Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Mother’s Day spending forecast to reach a record £1.23bn

March 25th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

…54 percent plan to shop online for gifts…

New research from leading retail and shopper marketing agency, Savvy, has revealed Mother’s Day spending plans for UK shoppers. The survey (of 1,000 household shopping decision makers) indicates 64 percent of shoppers will be getting involved in the event this year.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing commented: “Consistent with other recent calendar events, we see how shoppers are putting aside their financial concerns to splash out on special occasions. In 2019 we expect UK shoppers to spend £1.23bn on Mother’s Day celebrations, cementing the event’s position as the most value trading event outside of Christmas. 43 percent of Mother’s Day shoppers plan to spend more this year, compared to 2018.”

“Multichannel retailers can expect busy Mother’s Day trade as 54 percent of those celebrating the event plan to buy online. But with 51% seeking inspiration at the supermarket, there is a lot play for in-store, especially considering 38 percent of Mother’s Day shoppers expect to leave their shopping until the last few days.”

Key findings: 
  • Who – and how – will be celebrating the event? 
    • 64 percent of UK shoppers are planning to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. 
Amongst those planning to celebrate the event:
    • Organising Mother’s Day presents for others (e.g. their partner, their partner’s mother) will be on the to-do list for 43 percent of shoppers. 
    • And 32 percent of shoppers will have to sort their own children’s gift for themselves.
    • 54 percent will be shopping online this year for gifts. 
    • As for buying instore, 61 percent of shoppers agreed that Mother’s Day products in shops are ‘boring and lack inspiration’. 
    • If better products were available (online or instore) 49 percent of shoppers said they would be prepared to spend more. 
  • When do Mother’s Day shoppers start planning? 
    • The majority of shoppers (26 percent) will leave making any plans until the week before the event – though 17 percent admitted that they would be leaving it to the last minute and 21 percent said they’d make some plans a few days before the day. That said, 13 percent of shoppers said they’d be planning at least three weeks or longer before the occasion.  
  • Where are Mother’s Day shoppers looking for inspiration this year? 
    • Supermarkets topped the list with 51 percent of shoppers on the hunt for ideas here. In second place with 27 percent, was Google. 
    • 16 percent would be relying on word of mouth e.g. friends or family for inspiration – the same figure would be searching on Facebook for inspiration.  
    • A grocery retailer’s website and Pinterest was the go-to place for 13 percent of shoppers. Going to a food brand’s website, YouTube or asking a friend for thoughts via WhatsApp or Facebook messenger were the routes for 10 percent of shoppers apiece. 

RetailEXPO Announces Shortlist for 2019 International VM Awards

March 25th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The shortlist of entries for the 2019 International Visual Merchandising (VM) Awards, which celebrates the very best of the world’s window dressings, POP and displays, were announced by RetailEXPO, Europe’s leading retail trade event, today.

The awards, which are running for the third consecutive year, attracted more than 200 entries from around the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

Retailers, brands, shopping centres, high streets and creative agencies submitted admissions to an expert judging panel including: Matthew Valentine, Editor, Retail Design World; Aoife Blicher, Head of VM, Magasin du Nord; Clare Otte, Visual Merchandising Director, Foot Locker; and Daphne Duttileux, Retail Design and VM Director, L’Oreal Luxe.

The shortlisted entries will be on display at RetailEXPO. The category winners and overall winner of the Grand Prix prize will be announced at a ceremony at RetailEXPO on 1st May, 2019 at 4.30pm.

