Saks Fifth Avenue Window Design, Visual MErchandising

Saks Fifth Avenue and DDI Hold Window Design Competition

Saks Fifth Avenue will once again play host to a student window design competition in cooperation with DDI Student Window Challenge. The challenge will span both east and west coasts of the United States with New York and Los Angeles locations serving as canvases.

According to a press release on the Wall Street Journal, the competition will involve visual merchandising students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), LIM College and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

Saks Fifth Avenue Window Design, Visual MErchandising

From the release:

After the success of the inaugural Student Window Challenge event in 2012, DDI and Saks Fifth Avenue are expanding the program this year to offer students on both coasts the opportunity to display their design skills for a panel of industry experts. The New York challenge will take place on June 6(th) at the Fifth Avenue Store, and will conclude with an after party at Cafe SFA in partnership with the Retail Design Institute’s New York Chapter. The Los Angeles challenge will take place on July 25(th) at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, and will conclude with an after party at the retailer’s new men’s Denim Bar in partnership with the Retail Design Institute’s SoCal Chapter.

Industry friends, DDI readers and sponsors will be invited to join participants at both after parties, giving students a rare chance to mingle with prominent retailers and designers from their industry.

DDI Executive Editor Alison Embrey Medina said that during the competition itself, students will be given a window design challenge centered on a specific theme.

“Each two-person student team will be given one day to create window presentations using provided materials, merchandise from Saks and their own creative input,” Medina said. “At the end of the day, a judging panel consisting of Saks’ visual team and DDI editors will determine the winning teams. We are quite excited to work with three outstanding design schools and look forward to seeing what the students from each side of the country will bring to the table.”

Nintendo Best Buy bring E3 games to stores, visual merchandising

Nintendo and Best Buy to bring E3 games to stores

Traditionally, E3 plays host to a multitude of games that can only be played during the event, not any more. For a few days, consumers will be able to play certain Nintendo titles in over 100 Best Buy stores nationwide. According to CNET the list of games will is not available but Best Buy’s website lists the stores where you can play them.

Nintendo Best Buy bring E3 games to stores, visual merchandising

From the article:

Nintendo’s move is an interesting one. Historically, E3 is where game makers allow industry insiders to try out titles before they’re made ready for public launch. Nintendo is trying to change that dynamic by bringing some of its games to the public for a couple of days to bring them in on the E3 action. Hardcore gamers who follow E3 will probably like that quite a bit.

Nintendo has released the full list of Best Buy locations where the games will be played. Click here to see if a store in your city will be carrying its titles.

Target Corporation Beauty Concierge, Shopper Marketing

Target’s SoCal Locations Getting a Beauty Concierge

Nearly 100 Target stores in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas will begin featuring beauty concierge services for their customers. According to Retail Customer Experience, each Target Beauty Concierge will be available to answer questions and guide shoppers. Customers will be able to identify them by their black aprons and will be located in the beauty aisles.

Target Corporation Beauty Concierge, Shopper Marketing

From the article:

In addition, the program will launch in 27 stores in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Baltimore area, 36 stores in Minneapolis and expand by an additional 41 stores in Chicago, with approximately 200 stores implementing the program in 2013.

“Target is excited to offer this unique, special service to our Los Angeles and Orange County area guests — guests whom we know are passionate about beauty,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior vice president of stores in the Western region. “In an often crowded and sometimes daunting marketplace, Target’s Beauty Concierge program ensures that guests receive the friendly, personalized assistance and counsel they need, while purchasing their favorite beauty products at affordable prices.”

Macy's American Icon Collection, visual merchandising

American Icons Front and Center in Macy’s Newest In-Store Event

Featuring “things we love,” Macy’s newest marketing push is designed to appeal to our sense of patriotism, fitting seeing as Memorial Day is fast approaching. According to Forbes, the campaign features images of notable American images such as apple pie, lighthouses in New England, the Lincoln Memorial, and others juxtaposed with clothing items found in Macy’s stores.

Macy's American Icon Collection, visual merchandising

From the article:

The campaign began on May 15 and runs through July 4. All Macy stores are participating with special displays and events. Naturally the Herald Square store had the biggest events such as stars from MOTOWN the musical kicking off events in many departments including Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Estee Lauder, Betsey Johnson and many more. Even Martha Stewart, despite the well-publicized conflicts with Macy’s, is running a sweepstakes through July 4 that will entitle the winner to have lunch with the iconic Martha herself in New York. Other prizes include a $250 gift card and “Martha’s American Food” book. Wow! Competing with that event is “Macy’s Great American Grilling Guru” where Macy’s culinary council chef Marc Forgone will award $10,000 to the winner. These are just a few of the many events taking place.

