robertogreco + retail   88

7-Eleven Lab Store Experiments With Health Food and Organic Slurpees - Eater
"But 7-Eleven plans to shed its identity as a junk food staple. As America’s obsession with wellness and “clean eating” shows no signs of slowing down, the chain wants to figure out how to change customers’ perceptions that convenience food doesn’t always have to be deep-fried or nutritionally sketchy. In early March, the chain debuted its first “lab store,” a real-time testing ground for new, bougie conveniences, next to a busy Dallas highway, just a stone’s throw away from a tony Italian market and one of the city’s most popular ramen joints. Outside, the store looks largely like any other 7-Eleven, with the familiar signage and gas pumps — until you notice the giant selfie-friendly mural painted by a local artist. Inside, it looks a lot like a Whole Foods or any other sleek modern grocer, with natural wood accents and towers of trail mix ingredients sold in bulk.

Unlike most other 7-Eleven stores, this outpost offers a range of hot and prepared food items that goes far beyond the typical roller-grill hot dogs that have been the chain’s bread and butter for decades. Right next to the roller grill sit warmers full of soups like vegetarian tomato basil and gluten-free chili. Across the aisle awaits what press releases call the “better for you” refrigerator case, filled with grab-and-go lunch items: sandwiches, salads, and plastic bowls filled with a “seasonal blend” of mushy kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries, and a single pineapple spear. Thanks to the current dominance of the keto trend, hard boiled eggs; portion-controlled packets of cured meats; cheeses; and cured meats wrapped around cheeses are abundant.

There is also a small restaurant, complete with a sit-down cafe and small patio off to the side of the store, arguably the best place to find food in the place. It’s the first Dallas outpost of Laredo Taco Company, a South Texas mainstay that has been selling serviceable breakfast tacos on freshly made tortillas to working people for years. Laredo Taco was part of the Stripes convenience store chain, which 7-Eleven acquired in 2018. With that came Laredo Taco Company, which has scored praise from Anthony Bourdain.

In the aisles, this 7-Eleven is stocked with enough gluten-free, paleo, vegan, organic, and naturally sweetened options to feed an entire army of wellness-obsessed snackers, with just enough “normal” food to resemble a small grocery store. A $15 jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter sits on a shelf next to organic stevia ($9), jars of Bonne Maman preserves ($6), organic safflower oil ($12), and single-serve pouches of brown basmati rice are placed alongside staples like Velveeta processed cheese ($4), microwaveable Rice-A-Roni cups, and Wolf brand chili. Elsewhere, gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free cake balls ($14) share shelf real estate with Hostess chocolate cupcakes ($2).

And then, of course, there is the Slurpee, both an American icon and an engineering marvel. The fluffy, frozen beverage is a sweet-tooth staple; the lab store’s innovation is the organic Slurpee, made with “farm to fountain” flavors like coconut, blood orange, and cucumber from Idaho’s Tractor Beverage Company, which boasts that its syrups are USDA certified organic, GMO-free, and “entirely” natural. In the organic Slurpees, buzzy superfoods like celery and turmeric are ingredients in the cucumber flavor; allegedly stomach-soothing licorice root adds an extra veneer of health to the cherry cream flavor; the blood orange flavor also features turmeric, along with black carrot. Unlike most of the original flavors, the organic options are not carbonated, which means they lack the fluffy, smooth texture of a typical cherry Slurpee. Instead, they’re packed with crunchy ice crystals that always seem to find their way to the most sensitive parts of your teeth.

It’s not surprising that even the Slurpee, much maligned for its hefty sugar content and the presence of preservatives like sodium benzoate, is getting the organic treatment. 7-Eleven is a corporation interested in making profits, and the organic food market is currently worth upwards of $45 billion. But there is something deeply unsettling about seeing the Slurpee stripped of its vibrant colors and cloyingly sweet flavors. It’s depressing to think that, someday, the Slurpee won’t represent a decadently sweet treat, but just another way to get in your daily dose of superfoods. It’s like if all the milkshakes in the future were Soylent, and every Red Bull was replaced with 7-Eleven’s locally-sourced “Yerbucha,” a mix of kombucha and yerba mate."

"It is this bizarre juxtaposition of the organic and the chemical-laden, the sacred and the profane, that makes 7-Eleven’s “lab store” such a fascinating — and disorienting — concept. In attempting to please literally everyone — gentrifiers, working-class families, young professionals, and kids looking for after-school snacks — it’s possible that they’re going to alienate everyone. No one on a tight budget wants to accidentally pay $2 more for organic tomatoes when they meant to grab the cheap ones, and no one wants to be tempted by the allure of a quick Velveeta and Rotel queso served with fried tortilla chips when they’re trying to eat “virtuously” and choose the gluten-free granola instead. Being guilt-tripped into buying fruit and hard-boiled eggs is particularly dehumanizing when you can only afford nachos.

