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Author Archive | Glynn Davis

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 ⅓ 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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The taste-makers redrawing the food and drink landscape

  Prezzo, Chimichanga, Jamie’s Italian, Square Pie, and Byron are among the growing number of restaurant brands that are either ceasing trading or the shutters are being pulled down on many of their outlets. This is proof if it were needed that this is an increasingly tough environment for food service businesses to operate and […]

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Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Q&A – Too Good To Go

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 Jamie Crummie, co-founder, Too Good To Go, which is placed at number 2 in the report. How […]

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In-home is where it’s at

The next frontier of retail is in people’s homes. If customers won’t visit the store then the retailer could always visit the customer at their home. Waitrose is dipping its toe in the proverbial water here with the recent launch of its In-home wine tasting service. The company has recognised that it has over 200 […]

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Retail Insider Dinner with Angus Thirlwell, co-founder & CEO of Hotel Chocolat

Retail Insider held its latest evening event with Angus Thirlwell, co-founder & CEO of Hotel Chocolat, who hosted a Cocoa Cuisine dinner with matching drinks while also running guests through the story of his multi-faceted chocolate business. Senior executives from Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis, Tesco, Berry Bros & Rudd, Sainsbury’s, Cook, and Budgens were […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, president of techUK and non-executive director & advisor

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, president of techUK and non-executive director & advisor 1. What is the greatest opportunity for consumer-facing/retail businesses? Once upon a time the retail industry was all about selling, now its biggest opportunity is providing unparalleled, interactive experiences to customers. The rise of subscription services and the pervasiveness of connected devices such […]

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Retailers have lots of learn from the restaurant experience

As retailers look to deliver more immersive experiences in-store there is a lot they can learn from the restaurant industry where some operators are creating very rich stories in their venues. Among them is Indian restaurant chain Dishoom that has been building a successful business initially in London but soon it will have an outpost […]

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Jury’s out on flights of fancy as retailers vacate high streets

City Darts used to be an unusual venue just off Brick Lane in London’s East End. It was a typical pub in all ways except for it having a large number of dartboards scattered around the room. This unique feature made it worth a visit for any group looking for something different to just sitting […]

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Volume is what most brands really value

A few years ago if you wandered into a Poundland store you really would not have known what products you’d find on the shelves. This was because the business sourced many of its branded lines via third-parties because the brand owners would not supply the retailer direct. The issue was that the well known brands […]

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Innovative Retailer – Birchbox

Name: BirchBox The Place: Head quartered in New York because, um, that’s where the early adopting cool people live but it’s mainly an online outfit which operates in numerous countries and is now definitely in the UK too. The Story: Every now and again this column likes to give a shout out to a company […]

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Secondary Siberia dining rooms

Regular restaurant-goers and those in the industry will know that every venue has its own versions of the Siberia tables, which in the case of the worst examples only the unwitting and timid would fail to reject when directed to by the front-of-house team. Those tables situated right next to the toilets, in draughty doorways, […]

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Retail employment revolution

When the headlines deliver a constant stream of stories about shop closures and the abandonment of new store developments it is hardly surprising that employment prospects in the sector appear extremely poor. When you add in the developments around automation then it all sounds pretty woeful for the jobs situation in the retail industry. That […]

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Brits have a lot to live up to when it comes to service style

Waiter: “Would you like this octopus dish?” Me: “No thanks, we’ve already had it. And it was very good.” Waiter: “Would you like another?” Me: “Not really.” Waiter: “It’s on the house.” Me: “Yes please.” This interchange took place during the early stages of lunch at the hot new Catalan-inspired restaurant Rambla that landed in […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Guy Hipwell, non-executive director and investor

Guy Hipwell, non-executive director and investor What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Diversity and the speed of technological change. As I work with businesses that range in value from revenues of sub $1 million to several billion dollars, I am very fortunate to be able to learn from experiences across a broad range […]

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Thoughts from NRF in New York City

Retail Insider recently attended Retail’s Big Show, organised by the National Retail Federation (NRF), in New York City where the world’s technology providers show off their latest wares to senior retail executives.   Record numbers descended on this year’s event to get an insight into the way technology is moving and how it can help […]

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Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Q&A – GoInStore

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 Andre Hordagoda, Co-founder, GoInStore, which is placed at number 5 in the report for its work with […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – OLIO