The shortlisted entries for the 2019 International Visual Merchandising Awards are:
  • Fashion Footwear and Jewellery:
OFFICE in collaboration with Nike
John Lewis and Partners – Oxford Street Womenswear and Shoes Refurbishment
  • IT, Telecomms and Electricals:
LG Electronics UK – LG HSAd UK
Philips – Shaver S9000
  • Department Stores:
Macy’s, Inc.
Ted Baker – Mary Poppins
  • Best Use of Digital:
Macy’s, Inc.
SM Aura Premier – SM Prime Holdings
SM Megamall – SM Prime Holdings
  • Most outstanding Feature or Prop:
John Lewis & Partners – Oxford Street
John Lewis & Partners – Oxford Street, Womenswear, Horse & Chariot
  • Shopping Centres, Town Centres and Airports:
SM City Dasmariñas – SM Prime Holdings
SM Supermalls
SM Supermalls – Dinos in the Mall
  • Beauty and Cosmetics:
L’Artisan Parfumer – 2 Butterflies
Penhaligon’s – Chelsea Bloom
  • Grocery – Including Supermarkets, Food and Drink:
Frank & Honest
Coca Cola European Partners (entry 1)
Coca Cola European Partners (entry 2)
Matt Bradley, Event Director at RetailEXPO, commented: “As retailers globally face increasingly complex trading conditions the art and skill of visual merchandising is more crucial than ever as shoppers demand even more from in-store experiences and expect to be surprised and delighted by the retail environment.   Indeed, the latest research in our One Vision report shows that 70% of shoppers would shop elsewhere – either online or with a competitor – if a retailer didn’t provide an exciting or engaging environment, while 63% of shoppers also said they want the places they shop to be inspiring.
“We are delighted to showcasing the best in visual merchandising displays the industry has to offer and, of course, to announcing the winner at the show,” he concluded.

The Retail Hive Exchange, proves to be a ‘winning formula’

March 25th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The event drew attendance from 80+ decision makers from leading retailers.

Attendees heard from 2 keynote speakers, Miya Knights, Co-Author: ‘What Amazon Can’t Do’ and David Coleman, Author: ‘The Path to Engagement’ and TEDx Speaker

On 12-13 March senior retail leaders gathered at the Luton Hoo, Golf, Hotel and Spa in Bedfordshire to exchange insights, successes and crash landings, create valuable conversations and forge connections.

Over one and a half days The Retail Hive Team delighted and surprised their members with beautiful surroundings, quality keynote sessions and personalised roundtable discussions. When the learning and networking was done it was time for entertainment! First of all it was networking drinks which included The Hive Network’s version of Dragons Den – in which three start-ups pitched their tech solution to a panel of thought leaders.

A three-course gala dinner (complete with singing waiters!) followed and the evening was rounded off with a casino, with all proceeds going to Make-A -Wish. The Hive Network contributed £1000 to get everybody warmed up and then it was over to the members who dug deep to deliver well beyond the £3000 target.

The Hive Network builds communities to share experience and ideas. They draw on the principles of collective intelligence – unlocking knowledge from across a range of organisations to drive innovation throughout the industry.

‘In a challenging time for Retailers it is wonderful to see senior leaders come together to benchmark and share their successes and experiences with each other including the highs and the lows. Being open & honest; challenging & engaging; and having fun and able to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed environment allows for a wonderful learning experience as well as promoting collaboration & community. The power of a network extends beyond more than just an event and the Retail Hive members exemplify this every time they meet’ Sally Green & Noj Mather, The Hive Network.

The Retail Hive Exchange will return next year. To learn more about The Hive Network, contact | 07841 409654


What to Look Out For in 2019 in E-commerce

March 22nd, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Stephen Balmer-Walters, Retail Expert and CEO of 8 Retail Consulting.

The growth of e-commerce is viewed by many as positive. This is due to the ease of making a payment for a product or service from the comfort of your own home. With the continuing development of e-commerce throughout 2018, we look at what the rest of this year is set to hold.

Voice search
Voice search has now come into its own. This is something set to grow – possibly even boom – in 2019. With more e-commerce companies optimising content for voice search, we can see some of the biggest companies in the world responding to and pre-empting this trend. This, paired with the progression of voice search A.I., suggests that its popularity will continue to rise.

User experience
User experience will always be at the heart of e-commerce. Look out for innovation over the coming year, especially with the addition of virtual assistance. The success of trends like snap shopping, where customers point their mobile device at an item of clothing to find out whether or not they can purchase it online, suggests that customers enjoy the ease that virtual assistance offers. This means that competition in this area is sure to get stronger this year. It also means that web developers and designers will have to be on their toes in order to keep up.