Between its fancy coffee machines that grind beans to order, a dessert bar serving soft-serve gelato and non-fat frozen yogurt, and counters serving kombucha, nitrogen-infused hibiscus tea, and cold brew made with fair-trade, organic coffee beans, this store is also a panic attack in four walls. While browsing for more than an hour, I actually longed for a regular 7-Eleven, one where the cashiers would definitely look at me like a lunatic for asking where to find the cold brew coffee on tap, a place where it’s perfectly normal to buy three different types of gummy candy. If 7-Eleven truly wanted to improve upon its model in a meaningful way, it would look to its own stores in Japan: The food there — sandwiches stuffed with fluffy egg salad, soba noodles, and onigiri — has earned a cult following because it is cheap, varied, and most importantly, of high quality."
7-eleven  retail  conveniencestore  food  2019  japan 
march 2019 by robertogreco
The Aldi effect: how one discount supermarket transformed the way Britain shops | Business | The Guardian
"When Aldi arrived in Britain, Tesco and Sainsbury’s were sure they had nothing to worry about. Three decades later, they know better."

"By sucking in shoppers and, as former Aldi UK CEO Paul Foley puts it, “sucking the profitability out of the industry” – profit margins of 2-3% are now the norm – the two German-owned companies have forced the “big four” supermarkets to take drastic measures. Morrisons has closed stores and laid off workers, while Sainsbury’s and Asda, desperate to cut costs and stop losing market share, announced a proposed £13bn merger in May, which the UK competition watchdog now appears likely to block. Tesco, meanwhile, has slashed its product range and bought the discount wholesaler Booker. In September, in a belated acknowledgement that the major threat to its business comes from Aldi and Lidl, Tesco launched its own discount chain, called Jack’s.

These industry shifts often lead the news, because supermarkets are so important to the economy: with more than 300,000 staff, Tesco is the UK’s biggest private-sector employer and the biggest retailer of any sort. But we also follow these stories closely for a more sentimental reason: grocery shopping is an intimate part of our lives. We don’t need to buy books or fancy trainers, but we do need to eat.

Most of us shop weekly, at the same store each time. Traditionally, we chose a shop for convenience – because a particular store was close by and because we knew along which aisles to find a large choice of our favourite products and brands – and loyalty. Research shows that many of us also chose a grocer because of how we perceived ourselves in terms of class and status. In the early 2000s, before Aldi’s rise, Peter Jackson, professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield, noted that British shoppers appeared to want an “environment where they will be surrounded by people like themselves” with whom they feel comfortable.

But the success of Aldi and, to a lesser extent, Lidl, shows that these old conventions no longer hold so true. Aldi, which is still family owned and unburdened by the short-term pressures for profits faced by its stock-market listed rivals, has changed the way we shop."
aldi  traderjoes  supermarkets  retail  2019  choice  simplicity  class  identity 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s? (Ep. 359) - Freakonomics Freakonomics
"ROBERTO: “I’d like to open a new kind of grocery store. We’re not going to have any branded items. It’s all going to be private label. We’re going to have no television advertising and no social media whatsoever. We’re never going to have anything on sale. We’re not going to accept coupons. We’ll have no loyalty card. We won’t have a circular that appears in the Sunday newspaper. We’ll have no self-checkout. We won’t have wide aisles or big parking lots. Would you invest in my company?”

"So we put on our Freakonomics goggles in an attempt to reverse-engineer the secrets of Trader Joe’s. Which, it turns out, are incredibly Freakonomical: things like choice architecture and decision theory. Things like nudging and an embrace of experimentation. In fact, if Freakonomics were a grocery store, it might be a Trader Joe’s, or at least try to be. It’s like a real-life case study of behavioral economics at work. So, here’s the big question: if Trader Joe’s is really so good, should their philosophy be applied elsewhere? Should Trader Joe’s — I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but … should Trader Joe’s be running America?"
traderjoes  2018  freakanomics  retail  groceries  psychology  choice  paradoxofchoice  decisionmaking  michaelroberto  competition  microsoft  satyanadella  markgardiner  sheenaiyengar  economics  behavior  hiring 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Buddy, the Library Isn't a 7-Eleven | Literary Hub
"Today someone handed me a Costco card. For what purpose? To check out books, of course! This is the fourth time in my illustrious library career that this has happened.

In honor of this brave soul (who owes me 600 Costco-sized boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese and a legit flight of boxed wines if they try this again), I present to you a collection of interesting items people have asked for at the circulation desk:

– My full coffee mug, my breakfast, my lunch, my dinner, the gum from my mouth

– Birthday party supplies (for a party they were planning to throw in in the library, SURPRISE!)

– Ibuprofen

– Plastic bags to clean up after a dog (where was the dog, we don’t know)

– The newest season of Game of Thrones that had not yet aired on TV

– A ream of copier paper

– Two reams of copier paper

– Printer ink

– Eight feet of “heavy duty” chain

– Birdseed

– Tampons (this one I get—tampons and sanitary pads should be free, and they should be available in every restroom, don’t @ me)

– Tomorrow’s newspaper

– Lottery tickets

– Cigarettes

– A VHS player

– The book with the blue cover, the book with the red cover, the book with the green cover

– The book that’s about horses . . . but not like about, horses, you know?

