Editor's Picks Archives - Inside Retail Asia

The rise and rise of affordable luxury

Malls, leasing agents and consumers are all buying into the new affordable luxury fashion category, which shows no signs of losing its lustre in Hong Kong.

Retailer Judy Yu driven by passion and purpose

Long-time retailer Judy Yu has spent a lifetime bringing a raft of brands to Hong Kong.

A new look for Inside Retail Hong Kong

As Inside Retail grows its international footprint, we’re introducing a new look for INside Retail Asia.

Taylor Swift: America’s merchant princess?

Mickey Drexler is the anointed “Merchant Prince” of American retail, the instinctively creative and commercial wizard behind Gap’s glory days and J. Crew’s current time in the sun. Following her recent blockbuster album launch (two million in sales and counting), US musician, Taylor Swift, could perhaps lay claim to the crown of America’s “Merchant Princess”, and could teach many retailers and shopper marketers a thing or two about the science of ‘selling stuff’. When I …

On the wild side: South African retail

There’s a word for South African (SA) retail: wild (which can be both positive and negative, as I’ll reveal later in this article). It’s unlike anything we see in mature Western markets like the US, UK, and Australia, which seem relatively staid and tame by comparison. On a recent trip to the southern tip of the African continent, I learned that SA retail marches to the beat of its own drum with a sense of energy, edge, and remarkable diversity. The sweep of retail starts with the…

Embracing showrooming

Over the last few years, showrooming has received a bad rap. This is the practice where a smartphone enabled shopper goes into a physical store to touch and feel the merchandise, gets expert advice, then compares prices on their device, and purchases online elsewhere. The classic example is of a customer visiting a Barnes & Noble book store, checking out the latest novel by Stephen King, asking the associate for his opinion, and then buying it on Amazon. A new generation of retailer…

Soaring US dollar’s ‘triple threat’

The soaring value of the US dollar is creating a growing challenge for Asian retailers operating intercontinentally, US retailers operating in Asia and anyone sourcing from China. The US dollar has gained around eight per cent in value since June this year, with the greatest impact appearing to be in developed economies such as Australia and Singapore. With a large proportion of sourcing contracts settled in US dollars, once hedging arrangements expire, retailers in some countries could fa…

What’s your Horrorstör?

Some retail outings fill the shopper with sheer dread. ‘Horrorstör*’ takes that notion one step further, setting a traditional haunted house story in a fictional big box furniture retailer called Orsk. The store is eerily close in style to a certain well-known Scandinavian retailer, and the book looks and feels like one of their catalogues. It’s only when you leaf through it that you see the seemingly familiar product illustrations and descriptions turn from innocent to evil. …

Can retail rescue a dying city?

Detroit is at once the American Dream and the American Nightmare. Built on automotive manufacturing and turbo charged by the construction of freeways in the 50s and 60s, the Motor City hit potholes in the 2000s with the Great Recession, a corrupt local government, and a population decline of 25 per cent in the first decade of the 21st century. ‘The D’ declared bankruptcy in 2013, and as proof of the city’s troubles, what Anthony Bourdain on CNN referred to as “ruin porn” abounds …

Retail Training: the difference between ‘average’ and ‘excellent’

If a retail business is to achieve full potential the manager and staff must have excellent knowledge and skills – and more importantly apply them effectively in the business. This attitude delivers service excellence (reputation), increased satisfaction, (loyalty) and better results, (profit), yet there are always skeptics of the value of and approach to training and developing retail skills. A lack of belief in the value of and need for training, an inability to justify the cost, the los…

The world’s most unique flagship

Flagship stores dot the major shopping thoroughfares of the big cities of the world. Often they are distinguished as much by their size as by their distinctiveness – they are monolithic versions of their mall-based cousins. Yes, they may have a feature or two – a massive digital screen here, a café there – that separates the flagship, but essentially this is super size retail and it is the scale that is impressive. Even Apple’s “significant stores” (its term for flagship) a…

Forum to deliver insights into China expansion

NAB-Australia-China BusinessWeek 2014 is set to provide new insights and perspectives for Australian SMEs to expand in or enter China. Presented by NAB, Australia-China BusinessWeek 2014 is to be held at Shangri-La Sydney on September tomorrow and Friday (September 4-5). The two-day forum will include eight high profile events: ACBW Pathways To China Forum, the inaugural NAB Agribusiness Forum, English Forums, Chinese Forums, Investment Showcase, Breakfast, ACBW 2014 Sydney Keynote Luncheo…