The success of digital payment and cryptocurrencies can’t go unmentioned – especially the latter. According to Finder, there’s a social media post about Bitcoin every three seconds. With this amount of coverage, one can only suspect that digital payments will continue to thrive in 2019.
The increase in use of payment gateways, means that they are likely to become standard across all industries. These days most customers expect at least PayPal to be offered whenever they shop online. The ease of completing a transaction, whether through online banking or a payment service provider, has proven itself to be something the millennial generation demand.

Mobile Applications
Mobile apps dominate e-commerce. The continuing growth in the number of mobile apps created for e-commerce shows that leaders are behind them. With mobile phones becoming more and more powerful, we predict that app innovation will be huge this year. We believe user experience will again be key to stand out among competitors and getting customers to convert.

Sign & Digital UK reveals new Main Stage Theatre line-up

March 21st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Today Sign & Digital UK announces the schedule and speaker line up for the 2019 show, headlined by Coffee Republic co-founder, Sahar Hashemi. The country’s leading trade exhibition for the sign making, display and digital printing industry returns to the NEC Birmingham from 2 to 4 April 2019.

To kick things off and celebrate the show’s opening, visitors will get the chance to hear from Sahar Hashemi OBE, renowned entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, who will be presenting on the mainstage and then answering questions from the audience in a Q&A session. Taking place on Tuesday 2 April at 11am, Sahar is set to inspire visitors with her talk ‘Anyone can do it- Awaken the entrepreneur within.’ After her main stage appearance, Sahar will also be touring the show to interact with industry suppliers and to discuss the latest developments and innovations in the market.

The theatre’s extensive programme of free-to-attend sessions runs across the three show days, covering a diverse range of topics: retail, interior décor, textile print and materials, sustainability and the environment, print for personalisation, and colour management & workflow. Expert speakers will be discussing market trends, the latest industry innovations, practical applications and the profound influence of digital signage on the customer experience.

For the second year in a row, the show will host a series of industry panel debates to discuss current and future industry topics.

The not to be missed debate on Tuesday 2 April, Signage for Buildings and Interiors, will see experts from Espon, Antalis and William Smith Group discuss the impacts of digital printing in interior decorating and the options available to architects and designers to create their dream vision.

On Wednesday 3 April, leading industry consultant Colin Gilman will be chairing the debate, Focus on Personalisation. Senior experts from Hybrid Services, Livewire Consultancy and YPP Group will form the panel to discuss the rise of the small format flatbed printer and the impact this has had on the personalisation market. The speakers will be bringing the latest updates on this fast growing technology, and will be showcasing the broad range of opportunities for building a vibrant and profitable business in personalisation.

On Thursday 4 April, the show’s final day, a two-part session will be taking place across the afternoon. Under the umbrella title The Print Workflow, part 1 will focus on colour management and RIPs, and will see industry heads from CADlink Technology, Afga, Revolution Digital and GMG take to stage to shed light on the challenges involved with getting colour right for sign-makers and graphics printers.

Part two of The Print Workflow, titled Managing your Business, will look at the software products out there to help businesses achieve their best whilst simultaneously keeping down costs. With experts from Clarity and VISM sharing advice on stage, the seminar will provide insights into how businesses can ensure colour accuracy, reduce ink usage or minimise day-to-day operation costs while increasing efficiency in order to help the bottom line.

Portfolio director of Sign & Digital UK, Rudi Blackett, said: “Our 2019 show has a wider range of learning and advice opportunities than ever before, and we’re offering this to our visitors alongside an exciting line-up of experts to deliver the education programme in the Main Stage Theatre.

“In line with our theme The Face of Innovation, we’re excited for our engaging programme to highlight the growing innovations for our core sign, print and display markets, and provide those all-important opportunities to make lasting business connections face to face.”