– Breath mints (cinnamon preferred)

– Tip for pizza delivery (delivered to the library, didn’t even offer me a goddamn slice)

– A microscope

– JOANN Fabric coupons

– A book of clean jokes (for a bachelor party)

– A scooter repair kit

– A fishing license

– Any items from Lost & Found “worth over 100 dollars”

– Eyeglasses

– My eyeglasses

– Sunglasses

– My sunglasses

– Canned corn

– Sunscreen, a beach towel, a swimsuit

– A terrarium

– The hair tie on my wrist

– “I like that necklace you’re wearing can I borrow it”

– Breakfast cereal, “but not that sugary crap”

– A spare tire

– A lawnmower

– Pasta sauce

– Glow sticks “for a rave”

– Keys to the library to come in after hours and “do some stuff”

– Wart remover

– A dictionary, but only one that doesn’t include swears

– A sharpie, to “mark out the swears in the books”

– Chapstick

– Alvin and the Chipmunks puppets

– An exorcism kit (“What do you mean what’s an exorcism kit??”)

– A cello

– 20 to 30 inflatable balloons (red preferred)

– Tax forms


– T A X F O R M S

– “Do you guys have any eclipse glasses”

– “Do you guys have mayo—not Miracle Whip?”

– Markers, but only the ones scented like fruit

– A fake mustache

– A frisbee

– Any plants the library “isn’t currently using”

– Sidewalk chalk (“How can you guys not have sidewalk chalk? This is the worst library!”)

– Electromagnetic detectors for ghost hunting

– Sunflower seeds

The best part about this list is I’ll just get to keep adding to it, forever and ever, amen.

My fellow librarians and library staff: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked for at the circulation desk? I’ll feature the best answers in my next column!

Okay, gotta go, someone wants to borrow my car."
libraries  humor  librarians  2018  retail  us  capitalism  kristenarnett 
august 2018 by robertogreco
David Byrne | Journal | ELIMINATING THE HUMAN
"My dad was an electrical engineer—I love the engineer's’ way of looking at the world. I myself applied to both art school AND to engineering school (my frustration was that there was little or no cross-pollination. I was told at the time that taking classes in both disciplines would be VERY difficult). I am familiar with and enjoy both the engineer's mindset and the arty mindset (and I’ve heard that now mixing one’s studies is not as hard as it used to be).

The point is not that making a world to accommodate oneself is bad, but that when one has as much power over the rest of the world as the tech sector does, over folks who don’t naturally share its worldview, then there is a risk of a strange imbalance. The tech world is predominantly male—very much so. Testosterone combined with a drive to eliminate as much interaction with real humans as possible—do the math, and there’s the future.

We’ve gotten used to service personnel and staff who have no interest or participation in the businesses where they work. They have no incentive to make the products or the services better. This is a long legacy of the assembly line, standardising, franchising and other practices that increase efficiency and lower costs. It’s a small step then from a worker that doesn’t care to a robot. To consumers, it doesn’t seem like a big loss.

Those who oversee the AI and robots will, not coincidentally, make a lot of money as this trend towards less human interaction continues and accelerates—as many of the products produced above are hugely and addictively convenient. Google, Facebook and other companies are powerful and yes, innovative, but the innovation curiously seems to have had an invisible trajectory. Our imaginations are constrained by who and what we are. We are biased in our drives, which in some ways is good, but maybe some diversity in what influences the world might be reasonable and may be beneficial to all.

To repeat what I wrote above—humans are capricious, erratic, emotional, irrational and biased in what sometimes seem like counterproductive ways. I’d argue that though those might seem like liabilities, many of those attributes actually work in our favor. Many of our emotional responses have evolved over millennia, and they are based on the probability that our responses, often prodded by an emotion, will more likely than not offer the best way to deal with a situation.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio wrote about a patient he called Elliot, who had damage to his frontal lobe that made him unemotional. In all other respects he was fine—intelligent, healthy—but emotionally he was Spock. Elliot couldn’t make decisions. He’d waffle endlessly over details. Damasio concluded that though we think decision-making is rational and machinelike, it’s our emotions that enable us to actually decide.

With humans being somewhat unpredictable (well, until an algorithm completely removes that illusion), we get the benefit of surprises, happy accidents and unexpected connections and intuitions. Interaction, cooperation and collaboration with others multiplies those opportunities.

We’re a social species—we benefit from passing discoveries on, and we benefit from our tendency to cooperate to achieve what we cannot alone. In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Harari claims this is what allowed us to be so successful. He also claims that this cooperation was often facilitated by a possibility to believe in “fictions” such as nations, money, religions and legal institutions. Machines don’t believe in fictions, or not yet anyway. That’s not to say they won’t surpass us, but if machines are designed to be mainly self-interested, they may hit a roadblock. If less human interaction enables us to forget how to cooperate, then we lose our advantage.

Our random accidents and odd behaviors are fun—they make life enjoyable. I’m wondering what we’re left with when there are fewer and fewer human interactions. Remove humans from the equation and we are less complete as people or as a society. “We” do not exist as isolated individuals—we as individuals are inhabitants of networks, we are relationships. That is how we prosper and thrive."
davidbyrne  2017  automation  ai  business  culture  technology  dehumanization  humanism  humanity  gigeconomy  labor  work  robots  moocs  socialmedia  google  facebook  amazon  yuvalharari  social  productivity  economics  society  vr  ebay  retail  virtualreality 
june 2017 by robertogreco
The Muji Paradox - Racked
"Muji and I, we have a routine.