Following the launch of the Digital Retail 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 Tessa Cook, co-founder of OLIO, which is placed at number 26 in the report for its work with […]

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Innovative Retailer – Clutter

Name: Clutter The Place: At the moment US only but expect global domination any time soon, which may include Blighty…So watch this space. The Story: Stuff. It’s a thing isn’t it? It certainly is: Got too much of it? Nope: So you are in the minority then, my friend. Well, I’m used to being special […]

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David Bruce and the next-generation brewpubs

Brewpubs are widely seen as a US invention because they are very much a feature of the beer landscape on that side of the Atlantic. But this is not strictly true because the brewpub phenomenon was ignited by activities in the UK by British entrepreneur David Bruce who founded the Firkin chain of brewpubs. In […]

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Ready meals facing pressure from home delivery?

Restaurants and other foodservice companies are having a tough time handling the explosive growth now being experienced in home delivery. Increasingly impatient – and lazy – customers demanding instant gratification are fuelling the growth in food delivered to the home. The amount of meals cooked in the home is falling among younger people who find […]

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Innovative Retailer – Stowga

Name: Stowga The Place: Anywhere in the UK there are big, empty warehouses really. The Story: Like all good business ideas, this one comes from someone spotting a problem and thinking – I could solve that. And who might that someone be? Charlie Pool, CEO of Stowga. He comes from an asset management background (Delin […]

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Small is beautiful

Andrew Edmunds is a long established restaurant in central London that always features highly on top restaurant lists including that of Hardens, which currently has it placed as the fifth best within its price category and is it is also deemed the city’s third most romantic restaurant by the guide’s readers. I admit to venturing […]

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Less stuff and more experience

Experience-led retail is without doubt the future of the physical store. The days when a trip to the shops would inevitably end up with people returning home laden down with bags of stuff look to be numbered. The combination of increasing online sales, and the trend for younger consumers to be buyers of social media-friendly […]

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Retail Insider editor among most influential Twitter accounts in UK retail

Retail Insider is delighted to announce that its editor Glynn Davis has been included in a list of the most influential retail-focused Twitter accounts in the UK being placed at number 25 out of 100 – a rise of five places from his 30th spot last year. Click to view the full list Only three […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Simon Calver, partner, BGF Ventures

Simon Calver, partner at BGF Ventures 1. What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? We are all beginning to collect more data but the biggest opportunity now is to use that data to build customer insights that can differentiate your own proposition and create really sticky customers. 2. What […]

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Food & beverage dropping anchor in retail developments

It was certainly sunnier at MAPIC, the annual retail property developers exhibition, in southern France than it was in the UK this month but what remained the same across both places was the stunningly hot climate for food and beverage (F&B) in the retail environment. Food & beverage was the main focus at the event […]

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Retail industry thinking catching up with Unpackaged

Operating a retail store where the produce is sold via refillable containers brought in by the customer was ahead of its time even in the hipper parts of East London, which resulted in innovative business Unpackaged having a tough time. Despite the challenges and closure of its only store in 2012 its founder Catherine Conway […]

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Innovative Retailer – Elvis & Kresse

Name: Elvis & Kresse The Place: The manufacturing workshop is in a picturesque water mill in deepest Kent – Tonge to be exact. And there are no shops. The Story: This is a story of a company that wants to redefine luxury in the most surprising way. Kresse Wesling is co-founder of Elvis & Kresse […]

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IKEA hops aboard the service trend

When kitting out the bedrooms of my house the decision about new wardrobes involved me employing a carpenter. But the cost was astronomical for the size and complexity required. Each of the carpenters from whom I took quotes suggested the best alternative was to source the wardrobes from IKEA and employ a professional DIY person […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Tony Mannix, CEO of Clipper Logistics

Tony Mannix, CEO of Clipper Logistics What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Agility is a word we’ve lived by at Clipper since we started, and it’s a concept we believe has been key to our own success. It’s allowed us to develop award-winning solutions, such as our Boomerang™ returns service, and our recent […]

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Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Q&A – Inamo

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 Noel Hunwick, co-founder of Inamo, which is placed at number 19 in the report. 1.How did […]

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Consumers no longer beholden to the car

The major grocery chains built their portfolios of massive stores on the back of the phenomenon of the UK population getting into their cars, driving to their nearest out-of-town superstore, and doing their weekly/fortnightly/monthly mega shop. While plenty of people still undertake this ritual the trend is trailing off. Partly this is because more people […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Blue Yonder

