Editor's Picks Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Inside Retail Asia

Going faceless

Technology is faceless! Is that good or bad for customer service? Recently I found myself spending more than the usual amount of time focused on my laptop screen. Before I knew it the day had gone but I wondered had my friend “technology” helped or hindered my day? So here are some observations on customer service from a single day on the internet: Don’t bother knocking simply walk straight in! I was annoyed to discover a download included system changes without any warning or no…

Great retail is a piece of cake

Is there anything truly original in this world? The TED Radio Hour podcast on America’s NPR asked that question recently and answered with a definitive “no”. “As far as we know, the Big Bang is original,” observed TED speaker Kirby Ferguson. “And everything else is derivative,” chipped in host Guy Raz, completing the thought. And so it goes for retail. The idea of selling cupcakes is hardly a new notion, but recently I saw two fresh takes on an age-old concept. Call them “Ret…

Gentlemen, start your boxer shorts

“Clean underwear on demand”. That’s the pitch for FlyCleaners, a New York-based laundry and dry-cleaning start-up, currently prowling the streets of Brooklyn with more locations coming soon. Powered by a smartphone app, you simply click, and a few minutes later a “FlyGuy” materialises in a blue FlyCleaners truck and whisks away your unmentionables. Washing costs 99c a pound, shirts are $1.99 each to wash and press. Less than 24 hours later, you click again, and like magic, your clean c…

Shopping for creative at Cannes

The Cannes Lions bills itself as the biggest creative communications festival in the world. Starting out as an advertising show 61 years ago, it now sprawls across numerous categories, making awards in sectors as diverse as innovation and integrated. Two festivals reportedly preceded this year’s Cannes Lions, which finished on Saturday in the South of France. In mid to late May, the illustrious Cannes Film Festival took place, but (as legend would have it anyway) immediately prior to …

[:en]Triggers and treasures[:zh]动机与愉悦

One of the best shopping experiences in the world right now is anything but fancy. In fact, it is about as stripped down as retail can get – concrete floors, product on palettes, warehouse ceilings with struts and skylights. Despite the unflattering surroundings, this particular chain also charges customers just to get in the door, and every year, the equivalent of the population of the UK and Austria combined happily hand over their money to do so. The retailer in question is Costco…

India – move early, advises expert

By V Rajesh*  The Indian market is a strong attraction for any marketer simply because of the vast consumer base.  It has a population of one billion plus, of which approximately a third live in urban areas. This is expected to grow to 40 per cent by 2030, enough to make retail – and especially food retailing – very attractive.  But there is a flip side to the story – the intricacies of Indian Retailing. This is not written about often and is often lost in the debate surrounding th…

Retailers wary of new Indian govt

India has a new leader but what does that mean for international retailing? After what feels like an eternity of waiting, India now has a new leader. No one is surprised as all polls had been confidently forecasting the result as inevitable. Narendra Modi, the son of a tea seller with political roots in India’s Hindu nationalist movement, is now the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. The Prime Minister comes with a powerful CV built over the years by way of his position as…

[:en]A grocery experience from heaven[:zh]杂货店的天堂体验

[:en]Ever since Piggly Wiggly (true name) launched the world’s first ‘self service grocery store’ in Memphis in 1916, the game for supermarkets has been about increasing speed and efficiency. The hermetically sealed outcome, however, has been that a trip to the supermarket for many shoppers is not a want to, but a have to… not something to look forward to, but a task to dread. “That’s completely the opposite of what food is,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, …

[:en]Retail’s most momentous changes[:zh]零售的最重大变化

[:en]In retail, change is constant and now the frequency of change is accelerating. There is always discussion on the pros and cons of change in retail, yet surprisingly retailers struggle on how to prepare for and implement change. A recent panel discussion resulted in an agreement on seven changes most significant to retail over the last 50 years. But first, the three most common drivers of retail change: Retailers themselves force change in an attempt to keep ahead of competitors, attract…

From lion hunters to cool hunters

For more than eight decades, at the corner of 82nd and Lexington on the Upper East Side of New York City stood a local institution by the name of Lascoff Drugs. The founder, J.L. Lascoff, a Russian-Polish immigrant to the US, opened the very first pharmacy in New York State in 1899. J.L’s son Frederick took over in 1936, and (as reported in his New York Times obituary) Fred “sold leeches to battered prizefighters, catnip oil to lion hunters, and various strange potions to people who ha…

A 3 D holiday season

I’ve spent the last month or so up to my armpits in tinsel, as I’ve analysed the ‘holiday season’ in Australia and right around the world (from November through to January). I wanted to know what worked, what didn’t, and what I could learn as retailers start to prepare again for a trading time that can account for up to 60 per cent of sales and 80 per cent of profitability. One of the fascinating things I learned was that quite possibly the biggest holiday event in the world, act…

Retail rocked the Super Bowl

One of the highlights of yesterday’s Super Bowl was off the field – the advertisers who paid an average of US$4 million for a 30 second spot to showcase their messages in front of over 100 million US viewers. And out of all the ads, two that stood out were for retailers. As part of a relaunch of what has become a tired, outdated retail brand, Radio Shack aired a humorous commercial entitled: ‘The 80’s Called: They Want Their Store Back’. The spot features a group of 1980s TV i…