Whenever I’m feeling a little edgy or in need of some self-care — which, in 2016, has been unrelentingly often — I wander into the minimalist Japanese retailer’s warm and pleasingly-lit walls to browse the rows of desk supplies and sensible button-down shirts. Often, I’ll purchase something — some pens perhaps, or an elderflower-scented travel candle — but the total rarely exceeds the cost of a lunch.

Usually one to exhibit a reasonable amount of self-control when it comes to buying things I don’t need, I am woefully powerless when it comes to these micro purchases at Muji. Earlier this year, on the first day of a three-week trip to Japan, I squealed with delight when I found that they actually sold Muji products in one of the major convenience store chains (quaintly named “Family Mart”), just in case you needed a 20-pack of non-branded Q-tips along with your machine-dispensed iced coffee. As I wandered through the retailer’s five-floor outlet in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood, I felt a silent kinship with the kind of Japanese shopper who would intently examine the seam on a heather gray camisole before purchasing it. You wouldn’t be caught dead owning a novelty 5K race T-shirt, I thought. Neither would I.

Indeed, it wasn’t until this trip to Japan — a country that has a knack for turning even the most ascetic person into a rabid consumerist, hence the success of Marie Kondo — that I began to see the Muji paradox as clear as a stain on one of its organic linen tunics: that I can feel so strongly about a brand that goes out of its way to be dogmatically un-branded seems a kind of magic trick of capitalism that no other retailer pulls off so ably.

Because here’s the thing: I don’t need the things I buy at Muji, but they do make my life measurably better, if only infinitesimally. Things like the mini travel soaps with the accompanying plastic box, which eliminates an unnecessary liquid from my carry-on-only packing system. The mini lint roller, which folds up into its own case and fits in a handbag so my coat never has errant hair on it. The right angle socks, which I’m convinced are the only no-show socks on the planet that can comfortably be worn with Vans slip-on shoes. The transparent plastic zipper pouch for carry-on liquids, which I smugly pull out when attempting to bypass London Heathrow’s liquid-obsessive security line. In a cold, cruel world full of big problems, these tiny victories add up — which is perhaps why I come back for refills of my favorite items again and again.

The Muji effect extends beyond my own life, too. I would be lying if I said that, upon seeing the bedroom of a romantic interest for the first time, that person’s stock does not immediately rise if their bed is outfitted in muted-toned Muji sheets. Similarly, a person who has a cup full of Muji 0.5 mm pens on their desk not only broadcasts an affinity for fine writing implements, but also an attention to detail that I’m likely to appreciate. A stranger who strides through a throng of holiday shoppers with a single large carrier bag from Muji somehow seems exempt from perpetuating capitalism and all of its ills, even though they are.

Indeed, Muji espouses a kind of pious minimalist ethos that draws in a particular type of discerning shopper (me) who, instead of buying more hangers, gets rid of clothes to fit the amount of hangers they already own. The promise that, with each new visit, I may find an ingenious solution for one of modern life’s subtle but vexing inconveniences excites me. It makes me feel that perhaps I’m not being extravagant, but rather sensible, by paying Muji a visit every now and then.

Ryan Patel is a retail analyst and consultant who helps brands scale internationally. He says the cult of Muji is based on simplicity, consistency, and the idea that the stuff is not screaming at you to buy it, but rather patiently waiting for you to find it.

“The design of the stores has a warm appeal. It creates a feeling that’s non-intrusive, it doesn’t pressure you to spend money,” says Patel. “Plus, you’re shopping for an everyday item, you’re not shopping for a high-ticket item — there are a lot of consumers who are just looking for something that is what it looks like. Muji doesn’t need to have a brand name because the brand name is the store. They’ve parlayed this simplicity into credibility.”

The credibility has proved lucrative, of course. After all, Muji may want to reduce the clutter in my apartment, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t want its highly functional stuff to be in as many apartments as possible. Though it only has 11 stores in North America (compared to 227 in East Asia and 61 in Europe), its plans for expansion are decidedly not low-key. In its 2016 annual report, it notes that it hopes to expand from 24 to 34 countries and regions worldwide, with a particular focus on China, where it hopes to have 200 stores by the end of this fiscal year.

And yet, Patel is right. Everything in Muji is how I want my life to be all the time: clean, orderly, soothingly-lit, warm, in a neutral color palette, and non-intrusive. Even the salespeople don’t bother you unless you ask them to. Add in the mission creep aspect of the operation — I walk in to buy pens and walk out having just bought essential oils, nail clippers, and a normcore gray sweatshirt — and you see why its self-stated mission of “creating a pleasant life” is an ingenious way to bolster its bottom line.