For the full Main Stage theatre timetable, see here: 

Go Instore, HP and Currys PC World join forces to drive growth in online revenue for HP products

March 21st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Go Instore, HP and Currys PC World join forces to drive growth in online revenue for HP products achieving up to a 4.5x increase in conversion and positive uplift in average order value

The innovation delivers an in-store experience to online customers, averaging an impressive 4.7 out of 5.0 in customer satisfaction

Go Instore, a provider of immersive omnichannel retail experiences for personalised ecommerce, today announced the success HP inc have had in providing human-led digital user experiences for their retail partners’ online customers.

Go Instore is providing HP’s online shoppers with authentic, physical in-store experiences. Following an immersive live one-way HD video and two-way audio conversation with a HP in-store sales expert, Currys PC World have realised an increase in HP product purchases and the company is seeing an uplift in average order value (AOV) against the standard.

The Go Instore partnership is enabling HP to recreate the emotional appeal and informative nature of the in-store shopping experience for their online customers by connecting them with the best suited HP in-store sales expert via video.

This establishes positive emotional connections and builds trust, which allows the store professional to recommend products based on the customer’s interests, tastes and preferences, as you would in a store environment.

Go Instore and HP have further configured the service to prioritise the location of the customer’s nearest HP in-store expert, ensuring future in-store customer visits benefit from a continued conversation, that was started online.

“We understand the power of our HP in-store sales experts in building trust and brand loyalty – we wanted to deliver the same sensory experience to online shoppers!” said Brian Chavrimootoo, EMEA Trade Marketing Manager at HP. “The Go Instore deployment with Currys PC World has delivered impressive results. Customers quickly embraced the initiative and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with over indexed customer satisfaction metrics. Sales, conversion rates and average order value increases have all exceeded expectations.”

Rising demand for online engagements sets the stage for expansion
Since going live in the summer of 2018, Currys PC World − one of HP’s major European retail partners − has seen a steady increase in the number of HP ‘live’ video engagements. Online customers receive a call-to-action button on HP product web pages, giving online shoppers fast and easy access to in-store HP sales experts. “Working with Go Instore, we handled a record number of online interactions for HP products,” said Simon Swanborough, Senior Project Manager – Connected Channels at Currys PC World. “Across the stores that are active with the Go Instore service, store experts spent an average of 34% of their time engaging with online shoppers, with our Bristol store in particular, spending 70% of their available free time in a call. The success with HP has resulted in switching on the partnership to cover a greater proportion of the country.”

Go Instore helps join up the in-store and online experience and takes a unique approach with its customers to deliver the most authentic physical retail experience possible for online shoppers. The service intelligently appears on the retailer’s website, giving online customers two-click access to in-store expertise for a human-led live video consultation.

“The success HP is having in engaging online shoppers cannot be underestimated,” said Andre Hordagoda, co-founder of Go Instore. “They are building a dedicated team to manage Go Instore internally, as well as in-store sales experts to specifically manage Go Instore calls. To meet the growing demand for immersive online shopping, HP are embarking on a European rollout with other major consumer electronics retailers.”


March 21st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Opened in 2015 in London’s Battersea, Loaf’s first retail destination called the ‘Loaf Shack’ has been renovated. With seven Shacks across the UK under their belt, the sultans of snug noticed the demand for updating the original retail space to bring it in line with the look, feel and aesthetic of their latest showrooms.

To create a spacious and inviting Shack, the front windows have been opened up providing more natural light. This has allowed customers to see directly into the Shack from the outside and to view the Brit-brand’s Loafy wares.

As well as receiving a fresh lick of paint, the 8,000 sq ft Shack has introduced tactile materials to match the smartness of the newer showrooms. The reclaimed timber walls have been updated to tongue and groove boards and black & white tiling from Bert & May adorns the walls, giving a contemporary update to the space. The signage has also been updated to stay in keeping with the further six showrooms with snazzy new ‘Now Snoozing’ and ‘Take me Home’ designs.

A dedicated swatch area has been housed in one of the Shack’s seven arches. Customers can now view both large hanging fabrics and smaller swatches in one space and are encouraged to take away free fabric swatches to help them
to continue their design journey when they leave.