Following the launch of the Digital Retail 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 Uwe Weiss, CEO of Blue Yonder, which is placed at number 11 in the report for its work with […]

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Innovative Retailer – SweetGreen

Name: SweetGreen The Place: America basically. Currently standing at 72 units spread all over the country with another handful opening soon. The Story: Back in 2007 three business undergraduates at Georgetown University Business School tried to find some good food off-campus and failed abysmally. The good, healthy, nutritious salad options full of locally produced stuff […]

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Issues with showroom stores

US department store chain Nordstrom is to open its first Nordstrom Local variant, which will act as a showroom where customers can buy a drink and relax but cannot take home any clothes. Instead they have to order them and wait for their chosen items to be delivered to their homes. This follows the strategy […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Edwina Dunn, CEO of Starcount

Edwina Dunn, CEO, Starcount What is the greatest opportunity for your business? When we started work in the industry we used customer transaction data to understand what customers did – what they bought (classic recency, frequency and value analysis). This still dominates the whole industry and continues to consume millions of pounds in investment. But […]

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Launch of Retail Insider ‘Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations Top 20 Report’

Retail Insider this week celebrated the launch of the inaugural ‘Digital Leisure and Hospitality Innovations Report’ at an evening event with guest speaker Fernando Fanton, chief product & technology officer at Just Eat. The report, sponsored by Webloyalty, recognises the top 20 leisure and hospitality digital initiatives of the last year and draws attention to […]

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Subscription services are all about the churn

  Subscription services seem to have been flavour of the month for a long time as the number of product categories where customers can receive regular deliveries of products to their homes has grown exponentially. Recent research from Zuora has shown that 89% of UK adults now subscribe to such services. That’s a sizeable 58 […]

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Retail Insider Announces Winners of First ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards

Senior retail executives recently gathered in central London at Sourced Market to attend the inaugural Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ designed to showcase the most exciting developments in the retail sector over the past year.  The Awards attracted multiple entries of a high standard giving the judges a difficult job. However they eventually whittled all […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Holition / Charlotte Tilbury ‘Magic Mirrors’

Following the launch of the Digital Retail 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 Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition, which is placed at number 48 in the report for its work with […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast and Launch of Movers & Shakers Top 100 report

Retail Insider held its latest breakfast event with Tatiana Fokina, CEO of Hedonism Wines, and Elizabeth Layne, chief marketing officer at Appear Here, who helped launch the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report for 2017. Senior executives from John Lewis, Karen Millen, Tesco, Hotel Chocolat, House of Fraser and WH Smith were among […]

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‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ 2017 Report Launched

Retail Insider has launched the 2017 edition of the ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report that highlights the key individuals in retail that are harnessing the power of digital to push their organisations forward. The constituents of this year’s publication show the dramatic shifts that are taking place in the retail sector as […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Mark Felix, director of online trade at John Lewis

  Mark Felix, director of online trade at John Lewis What is the greatest opportunity for your business? We have a relentless focus on our customers – on delivering them more convenient ways to shop, while inspiring and delighting them with our product ranges. Because approximately two thirds of our customers shop across both online […]

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Retail Technology Investment Trends

Retail is undergoing a revolution as organisations grapple with having to deal with multiple channels and servicing ever more demanding and impatient customers across these various touch-points. To deliver on this requires clear visibility of both inventory and customers across the channels and the only way for established retailers to realistically achieve this is to […]

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Satisfying demand for instant gratification

Much has been made of the desire by younger consumers for immediate gratification and retailers are increasingly developing solutions that satisfy this impatience among a growing percentage of the buying public. This phenomenon has fuelled growth in vending machines, with new solutions hitting the market that offer a range of goods that take us well […]

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Innovative Retailer – Sephora

Name: Sephora The Place: Well, it’s part of LMVH which is French but most people think of America when they think of Sephora on account of it being the number one beauty retailer over there. Although actually it operates in more than 30 countries. But nothing in the UK? Sore point. Once a year or […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Overall Technology Innovation of the Year’

Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Overall Technology Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Webloyalty) 1. Provenance […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Delivery Innovation of the Year’ shortlist

Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Delivery Innovation of the Year (sponsored by SAP)   1. Starship […]

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Next needs to avoid Kodak comparison