Alas, we all know a pleasant life can’t be found inside the walls of any retailer, even a Japanese one. And indeed, it was during my trip to Japan that I began to see Muji as emblematic of — rather than exempt from — the kind of consumerist fever that makes Tokyo a really fun yet financially dangerous city to go shopping in. However, even though Muji’s clever capitalistic jig is up, it’s still unlikely I’ll put an end to my self-soothing shopping routine any time soon. After all, Donald Trump is almost president, and I like the socks too much."
muji  design  rosiespinks  qualityoflife  via:jarrettfuller  minimalism  2016  ryanpatel  simplicity  consistency  credibility  retail 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The Commercial Zen of Muji - The New Yorker
"But how do you scale an entire company whose philosophy is rooted in judiciousness, and how big is big enough? In 2015, Muji posted an eighteen-per-cent increase in revenue over the year, to $2.14 billion, and a fourteen-per-cent increase in profits, to $196 million, and it aims to continue apace next year. In its annual report, there is a bar graph of net sales over time, with a gray arrow that signifies the future pointing up and to the right, beyond the three-hundred-billion-yen mark (about $2.5 billion). The company hopes to establish a “global brand” with “perpetual growth” and “consistent dividend payout” by the year 2020, which sounds a lot like kaizen, the popular Japanese business principle of continuous improvement. Muji is banking on “the idea that simplicity is not merely modest or frugal, but could possibly be more appealing than luxury.”

Above all, though, Muji is trafficking in fantasy, as the science-fiction writer William Gibson wrote in 2001:
Muji … calls up a wonderful Japan that doesn’t really exist. A Japan of the mind, where even toenail-clippers and plastic coat-hangers possess a Zen purity: functional, minimal, reasonably priced. I would very much like to visit the Japan that Muji evokes. I would vacation there and attain a new serenity, smooth and translucent, in perfect counterpoint to natural fabrics and unbleached cardboard. My toiletries would pretend to be nothing more than what they are, and neither would I.

Anyone who has watched even one season of “Mad Men” knows that fantasy is the basis for the best marketing. What could be cooler than a brand whose branding seems incidental, or better yet, completely organic? The answer, for Muji, is a neat paradox, like a Zen koan: massive minimalism through perpetual growth."
muji  japan  design  retail  2015  williamgibson 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Tokyo Bookstore Only Stocks One Title at a Time
"Morioka Shoten in Ginza features a new solitary book every week, accompanied by related artworks and items

A new bookstore opened earlier this year in Ginza, Tokyo that takes the unique approach of only stocking one title at a time. A different book is featured every week at Morioka Shoten and it is accompanied by related items such as artworks and photographs.

This concept sets the store apart from others, offering a curated approach that combats decision fatigue and makes browsing a lot quicker by recommending a single title for customers to purchase and read.

The bookstore’s owner, Yoshiyuki Morioka, came up with the idea after organizing a series of popular readings and book signings for single publications at his other, traditional bookstore. He was inspired to open a dedicated space where a single book could take center stage. The second branch of Morioka Shoten was created by design and engineering firm Takram, who led the graphic design and copy writing for the Ginza store’s visual identity.

The book of the week is displayed on a table in the small boutique, along with Morioka’s personal work desk and a vintage chest of drawers that is used as the store’s counter. The minimalistic aesthetic of the space matches perfectly with its concept. There are no other items of furniture, and the concrete walls and ceiling are coated with white paint, while the concrete floor has been left bare.

Pieces of art that relate to the currently spotlighted book are displayed around the store for customers to enjoy, for example, ceramic jewellery and objects by Mayumi Kogoma were on show because they were inspired by Kenji Miyazawa’s novel Porano no hiroba."

[See also:

"Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch

takram worked on graphic design and copy writing for visual image of ‘Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch’

On May 5th, ‘Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch’ has opened in Ginza, Tokyo. With the concept of ‘a bookstore with a single book,’ the store is a second branch store for ‘Morioka Shoten.’ takram led the graphic design and copy writing for the new store’s visual identity."
books  bookstores  booksellers  publishing  retail  noticings  2015  yoshiyukimorioka  moriokashoten  curation  tokyo  japan  ginza  decisionmaking  minimalism  audiencesofone 
september 2015 by robertogreco
The Avery Review | Air Nationalism: Norman Foster and Fernando Romero’s Mexico City Airport
"As air travel increasingly compresses our muscles and nerves—cue threats of thrombosis and incidents of passenger rage—airports expand their programs, taking up increasingly larger swaths of land. These programs, inflated by extensive security protocols and ambitious retail spaces, are usually arranged under sculptural canopies, like extra weight tucked under additional layers of clothing. Anthropologist Marc Augé famously described airports as “non-places,” generic spaces of transience that resist the rootedness of memory.1 However, the increase in border security has turned Augé’s description upside down. As the architecture that often constitutes a country’s first point of entry, airports are borders, and as such have become loaded with cultural and patriotic tropes. This nationalist anxiety hides the real politics of the expanded airport program.