Loaf Founder, Charlie Marshall comments: “Each of our Shacks is like my baby, so I love them all the same! But Battersea was our first one, so we thought it needed a bit of TLC to bring it up to date with our latest ones. I love it just as much as ever – like a good parent, I have no favourites – but I don’t mind admitting that it looks the business!”.

Loaf has recently completed a furniture shuffle and the Battersea Shack, as well as Loaf’s further six showrooms, now offer oodles of new designs from their latest collection for customers to peruse.

Use mobile computer vision to blend the digital and physical retail experience

March 21st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Paul Davis, VP of Sales, Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Scandit

Shoppers today are discerning. They want to know what is in the products they buy and where they come from. They may have dietary requirements that demand no gluten or no dairy. Currently, the only way to find out the ingredients in products is by scrutinising the small print on labels. So, imagine how much easier it would be if you could scan a supermarket shelf with your mobile phone and have the gluten or lactose free products immediately highlighted on your screen. This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking, it is a reality that is likely to be in our shops by the end of this year.

Innovative mobile computer vision technology uses machine learning and augmented reality (AR) to allow objects to be identified, tracked and superimposed with relevant digital information. Customers can quickly find what they are looking for in a shop and assistants can scan entire areas of a store to see real-time inventory data on the display via AR overlay, while transportation and logistics enterprises can read multiple packages in a single scan and have a specific package with special instructions highlighted on the screen. This video shows how it works.

The power of barcode scanning is already evident in the success of self-scan and self-checkout consumer apps. With the addition of AR, retailers and consumers can go beyond barcodes and OCR (text recognition) to digitally identify objects based on characteristics such as colour, size, shape and even the context in which they appear.

This is the concept of ‘the internet of everyday objects’, from food packages and clothing to books and household items. With the right computer vision software and AR, the camera in a mobile device effectively creates a universal sensor detecting the presence of people and things, recognising sizes and shapes of objects, and reading barcodes and text, without the need to embed sensors in the objects, as with the IoT (internet of things). It enables retailers to more efficiently perform retail operational tasks, streamline logistics and offer shoppers personal services like the allergy or ingredients checker.

Given the challenges high street retailers face to remain relevant, mobile computer vision technology offers an affordable and easily deployed platform that can support a digitally integrated store of the future. Solutions that blend the digital and physical shopping experiences are already known to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. They leverage the ubiquity of the smartphone to enable shoppers to enhance and navigate the physical retail world with a feed of relevant, digital information.

If brick-and-mortar retailers can adapt to create this digital in-store experience, they will add new value to an established but now threatened asset. It should be straightforward. The retail ecosystem is already built around the barcode as the primary source of product information, so by offering mobile shopping apps incorporating mobile computer vision and AR technology, physical retailers can evolve their omnichannel store environment to compete with the strongest online players.


March 20th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

We believe retail is about experience and we invite you to experience GENESIS MANNEQUINS UK

In a time of change and volatility we decided that it was time to ‘FIXIT’ and are pleased to announce a collaboration that will give the UK a new and exciting way to create contemporary mannequins and visual merchandising displays.

GENESIS MANNEQUINS UK will combine the high end, high quality cutting edge mannequin designs of GENESIS MANNEQUINS with the international market expertise and world class services of GLOBAL RETAIL ASSOCIATES group.

For the first time the UK market will have a dedicated and fully focused GENESIS MANNEQUINS proposition across mannequins and visual displays – supported by a UK based team of creative designers, project managers and account coordinators.

The winning formula will soon be followed by the launch of similar ventures in combination with both Global Display South Africa and Global Display Australia.

The possibilities for brands to determine their own vision for visual display will be enabled through direct design, 3D printing and supply services, with a sustainable and ethical approach from idea to implementation.

Add to this the extra versatility we can provide with our ‘ready-to-wear‘ figures, from abstract to realistic with wigs & make-up, along with display accessories props and window display the route to retail visual excitement is ready for you.

GLOBAL RETAIL ASSOCIATES comprises both GENESIS MANNEQUINS UK and the store fixture specialists RDi (Retail Display & Interiors).


    RetailEXPO 2019 right-hand skyscraper 2
    Inspired Lighting right-hand skyscraper
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