  Next has been a powerhouse of an online business with its Directory operation an early leader in selling clothing over the internet but things are grinding to something of a halt. In a fairly damning research note Berenberg recently warned rather colourfully that Next is running the risk of suffering the same fate as […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Emma Heal, MD for UK Retail at Graze

Emma Heal, MD for UK Retail at Graze 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Whilst technology has changed the trajectory of various industries over the last few years, the FMCG/CPG sector has historically lagged behind in this development. Graze saw an opportunity in the many ways tech could enable growth in the […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ shortlist

  Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Most Promising Newcomer (sponsored by ORESA) 1. Mention Me Mention […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Best In-store Experience of the Year’ shortlist

  Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Best In-store Experience of the Year (sponsored by K3 Retail) […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Most Intelligent Use of Data’ shortlist

Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Most Intelligent Use of Data (sponsored by Clipper Group) 1. Shop […]

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Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Multi-channel Experience of the Year’ shortlist

Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries. Best Multi-channel Experience of the Year (sponsored by Bond Dickinson) 1. […]

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Retail Insider ‘Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report launch video

Retail Insider recently celebrated the launch of the 2017 version of its ‘Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 Report’, sponsored by Webloyalty, where the most innovative solutions in retail in the UK and overseas were listed and ranked. Feedback from the event – with contributions from Paul Wilkinson, head of technology research at Tesco Labs, Alan […]

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Big fashion brands can learn a lot from upstarts

For Louis Vuitton the recent collaboration with US-based streetwear brand Supreme to produce a one-off range of goods must have been bittersweet. On the sweet side the tie-up, which saw the two sell through pop-up stores in London, Beijing, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, LA and Seoul, created a massive demand for the collection. Thousands of customers […]

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Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards 2017’ shortlist announced

Retail Insider is very pleased to announce the shortlist for the inaugural ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards in 2017. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector and we believe the shortlist below consists of a strong field of innovations and progressively-minded organisations. I would like to congratulate all […]

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Addressing structural changes in interior design industry

Interior design has undergone something of a revolution as digital technology has given consumers access to products and the ability to create ‘looks’ through the likes of Pinterest and Instagram. This has reduced the number of interior designers and undermined the position of retailers that supplied them with product. Andrew Martin is one such operator, […]

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Voice-enabled technology finds its voice

The most natural way of communicating is through voice so it is hardly a surprise that there is growing interest in the use of voice-enabled technology for shopping. The recent ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report listed Amazon’s voice-enabled Alexa solution as the number one retail innovation for the second year running. This […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Pixoneye

Following the launch of the Digital Retail 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 Ofri Ben Porat, co-founder & CEO, Pixoneye, which is placed at number 33 in the report. 1. How did […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Colin Porter, CEO of Joules

Colin Porter, CEO of Joules 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The same as it has been for the last few years – UK and international growth. What’s fuelling the UK is recognition of the brand and our multi-channel approach. A pillar of our growth is the eight to 10 stores per […]

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Securing the future with vertical integration

Sheep, python, alligator and crocodile farms have all been on the shopping lists of the world’s foremost luxury brands in recent years as the trend for vertical integration continues to gain prominence within the retail industry. Ermenegildo Zegna purchased a stake in a sheep station in Australia renowned for its Merino wool, Gucci bought a […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Doug McCallum, chairman of PhotoBox and Trainline, and non-executive director of Ocado

1.What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? Offering richer, faster, easier and smarter, as well as more personalised, customer experiences. 2. What is the biggest challenge to these businesses? Establishing employee value propositions that are compelling to the best talent, with open, transparent, and fun cultures combined with technology […]

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Recognising benefits of Direct to consumer

One of the things US craft brewers find particularly surprising about their UK-based counterparts is that the latter sell very little of their beer direct to the consumer. In the US many brewers sell pretty much all of their output through their own on-site tap rooms for consumption on the premises or for take-away, whereas […]

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Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 report launch event

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the new edition of the Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 Report with an evening event involving influential guest speakers and a tutored beer tasting. The event and report, both sponsored by Webloyalty, attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Pret A Manger, and Kurt […]

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Amazon dominates Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 report

Amazon has bagged the top three places in the Digital Retail Innovations 2017 Report with its Alexa technology retaining its position at the head of the table. The online juggernaut also took another position in the top 10, with its four highly-rated innovations comprising: Echo, Go, Logistics, and Dash. This is the fourth time Retail Insider […]

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Innovative Retailer – Reformation

