Behind the Till - an insight into Brand Retail Buying.
Retail industry Guru Julia Redman went to her local M&S in Stevenage to look at NEW creative ways of marketing Brands post pandemic.

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Julia Redman
B&RUK RETAIL EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTOR

6th June 2022 -  BEHIND THE TILL - an Insight into Brand Retail Buying

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Has the pandemic made us more or less creative? And what does that mean for the buyer / licensee / licensor relationship?

It has often been said that crisis leads to innovation, forcing us, as creatures who are often averse to change, into finding new and ground-breaking ways to develop creative products, ideas and collaborations. At a time when the retail landscape is evolving at pace, despite the risk averse nature of many of the key players, and the extreme cost increases we are facing, there is still room for optimism, and the green shoots of a new way of working.  

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen evidence of this, with the opening of a new and innovative store environment for M&S in Stevenage, on the site which previously housed Debenhams. Percy Pig invites shoppers in from his vantage point on the roof, and inside the experience is rich with licensing opportunity and collaboration.

Perennial favourites Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear take pride of place in the childrenswear department, with a stunning array of new-born clothing and accessories. There is a fabulous collaboration with Fired Earth, bringing a more modern twist to homeware, and a plethora of new fixturing across the store which attracts attention and creates interest. 

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Over the Pond in Los Angeles, Amazon has opened its’ first fashion store, utilising the very best of digital technology to enhance customer experience and encourage shoppers back into the physical shopping space, and away from their addiction to online shopping.

Amazon may be one of those leading the way, but before long we are all going to have to get comfortable with embracing technology in the form of touchscreen interactivity, virtual try-on, engaging with the metaverse and understanding the scope and opportunity of NFT’s. Our future success and the opportunity to create a modern and truly seamless omni-channel experience will depend on it, particularly if we are to engage effectively with the spending power of Gen Z, the fastest growing customer demographic!

I engage with this generation in my university lectures and seminars every week, and they are hungry for technology, innovation and brave new ideas. 

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All of this will drive greater need for effective collaboration, not just between brands and licensees, but licensors, tech businesses, logistics partners, manufacturers and 3D designers, amongst others.

But above all, the ever changing and evolving retail industry will drive a need for us all to remain open minded, and willing to take informed risks. Now is the time to embrace creativity and be brave!.

Julia Redman.

 

Julia has over 30 years experience of buying Licensed merchandise across all categories, having worked for Arcadia, Marks & Spencer, BHS, Woolworths, Debenhams and M&Co

 

Now the owner of Buyers Eye a Retail focused consultancy, Julia also lectures Fashion Buying and Sourcing at the University of Arts and the Fashion Retail academy in London.

You can read her Retail focused articles every Wednesday by signing up to the Brands & Retail UK mailing list.

If you wish to speak to Julia about Retail consultancy you can contact her by visiting

 

www.BuyersEye.co.uk

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