Many stores throughout the United States are participating. The Washington DC area is a good example of what is typical. On Thursday, May 16 an event held at Macy’s Metro Center was repeated at Macy’s Pentagon City on Saturday, May 18. The event featured wax figurines of well-know people from Madame Tussaud’s Washington on display in the stores. There were also presentations by Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Levi’s. Chelsea Green and the Green Project played jazz tunes adding to the excitement. Customers love live music, which brings to mind my recent visit to Macy’s Philadelphia store. For those of us who remember, it is the old John Wannamaker store. The store still has the world’s largest pipe organ played twice a day in the center court (where the famous Philadelphia Eagle rests). The organ is played for customer enjoyment. The atrium was like a cathedral, the music was wonderful. Customers stayed to listen. The music wasn’t enough though to mask the fact that the floor nearby ladies shoe department was filthy; oh well, at least my ears were happy if my eyes were not.

Dairy Queen Ad Campaign, Visual Merchandising

Dairy Queen Launching New Ad Campaign This Memorial Day

With the slogan “Fan Food, not Fast Food,” Dairy Queen is hoping their new ad campaign will help create a personalized connection with their younger consumers, as well as solidify their appeal across all key demographics. According to NRN, the new advertisements will feature video footage of customers enjoying their food alongside staged shots of Dairy Queen meals.

Dairy Queen Ad Campaign, Visual Merchandising

From the article:

“Consumers today are looking for much more authenticity in their relationships with brands that they’re loyal to,” Barry Westrum, executive vice president of marketing, said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News. “We’ve found the brand stands out relative to our competitors as it relates to that authenticity. Consumers grew up with our brand, or had their first kiss at one of our locations, or came here after winning Little League, and they don’t have that connection with our competitors. We wanted to bring that to life in our advertising.”

New TV commercials differ greatly from Dairy Queen’s previous work in the “Ri-DQ-lous” campaign that trended toward the quirky and absurd. “The previous work broke through the clutter with humor, and that works — for a time,” Westrum said. “Our consumers change, and we want to change with them.”

That does not necessarily mean that Dairy Queen’s core audience would shift dramatically toward younger, Millennial consumers, even though previous creative under Grey had a sense of humor that spoke mostly to a Generation X customer base, he said.

Apple Store Grand Central, Shopper Marketing

When it Comes to Revenue Per Customer, No One Beats Apple

From a pipe dream to one of the most successful retail operations in terms of revenue per square foot, Apple has defied expectations and lead a retail revolution of sorts. According to an article on AllThingsD, Apple’s average revenue per store for Q1 2013 topped out around $13 million, profiting roughly $12 per customer in that time.

Apple Store Grand Central, Shopper Marketing

From the article:

Impressive numbers for Apple, which continues to outperform all other retailers on a per-square-foot basis in the U.S., by a very wide margin. Apple Stores earn twice as much per square foot as Tiffany & Co., the second-most-lucrative U.S. retailer, and three times as much as Lululemon Athletica, the third-most-lucrative.

And the company’s average revenue per visitor will only improve as it expands internationally, particularly in big untapped markets like China. Apple essentially doubled down on its retail presence in greater China over the past year, raising the number of stores to 11 from six. And according to CEO Tim Cook, that’s just the beginning.

“This isn’t nearly what we need, and it’s not the final by any means,” Cook said earlier this year. “We’re not even close to that. But I feel that we’re making great progress, and I am very happy with how things are going.”

And whatever the China market may lack in individual wealth, it makes up for in volume.

“This is one of the great paradoxes in Apple retail: The more Apple expands internationally, the higher their average retail revenue becomes, despite them opening stores in emerging markets such as China,” said Carl Howe, VP for research and data sciences at Yankee Group. “As a proof point, the New York flagship 5th Avenue Apple store used to be one of the highest grossing stores in the entire Apple chain, pulling in somewhere around $350 million in revenue in 2010. Today — based on anecdotal evidence, but I believe this to be true — nearly every Apple store in China sells as much or more than the 5th Avenue store. China may have a lower percentage of wealthy people than the U.S., but they have more absolute numbers of them.

Disney Princess Week, Target Corporation

Target Hosts Disney Royalty

Partnering with Disney for the second year in a row, Target Corporation helped launch the 2nd annual National Princess Week. According to In-Store Marketer, the campaign involved an interactive wall where attendees could send a text message and receive a call from a princess, in addition to selling toys and videos.

Disney Princess Week, Target Corporation

From the article:

A supporting page on target.com also highlighted Merida while promoting the phone-call offer. Links on the page connected visitors to related products in the website’s e-commerce section. A display ad running throughout April linked to the page. Supporting display ads also ran on consumer websites including disney.com and discovery.com.

