Archive for May, 2010

Out-of-hours merchandising push to get stores ready for iPad sales

Friday, May 28th, 2010

DSGi have set aside retail space in their stores across the country as the iPad went on sale in Britain for the first time today.

The deal with Apple means that DSGi has an exclusive 60 day window to sell iPads. The company, which owns PC World and Curry’s, won’t be selling the iPad in all their stores. The ones which will stock and process orders for the iPad have set aside space for display units that will promote the iPad instore.

According to a leaked email published on Bitter Wallet, there was an out-of-hours merchandising operation across the DSGi stores stocking the iPad, so the demo stock could be fitted in time. The retailer was reportedly frustrated that Apple wouldn’t allow them to publicise the sale until Friday morning, according to The Register.

Thousands of people queued, some overnight, to get their hands on the latest gadget from Apple.

Many customers are disgruntled following the news that those stores which aren’t stocking the iPad won’t be taking orders. Those who have ordered the iPad won’t get their’s for at least another week.

One million iPads were sold in America in the first 100 days – that makes it faster selling than the iPhone – according to The Guardian.


Topshop launches digital display units to promote new collection

Friday, May 28th, 2010

LG has partnered with Topshop to supply a range of digital display units that will support the launch of the Kate Moss Summer ’10 collection.

These new display units will be placed in 17 Topshop stores across the country. They will be used in shop windows to play a short film in a bid to “reach out and engage with customers and drive excitement around the launch”. The film, which stars Kate Moss, was directed and produced by Nick Knight. It was premiered on the screens that will be coming to the Topshop stores.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to participate in this high profile launch by such an iconic retailer as Topshop and also one that is known for both its high street heritage and its constant innovation in the latest retail trends,” said Barrie Guy from LG Business Solutions.

These large displays form part of Topshop’s bid to improve communications with its customers to enhance their shopping experience.

LG are claiming this is a sign that the retail industry are shifting focus to include digital display units in store. LG references the ISE 2010 survey ‘The Future of the High Street’ which found that 81% of “industry respondents” believe powerful display packages can improve customer service, and over 90% believe it could increase retail spending.

Guy added: “Topshop’s decision to use the latest display technology to showcase its 2010 launch and drive sales is yet another example of the strong support for digital signage that we are seeing in the retail sector.”

New Zealand’s retail display ban has parallel opposition from retailers

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

New Zealand’s version of the Health Act 2009, which will see shop displays of tobacco products banned from small and large retailers, is generating a similar level of opposition on the other side of the world.

The New Zealand government’s Ministry of Health has raised proposals strikingly similar to those causing controversy among retailers in the UK. Although the suggestions have yet to come into law in the oceanic state, they too suggest a total ban on the retail display of tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes or pouches of tobacco.

In another parallel though the suggestions have caused fierce opposition among retailers.

Small shop owners across the country have put their views forward as part of a submission from Association of Community Retailers to the New Zealand government. Its founding member, Murray Gibson – a tobacconist from Timaru – said that the country’s retailing community were vehemently opposed to the banning of tobacco shop displays.

The ACR’s submission called upon the government to direct its efforts on “further education and enforcement” if it “wants people to stop smoking”, rather than “impose restrictions and enforce a retail display ban on tobacco that unfairly penalises everyday New Zealanders trying to earn a living and serve their communities.”

In their submission the ACR argues – like British retail associations have in the UK – that the ban on shop displays will have little effect on reducing smoking in New Zealand but could put smaller businesses at risk of losing vital business. They say that proposals to ban tobacco displays will have no affect on anyone but the retailers, who will have to shoulder the costs of replacing existing display units and be unable to compete effectively due to a lack of visual merchandising.

“If we accept the rationale that displays turn people into smokers, there would be more smokers in this country today – it’s that simple,” said Mr Gibson, “Similarly, if we accept the rationale, then displays of alcohol must turn people into alcoholics; displays of chocolate and puddings turn people obese.”


Possible overturn to tobacco retail display ban

Friday, May 21st, 2010

The new government has given fresh hope that the controversial tobacco retail display ban may be overturned, according to Talking Retail.

Despite being passed two years ago, the ban won’t come into force until October 2011 for major retailers and October 2013 for smaller shops.

“It’s the best possible news. It’s the dream outcome,” said Katherine Graham, campaign manager at the Tobacco Retailers Alliance. “The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were the most supportive parties when the legislation was passing through the House of Commons.”

Earl Howe, who has been a public and long-term opposer of the ban, was appointed health minister recently, which gave campaigners a massive boost.