A few weeks ago, the Mexican state unveiled the plans for a new airport to serve Mexico City, in the form of a digital video that was equal parts promotional rendering and documentary homage to the leader of the design team, Lord Norman Foster. The competition (which Alejandro Hernández has rightly criticized for its lack of transparency) paired famed international architects with local designers—the rationale, one has to assume, being that the Mexicans alone didn’t have sufficient experience in airport design. Foster’s Mexican complement is the young architect Fernando Romero—communication magnate Carlos Slim’s son-in-law. The need to include both a “local” representative and a big name from the world of architecture stardom has the further effect of directing attention away from the third but equally vital component of the team—the airport consultancy. In the winning team, this firm is Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a Dutch firm with a long history of designing and supervising airports in Saudi Arabia. They describe their role as involved in “every aspect of airport design and development.” The delightful coincidence of their acronym “NACO”—a distinctively pejorative term for “unculturedness” in Mexican Spanish—doesn’t fully explain their almost occult presence in the project. The presence of their technical expertise runs counter to the video’s portrayal of Foster’s extensive experience with the airport typology (“the most highly qualified airport architect in the world”), and it reveals Foster’s participation as something other than that of the “outside expert.” The design team instead triangulates between global stardom, increasingly specialized technical expertise, and a questionably “local” avatar of Mexican identity. These multiple readings—purposefully sought by the Mexican state and enthusiastically illustrated in Foster’s competition submission—mark the building as yet another attempt to overcome the irreconcilable binary of local and global through a kind of architectural ambivalence."

"It is easy to criticize Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, or any number of “starchitects” for their involvement or lack thereof in the processes and regimes with which they collaborate. But it’s more important, and more difficult, to take on these architects’ professed impotence. As program complexity increases, the figure of the consultant has pushed aside many of the roles that architects previously assumed. If we compare these architects’ secondary roles to that of Pani in Tlatelolco, we get a sense of how the discipline has been split between the form-making of the architect-artist and the programmatic management of the consultant. In this light, the program of the building is a conspicuous absence in Foster’s video. While the architectural membrane becomes loaded with a series of nationalist messages, its operational aspects are omitted. Architecture here is reduced to form on the outside and well-lit void on the inside. The architects are thus recast as form- and image-makers in search of the objective correlative of a globalized Mexican state. Or to say it more simply, they’re three-dimensional publicists.

In order for the global network of airports to function, their programs have become increasingly precise and standardized according to elaborate specifications. For the cosmopolitan traveler, increased security protocols seem to go hand in hand with expanded retail opportunities. This is where the real spatial politics of the airport program lie—in the entrails of corridors that sort us by immigration status, in the machines that scan our bodies and our belongings, in the long lines of human beings surrendering their dignity in exchange for the illusory promise of safety. It is telling that the bulk of airport retail is located between the two poles of security, the security check upon departure, and immigration control upon international arrival. Caught in this limbo, we are left free to wander through the world of duty-free shopping, international retail chains, and overpriced food—fear, assuaged by consumption. These spaces are absent from the architectural brief as described by Foster. The emphasis on nationalist tropes, from eagles to serpents, is a desperate populist appeal covering up the construction of a highly politicized space. This video invites us to join the architects in turning a blind eye to these realities."
anamaríaleón  airports  architecture  borders  border  mexicocity  mexicodf  mexico  design  retail  capitalism  neoliberalism  marcaugé  normanfoster  fernandoromero  arrival  departure  tlatelolco  zahahadid  df 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The End of the Skateboard Shop | RIDE Channel
"Your local shop may soon be a thing of the past... if it isn't already."

"Here’s the gist of it.

Has anyone on the planet earth ever purchased a pair of golf cleats or Tom Brady-endorsed footwear to look cool? Somehow, though, Michael Jordan hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than a decade, but his signature shoes and clothing line are still relevant and profitable. That’s because the Air Jordan transcended the actual context of basketball and became an icon in fashion. So even when MJ laced up for the Wiz and sucked, people still wanted his shoe.

Conversely (pun intended), skateboarding, has finally become “normal,” and is a massive influencer in footwear. Through its SB program, Nike reframed the sneaker market, formalizing drops through boutiques instead of chains. As a sport, skateboarding doesn’t mean anything to most, but it allows Nike to keep new colorways of Dunks and Janoskis coming out.

This doesn’t translate into TV ratings or sales of core skate products, but it absolutely drives footwear and clothing trends. So even though it’s a niche market, it’s a valuable one. But what’s relevant to the business side of skating isn’t the board sales—it’s the shoe sales. Don’t believe me? Ask Foot Locker how that played out. The reality is that skateboarding has become a vehicle to sell sneakers, not skateboards, and that’s changed the dynamic of the all-American skateshop.

But what the hell is a skateshop, anyway? The specialized skateboard store wasn’t really a thing across the United States until the industry boom of the ‘80s. Before that—depending on which coast you were nearest—it was just a rack in a surf of bicycle shop.

Think of your favorite fast food establishment deciding that a strong demand for French fries warranted an entire brick-and-mortar store dedicated store to selling items related to potato sticks submerged in oil exclusively. That’s how skateshops originated.

But here’s the weird part: Skateshops have never made much money from skateboarding. I’m not shitting you. In 1984, the average deck sold for $49. In 2014, the average deck sells for $49. If you spoke to any economist, even one recently concussed in a car accident, he’d be puzzled as to how an industry could exist without responding to inflation for the past 30 years.

The only reasonable explanation would be this: Skateboarding doesn’t exist to sell skateboards. As a business, it’s a tool to sell a lifestyle, clothing and footwear included.

Store owners long ago recognized and responded to this reality. For proof, walk into your local shop (provided you still have one) and compare the board wall to the shoe wall. All it takes is some quick math to recognize that the profit margin on the former—probably the smaller of the two—is a fraction of a fraction of what those rows of sneakers are generating.

