Chanel takes over Harrods shop displays

September 7th, 2011 by Paul Smithson

Harrods has unveiled a new shop display as part of Chanel’s temporary takeover of the prestigious store, which also includes an installation and beauty boutique.

Entitled Chanel World, the project sees the shop windows facing out on to Brompton Road feature designs inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s recent Ready-to-Wear collection, reported

The initiative opened on Monday September 5th and is due to be on show for three weeks. The exhibition, entitled Coco in Wonderland, was launched a day later and will be accessible for the same amount of time.

In a statement, a representative from Harrods said: “In-store fashion and beauty boutiques are staged alongside an installation based on the iconic Chanel design codes, as defined by Coco Chanel, which include pearl, monochrome and the camellia flower motif.”

As well as jewellery, bags, shoes and accessories by the brand, a limited edition Knightsbridge Collection of make-up has been created by the Chanel creative director Peter Philips.

Grazia urged people to check out Coco in Wonderland and suggested the Coco’s Nursery area is the pick of the installation. It features a series of teddy bears and dolls wearing Chanel-style outfits amid huge dollhouses.

The glamour magazine also pointed out that visitors can get a glimpse of a red rose applique dress worn by Hollywood starlet Blake Lively in the Haute Couture Room.

Swindon chosen for 50th Retail Skills Academy

September 6th, 2011 by Chris Taylor

Swindon could produce the next generation of visual merchandising professionals following the opening of the 50th National Skills Academy for Retail.

The new skills shop, located in McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet, will provide an all-encompassing training programme for the retail sector.

According to, nationwide skills shops offer information or advice for both businesses and individuals alike. Its services cater for those looking to get into the industry through pre-employment courses, apprenticeships, management training or bespoke programmes.

The head of the National Skills Academy for Retail , Jane Rexworthy, told that the latest store is a ”huge achievement for the organisation.”

She said that each skills shop provides a valuable service to their area’s residents and businesses, particularly as retail is often key to the local economy.

“Retail is the largest private sector employer in the UK, with a £315 billion turnover,” added Rexworthy. “To continue the success of our retail industry we need to ensure the workforce has the right skills.

“From honing customer service to creating the wow factor with visual merchandising, our network helps retailers be as successful and profitable as they can be.”

Since 2009, the National Skills Academy for Retail has expanded into all four UK nations and its growth is set to continue. Later this month it will open more skills shops in Cambridge, Canterbury and Hastings.

Selfridges set for Museum of Everything display

September 1st, 2011 by Paul Smithson

A new shop display is set to be unveiled on Friday at Selfridges that will feature a huge collection of outsider art from the Museum of Everything (MoE).

According to Time Out’s blog Now. Here. This., it is the largest art installation the Oxford Street has every put on show and the project goes far beyond the external shopfittings.

The Shop of Everything will launch a fashion collaboration by Clements Ribeiro and Everything Ltd – the MoE’s own label – entitled Project 6. There will also be 200 works of art on show in the shop that have never been displayed to the public.

Retail Week reported that this is the first time that Selfridges has opted against showing any products at all in its windows, with a spokeswoman for the company revealing that the decision caused plenty of debate.

The project will be on display until October 25th 2011 and is free to enter. The organisers intend to compound the effect of the art show by arranging a series of talks, screenings and workshops alongside it.

In a statement, the MoE said: “The Museum of Everything invites you to discover Exhibition #4, over two hundred drawings, paintings and sculptures by international contemporary artists for whom creation is not just art, it is language.”

Crabbie’s extends product line for male audience

August 26th, 2011 by Chris Taylor

Brewers of Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer, Halewood International, are to launch a more mature product line catered especially for a male audience.

Crabbie’s Black, with a 6 per cent ABV, will be supported by a consumer press campaign fronted by football pundit Alan Hansen, as well as in-store and outdoor sampling, trade press and POS support.

Richard Clark, director of innovation at Halewood, said that the move comes following a “strong demand” for more “distinct tasting products for customers to enjoy”, reports

The 330ml bottled beverage takes 12 weeks for the extra steeping process before it is then matured in oak barrels, leading to a deeper and stronger taste.

Halewood stipulates that the drink must be served ice cold for maximum enjoyment.

In a company statement, the group added: “Black aims to bring new consumers into the brand by targeting more relaxed occasions to further drive growth of the ale category and increase distribution of the CrabbieÂ’s brand to new venues in both the on-trade and take home markets.”

In addition to the TV campaign and POS support, there will also be in-store and outdoor sampling opportunities, says Talking Retail.

Crabbie’s Black comes to both the on-trade and take-home market as of August 26th.

Ocado trial virtual window shopping

August 24th, 2011 by Chris Taylor

Ocado, the online grocery retailer, is set to sell its products in a virtual retail display in London’s One New Change shopping centre.

From August 25th, customers will be able to use their smartphones to scan barcodes that will be displayed in the window to place home delivery orders.

The experimental shopping experience has already been trialled by other grocery giants like Tesco in South Korea, says

However, this is the first time that consumers will be able use the system in the UK. If deemed popular, it could revolutionise the way we shop says Ocado’s PR Manager Ben Lovett.

“The office is buzzing with excitement to see the wallpaper go up, and to take the meaning of window shopping to a whole new level,” said Lovett on

The virtual shop will feature some of the online stores most popular items and will require the use of the Ocado smartphone application to place orders.

“Barcodes underneath will let you scan the items and drop them into your basket on the app. Then you simply book a delivery and get on with your day,” explained Lovett. reports that around 15 per cent of the company’s transactions currently take place on a mobile, but the online retailer is hoping the virtual shop windows will lift this figure.

The display at One New Change, near St Paul’s Cathedral, will remain in place until September 1st.

