About Glynn Davis

Author Archive | Glynn Davis

Why they won a Transforming Retail Award: Zynstra

The Best Newcomer category is one of the more popular categories in the Transforming Retail Awards so Zynstra fought off stiff competition to take the accolade. Set up by experienced technology entrepreneurs and backed by angel investors, Zynstra has grown from a small start-up in the Bath and Bristol area to a growing business of […]

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Sustainability focus: Sky Ocean Rescue cafe

Welcome to our section of the site which focuses on the sustainable side of retail. It’s exciting times for anyone involved in this area as technology and retailers try to keep up with customers’ demand for all things ethical.  From palm oil to fur farms, fast fashion to single-use plastic, excess packaging to food waste […]

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Facing up to technology

One of the few irritating things about pubs is when somebody gets served ahead of you when you know you’ve been waiting longer. On occasion I’ve been so incensed by the injustice I’ve left the premises and taken my business elsewhere.   Therefore when I heard London-based company DataSparQ had developed AI Bar, facial recognition […]

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Launch of Retail Insider ‘Leisure & Hospitality Benchmark Report 2019’ with Roger Wade, founder of Boxpark, and Charlie McVeigh, founder of Bunker Projects

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the first ‘Leisure & Hospitality Benchmark Report’ at a dinner with guest speakers Roger Wade, founder of Boxpark, and Charlie McVeigh, founder of Bunker Projects. The report, sponsored by Webloyalty, investigates the leisure & hospitality sector through interviews with an Advisory Panel of some of the key thought-leaders in the […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A: Phill Burton, COO, Bloom & Wild

Phill Burton, COO, Bloom & Wild   1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? There is an opportunity to be a truly global flower gifting company which customers love. I think we’ve made a great start in the UK, and latterly France and Germany and our offering has really resonated with customers but there […]

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Christmas Trends: Hotel Chocolat

At Hotel Chocolat’s recent festive preview the staff transformed its Covent Garden store into Christmas-land before staying behind very, very late to return it to Halloween-land for the next morning. Here’s our pick of the range.   The Advent Calendar For Two Why should only one half of the partnership have all the fun with […]

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Why they won a Transforming Retail Award 2019: Specsavers

In the hard-fought Best In-Store Experience of the Year category it was Specsavers who won out for its impressive range of services offered in-store. In the optical retail sector, the main challenges that Specsavers identified were the threat from online and a lack of professional resource (Optometrist and Audiologist). To keep people in-store, rather than […]

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Why they won a Transforming Retail Award 2019: John Lewis/Waitrose

The Best Delivery Innovation category is one that often produces the most interesting entrants as companies find ever more ingenious ways to propel their products in front of consumers. This year’s winner John Lewis/Waitrose was no exception to that as it launched its ‘While You Were Away’ app which sufficiently impressed the judges to ensure […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – ShopAppy

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2019 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Dr Jackie Mulligan, founder of ShopAppy. How did the original idea come about? It came from a few issues including a […]

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On the market

  Like many towns up and down the country, Doncaster in South Yorkshire has a long relationship with markets, which have been the focal point of the town since its creation. There’s the Corn Exchange indoor market alongside an outdoor equivalent, and a covered food market with fishmongers and butchers well represented.    There’s also […]

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Why they won a Transforming Retail Award 2019: Entrupy

The winner of the Overall Innovation category in our Transforming Retail Awards was US-based Entrupy – currently working with several UK retailers. Product counterfeiting with its associated brand dilution is a global problem, it displaces billions in legitimate business activity, which then reduces tax revenues and contributes to criminality also exposing consumers to potentially dangerous […]

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Innovative Retailer: Body Shop

Name : Body Shop    The Place: Oh, everywhere.  But around 250 units in the UK and several thousand more globally. The Story: Is there anyone in the UK who has not, at some point, set foot in the beloved beauty institution that is Body Shop? Ummm: Well, the answer is no. Everyone has been […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Whiskers & Cream

Welcome to our series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry.       Name: Whiskers & Cream Location: Holloway Road, London In a nutshell: Whiskers & Cream is one of only two cat cafes in London. By bringing experience-led retail to […]

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Retail Insider event with Manju Malhotra, co-COO of Harvey Nichols

Retail Insider held its latest event with guest speaker Manju Malhotra, co-COO of Harvey Nichols, who discussed the plans and thinking at the renowned department store ahead of a wine tasting. Attendees of the event that was set within Harvey Nichols‘ flagship Knightsbridge store included senior executives from Marks & Spencer, Secret Sales, Fortnum & […]

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Christmas trends: Aldi

The main takeaway theme of Aldi’s Christmas range in 2019 is that more is, well, more but don’t rock the boat with too much new-fangled stuff. This year traditional favourites are super-sized and new products are variations on a theme. Old-fashioned glamour is back with a vengeance whether it is gold-dusted desserts or velvet plush […]

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Why they won a Transforming Retail Award 2019: McDonald’s Dynamic Yield

Winning out in the ‘Most Intelligent Use of Data’ category (sponsored by Software AG) was McDonald’s for its use of Dynamic Yield technology. In 2019 McDonald’s bought Dynamic-Yield, which provides algorithm-driven ‘decision logic’ technology. It is now moving to fit-out its restaurants with upgraded, Dynamic Yield-powered smart menu capabilities, which will use data to move […]

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‘Transforming Retail’ Awards 2019 – Winners announced

Senior retail executives gathered at Sourced Market in central London to celebrate the third Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ aimed at highlighting some of the most exciting innovations to happen in the retail sector over the past year. The categories being judged this year by an independent panel of retail experts were: Best Connected Experience, […]

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Prime seats

Taking a short cruise down the Rhine in Germany this summer involved a rush to grab waterside seats on the open-air upper deck. A similar scenario was played out below, where those eating in the dining room sought tables next to the windows. Nobody wanted to be seated on the inside of the boat. It […]

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Sustainable Fashion: People Tree

  Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which focuses on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box This month an interview with People Tree managing director Melanie Traub on the challenges and joys of running a sustainable fashion […]

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Retail Insider event with Jo Jenkins, CEO of White Stuff, and Alex Murray, digital director, Lidl UK

Retail Insider held its latest event with guest speakers Jo Jenkins, CEO of White Stuff, and Alex Murray, digital director of Lidl UK who helped celebrate the launch of the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100 Report 2019’. Attendees of the event at Bedale’s Wine shop in London’s Smithfield Market included senior executives from […]

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Movers & Shakers report 2019 launched

Retail Insider has launched the 2019 edition of the Movers and Shakers report highlighting some of the key people in retail that are most effectively using the power of digital to push their organisations forward. Now in its 10th anniversary year, and produced in conjunction with sponsors K3, the panel of judges have chosen their pick of the most significant […]

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Hotels must avoid becoming discount WeWork

Wander into the lobby, lounges, dining areas and other shared spaces in hotels within major towns and cities on a weekday and you will undoubtedly find lots of people working. Trends in how people work today are having a dramatic effect on the trading patterns – and potentially on the revenues – of hotels that […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Samsung KX

