• 02/03/2018

    Analysis of Zara’s new OnOff retail concept

    Foto: © Lluís Martínez-Ribes.

    Zara’s new click-and-collect store in Westfield shopping centre, London, immediately took the media by storm upon its opening on January 26, 2018. This place – fully equipped with technologies – is a collection point for the orders placed on the Internet.

    However, it is much more interesting what is coming up next in May 2018. That is when Zara will open its renovated 4,000 m2 flagship store in the same shopping centre. I am anticipating that Zara will change the fast-fashion retail game with this pilot store.

    Zara is looking for a perfect match with the substantially yet silently changed customers of today. They are continuously ‘OnOff’: due to the expansive increase in use of smartphones (which I prefer calling “e-bodies”) people don’t notice anymore whether they are on-line or off-line.

    If the current customers are already OnOff, it makes sense that Zara is launching a new OnOff retail ecosystem. It will be a milestone in the fast fashion retail history.

    You can read my interpretations and predictions about how Zara is going to do that in my post “Zara reinvents fast fashion retailhere.

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  • 14/01/2018

    Retail for “OnOff” people

    Foto: © Artchandising.

    Who are your biggest competitors?

    Many times the answers to this question are very similar: a list of brand names that operate in the sector in question.
    Every now and then the reply is a bit better: it may include some players who, even though not belonging to the same sector, compete for the very same customers’ money, time and attention.

    But what if I told you your biggest competitor may not be the company that, at first sight, seems the most obvious one? What if it actually isn’t a company at all? What if your biggest competitors are your own customers?

    Today, most people in most countries have –metaphorically speaking– much longer hands. We are now constantly receiving and sending ‘things’ (technically speaking ‘stimuli’) via our tiny smartphones screens.

    In short time, these –let me call them ‘e-bodies’– have changed our lives enormously.

    The great frequency with which we use the e-bodies creates a habit. This influences in a non-conscious way people’s behavior (for example, the way we purchase things), as well as their sensitivities (for example, the sensitivity about how their time is spent).

    If a company practically does the same as it did 10 years ago, it is quite likely that its customers have overtaken this company. Now this company has a very tough new competitor: its former customers whose lives have changed.

    If you want to read my full article about ‘Retail for ‘OnOffpeople’, click here.

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  • 04/12/2017

    H&M Charming discount: Is this another retail model?

    © Lluís Martíne-Ribes, BCN, 2017
    © Lluís Martínez-Ribes.

    You enter a clothing store on Passeig de Gracia, right in the heart of the luxurious Barcelona.

    Everything is pretty much as you would expect: a fancy entrance with majestic pillars, beautiful staircase, a guard at the door…

    © Lluís Martínez-Ribes.

    Just one thing doesn’t match with the image: the prices of the clothes are extremely low for such a fancy-looking place!

    This is the iconic store of the Swedish clothing chain H&M opened in Barcelona in February 2017.

    Its look & feel is notably different from the company’s typical chain stores found all around the world. However, the prices are still the same.

    The direction of HM’s Passeig de Gracia store is not unique. Other retailers are making similar moves towards stores built on the idea of “Charming Discount”. At first sight the phenomenon may seem odd. However, when taking a closer look, it starts to make much more sense. Could we even consider “Charming Discount” as another retail model?

    You can read the full post I have written about the “Charming Discount” and the H&M’s iconic store here.

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