Waterstones shop display uses Big Issue seller’s art

August 23rd, 2011 by Paul Smithson

A former graphic designer living in a caravan in Bath has received a massive boost after seeing his work featured in a Waterstones shop display.

The Mirror reported how Jon Brown has been selling the Big Issue for years outside the bookshop, after failing to make it in the London art world and ending up on the streets for three years.

He moved to Bath and has been living in a mobile home, but his life took a major turn for the better when he handed in several sketches to Waterstones, which was putting a book launch display for children’s author John West.

His drawings of dragons were used in the presentation and the writer liked them so much that he has hired him to be the illustrator for his next three titles, starting with Katy and the Rainbow Mermaid.

Mr Brown, 32, told the publication: “This has put the spring back in my step. It has given me something to get out of bed for every morning.”

Another unusual shop display recently appeared in Zara’s Countrywear in Barnard Castle, County Durham, according to the Teesdale Mercury.

The retail outlet put on show a dress made entirely out of newspapers, which was created by 16-year-old GCSE student Nicole Coultard.

John Lewis portable installation laid bare

August 22nd, 2011 by Chris Taylor

A portable retail environment set to tour the UK has been unveiled by high street retailer John Lewis.

The “pop-up” installation, created by Grimshaw Architects, will host designer collections when it opens at the retailer’s flagship store in Oxford Street, London, next month.

The installation has been specially designed so that it can occupy any area. It will use a mixture of card and perspex tubing which will be interspersed with display units to hold garments.

Designers such as Osman Yousefzada, Clements Ribeiro and Tracey Boyd will have their items on display as part of the collection, according to

Commenting on the installation, Grimshaw Architects partner Kirsten Lees told “John Lewis approached Grimshaw to provide a temporary exhibit and event space capable of showcasing a variety of designers within their store on Oxford Street.

“This unique ‘pop-up’ installation called for an innovative proposal which fused exhibition design and architecture, whilst enabling John Lewis to express their brand in an exciting and striking space.”

The London launch has been set to coincide with High Street Fashion Week, which takes place between September 5th-9th. The installation will spend two months in the London store before being transported to other John Lewis outlets including Edinburgh, Cardiff and Liverpool.

The project is set to last 18 months.

Retail point of sale spending up as roadside ads tumble

August 18th, 2011 by Chris Taylor

A boost in spending in the digital and retail point of sale markets has saved a weak performance in roadside advertising, says the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC). are reporting that outdoor digital advertising revenues were £29.8 million during the quarter, representing a rise of 10 per cent compared to 2010′s Q2.

Digital is quickly becoming a dominant force in outdoor advertising accounting for 14.2 per cent of all revenues. It was up 12.8 per cent on the previous year.

In particular, digital transport advertising (chiefly subway, rail and airport) was popular, accounting for 50 per cent of this rise, followed by roadside ads (large format LED billboards and spectaculars) at 29 per cent, and then the retail and leisure sectors (including malls, gyms etc) at 21 per cent.

Contrastingly, six-sheet roadside advertising dropped 1.5 per cent year-on-year. It is understood that this is drop is due to the General Election which provided a boost in the the billboard market in 2010.

Meanwhile, retail advertising and point-of-sale was up 2.9 per cent.

In an statement, Mike Baker, CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre, said that outdoor advertising has faced “challenging circumstances” this quarter, but insists revenues have held up “comparatively well.”

“We were pleased to record only a small loss, and in fact more than half our 35 members enjoyed growth,” he said.

“With revenues for the first half of 2011 only minimally down, my hunch is that outdoor has outperformed the media market as a whole.”

Lady Gaga to design retail display

August 16th, 2011 by Paul Smithson

A retail display in New York will be designed by worldwide pop sensation Lady Gaga, who will create her own version of Santa’s Workshop for the Christmas period.

Gaga’s Workshop is set to go on show at Barneys New York from mid-November, with initial graphics advertising the spectacle featuring a cartoon of the singer dressed in a red jumpsuit and black heels with aqua-blue hair.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the shop’s window display will be designed by Gaga with her long-time fashion collaborator Nicola Formichetti, with a range of limited-edition items due to be created by the team and sold to raise money for charity.

It has yet to be revealed which charitable cause the controversial singer will choose, but the Herald Sun noted that a whole floor of the Madison Avenue shop will be devoted to Gaga’s creations and some will be sold online.

Since bursting on to the mainstream music scene in 2008 with her debut album The Fame, the performer and her creative team – known as the Haus of Gaga – have shown a knack for widespread media attention with their design choices, both in terms of her wardrobe and stage show design.

As well as Gaga and Formichetti, other artists due to contribute to the Christmas project alongside Barneys New York creative director Dennis Freedman are Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson.

Student team wins shop display award

August 8th, 2011 by David Howells

A team of students have won a competition to find the best retail display.

The Look.Stop.Shop program encouraged teams of designers to come up with new and imaginative shop displays to be used during the annual Melbourne Festival in Australia. The result was then decided by a public vote, with students from RMIT coming out on top.

29 groups of participants took part in the event, with their designs erected in the shop windows of Melbourne’s city streets.

This year’s theme was Design that Moves and the RMIT team – led by lecturer Sue Robinson - built scale models of landmarks in Santa Monica including the pier and a ferris wheel. Their winning design was featured in the window of clothes shop Kookai, who assisted with the lending of fabrics to the window display.

Speaking after the announcement, Robinson told ”We set out to create an inspiring fun display which responded to the brand, Kookai, the overall theme, Design That Moves and, importantly, engage with the public.

“We are thrilled to have been voted the public’s favourite.”

Adding, RMIT student and participant in the Look.Stop.Shop. winning team Michelle Cain told “I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to show my creativity and design kills in popular Melbourne stores.

“This program has really opened my eyes to a career in design.”