Welcome to our series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: Samsung KX Location: Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross In a nutshell: Samsung has hopped onto the retail-as-theatre train in a big way with its latest huge space in London’s hottest […]

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Uniqlo discards fast fashion label with sustainability launch

Uniqlo sought to distance itself from the fast fashion industry during a visit to London by its founder who announced the launch of a range of clothing made from recycled materials through a partnership with textile manufacturer Toray. Tadashi Yanai, president & CEO of Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing, says: “We are mistaken as fast […]

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Innovative Retailer: Thrift Books

Name: Thrift Books The Place: Headquartered in the States but selling internationally. The Story: Selling books for a penny. How does anyone make money doing that for goodness sake? Listen and learn, people. I’m listening: As the New York Times once memorably said: “Penny booksellers are exactly the sort of weedy company that springs up […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A: John Roberts, CEO, AO World

  John Roberts, CEO, AO World Where did it all begin? John Roberts is resolutely from Bolton and is usually characterised in the press as either a “no-nonsense” or “loud-mouth” Northerner. He still lives in Bolton with his family comprising wife and their five children, some of whom are grown up and some of whom […]

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Live or die by relevancy to core audience

One of the biggest challenges for any fashion company is remaining relevant to the core audience. This is especially acute for those brands selling to a younger customer. A brand that appeals to an early teen is unlikely to appeal to an older teen when they then break out of this period then there is […]

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Sustainable Fashion: Intelligently reducing the returns mountain

Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which focuses on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry brought to you by Retail Insider with  Clipper and Give Back Box Returns are a massive headache for retailers and are also detrimental to the environment – from the unnecessary transportation […]

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You could be Wired Smarter 2019

Retail Insider is very pleased to be linking up with Wired as a media partner of its Wired Smarter conference on October 30 where a raft of speakers will provoke debate and highlight potential successful paths for the future. Retail is one of two verticals – along with Money – within the conference schedule and provides […]

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Growing pains

Shortly after Starbucks entered the UK market through the acquisition of Seattle Coffee Company back in 1998 it rapidly opened a raft of stores in London before it realised it might have been rather gung-ho with its property selection criteria and it retreated from some of those initial unsuitable and probably over-priced units. From that […]

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Retailers need to enhance office attractions to entice top employees

When starting out in work some years ago one of the perks was the three-course lunch provided free of charge to all employees in the company dining room. You had to pay for the beer and wine though! While established businesses, like my old employer, have continued to strip out such soft benefits from their […]

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Really Putting the Customer First

Regular conference goers will have heard far too many presentations from retail leaders extolling the virtues of putting the customer first. Maybe if they had actually done this at their respective organisations the industry might not find itself in quite so much trouble as it does right now. This is a problem that has been […]

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Sustainability focus: Deliveries

Welcome to our section of the site which focuses on the sustainable side of retail. It’s exciting times for anyone involved in this area as technology and retailers try to keep up with customers’ demand for all things ethical. From palm oil to fur farms, fast fashion to one-use plastic, excess packaging to food waste […]

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LVMH looks to beat Kering in the sustainability stakes

When Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris suffered a very serious fire in April this year the Pinault family, which heads up the Kering luxury goods group, pledged Euros 100 million on the night of the fire towards its rebuilding. That was then beaten the next morning with a Euros 200 million pledge by the Arnault […]

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Shortlist announced for the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards 2019’.

Retail Insider is delighted to reveal the shortlist for its annual ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards of 2019. The aim of the awards is to showcase the very best examples of innovation across the sector as decided by our independent panel of judges. The shortlist below highlights what a leader in innovation the retail sector really is and […]

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Time to ditch rental principles

For a long time the commercial property industry was a relatively straightforward place within which to operate. The rentals for shops and restaurants on the high street were set according to the levels achieved by similar nearby units and these deals were always agreed on the basis of upward-only rent increases at future renewal and […]

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Sustainable fashion: Make do and mend for the 21st century with The Restory

Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which focuses on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box Ask most people whether they might consider darning a hole in their favourite socks and the answer is probably a resounding no. Ask […]

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Potential heavy price to pay for poor checkout-free stores

When Tesco launched its ‘one in front’ policy years ago to ensure a new checkout line was opened whenever more than one customer was in front of the line at any of its checkouts it was early recognition from the retail industry that customers simply hate queuing. The current major trend towards cashier-free stores is […]

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Innovative Retailer: Stitch Fix

  Name: Stitch Fix The Place: Well it was in the US but hurrah – it’s recently launched in the UK.   The Story: This company is not unique, it has competitors in the US (Trunk Club for example) and the UK (Thread for example) and yet this is still the one to beat. It’s […]

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Dynamic incentives needed to boost customer lifetime values

Customer acquisition costs continue their inexorable rise and are in danger of hitting unsustainable levels because the cost incurred to attract new shoppers to a retailer is now all too often a greater amount than their ultimate lifetime value to the business. In her much awaited annual ‘Internet Trends Report’ for 2019 technology guru Mary […]

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Retail Insider ‘Digital Champions 2019’ Report Launch

Retail Insider is pleased to launch a new publication the Retail Insider Digital Champions Report 2019(sponsored by Software AG) that highlights some of the retailers, and individuals within them, that have taken the decision to be proactive in this new digitally-led world of retail. A batch of retailers have been selected who we believe are […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Trending Store at Westfield with Nextatlas

Welcome to our series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: Trending Store from Nextatlas Location: Westfield Shopping Centre, London W12 In a nutshell: This concept pop-up, which has just finished its run in Westfield, aimed to only sell the top […]

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Property industry to play up leisure at MAPIC

Retail property event MAPIC is to have an extensive leisure component this year involving a series of talks and workshops and an exclusive leisure zone as the industry recognises the importance of seeking out new revenue streams. Changes in consumer behaviour and declining footfall has taken its toll on physical retail pure players and the […]

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Hot to trot

One of the most enjoyable aspects of travelling around the UK for me is visiting villages, towns and cities and popping into independent bakers to sample their specialities. Most communities still proudly produce local delicacies to a loyal clientele but one store I don’t hunt for when I travel is Greggs. Greggs’ chief executive Roger […]

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Technology helps boost in-store employee contribution

With employees increasingly expected to fulfill broader functions on the shop floor and retailers needing to more efficiently manage the talent they have available through different in-store trading periods there is a growing need to bring more science into the equation. It has been a perennial balancing act for retailers ensuring they have the optimum […]

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Online sales growth could be derailed by concerns over data sharing

Online sales are predicted to rise dramatically over the next decade, accounting for 53% of the total retail market, but this could be scuppered by consumers’ increasing unease with sharing their data with companies. Research report ‘The Digital Tipping Point’ from law firm Womble Bond Dickinson and Retail Economics highlights how e-commerce is expected to […]

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Movers & Shakers in Retail – Matt Moulding, CEO and Executive Chairman, The Hut Group