Name: Reformation The Place: America (again). I promise the next one will be in the UK but we like Reformation so we’re doing it anyway. It’s headquartered in Los Angeles – where else? But also has eight other stores including a couple of pop-ups scattered about in New York, San Francisco, Miami and the like. […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – Michael Ward, MD, Harrods

    Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, who outlined how much of the success of the department store is down to the uncompromising focus on its wealthy core audience. In order to differentiate the business and attract the small group of the most affluent people from […]

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Get your entries in for the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ 2017

There is still time to enter the inaugural Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards for 2017. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector and we would like to invite relevant organisations to apply to be shortlisted in the relevant categories. If you wish to nominate for an […]

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Stores need to be constantly reinvented

Fast fashion is built around consumer appetite for a never ending stream of new products, which is to some extent fuelled by digital, and it is this that is also driving a mind-set of needing constant change in all things. This is manifesting itself in the way physical retail space needs to be increasingly dynamic. […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Steve Baggi, co-founder of Green Park and leader of its Retail and Consumer Practice

Steve Baggi, co-founder of Green Park and leader of its Retail and Consumer Practice What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Helping retailers understand the impact of digital transformation on the organisational design of their businesses and what that means for the leaders they employ and the retail estate model they follow. It’s all […]

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Innovative Retailer – Stew Leonard’s

  Name: Stew Leonard’s The Place: Not here, basically. America in fact, where there are currently five outlets with another one scheduled for New York sometime in 2017. It’s a ‘retailtainment’ phenomena. The Story: Way back in the 1920’s Charles Leonard opened Clover Farms Dairy in the state of Connecticut. Howdy pardner: Oh no, you’re […]

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Shoppers’ continued need for speed

Even before any customers had actually been allowed into the first Amazon Go store in Seattle a whirlwind of publicity had been created, which forecast the advent of real frictionless shopping. Commentators loved the idea of people simply walking out of the store with their goods and their bank account being automatically debited for the […]

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The Bottle Shop revolutionising the beer supply chain

Beer is regarded as a pretty robust product. There is no real problem with it sitting in bottles and cans on the shelves of supermarkets and convenience stores at room temperature for some time. For big branded lagers this is probably fine but for an increasing amount of specialist craft beers this is an issue. […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director, Fortnum & Mason

Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director, Fortnum & Mason 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
 There are many: we have everything in place to grow our digital business in tandem with our store business; we have the chance to create a greater link between in-store and online customer experiences; and we have the […]

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Retail Insider Breakfast – Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs + Miranda Ballard, co-founder of Muddy Boots

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2017 with Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs, and Miranda Ballard, co-founder of Muddy Boots, who shared their experiences of both running food retail companies but where they differ massively in terms of scale. Greggs operates a hefty 1,786 outlets while Muddy Boots has a mere three stores […]

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Humans and robots or humans versus robots?

For technology-focused individuals in the world of retail there really is no escape from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It is increasingly being applied to the likes of chatbots, which aim to imitate a human interaction with customers. This is pretty hot stuff right now. The ability to use this clever technology to engage […]

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Innovative Retailer – Depop

Name: Depop The Place: On your smart phone via the Depop app, which has over six million registered users. Sorry, how many? 6 million. I know. And it’s no slouch on Twitter either with 166,000 followers and a Facebook community with over 36,500 likes. But the app is where it’s really at. The Story: Currently […]

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UK’s serious thirst for alcohol online

Despite the continued reduction in alcohol consumption in the UK (yes, it’s true, and it’s partly driven by Millennials’ lessened thirst for booze) the country is a leader in terms of sales made online – having the highest level among European consumers. Recent research from Profitero shows that 21% of consumers in the UK have […]

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Retail Insider Drinks Event with Jonathan Wall, group e-commerce director of Shop Direct + Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch

   Retail Insider held its latest Evening Drinks Event in London with two leading players from the technology end of fashion retailing giving their insights on the industry and how it continues to change through ongoing innovation. Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch, and Jonathan Wall, group e-commerce director of Shop Direct, took part in a […]

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Movers & Shakers Q&A – Simon Mottram, founder and CEO, Rapha Racing

Simon Mottram, founder and CEO, Rapha Racing 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Growing the sport of cycling. We want to reach more people and get more people to enjoy cycling. We’re ready made to take people by the hand. They can join our club, take part in rides, travel with us, buy […]

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