Friday, August 27, 2010
Product. Price. People. Place. In that order.
Maybe it's the "Back To" season that's gotten me thinking this way, but let's look at the basics. Each purchase decision has it's own set of criteria; various points along the rational-emotional continuum.
Consumers don't like shopping in stores as much as they once did and that's a problem for retailers with most of their dollars invested in brick and mortar outlets. According to The Wall Street Journal, shopper satisfaction at retail stores is declining upwards of 15 percent a year, based on ongoing research by Interpublic Group (IPG) of more than 10,000 North American shoppers.
Why do we find in-store shopping increasingly dissatisfying? Because we are emotional beings and seldom is the shopping experience (In line OR online--online is mostly about procurement, after all.) engaging or compelling or lasting.
IF these technologies enhance the shopping experience AND help move more merchandise then they may make sense. Right now it seems like a lot more clutter and confusion.
Big Win: Sunglass Hut’s in-store/social media mash-up makes shopping fun and plays on the emotional drivers of the product.
I love contemplating the possibilities for company and consumer alike. One of my favorites to date is Sunglass Hut's in-store/social media mash-up. http://bit.ly/dcSidM
Is it moving more sunglasses? That remains to be seen.
More retail experts’ opinions at RetailWire: http://bit.ly/aVWzmO.
Mr Friedman has a significant opportunity for innovation here. He needs to send clear and authentic signals that he's doing something compelling; "cleaning up the subways" from "The Tipping Point http://amzn.to/bPFcRz by Malcolm Gladwell.
While SH has a track record of rapid prototyping, it has shown little evidence of learning from and leveraging their innovation process (if you can call it a process-see above).
By now, we should have seen significant and relevant reasons to believe from MyGopher and Layaway or the multitude of store format, in-store web kiosk, or web experiments.
At the end of the day, it's about moving the merchandise. Have you shopped their stores or websites lately? Yikes. Have you bought anything? At all?
My advice: spend the first year shopping the stores (in line and online), getting to know the customers and staff and explore what has worked and what hasn't. Then throw it all away and develop fresh new reasons for us to pay attention again.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuttle Mall Columbus Ohio
August 24, 2010
While it seems no two of their stores are alike, they seem to have gotten away from the racks and racks approach and matured into a real specialty shop. Hurley, Billabong, Roxy, Zoo York all have their own brand presence but work well together. A refreshing alternative to the others in this category.
http://shop.pacsun.com/brands/ (Sorry, no video, we were too busy shopping!)
Product: Well mixed range of brands. Nice balance of trend and basic pieces.
Price: Higher than competitors, but quality of brands and BOGO offers made it ok somehow.
Place: Sophisticated California modern. The store design is mature and authentic without it being contrived.
People: Eager to engage and help; asked, listened and directed. Attentive without being hover-y. Fun, nice, accessible. Very on-brand while still attending to shopping needs—selection and speedy checkout.
Experience: Loved it. Key pieces from Pac Sun made into the First Day of School Ensemble (caps intentional)
Tuttle Mall Columbus Ohio
August 24, 2010
American Eagle, the also-ran that came out of the teen-apparel outdoor wars of finds its own voice in the new normal. The place was abuzz.
Product: Nice assortment; deep, not too broad.
Price: Thoughful pricing with engaging promos.
Place: Energetic without being off-putting; “College Radio” with accompanying video support deepened the experience. Who can resist Salt-n-Peppa’s Push It?
People: Nice enough, but didn’t really help with selection or purchase, lots of maintenance and discussions about schedules.
Experience: Found some good stuff and enjoyed our time there.
Monday, August 16, 2010
What’s your favorite New York experience? I’m always on the lookout for those really great, off-the-grid experiences that haven’t made it to the “it” lists yet. Be it retail, dining, hospitality, cultural what is memorable for you? What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
I still love the energy of 5th Avenue and Times Square, and a friend recently reminded me of the fun of Canal Street, but Matise’s “The Dance (1)” at MoMA (http://bit.ly/96OzCk) and Cucina Di Pesce http://bit.ly/aQw7Nx both hold very special memories.