Matthew Moulding, co-founder of The Hut Group Where did it all begin? Matt Moulding was born in 1972 in Lancashire and studied industrial economics at Nottingham. His upbringing was quite turbulent and, as he told the Financial Times in 2010, taught him the value of money. Having been set back on the educational track by […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Ubamarket

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2019 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Will Broome, co-founder of Ubamarket, which features in this year’s report for its work with Spar, Budgens and others. 1. How […]

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Sustainable fashion: Clothes rental could square the fast fashion circle

Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which is going to focus on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry. Retailers making clothes available to rent might be the only way to square the fast fashion circle – brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box This […]

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Like everything, our complaints are going digital

The growth of online shopping is leading to some interesting trends in terms of customer complaints and one of the more worrying involves the rise of the ‘buy now, pay later’ phenomenon. Recent research from independent complaints website Resolver highlights that these are only the 40th most complained about product or service but it predicts […]

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Sustainability focus: Give Back Box launches in the UK

Welcome to our section of the site which focuses on the sustainable side of retail. It’s exciting times for anyone involved in this area as technology and retailers try to keep up with customers’ demand for all things ethical. From palm oil to fur farms, fast fashion to one-use plastic, excess packaging to food waste […]

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Digital Retail Innovations 2019 Report Launch

Retail Insider is proud to launch its Digital Innovations Report 2019 (sponsored by Webloyalty) this week with an event involving two special guest speakers: Paul Hornby of Matalan, and Nick Thomas founder of Built. Guests from high street retailers, online operators and tech companies plus several members of the report’s Advisory Panel heard Paul run through his […]

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Innovative Retailer: The Co-Operative Group

    Name: The Co-operative Group. Well the food retail part of it anyway. The Place: Oh, all over. 2.5k+ units across the whole of the UK. The Story: Well, I don’t think we need to rehash the entire history of the co-operative movement and its iconic blue clover leaf logo here… Phew. But, in […]

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Klarna opens pop-up to bring online brands to the consumer

  Quirky Swedish bank Klarna has opened a week-long pop up in the centre of Covent Garden designed to give some of its online brand partners a showcase to connect with their consumers directly. The showcase, laid out over two floors, is divided into sections such as Sports and Wellness, Interiors, Contemporary Fashion and Beauty […]

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Customers are no longer always right

One of the retail industry’s long-established maxims is that the customer is always right. But maybe this is no longer the case. In a relatively simple world it was something that retailers could largely comply with but now that things have become a whole lot more complicated it might be the case that they are […]

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Movers and Shakers in Retail : Tim Steiner, Founder and CEO, Ocado

Tim Steiner, co-founder and CEO, Ocado Where did it all begin? Back in the winter of ‘69, one Tim Steiner was born into a fairly affluent middle class family and went through the education system via Haberdasher Aske’s in Hertfordshire before completing a degree in Economics at Manchester University. An aptitude for knowing what the […]

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Retail Insider Evening Event with John Lewis and Waitrose

Retail Insider held its latest Evening Event of 2019 with senior executives from John Lewis and Waitrose sharing their thoughts on how the two organisations are working increasingly closely together to develop a compelling experience-rich proposition for the future. Held in the development kitchens at the Waitrose store in the Granary Square development of King’s […]

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Sustainable fashion: Boutique by Shelter

Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which is going to focus on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry. Boutique by Shelter – brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box We all think we know the deal with charity shops. Lots of them on […]

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Coughing up at coffee shops

One of the dangers of having rabbits as pets is that they like to chew cables. When one of my children’s furry friends wandered into my office at the end of the garden he immediately sunk his impressive teeth into the cable of my router. This took out the broadband connection and life came to […]

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Proactively facing up to the returns headache

Retailers who do not offer their customers a free and easy returns process are likely to lose sales and customer loyalty, according to myriad pieces of research, which rather states the obvious. Research from payments company Klarna found 75% of customers say easy returns are an essential factor in their choice of retailer, 78% say […]

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Making time for meals

When I took a job with a US financial institution it involved making regular phone calls to its European offices during what was often a very long day with little time for lunch breaks, as the Americans wanted their pound of flesh. One day I called the Geneva office at 1pm to be answered by […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – Philippe Chainieux, CEO of Made.com, and Andrew Ellis, head of CRM at McDonald’s

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2019 with Philippe Chainieux, CEO of Made.com, and Andrew Ellis, head of CRM at McDonald’s, who described how they are continuously adapting their businesses to satisfy customers in today’s dynamic market. Philippe highlighted how the pace of change had accelerated as access to technology has become increasingly […]

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Sustainability Focus: Reverse vending machines

Welcome to our brand new section of the site which is going to focus on the sustainable side of retail. It’s exciting times for anyone involved in this area as technology and retailers try to keep up with customers’ demand for all things ethical.  From palm oil to fur farms, fast fashion to one use […]

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Innovative Retailer: Bottletop

Name: Bottletop The Place: Regent Street, London The Story: Ring pulls from cans turned into luxury bags. What’s not to like? Sorry, did you say ring pulls? I did. Did you say luxury bags? I did. In the same sentence? I did. OK, just checking: The germ of an idea, which began in 2002 as […]

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Valuing people in an automating world

Automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have been driving the narrative around the retail industry in recent years whereas the people element has been somewhat sidelined. It has certainly not been seen as a central plank of the future for the sector. But we are seeing evidence of a growing realisation that it is people […]

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Transforming Retail Awards 2019: The Judges

  Retail Insider is delighted to introduce and profile its judging panel for our third ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards. We hope you will agree that we have an outstanding line up ready to cast their eyes over the entries, in fact although we are biased we would argue that there is not an awards in the […]

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Transforming Retail Awards 2019: The Judges

  Retail Insider is delighted to introduce and profile its judging panel for our third ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards. We hope you will agree that we have an outstanding line up ready to cast their eyes over the entries, in fact although we are biased we would argue that there is not an awards in the […]

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Sustainable Fashion: H&M laying out its sustainability credentials

    Welcome to a monthly column within our broader sustainability section which is going to focus on what fashion is doing to address the issues in its industry. H&M laying out its sustainability credentials – brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box Fast fashion is a byword for poor sustainable practice […]

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Time to take back control of delivery

Rising demand for home delivery is changing the foodservice landscape as consumer appetite for meals brought to them in a matter of minutes continues to grow at an exponential rate. Spending on delivery increased 19% in 2018, according to Cardlytics, compared with a mere 3% for the overall dining market. There’s no doubt aggregator market […]

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Retail Insider launches its third ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards

Retail Insider  is calling for entries to its awards dedicated to digital and technological innovation. Now in its third successful year, the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards 2019 is designed to showcase the best examples of innovation in retail technology across the sector and will feature seven categories: ‘Best Overall Use of Technology’, ‘Best In-Store Experience […]

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Digital brands flocking to physical retail