Target’s April 21 circular carried a half-page feature promising a free Merida doll from Mattel Inc.’s Disney Princess Sparkling Princess line with purchase of five related home videos. Among other products, the feature also showcased the latest title in Hatchette Book Group USA’s The Very Fairy Princess children’s series by depicting co-author and actress Julie Andrews — who also serves as National Princess Week spokesperson. (Andrews writes the series with her daughter.)

Simon Doonan, Duane Reade, Visual Merchandising

Duane Reade Gets Some Window Treatments from Barneys’ Simon Doonan

You might not think that a drug store window would be a place to find the colorful and often outrageous work of Barneys’ Creative Ambassador Simon Doonan, but that is just what Duane Reade has done.

According to an article on Chain Store Age, the drug store chain hired Doonan to create a window celebrating Broadway for their store near Radio City Music Hall.

Simon Doonan, Duane Reade, Visual Merchandising

From the article:

“I love new challenges and was thrilled Nexxus asked me to do something that’s never been done before – to take the art of high-end luxury window dressing and put it in the context of a classic American drugstore,” said Simon Doonan. “This project has been a blast because I get to do what I love – design creative over-the-top window designs – and celebrate my passion for Broadway, but with a new twist.”

The window, accented by lights like those on a Broadway marquee, features an oversized photograph of a glamorous woman, on stage, presenting a Tony Award. Her show-stopping hair is made entirely of Nexxus Salon Hair Care bottles, while her dress is designed out of Tony Awards posters. The backdrop includes a wall of stacked hair conditioners. The display also encourages passers-by to tune in June 9 for the live broadcast of the Tony Awards.

The design will be on display through June 16 at the Duane Reade located at 51 West 51st Street, across from Radio City Music Hall, the venue for the 67th Annual Tony Awards.

retail-darwin-changing-landscape

The evolution and tide of consumer change is worldwide and escalating

Below is a small excerpt from a larger article written by Dr. Chris Peterson for Retail Customer Executive. He likens the changing landscape of retail to the concept of the survival of the fittest as proposed by Darwin.

retail-darwin-changing-landscape

From the article:

Darwin’s famous theories of evolution often get misquoted or misinterpreted as “only the strongest survive.” Actually, the underlying premise of Darwin’s work is best captured in his quote with referring to “adaptable” as the trait which enables a species to best survive in a changing world. The tumult of change facing retail today indicates that the retail survivors might not be the biggest or the strongest, but those that can most quickly adapt to tidal wave of change. What is unique about that change is that it is precipitated by the consumer.

There have been many new terms added to the lexicon of retailing in the last couple of years. “Showrooming” is a classic example of a change in consumer behavior, which impacts the retail heritage of bricks and mortar stores. While consumers still shop stores, their journey typically begins online. They are now able to shop online with their mobile devices, while standing in the retailer’s aisle AND make a purchase from their phone.

Today, consumers literally expect seamless integration and high quality consumer experiences. They expect both choice and convenience across channels: being able to buy online and pickup in store or purchase in store and ship home. While price is always a consideration, the real value for consumers today is in the experience and retail ecosystem of service both at the moment of truth, and after the sale.

Apple Mobile POS, retail localization

Increasing Revenue Without Increasing Floor Size

Apple generates nearly $6,000 per square foot, double that of Tiffany & Co. The retailer is attributed with an innovative approach to mobile, hand-held devices as a key element of their success. According to Chain Store Age, Apple has exemplified a growing trend among retailers and their managers, utilizing mobile devices to increase the revenue per square foot of brick-and-mortar stores without expanding their footprint.

Apple Mobile POS, retail localization

From the article:

On the surface, this approach would seem contrary to long-held retailing tenets: rather than closing sales in the middle of the store, you typically want customers to wander through the store long enough to maximize the potential purchase basket; and having them wait in line leads to extra incremental purchases of lower-cost but high-margin items near the cash register.

There are two counterarguments to these strategies. First, there is a segment of customers who walk into a retail location, see a long line, and leave without spending any money. They want what you sell but prefer to get it with greater convenience, whether on the Internet or from another brick-and-mortar store. Second, if the person with the register can roam the store with a customer, they are in a far better position than a static cashier to offer relevant upgrades, accessories, or other incremental sales. In previous attempts to speed check out and save costs, many retailers introduced the self-checkout. An ironic twist to Apple’s retail strategy is that the company — which is famous for making technology easy to use — is not using the smart phone technology to replace staff. Rather, it uses it to maximize productivity of real estate.

With today’s technology, sales people don’t even need to be bound by the store’s walls: In certain settings — malls for example — they may find it appropriate to discuss the customer’s choice of available options for bigger-ticket options while relaxing on a bench outside the store with a cup of coffee. And with payment systems like Square Register, they can even accept credit-card payments to close the deal right there.