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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Khaki specialist Dockers led the revolution in dress-down Fridays in the late 1980’s and is now positioning itself as the daily workwear brand of choice among thirtysomethings who no longer wear a suit any day of the week. After distributing its casual wear manual to HR departments after the financial crisis of 1987 Levi’s-owned Dockers…

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Here at Retail Insider we are always interested in the ways retailers get the most out of our seasonal celebrations – and none is more interesting than Valentine’s Day which has been twisted round more tenuous tie-ins than most other annual festivities. If you had told us yesterday that cook in the pot noodles could…

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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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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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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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  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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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    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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  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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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  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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  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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    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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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  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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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 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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  “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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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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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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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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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 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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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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      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 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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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  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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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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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 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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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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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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  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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  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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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  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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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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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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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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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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  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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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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