Pure-play retailers opening physical stores is a growing feature of the industry’s landscape and is a trend that has taken hold in the US where there are around 600 such stores at present and the forecast is for around 1,500 of these digital-first brand outlets to be operating within the next five years. These retailers […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Natoora

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: Natoora Location: Four units across London in Chiswick, Fulham Road, Sloane Square and Bermondsey. In a nutshell: In 2004 Franco Fubini founded Natoora in the UK – at […]

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Innovative Retailer: Retuna

Name: ReTuna Aterbruksgalleria The Place:  Somewhere unpronounceable in Sweden. Just try for me: Eskilstuna The Story: Have you ever been to a tip? Yes, most recently: your house: No, I mean a rubbish tip. Oh. Yes I have: So you are familiar with the scene: large boxes full of both recyclable and non-recyclable waste. You […]

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To disrupt or not to disrupt, that is the big question

Everybody knows the story of how Kodak failed to switch from photographic film to digital images and how Blockbuster made the mistake of failing to move out of physical videos and into digital downloads and streaming. There are many other examples of such calamities and there will no doubt be many more because one of […]

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What next for the UK’s busiest High Streets? Part 2

Six months ago, we surveyed two different  high streets: Crouch End Broadway and Wood Green High Road both in the borough of Haringey, North London, to see in what ways they differ and what the emergence of the Wood Green Business Improvement District (BID) might mean for the fortunes of struggling Wood Green.  Now we […]

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Lessons for the High Street: 5 Carlos Place

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: 5 Carlos Place Location: Heart of Mayfair, London W1 In a nutshell: MATCHESFASHION.COM is trying to reinvent what ‘shopping’ might mean for the Insta generation who define a […]

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Don’t be left behind by smarter shopper behaviour

  Shopper behaviour is changing dramatically, with certain trends now becoming entrenched as the retail landscape continues to be redrawn as a result of the seismic impact of digital on all parts of-our daily lives. Among the key changes are the rise of micro-shopping, where consumers purchase frequent and often from a variety of retailers, and the expectation from shoppers […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast with Clodagh Moriarty, group chief digital officer of Sainsbury’s

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2019 with Clodagh Moriarty, group chief digital officer of Sainsbury’s, whose role involves the bringing together of the teams across the group’s brands: supermarkets, Argos, Sainsbury’s Bank, and Nectar Clodagh is a member of the Sainsbury’s operating board and she addressed senior executives from John Lewis, Graze, […]

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Trying to solve the sustainability and fashion conundrum

Welcome to our brand new section of the site which is going to focus on the sustainable side of retail. It’s exciting times for anyone involved in this area as technology and retailers try to keep up with customers’ demand for all things ethical.  From palm oil to fur farms, fast fashion to one use […]

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Breaking out of the prescriptive mindset

Big food and drink brands have ruled the roost for many years on supermarket shelves but an increasing number of people have lost their appetite for the established global products. Nowhere has the shift – let’s call it a revolution – been more noticeable than at the global giant Kraft Heinz. The company’s share price […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – SpoonGuru

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Markus Stripf co-founder of Spoon Guru, which features in this year’s report for its work with Tesco. 1. […]

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Kidulthood: Why retail expenditure is ageing

Important life choices such as leaving the parental home, first house purchases, and marriage are being made are now being made significantly later in life, which is impacting spending patterns and retailers’ fortunes. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is not usually known for its exciting press releases but there was a lot of pick […]

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Master of One: H Forman & Son

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on those retailers who choose to concentrate only on one very specific product or expertise. In a world where so many are jacks of all trades – we meet the masters of one. Name: H Forman & Son  Location: The aptly named Fish Island, London E3 Specialism: […]

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Dash shows innovation is more marathon than sprint

When they first appeared in 2015 there was some uncertainty about whether they really were a serious tool or just a joke. The Amazon Dash button might have been the victim of a little bit of ridicule early on but they soon found an audience of appreciative fans. The small Wi-Fi-connected buttons could reorder specific […]

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Innovative Retailer: Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

  Name: Hoxton Street Monster Supplies The Place: As the name suggests, Hoxton Street in good old Shoreditch, London The Story: 200 years ago Igor left Transylvania for London only to discover that there was a woeful lack of provisions for monsters including such staples as compacted earwax and organ marmalade. Wait, our Innovative Retailer […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A: Jim Buckle, COO, FeelUnique

Jim Buckle, COO, FeelUnique 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The global beauty market is massive and, relatively, we are still a tiny pinprick.  We have the opportunity to double or triple the business in the next 5 years and still be tiny. 2.What is the biggest challenge to your business? The […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch

Retail Insider held its first Breakfast Event of 2019 with Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch, who outlined how the business has successfully combined technology and fashion to create a platform that connects consumers with boutiques/retailers and brands globally. Andrew gave some insights into how the company has over the years steadily built crucial relationships with […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Goyard

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: Goyard Location: Mount Street, Mayfair, London In a nutshell: Forcing people to come to come to the high street and queue to buy their goods as they are […]

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Contactless not universally convenient

Not long ago it was only at small independent coffee shops located in places like London’s Soho and trendy Shoreditch, towards the capital’s eastern end, where cash was regarded as a little bit of an unwelcome commodity. After ordering your flat white you would immediately be presented with a card payment device with the expectation […]

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More than shop work: Redemption Roasters

There are some very unique jobs and people employed in retail. In this new series of posts Retail Insider will profile some of the more unusual jobs or innovative employment practices across the sector. We continue the series by talking to Max Dubiel, founder of Redemption Roasters, about training and employing young offenders as bean […]

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Coffee shops: A parallel retail universe

Time, we are always being told, is of the essence. People don’t have it anymore. They are time-poor. They want convenience above all else. Even punching their PIN number in to a payment terminal is too much waiting around, they want facial recognition and they want it now. Grab and Go is the mantra. Which […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A: YourStudio/Virgin Holidays showrooms

Highlighting some of the entries in the latest Digital Retail Innovations Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key innovations in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Howard Sullivan, co-founder and creative director of YourStudio, which featured in the report for its work […]

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More than shelf stacking: Let’s move on from our retail past

It sometimes seems as if every single month brings with it more predictions of doom and gloom in the UK retail sector. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) seems to record declining levels of retail employment each quarter without fail – in the last three months of 2018 it reported 70,000 less jobs than at the […]

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Changing face of stores happening in the background

It is clear that technology is changing the way customers use stores and that this in turn is driving retailers to adapt their physical outlets to better service these new requirements of shoppers. The latest example of this came from Tesco that announced the implementation of some major changes at many of its stores. The […]

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Ensuring employees deliver value-added experience to customers

Many high street retailers are sadly missing out on the capabilities of workforce scheduling solutions that is leaving them dangerously exposed to operating inefficiently and failing to maximise the value of their employees. Numerous businesses find themselves operating in the same way they always have done – with an Excel spreadsheet that was set up […]

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Lessons for the high street: Crabtree & Evelyn’s Islington Townhouse

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Location: Upper Street, Islington In a nutshell: Everyone’s favourite hand cream provider is going off piste with its newest incarnation – a shop called the Townhouse in North London […]

