Can we see the intent behind new shopping journeys?

News that Homebase is to embed mini garden centres within six Next stores comes with both threats and opportunities. On the positive side, with the home sitting at the centre of the consumer’s universe during lockdowns, huge sums have been shelled out on homewares and gardening, and this looks set to continue as the UK …

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‘Brand-grab’ rather than landgrab – will French Connection go the same way?

Given the number of brands that have been hoovered up by online pure players recently, like our write-up of Boohoo’s brand-grab of Debenhams, it is tempting to suggest that French Connection may go the same way.  And by that, I mean a potential buyer will want the brand and the stock, but none of the …

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The Retail Connections trends for retail in 2021

After a thorough review by our analysts of the current trends resulting from the massive shift from physical to digital retail in 2020, we look at how this will advance the case of many technologies that have been promoted over the last five years, some with mixed success. First we must agree what we are …

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The future for brands is brighter outside retail

At the risk of being called a coffin chaser, it is just too tempting not to point that the many brands that have fallen prey to the meltdown in retail may see a revival in their fortunes now that so many have gone into administration with their retailer owners. Most recently, this is the partial …

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Christmas ads betray a lack of awareness of the public mood

Once upon a time, when it was the right thing to do to make all Christmas ads sentimental, it was just a question of deciding which one was the cutest; there was no science involved in determining their commercial value, because you can’t measure cute. Or maybe you can; measuring the volume of the Aaaah? …

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Frasers Group, where distressed brands go to live

The press is making a big deal about the claim that Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has been “frozen out” of the auction to acquire brands from the recently collapsed Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group. It is the Sunday Telegraph on November 8 that says this but business news in any Sunday newspaper has always a bit suspect as most people …

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When it’s gone, it’s gone

A few journalists have been pointing out recently that, once stores disappear, they don’t come back. They bemoan the permanent loss of the things that makes stores special, which really don’t need pointing out given that we all shop and know the difference between being in a store and being on line. They have a …

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Welcome back Ray

Any mid market clothing retailer could benefit from having Ray Kelvin at the helm, which is to say it’s good news for Ted Baker that its founder will be back at board level, although not actually on it; (he was invited back by non-executive director and corporate financial adviser Colin La Fontaine Jackson, who now …

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Time is cheap

Richard Hyman, certainly the wisest of the retail analysts, said in his most recent blog that retail is not making the fundamental changes it will need to survive. https://www.thoughtprovokingconsulting.co.uk/post/restructuring-buying-time-not-a-winning-ticket Certainly, watching some well known brands scramble for a CVA in order to protect a core of stores is unedifying when the details do not reveal …

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Is the UK ready for the new M&S

We’ve all got used to Marks & Spencer talking about transformation, even in the days of Stuart Rose, who delivered profit but very little change in terms that we now understand it. Ten years later, after six years of Marc Bolland and nearly four of Steve Rowe, it is clear that real change may be …

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