Avoca – a tale of authenticity

September 1st, 2010 Suzie Posted in Retailing No Comments »

I’ve become a little frightened of late at the amount of stuff that is now ‘made in China’ or other faraway destinations and like many people, I’m interested in buying more local or authentic products from a destination. (Sorry China, nothing personal).

When I was over in Belfast last week I stumbled on an Irish retail brand called Avoca and instantly fell in love. Everything in the store is born and bred Irish, from the cups through to the clothing, the food label and an array of quirky, vintage products. It is perhaps what you would expect from a family-run brand that dates back to 1723 and a clothing mill located in the Valley of Avoca.

But I’ll go further and say this brand is much more than just about heritage. Their mission is ‘to create joy and have fun’ and this comes through clearly in their store concept. From the vibrant colours used in the foodhall, to the tea cup display lined up on the walls and really lovely staff.

Sadly for me their stores remain located mainly in Ireland and N. Ireland – apart from one in the US – but I was excited to see that their website offers a range of products and does a pretty good job of recreating the retail experience for me, backed up by their own Facebook and Twitter feed.

Here’s a couple of shots of the store – Go visit or browse if you can.

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The future of retail: PSFK insights

June 29th, 2010 Suzie Posted in Mobile, Retailing, Web/Tech No Comments »

I’m a big fan of PSFK and this is a great piece of research on the future of retail. There is much on how technology is transforming the retail experience for shoppers, particularly with the now ubiquitous mobile device in hand, but don’t discount the importance of the physical in-store environment, a vital component of today’s multichannel retail experience. Well worth a good read.
PSFK presents Future of Retail report
View more presentations from PSFK.

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UNIQLO creates UTUNES – music player for your blog

November 12th, 2009 Suzie Posted in Retailing No Comments »

I’m a big fan of Japanese clothing retailer UNIQLO because they always uses digital in such innovative ways. It’s at the forefront of creating branded content that entertains and pulls you in.

Their latest initiative to promote their HEAT TECH clothing (much needed just now) is a music player – UTUNES – that can be embedded in your blog.¬† As you’ll see here, the images dance in motion to your selection of music. A chance to make your blog look and sound good at the touch of a button.

The music personalisation element takes it just that one step further. You can either use their music or play the film with your own MP3 of choice. Great branded utility for those seeking entertaining content for their site and a means of distributing ad content in the blogosphere at minimal cost. Just as we have seen with brands flocking to Facebook, brands  have to be engaging people where they hang out.

It is the creation of Yugo Nakamura, who has also been involved in UNIQLOCK and the UNIQLO calendar another ‘blog part’ that you can play around with.

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