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Innovative Retailer: Freshippo

Name: As of very recently Freshippo, having renamed itself from the former Hema. Either way, it’s owned by Alibaba. The Place: China. It’s totally a Chinese thing right now and there are around 100 of them in 16 big Chinese cities as we speak. But they do things on an epic scale over there so […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Nick Thomas, founder, Built

Nick Thomas, founder, Built What is the greatest opportunity for your business? E-commerce in the building materials sector has many challenges and complexities, not least that most building products are heavy, bulky, low margin and costly to move. To resolve these difficulties, we devised a new builders’ merchant format which supports an assisted, time of […]

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Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Q&A – Vita Mojo

Following the launch of the Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is the Q&A with Nick Popovici, co-founder, Vita Mojo 1.How did the original idea come about? Some years ago I was […]

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Time to redefine department store

It is hardly revelatory to inform you that department stores are under great pressure as Debenhams, House of Fraser and even John Lewis are feeling the cold winds of change blowing through the retail sector as a result of consumption patterns changing dramatically. Spending in UK department stores has fallen for the past 13 consecutive […]

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NRF Review – Some Thoughts From Retail’s Big Show 2019

Retail’s Big Show, also known as NRF, rolled into New York for what is the big annual retail technology jamboree, which this year brought together 37,000 people – including 16,000 retailers from 3,500 different companies. There is no disputing the fact that it is an extremely big show and that as such it arguably has […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Ikea Planning Studio

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: IKEA Location: Tottenham Court Road In a nutshell: Ikea recently released revenue figures which showed a plummet in its profits by 40%. However, this is not down to […]

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Innovative Retailer: K11 Art Malls

Name: K11 Art Mall The Place: In the far flung mysterious centre of the East, part of the oriental landscape of the land of the rising sun. Or is it setting? Is it China again? Yes. The Story: Prepare yourself for a high-falutin’ tone to this latest Innovative Retailer. Oh really: We are leaving the […]

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Lessons for the High Street: How to make sustainability sexy

In the middle of Carnaby quarter there is an unusual looking shop. 20 Beak Street is currently home to a pop-up which will be open until the middle of January and is dedicated to showing people the effects of plastic on the oceans of the world. It sounds very worthy and possibly a hard sell […]

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Sneakers fuelling revolution in luxury goods sector

Nike raced into the running shoe market in the 1970’s to displace incumbents Adidas and Puma among others but what really cemented its position as a game-changing brand was releasing a version of its innovative ‘Waffle’ training shoe in blue to match the colour of jeans. This apparent small move turned what was a pure […]

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Viewpoint: Reducing waste packaging requires enlightened customers

Packaging is a particularly hot topic at the moment as a growing number of consumers recognise that much of the casing around the products they buy is arguably unnecessary. The major supermarkets have reacted to growing customer discontent and demand for more sustainable practices and now all have various initiatives in place to reduce or […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: The Final One

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Seven

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Six

Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are now […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Zoe Colegrave, head of online and marketing, Fortnum & Mason

Zoe Colegrave, head of online and marketing, Fortnum & Mason  1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
 While there are many, growth in Asia is a current focus. We’ve successfully launched three shop-in-shops in Shinsegae’s department stores in Seoul and our relationship with Lane Crawford goes from strength to strength. This year we’ve re-evaluated […]

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Viewpoint: Debate rages globally around data usage

Facebook has gone from being the darling of the tech sector to something approaching a pariah as it finds itself increasingly under attack. It is accused of exposing its members’ data to unscrupulous operators and for putting its profits ahead of people’s privacy. Its most vocal detractors are arguing that the power of its platform […]

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More than shop work

There are some very unique jobs to be had in retail. In this new series of Q & A’s Retail Insider will profile some of the most unusual job titles across the sector. We begin by talking to Andre Lewis, Fresh Buying Manager at Harrods about the new ‘vegetable butcher’ post in its food hall. […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Five

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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What future challenges does Amazon face?

  “I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.” These are not the words of a sceptical analyst, but of Amazon’s very founder Jeff Bezos. By Natalie Berg Amazon is the titan of 21st century […]

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A nation of food-shopping-lovers

For many years the UK’s major supermarkets worked hard to convince people shopping for food was a massive chore while there were so many more interesting things they could do with their time. To support their argument, they created sterile environments and put elements in place to ensure customers would be in and out of […]

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Queues leave me cold…

The cuisine coming out of the kitchen at the recently opened Berenjak restaurant in central London is described as “Iranian home-style cooking”. What’s most interesting to those people happily trapped in the capital’s restaurant bubble is JKS Restaurants is backing the venture. Berenjak is run by a chef who formerly worked in the kitchens of […]

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Lessons for the High Street: Peckham Palms

We continue our new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry. Name: Peckham Palms Location: Peckham (where else), London SE15 In a nutshell: A good example of where local people and a progressive council can together create a hub of the […]

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Healthy High Streets at all costs.

Haringey in North London is a borough that hosts both the healthiest and unhealthiest high streets in London, according to recent research from The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH), and since Retail Insider is a local resident we decided to investigate. The survey certainly received a great deal of publicity for its second ‘Health […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Four

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Viewpoint: Creative thinking essential for shopping centres

Shopping centre group Intu recently announced that it had identified space for 5,000 new-build homes and 600 hotel rooms that could be constructed alongside its centres as it grapples with the problem of what to do with its masses of space as its retail tenants endure tough times. This comes alongside news from the US […]

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Innovative Retailer: Vivo Barefoot

      Name: VivoBarefoot The Place: Online all over the place. And a physical store in London’s Covent Garden. Also via wholesalers. The Story: If you’ve ever fancied plogging… Fancied what? Or tried a swimrun… Tried a what? Or hankered after minimalist shoes… Hankered after what? I’m sorry, is there a problem with my […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Three

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part Two

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Clive Humby, chief data scientist, Starcount

Clive Humby, chief data scientist, Starcount 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Unless you are a grocer then we’ve concluded that your own data is not enough. We want to show retailers how to use other data sources and from this enable them to be able to react to trends. We also […]

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Master of One: Yolk

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on those retailers who choose to concentrate only on one very specific product or expertise. In a world where so many are jacks of all trades – we meet the masters of one. Name: Yolk Location: New Smith Square, City of London Specialism: Initially known for its signature ‘egg pots’ […]

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Retail Insider roadtests the festive sandwich: Part One

Retail Insider has been waiting patiently all year to eat the overpriced meat feasts in red packaging otherwise known as the ‘festive’ sandwich. But, as all right-thinking people know, Christmas definitely would not be Christmas without the chance to blow your entire day’s calorie count every lunchtime in December and more and more retailers are […]

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Sustainability makes sense

Airbnb is a phenomenal company that continues to disrupt the hotel industry. It’s a beast of a competitor with about five million listings on its website while 3.5 million people stayed at an Airbnb property on its best night in August this year. This has helped it gain a valuation of more than $30bn but […]

