24 Jan 15|Innovation

There is a plethora of articles being written at the moment about retail – chains are closing, David Jones and Myers have had profit slumps, the internet is killing the sector etc.etc.etc.

There is a plethora of articles being written at the moment about retail – chains are closing, David Jones and Myers have had profit slumps, the internet is killing the sector etc.etc.etc. So it’s time we revisited innovation in retail – because retail is in the spotlight all over the world – for the devastation and the innovation!

Stores are appealing to consumers by creating an entire shopping experience. That means they are appealing to all senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. There are audio visual displays everywhere you look. Walk into a shopping centre and tale a deep smell – burning candles, perfumes, food aromas – coming at you from every direction. There is music playing in most places – and it’s true that in certain outlets it is programmed to make you go fast during busy times and allow you to browse in quieter times. I’m sure you get the picture.

And, as I wrote before – there appears to be a greater emphasis on customer service. I read an article recently where Myers admitted things were improving because they had actually put more people back on the floor – the mind boggles. Went to Target the other day and couldn’t find anyone to help me find anything I was looking for – so I walked out and purchased elsewhere!

Here’s an example of improving the retail experience from the heart of the ultimate retail centre of the world – Paris. The Adidas flagship store developed the mi Adidas concept. Consumers actually get to create their own shoe or their own jersey in store. Talk about customisation!

Yet another approach – companies are sprouting their green and sustainability improvements/implementations…from the products they use or don’t use, to the packaging to, Target charging an extra 10c for a plastic bag and so on and so forth. We can now be consumers with a conscience and there are internet businesses springing up that do all the research for you and advise where you should shop so you can feel better about what you are doing/buying/using.

It’s all about creating a vibrant atmosphere. I read a term recently, shopper-centric, which seems very appropriate and very now.

On the food side of things, along with one of the weekly papers that gets delivered to my place came a magazine insert, Dick Smith’s Magazine of Forbidden Ideas. This mag is full of Australian products – well Dick Smith Australian products. Interestingly there appears a list of what once were iconic Australian brands or products, or products that had become brands, like Vegemite, Arnotts, Golden Circle, Dairy Farmers and heaven forbid Aeroplane Jelly and Fosters. All these products are now owned by off shore companies!

I really enjoyed the read – especially loved the title. One article especially grabbed my eye – about a Dick Smith product called OzEmite. It has been 13 years in the making and has a point of difference in that it’s gluten free and not made on Brewer’s Yeast. He admits it costs 30c more but isn’t that a small price to pay to support everything Australian? I will be making the swap as mother of a Vegemite addict who is just old enough to understand the Support Australian Product ethos.

And, in the true spirit of collaboration, Dick Smith has Coles, Woolworths, IGA and other independents on board!

It’s all about creating a vibrant atmosphere.

It’s all about creating a vibrant atmosphere.

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