That makes sense. Skateboarders buy skateboards, but everyone buys sneakers. So do you see the problem here? Even in the early ‘90s, when boards were snapping from sloppily landed flip tricks (or, yeah, from being focused), the profit margin on them wasn’t nearly enough to keep stores in business. And, really, how often do you buy other hard goods—like new trucks?

So why the hell would anyone open a skateshop in 2014? There’s a plethora of valid reasons, but the one that resonates strongest is that if someone breaks a skateboard, buying one at a shop is the fastest way to get another. The internet hasn’t figured out how to get you one in a few hours... yet. But that’s not the charm of skateshops. Before communities existed in digital code in some virtual space that most of us barely understand, walking into a skateshop was an experience.

In the ‘80s and even well into the ‘90s, there was a disparity between what you saw in a magazine and what was available to you. Sure, you might have seen an ad for a new graphic from Skater X, but that didn’t mean that you could walk into your local and buy the board. Instead, you entered with a sense of wonderment and anxiety because you had no clue what would actually be on the shelves. Skateshops were hubs of skateboarding—the only places you were guaranteed to meet another skateboarder. Does make sense? It gets crazier. Skateshops used to be one of the few places where you could see skateboarding. I swear.

Most of the skate videos that drove the industry never premiered; they simply showed up in shops. No screenings, no fanfare, no ads, and no fucking hashtags. They just materialized, and the first place you usually saw them was on the convex screen of a tube television sitting on the counter of a skateshop. You’d digest the advertisement for whatever brand made the video, discuss it with fellow shoppers—a term I use loosely, since most skaters lacked the funds to buy anything—and linger. For hours.

Outside of seeing them at spots, this is how most skaters met fellow skaters. Does anyone in a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts talk and share ideas and techniques on how to drink coffee? Hell no—the environment in those chains is exactly the opposite of what you see in a mom-and-pop café equipped with free WiFi. Similarly, you don’t go to your average mall skateshop to hang out. You go there to buy. Just try to sit down to watch a video or whatever. If you’re not asked to leave, a store employee will probably try to push weed-graphic socks on you.

If 2014 is any indicator, skateboarding is going to follow the same trajectory as every other business: Keep a low price point, mass-market product through chain stores and eCommerce sites, and offer the core audience elaborate and exclusive pop-ups in media-driven cities. The stores started and run by actual skateboarders without the vested interest of a larger brand will struggle, hoping their athletic shoe accounts drive enough sales to keep them in business but knowing that the shop groms who hang out each day will eventually get sponsored or find a way not to pay for things.

Basically, running a skateshop is as ill-advised a decision as it’s ever been... unless you flip it and just say you run a sneaker shop that sells skateboards. Online and chain stores haven’t figured out how to replicate the sense of community and belonging common to legitimate shops because that doesn’t serve their agenda. Aside from a need for clothing, there's no connective tissue between people who buy your average jeans and T-shirts.

Every town has a park, everyone can buy anything with a few clicks and swipes from a mini-computer in their pocket, and every kid is good and can get sponsored. For the tiny number of people who care more about the community than the sport, skateshops are clubhouses, VFW halls for each of us, but they’re getting harder to sustain, and in 10 years they’ll be all but extinct."
skateboarding  skating  retail  2014  business  via:tom.hoffman  skateboards 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Eye Magazine | Blog | An end to the curatocracy?
"The most unusual thing about the London conference ‘Chaos at the Museum’ was that it was devoted to design, writes Nick Bell.

Most discussion of museum practice is dominated by curators – whether at conferences or in the media. So it was not surprising that the designers attending ‘Chaos at the Museum’ (26-27 April 2014) could barely suppress their excitement all day. I’ve never seen so many smiles since, well, the Martin Creed exhibition at the Hayward. We were like children let out to play at this two-day programme about museums and exhibitions drawn up by designers.

‘Chaos’ was an event that burned brightly with feral visual intellects drawing deeply on a rare opportunity to share experiences, be outspoken and distil their vision for the future of visitor engagement and participation in the public spaces we call museums.

Why is it we behave like we do in museums and why must this behaviour be unlearned? How do we best organise museums to be engaging and why is it not really about narrative? Why is it not even about objects? Might visitors be the ones that finally undermine the authority of the curator? This was the dirt being kicked up at ‘Chaos’."

"Evidence presented by Mario Schulze (University of Zurich) would, like Francis’s, indicate that the distinction we make between museums (not like shops) and shops (not like museums) is outdated. Schulze said that the first department stores that appeared in the 1850s took inspiration from the great museums. Through his comparison between the Berlin interiors of the Museum of Things at the Werkbund Archive and the Andreas Murkudis’ concept store of ‘curated’ design objects, Schulze concluded that the museum is by its nature consumerist. Like shops, museums are about the display of desirable objects and hence the commodification of desire. (Commodification would be agonised over in later presentations, too).