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Viewpoint: Fast fashion needs to face up to sustainability challenge

H&M is one of the leading fast fashion businesses but this massively successful company has recognised that a growing group of environmentally conscious shoppers are giving it – and the other fast fashion brands – a bit of a headache. Its core, young, customer is at the forefront of finding the wasteful nature of fashion […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – ZozoSuit

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published.   Here is a Q&A with Takehiko Ono, General Manager, Zozo International Business,  which is placed at number 31 in the report for […]

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Lessons for the High Street: 50m

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on retailers that are operating in ways that provide some interesting and valuable lessons to the wider industry.   Name: 50m Location: Eccleston Yards, London SW1 In a nutshell: Running a co-operative shop model where each contributing member is given a 50 metre space for their goods. […]

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Retail climate becomes hard to stomach

Philippines-headquartered quick service restaurant chain Jollibee hit the UK market at the weekend when its first outlet opened in London’s Earls Court. The company announced it has high expectations for its proposition, which has fried chicken dish Chickenjoy as its flagship product. This opening reminded me of the time I was invited to dine at […]

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Data is the driver

When Boparan Restaurant Group launched a 50% discount on food for emergency service workers this week to support police, firefighters and NHS staff during the winter, it triggered the simplest of reward schemes that targets specific customers. To qualify, I suspect these essential workers simply have to show their ID card at the group’s Giraffe, […]

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Retail Insider Wine Dinner with Dan Jago, CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd

Retail Insider held its final event of the year with Dan Jago, CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd, who provided some great insights and anecdotes from his rich career in wine and spirits as guests enjoyed various courses of food matched with wines from the company’s extensive cellars. Senior executives from Hotel Chocolat, Fortnum & […]

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Master of One: Bridgewood & Neitzert

Welcome to our brand new series of articles on those retailers who choose to concentrate only on one very specific product or expertise. In a world where so many are jacks of all trades – we meet the masters of one. Name: Bridgewood & Neitzert Location: Stoke Newington Church Street, Hackney. Specialism: The making and […]

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Movers and Shakers Q & A: Paul Hornby, director of e-commerce, Matalan

Paul Hornby, director of e-commerce, Matalan 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? We have a real opportunity to become the most trusted omni-channel retailer of family value. Nobody has – yet – truly nailed the omni-channel customer experience in my opinion, and this is especially true in the value sector. Considering how […]

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Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations Q&A: Karma

Following the launch of our 2018 ‘Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations top 20’ report, here is a Q&A with Elsa Bernadotte, co-founder of Karma, which features in this year’s report for its app focused on food waste reduction. 1. How did the original idea come about? A staggering ? of all food produced is thrown […]

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Launch Dinner for Retail Insider ‘Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations’ report with Rohan Pradhan, COO of Deliveroo

  Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the second ‘Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Top 20’ report at an evening event with guest speaker Rohan Pradhan, COO of Deliveroo. The report, sponsored by Webloyalty, recognises the top 20 leisure and hospitality digital initiatives of the last year and draws attention to a number of industry trends including […]

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Innovative Retailer: Bite Beauty

Name: Bite Beauty generally and its Lip Labs specifically. The Place: Not here sadly. The ladies out there will have to wait to visit a Lip Lab. Or fly to the States/Canada if customised lipstick becomes necessary to continue living. The Story: Some retail sectors we just keep coming back to in this series on […]

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Viewpoint: Keeping it real down the market

Whenever I make the journey to Barcelona, which seems to be quite frequent as the city plays host to numerous technology conferences, then a visit to the famous La Boqueria food market is an absolute must. It is held up as the benchmark for what a market should be and which all too often far […]

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Retail Insider ‘Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Top 20’ report launches

Retail Insider this week celebrated the launch of the second ‘Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations Top 20 Report’ at a dinner event at central London restaurant Pied A Terre. The report, sponsored by Webloyalty, showcases some of the very best leisure and hospitality digital initiatives of the year and simultaneously highlights a number of industry trends including the […]

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That’s entertainment

High-profile crowdfunding platforms Seedrs and Crowdcube have both been highlighting their successes recently. The former celebrated raising funds for 66 food and beverage businesses since 2012, which is its most successful sector, accounting for more than 11% of its completed deals, while the latter pointed to the fact 100-plus companies had raised more than £1m […]

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Winners announced for 2018 Transforming Retail Awards

A host of senior retail executives gathered yesterday in central London at Sourced Market to celebrate the second Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ aimed at highlighting some of the most exciting innovations in the retail sector over the past year. The Awards attracted many entries of a very high standard giving the judges a particularly […]

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Viewpoint: Algorithms determining service levels

  Uber recently introduced a system in Australia and New Zealand that bans people from using the service if they are awarded low ratings by drivers. After a number of incidents of bad behaviour by certain passengers the company has brought in measures that take away access to its service for six months if people […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Charlie Pool, Stowga

  Charlie Pool, CEO of Stowga.  1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The big goal is to change the entire way people think about their supply chain. Right now the warehouse is the weak link in the supply chain: everything else in a supply chain (i.e. transportation) is short term variable costs for […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Slyce

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Ted Mann, CEO of Slyce, which features in this year’s report for its work with Tommy Hilfiger and […]

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Beyond the call of duty

We have just hit the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and it brought to mind an anecdote I heard from just before that period. Sir Fred Goodwin, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, were sharing a platform at a conference when the subject […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast with Patrick Pondaven, director of consumables UK, Amazon

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of the year with Patrick Pondaven, director of consumables UK at Amazon, who gave some insights into the operational and cultural aspects of the company and how it puts the customer at the heart of everything it does. Senior executives from Fortnum & Mason, Hotel Chocolat, Belstaff, and […]

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What next for the UK’s busiest High Streets?

Some of the current discussions on the direction of the British High Street can be neatly encompassed within the London borough of Haringey. It is home to two shopping destinations which are geographically close but very different in terms of shoppers and retailers – Crouch End in the west of the borough with a population […]

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Innovative Retailer: Music Magpie

Name: Music Magpie The Place: Up North. Founded in Stockport, with warehouses located in Macclesfield, but basically it’s a digital story through and through. The Story: Cast your mind back into the mists of time. Yes: Back to the financial crash of 2007/8. Yes: Back to when mortgage defaults were beginning to bite. Yes. Back […]

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Get a little smarter at WIRED Smarter 2018

Retail Insider is pleased to be associated with Wired as a media partner of its forthcoming WIRED Smarter 2018 conference on October 9 and is looking forward to hearing a plethora of speakers that include some of the more progressive-thinkers around. The 2018 event incorporates multiple streams comprising the three major verticals – retail, energy […]

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Online-only retailers spot opportunity on high street

In recent years many vacant retail units have been taken by food and beverage operators but as this sector has also come under pressure the level of empty units on high streets and in shopping malls is becoming an increasing problem. This situation has arguably been more acute in the US where even New York […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Tugce Bulut, founder, Streetbees

