Archive for August, 2011

Crabbie’s extends product line for male audience

Friday, August 26th, 2011

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

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

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

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

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

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

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

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

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

Monday, August 8th, 2011

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.”

First pop-up mall comes to East London

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

A new retail experiment constructed from shipping containers is set to be unveiled in London this October.

DIY Week reports on what truly could be described as the first pop-up mall ever.

Forty of the 60 containers at the Boxpark will be dedicated to small brand shops only; many of which have already started to install their shop fittings. The remaining units, housed on the first floor, will be made up of cafés, galleries and restaurants.

The team behind Boxpark believes that the Shoreditch site – which is conveniently located next to the train station – could create a shopping revolution in the East End.

Developers Hammerson will deconstruct the mall in five years’ time to make way for 2,000 homes. Leases for retailers in the meantime are available as a one-year or full five-year contract. Boxpark has stated that rents will be “affordable.”

Boxpark founder Roger Wade said of the concept: “I was always fascinated by shipping containers – the idea of Boxpark was a fusion of many personal ideas over time.

“I wanted to create something on a grand scale by using shipping containers and offer retailers short leases, versatility and cost-effective retailing that made sense – the antithesis of the out of town shopping mall.”

The 4.7 hectare site, known as Goodsyard, was derelict for more than 40 years prior to Hammerson taking over, says

Harrods and Selfridges begin Christmas celebrations in July

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Despite there being 145 days until Christmas, Harrods and Selfridges have both opened festive shop displays in their London stores.

Neither of the department stores have ever began their Yuletide preparations as early as July before but customers have been able to enjoy carols, decorations and even a chance to speak with Santa Claus since last Thursday.

Harrods executives explained that they were reacting to “increasing consumer demand of international markets” by opening their festive room a week earlier than last year.

They said that many Muslim tourists were keen to invest in Christmas decorations before the month of Ramadan, which starts today. BBC News reports that Harrods’ larger traditional Christmas grotto will still open on November 5th, as it does every year.

Selfridges also cited increased demand from tourists as the main reason for pulling back the opening of their Christmas display.

A statement from the department store featured on Yahoo! News read: “Sales in previous years have proved that customers are ready to start thinking about Christmas in the summer, especially visitors from overseas.

“This year, Selfridges’ international visitors have already increased by over 40 per cent which has encouraged Selfridges to reconsider its traditional August Christmas shop opening.” 

Sources from the department store denied they had moved back to compete with Harrods.

Shop owner loans out display space to students

Monday, August 1st, 2011

A shop owner from Southsea has loaned out her front retail display area to students from the area’s Priory School; allowing them to display fashion designs they had made.

According to, owner of ‘Rokki’, Roxanne Morris, was happy to offer her shop display area up as part of the ‘Pre-loved @ Priory’ event.

The day-long event saw the pupils learn about sustainability in fashion, put on their own fashion show of local charity shop donations and also design their own clothing. Supported by Marks & Spencer, Rokki and the British Heart Foundation, the event seemed to be a raving success.

“As well as taking in the obvious messages about sustainability and recycling, it was really interesting to see how the groups of students used each other’s talents to work as a team,” said Sharon Ordish, an ambassador for the day.

One student, Jordan Beech, confirmed this, stating: “I really enjoyed the creativity of the challenge.” His response is perhaps no surprise to some, as revealed that the school’s students often display “astonishingly creative responses” to activities such as these.

Morris was happy to let the students display their creations in her shop window, allowing them to have priority for a whole week. She also displayed pictures of the work on her shop’s Facebook page – for which the event’s organisers were very grateful.

One such person was Fran Wright, who managed the day and revealed: “We are so grateful.”