge to adapt and respond to make the most of this valuable information highlighting a new potential market.

The biggest rise in international mobile searches was seen by beauty and fashion retailers who experienced rises of 51% and 41% respectively during the last sales quarter of 2015. Both increases appeared to be offset by a drop in searches on tablet devices – and this pattern appeared to be repeated across all retail sectors – possibly prompted by the size increase in mobile screens and the rise of the ‘phablet’ where people can now comfortably browse the internet on their phone without needing to see a larger screen. In addition to this – thanks to a rise in retail apps and comparison software, along with challenging market conditions – shoppers are now becoming savvy and search for the cheapest prices on their mobile device whilst they are on the high street, rather than traipsing from store to store hoping for a bargain and fearing that they might be missing out.

Speaking to Retail Week about the increase, Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of BRC suggested that – obviously – the internet had played a vital role in driving sales:

“The internet played a vital role in driving sales for UK retailers and, as has been the case for some time now, mobile devices were key to this.

“Among the ever-expanding range of mobile devices used by the internet-savvy overseas shopper, smartphones continue to be the most popular. This was particularly the case for shoppers in India, where we saw an impressive 39% increase in smartphone use to search for UK brands.

“Russia and Brazil likewise saw a significant bump in consumers shopping with their phones.”

Martijn Bertisen, retail director at Google concurred:

“In 2014 we saw strong mobile growth from our Eastern neighbours – classically early mobile adopters – and we can see the impact of that now.”

So now that UK retailers have this information they must act on it – to ensure that their proposition is set up for international sales and tailored for mobile devices, whilst also keeping their UK customers happy. Will they be ready for next Christmas? We will be keeping a close eye on this story to see how it develops.

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Barber are back at the Retail Design Expo 2016 – this March https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-retail-design-expo-2016/ https://barberdesign.co.uk/blog/barber-at-the-retail-design-expo-2016/#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:24:40 +0000 http://barberdesign.co.uk/?p=5731 Barber are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at this year’s Retail Design Expo 2016 at London Olympia on the 9th and 10th March. The Retail Design Expo is...

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Barber are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at this year’s Retail Design Expo 2016 at London Olympia on the 9th and 10th March.

The Retail Design Expo is Europe’s leading industry-specific event for the retail design, marketing, visual merchandising and shop fitting industry and the event will be bursting with influential and innovative exhibitors and visitors from across the globe.

Barber to exhibit at the Retail Design Expo

Following on from last year’s success at the inaugural Retail Design Expo event, we will be back once again on stand G21, showcasing a selection of our latest projects, including our award-winning design for Bristol’s Triathlon Shop, which won ‘Best Large Format Store’ at the Retail Week Interior Awards last November.

Barber will be at the Retail Design Expo

As regular readers of the blog will know, over the last few years we have produced retail designs for Nike, Diesel, House of Fraser, Harrods, Jigsaw, Simply Be, Topshop, Goodlife Pharmacies, Philippines Duty Free and Neal’s Yard Remedies. 75% of our work is for international clients and we have become experts in both travel retail design and helping clients who want to expand overseas – by creating a dynamic retail experience for global brand roll out.

Some of our award winning work to be discussed at the Retail Design Expo

The show will feature hundreds of exhibitors, covering every aspect of retail design and visual merchandising. In addition to this, there will also be conference sessions, live demonstrations and boundless opportunities for networking and creating sales opportunities.

Some of our work which we will be showcasing at the Retail Design Expo

The event is completely free to attend so if you are interested to find out what the Barber Design team can do for your business come and find us on stand G21 and see what we’ve got to offer! Sign up here: http://www.retaildesignexpo.com/free-registration

Barber will be at the Retail Design Expo again this year

We are immensely excited about showcasing our work at the Retail Expo again in 2016. On the back of last years show we met some exciting brands and have developed some great retail projects for new clients both in the UK and globally. We look forward to meeting you all again soon and discussing how we can be of help with your brand aims and ambitions for the coming year and beyond!

Barber to exhibit at the Retail Design Expo at Olympia

Barber will be exhibiting recent work at the Retail Design Expo

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