Tugce Bulut, founder, Streetbees What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The extent of change in the retail sector is enormous, and presents us with an incredible opportunity to disrupt an entire industry. New methods of consumption – online, via social media, even on TV – require a completely new way of understanding consumers. […]

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Retail Insider Movers & Shakers Top 100 report launch event with Gareth Jones, former director at Missguided

Retail Insider held its latest event to celebrate the launch of the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100 Report 2018’ with guest speaker Gareth Jones, formerly of Shop Direct and Missguided, alongside a tutored wine tasting. Attendees of the event at Vinoteca in Bloomberg Arcade in the City of London included senior executives from […]

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‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ 2018 report launches

Retail Insider has launched the 2018 edition of the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report highlighting the key individuals in retail that are most effectively using the power of digital to push their organisations forward. This is the ninth year that we have produced such a report, with the sponsor K3, and as always the findings shine […]

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Maturing digital newcomers spell greater competition

  Mattresses and razors are among the product types that have been focused on by single-line specialist online-only retailers who have each sought to grab a small part of enormous target markets. The likes of Casper with its mattresses and Dollar Shave Club with its razors have been pioneers of such strategies and have led […]

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Child-sized portions?

I’m very much hoping it was not an age thing but when on holiday recently I ordered two children’s meals on the same day – eating one at breakfast and the other at dinner. The child’s full English had been ordered by my son on the first morning of a two-night stay at The Bull […]

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Innovative Retailer – Farmhouse Market

Name: Farmhouse Market The Place: Literally one store in the middle of nowhere – well, New Prague, Minnesota – population 7,600 souls. But trust me, this or something very like it, is what the future of the High Street could look like. The Story: Imagine two people. Married. No background in retail at all and […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Richard Longhurst, co-founder, Lovehoney

Richard Longhurst, co-founder of Lovehoney 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The sexual wellbeing market is growing and online shopping continues to get more popular – a double whammy of good news for Lovehoney. We’ve also noticed that the internet goes everywhere and people have sex everywhere so the international opportunity for […]

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Micro-shopping trips get bigger

Regardless of whether it is driven by the increasingly time poor characteristic of most people or simply their growing impatience we are moving into the era of the ‘micro shopping’ trip that is defined as taking less than five minutes. The trend is being further fuelled by the emergence of in-store services linked to online […]

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Shortlist announced for Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards 2018’

Retail Insider is very pleased to announce the shortlist for its annual ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards of 2018. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector during what is an unprecedented period of change. We believe the shortlist below consists of a strong field of innovations and highlights […]

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Knowledgeable employees vital for success of physical stores

  The good news for retailers sitting on a portfolio of physical shops is that consumers still prefer to go into stores rather than shop online. But the bad news is that there is a belief among many people that in-store employees hinder the shopping experience and need to be more knowledgeable. According to research […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Ben Francis, founder and director, Gymshark

Ben Francis, founder and director, Gymshark 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The biggest opportunity for Gymshark at the moment is to harness the potential of GSHQ, our new Birmingham-based office. The 42,000 sq ft space gives us the opportunity to expand our workforce to help us continue on the growth trajectory we’re […]

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Barbershops playing important role on high streets

The future of high streets will very much be determined by a combination of localised offerings, a high level of personalization, and more service-led propositions, as opposed to simply identikit shops looking to sell consumers more commoditised stuff. Neatly fitting into this template-for-the-future is the barbershop. I personally had not really considered them as a […]

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The technology delivering the personal touch to in-store shopping

It’s taken a lot longer than it should – particularly considering the rapid rise and comparative sophistication of online shopping – but finally ‘physical’ retail is starting to get ‘phygital’. One area in which retailers are seeing demand grow, is for personalised pricing and promotions – delivered direct to shoppers’ mobile devices when they are […]

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Digital Retail Innovations – Aila Technologies

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Jason Gulbinas, CEO of Aila Technologies which features in this year’s report for its work with Rent The […]

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Technology at heart of loyalty generation

Having worked across different sectors it is noticeable how retail is very much more about the transaction whereas with the travel industry experience is everything. The good news is that this could change because innovations in things like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are bringing a greater level of personalised service to retail. […]

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Walking Away From Cash

Earlier this year Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store to the public, enabling shoppers in Seattle to pick goods off the shelf and leave. Cameras and scanners monitor the movements of each person and the goods they handle before automatically charging their account as they leave the shop with their items. Amazon has trademarked […]

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Future delivery models are knocking on the door

In a relatively modest timeframe Ocado has pretty much gone from what some analysts described as zero to the stock-market now pricing it as a hero. From being among the most shorted stocks on the UK market it has moved into the FTSE100 index and arguably become the darling of the UK retail sector following […]

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Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Q&A – Nutrifix

Following the launch of the Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations 2017 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Joel Burgess, co-founder, Nutrifix. How did the original idea come about? I started Nutrifix to “scratch […]

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Five theses about the future direction of grocery retailing

FMCG/retail sector is in a phase of transformation, the likes of which we have not seen before. Business stakeholders drive some of the changes while others are clearly coming from the outside. Business models nimble enough to adapt will thrive, while many others will be caught flatfooted and perish. Here are five theses for the […]

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Cutting waste begins at the shelf edge

Carrier bags, straws and single-use coffee cups have joined food waste on the growing list of concerns consumers have about the wasteful nature of much of today’s consumption. The UK wastes 10 million tonnes of food each year which has a value of over £17 billion, 60% of which could be avoided, and when you […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Craig Smith, digital commerce director, Ted Baker

Craig Smith, digital commerce director, Ted Baker 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Contrary to popular belief it’s not opportunity based upon other businesses not being around anymore as busy shopping destinations works for everyone. The big opportunities for us are around evolving our product offer in the right direction and wrapping […]

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Innovative Retailer – Iceland

Name: Iceland The Place: 900 stores across the UK and 23,000 employees. Can I just clarify so our readers don’t get worried – obviously this Iceland will be some kind of terribly modern and ironic ice cream brand or something: No But what I mean is: clearly we’re not talking about the old High Street […]

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Launch of ‘Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report’ with Paul Wilkinson of Tesco Labs

Retail Insider was proud to launch the ‘Digital Retail Innovations Report 2018’ (sponsored by Webloyalty) with a special guest speaker Paul Wilkinson of Tesco Labs who highlighted some of the areas technology will likely have a significant impact on the retail sector. Guests from leading retailers and members of the report’s Advisory Panel gathered at […]

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Bravery can help retailers stand out

The recent news that Stella McCartney has bought back the 50% holding in her fashion business from global luxury goods company Kering will enable the company to much more easily continue with its preference for bucking conventional wisdom. Such actions help differentiate businesses and set them apart from the competition. Being able to take an […]

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Amazon performs strongly in Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report

Amazon continued its dominance as one of the most innovative companies in the world today by taking three of the top ten rankings in the 2018 Digital Retail Innovations Report from Retail Insider, sponsored by Webloyalty. It’s Amazon Go and Amazon Logistics made the second and fourth places while Amazon Echo topped the list in first […]