The Association of Convenience Stores believes this is a vital issue, and should be a priority for the coalition. Chief executive James Lowman said: “In practical terms, our job starts with getting the new Government to review the tobacco display ban as the new health minister promised to do while in opposition.”

Campaigners argue that the ban, which was announced in 2008, contradicts the government’s Better Regulation principles, claiming the ban is “unreasonable and disproportionate”.

The ban was passed after fears that point of sale displays were encouraging young people to smoke. Talking to the BBC in 2008, Deborah Arnott, director of anti-smoking group ASH, said the ban of tobacco retail display units would be “a proportionate response to the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

Local shops furious at moves to ban signs

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Shopkeepers in a rural high street are furious after the council banned shop signs directing shoppers to their stores.

The retailers, based in Petersfield, have used the advertising boards for numerous years to direct people to their stores, which are located just off the high street.

Last week the council wrote to the offending shopkeepers to explain that the shop signs were causing problems for pedestrians and motorists by restricting their view, but this has been slammed by the local business community. They said the signs contravene the 1980 Town and Country Planning Act.

Christopher Stone, owner of the Stone Studio in the High Street, told to the Midhurst and Petworth Observer: “Obviously a lot of shop keepers in the area are in walkways and alleyways off of the High Street and without these A-boards people would not be able to find us. It is the first time in the five years that I have been in Petersfield that I have ever heard anything about it. I understand from other long term people in the town that it has happened before about seven years ago and everyone ignored it.”

If the council enforces the rules, the shops would be forced to look creatively at other options to attract interest. They could get new attractive display units, make their point of sale equipment more interesting or build shop display stands that would lure in customers.

Hampshire County Council’s environment spokesman, Cllr Mel Kendal, said in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer: “For the past few years, Hampshire County Council officers in East Hampshire have visited businesses in Petersfield twice a year to ask them to remove their A-boards from the highway. Owing to a rise in the number of complaints from local residents in recent months, the highways manager for the area felt it was appropriate to write formally to all traders asking for A-boards to be removed from the highway.”

He concluded: ”The county council as the local highway authority has a duty to maintain the right of safe passage for all users of footways, but I understand the value of A-boards for advertising local businesses and we would not take action where they are displayed on private property, provided footways are kept clear.”

New Selfridges shop display uses ‘augmented reality’

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Visitors to Selfridges Oxford Street store will be able to take part in a unique form of visual merchandising.

Using one of the most innovative shop display stands available, visitors to Selfridges can try on a new watch without ever entering the store itself. 

Through a combination of high tech touch screen displays positioned outside of the flagship department store of Selfridges with a new ‘augmented reality’ shop display feature, visitors will be able to ‘wear’ a virtual version of the new Tissot luxury watch. The technology will allow the shoppers to see how a variety of different Tissot watches would look on their wrists, stepping away from the point of sale but without having to enter the store itself and physically try dozens of different models.

Visitors will simply have to wear a paper wristband handed out by Selfridges staff, which will then register with the Holition augmented reality technology. When they look at their image in the shop display, they’ll see an accurate image of themselves – with a brand new Tissot watch in the place of a white paper wristband.

Using the touch screen displays they will be able to change their models at will. According to the company’s press release via the UK Press Association, the technology will be able to show not just accurate representations of the date and time on each virtual watch – but also to accurately reflect light sources for a realistic image.

The display will run from the 13th to the 27th of May.

Is this the slatwall display revolution?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

A company has developed a new product that will “revolutionise” the retail display sector, according to the Drum.

The patented product, which is a development of the traditional slatwall display unit, has a unique lip design that allows each slat to hold single pieces of print, on any material, against the wall.

It has led to claims that the new product, called Slatcom, will “transform the look and feel of the ubiquitous slatwall displays at a fraction of the cost”. It eliminates the need for promotional visual merchandising which drives down capex costs.

The product is equipped with an easy-to-fit mechanism that means updating the slatwall display won’t disrupt the business and external fitters won’t need to be employed.

A spokesman from the manufacturing company said: “Historically retailers have had to rely on printing on self-adhesive material or expensive card to visually merchandise their displays. This is time consuming. Slatcom inserts dramatically improve the look of a display and are a cost effective and practical alternative. Front fitting they offer retailers the ultimate usability as displays can be updated quickly and easily as the existing slatwall can remain in place during the fitting process.”

Slatwall displays have proved popular because they can hold a diverse range of products and are versatile. This type of display helps retailers make the most of limited space, and are used by the majority of stores in Britain. They help prevent shop lifting, especially in clothes stores, because shoppers need to ask sales assistants for the clothes in their size. This prevents people from walking off with stock that has been piled on shelves.  

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

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