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The delivery battle is heating up

Restaurants and foodservice operators of all shapes and sizes are either grappling with how to use home delivery to their best advantage or they are at the least being caught in the cross-fire as the rival aggregators and delivery firms suck in more consumers as they battle it out for dominance. From the point of […]

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Old models increasingly float customers’ boats

Books and vinyl records should have been consigned to the dustbin by now – brushed aside by the digital revolution – if the earlier forecasts were to have been believed. But they are having something of a renaissance in just the same way as the seemingly dead milkman is also having a bit of a […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A: TotalCtrl

Leading up to the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2018 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Charlotte Aschim, co-founder of TotalCtrl, which will feature in this year’s report for its work with […]

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Retailers need to realise potential of dynamic pricing to bring efficiencies to stores

Whenever my family finds itself in the Green Park area of London on a Sunday morning we invariably make our way to a nearby branch of a major name supermarket and buy a whole bag full of massively reduced sandwiches that have nearly reached their sell-by-date. While this is a great bonanza for us – […]

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Food markets drop anchor but some could run aground

Food halls and markets are springing up in a variety of locations but there is a worry that they are mistakenly being seen as the solution to the growing issue of empty retail units that blight the shopper landscape. Speaking at MAPIC Food & Beverage in Milan last week on a panel discussion titled ‘Food […]

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Blockchain highlights real provenance

We’ve all seen it written in stone that millennials are willing to spend more on products from companies committed to delivering both a positive social and environmental impact. It’s the rest of us that have damned the planet and the youngsters are seeking to address things. This comes at a time when there is a […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Philippe Chainieux, CEO of Made

Philippe Chainieux, CEO, Made What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The market in furniture and homewares is seeing the same transition from high street to online that the fashion industry has gone through. As the digitally-native, leading design brand, MADE is best positioned to benefit from the opportunity the transition presents. What is […]

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Innovative Retailer – Wheelys

Name: Wheelys The Place: Any street corner, anywhere on the globe! Now that’s what I call a marketplace. That’s what I call “not possible”: Nonsense. You can go anywhere on a bike. And Wheelys combines all those hot retail trends right now. Like: Like sustainability, eco-friendliness, organic produce, franchising, elements of the gig economy even, […]

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End of the road for old school research methods

Traditional market research methods are under increasing pressure as the next generation of firms like Streetbees fully utilises technology to strip out people’s claims and aspirations and deliver results based purely on reality. The company has recruited one million people around the world who can be called upon by brand owners, retailers and food service […]

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Refillable and reusable replacing single-use

It started with carrier bags a few years back and more recently has extended to plastic straws and single-use coffee cups as well as plastic water bottles. After much prevarication consumers and retailers now seem to have the bit between their teeth over the issue of reducing the levels of waste plastic. Selfridges was on […]

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Secondary revenue no longer a secondary thought

These are tough times for retailers with a race to the bottom being seen in many areas of the industry, which is eating dangerously into margins and forcing companies to work more creatively or face severe problems in the future. This creativity is driving activity in the area of secondary revenue (known as ancillary revenue […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – John Murphy, founder of Interbrand + Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2018 with John Murphy, founder of Interbrand, and Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse who talked around how branding was originally created and how it is developing. An audience of senior executives gathered at The Delaunay in central London to hear how Murphy formed Interbrand at […]

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Made predicting accelerated growth

Online business Made is confident that its growth will accelerate as the online share of the furniture and homewares category is predicted to double by 2022 and it plans to grab a greater chunk. Philippe Chainieux, CEO of Made, reckons the sector will follow fashion whereby a greater amount of trade will shift online: “The […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Matt Henton, head of e-commerce at Moss Bros

Matt Henton, head of e-commerce at Moss Bros What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Moss Bros. is in many ways a very traditional menswear retailer. Our suit experts get to know their customers and offer an unparalleled level of service through our stores. To continue to thrive, we need to further improve the […]

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Retail Insider Evening Event – ‘Future of food and drink retail’ panel discussion

Retail Insider held its latest evening event with a panel of influential retailers discussing the key issues and trends within the food and drink category. The evening concluded with a tutored tasting of some of the best craft beers. Simon Burdess, director of foodservice at Waitrose, Didier Souillat, CEO of Time Out Markets, and Ben […]

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Launch of Retail Insider Transforming Retail Awards 2018

Retail Insider headed up by award winning journalist Glynn Davis, is calling for entries to its awards dedicated to digital and technological innovation. Now in its second year, the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards 2018 is designed to showcase the best examples of innovation in retail technology across the sector and will feature seven categories: ‘Best Overall Use […]

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Innovative Retailer – Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

Name: Paul A Young Fine Chocolates The Place: There are a grand total of three shops all in the smoke: one in the City, the original in Camden Passage and another in Soho, all catering to the chocolate cognoscenti. But I expect you can buy them in supermarkets too, right? Get out, go on! Wash […]

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Kill your range as less really should be more for retailers

Many craft beer bars have a focus on offering an incredible array of beers but in some cases they go so far over the top that mainstream consumers find it rather off-putting. They cannot cut through the dizzying array on offer in order to make their selection. It’s akin to rabbits in the car headlights. […]

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Shopping malls and high streets both face online challenge

At a time when we are seeing retailers on the high street come under ever more pressure there continues to be examples of massive expansion by merchants at some of the marquee shopping centres. The results from Next recently highlighted how it was dealing with a tough balancing act as it manages the decline of […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast focused on digital challenges and opportunities for retailers

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2018 with a panel of digital leaders discussing the challenges facing retail, competing with Amazon, and the need to give shoppers a richer more personalised experience. Sean McKee, director of e-commerce & CX at Schuh, Aron Gelbard, founder of Bloom & Wild, and Nicolas Pickaerts, e-commerce director […]

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Delivery land-grab still in full swing

One of the differentiating factors of Just Eat compared with its rivals Deliveroo, UberEats and Amazon is that it has a true virtual model. It simply acts as an online marketplace linking hungry customers with their local take-away operators. It certainly does not dirty its hands (and diminish its margins) by handling the actual deliveries. […]

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Innovative Retailer – BUILT

Name: BUILT The Place: Oh it’s terribly new. Only a baby in fact. Just one store in the Birmingham area. Plus it only opened in September 2017 so we are all over it really quickly. The Story: Builders – a breed unto themselves aren’t they? They certainly are: We’ve all heard the stereotypical stories of […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer at Ocado

Retail Insider held its first Breakfast Event of the year with Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer at Ocado, who outlined how its unique business model has resulted in it building all its technology in-house. Senior executives from Sainsbury’s, Deliveroo, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Schuh were among those who heard how Ocado is unusual […]

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Retailers must re-align themselves around the customer

We know that retailers are facing challenging times, well spare a thought for the beleaguered newspaper industry. It has faced a torrid time at the hands of people choosing to read content online for free. Couple this with the mighty tough task of competing with the duopoly of Google and Facebook for the budgets of […]

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