Schulze quoted the Australian sociologist Tony Bennett in calling this ‘the exhibitionary complex’ – a way of seeing the museum as part of the world instead of treating it as a monolithic archive with no category in which to place itself. My heart sank when Schulze signed off his paper with ‘what you’ve learned in the museum, you can test out in the shop,’ but it was good to hear potentially false oppositions conflated and have my ingrained twentieth-century prejudices scrutinised.

In her paper, ‘The Exhibition as Experience’, Donna Loveday was the curator who in avoiding one trap promptly fell into another. Loveday’s current and popular ‘Hello, My Name is Paul Smith’ exhibition at London’s Design Museum should be applauded for not further infecting the Design Museum with antiseptic commodification-of-desire type design moves. Loveday introduced a healthy dose of messy, human informality by choosing to present a singular creative mind with the warmth and chaos of all its motley inspirational sources rather than fetishising a few items from the Paul Smith back catalogue.

However delegates wondered (in the canteen at break time) why Loveday had assembled a design team without any critical distance from her subject? And why Paul Smith himself was allowed so much curatorial control? What kind of deal had the Design Museum entered into here? In trying to make sure the exhibition wasn’t a shop, Loveday succeeded in creating a pastiche of another reality – the Paul Smith studio. As Herman Kossmann of Dutch design studio Kossmann.dejong declared in his talk the next day, ‘Don’t copy reality – instead make another one.’"
museums  curation  narrative  chaos  design  experience  2014  nickbell  objects  retail  donnaloveday  tonybennett  marioschulze  museumofthings  andreasmurkdis  hermankossmann  paulsmith 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Gym Standard has a unique approach to showing and selling art
"El Cajon Boulevard entrepreneur Edwin Negado thinks it’s time to reinvent the way work is marketed"

"At the moment, Edwin Negado and Sergio Hernandez are the two coolest-looking cats at Coffee & Tea Collective on El Cajon Boulevard. They sit shoulder-to-shoulder on a bench seat, swapping ideas for a short video promoting Hernandez’s April 26 art show at Gym Standard, Negado’s sleek footwear and design shop that opened last summer near the intersection of 30th Street and El Cajon.

Once the video is shot and edited, it’ll pop up on the Gym Standard (@gymstandard) Instagram feed, a stream of images that Negado has grown into a reliable digital resource for cool art, design, literary magazines, events and music in San Diego. He has more than 4,000 followers, and rather than simply pimping the inventory at his shop— which he does squeeze in—he shares the bigger, more interesting story swirling around Gym Standard by snapping photos of his customers or going out of his way to capture things he thinks are cool about San Diego in general.

“For me, the strategy is: I put myself into the mind of the potential client,” Negado says later, sitting behind the counter of his shop, which is filled with furniture and fixtures on wheels so he can roll everything out when it comes time to transform the space into an art gallery. “I don’t just want to see 20 fucking photos of the same shoe. I want to see what goes on in the store every day—who’s coming in or what this guy is eating. I feel like those are the type of things people fall in love with.”

Negado doesn’t use Facebook, and you won’t see an email signup on his website or much in the way of marketing outside of Instagram, but the focused, minimalistic tactic seems to be working. He’s gotten a good amount of press in alternative media, independent product designers contact him through his feed and customers who discover Gym Standard on their own seem to like the underground element. But while Negado, at least to an older generation, may seem like he’s purposely trying to keep things relatively under wraps so he can maintain his cool-kid cred, the 30-year-old says he welcomes mainstream attention.

“I feel like Instagram is as mainstream as it gets,” he says. “It’s so intimate. I mean, I’m looking at Instagram posts in my bed in my pajamas. That’s every media buyer’s dream to get into where people don’t have their walls up. That’s way more effective than if I’m driving and seeing a billboard on the street. I feel like Instagram, it just is the new mainstream.”

Negado was born and raised in San Diego, but he cut his teeth at W + K 12, a cutting-edge, experimental design and advertising school run by Weiden + Kennedy, an advertising agency in Portland, Ore., which accepts just 13 students a year into their competitive program. From there, he landed a job as a product-line manager at Vans, where he was the middleman between the marketing department and the shoe designers. He wrote design briefs detailing whom a particular shoe was intended for, setting specific goals and objectives for the shoe designers. While the gig taught him a lot about marketing and thinking about what customers want, he started feeling disconnected from the people he was hired to understand.

“The Vans thing was really cool because I got to see the landscape of business on a corporate level,” Negado says. “But I didn’t like the corporate lifestyle. I felt like I needed to be back in the wild. I needed to be with real people, not numbers and not behind a screen.”

Negado says every penny he made at his corporate job went into opening Gym Standard, which he built with his uncle and dad, carving the space out of the huge storefront that formerly housed ABC Piano Co. Attracted to the energy of North Park and the new, creative businesses like Coffee & Tea Collective cropping up in the revitalized stretch of El Cajon Boulevard between 30th and Ohio streets, he wanted to take a chance on opening the shop before he got priced out.

“I didn’t see the traffic quite yet, but I felt like I wanted to get in early before that transition happened,” he says.

Shoes, ceramics, magazines, art books, clothing and products geared toward those with an eye for design are Gym Standard’s bread and butter, but showing art was always part of the business plan. Negado has hosted several artists in his space since opening nearly a year ago, including Dolan Stearns, Julian Klincewicz and a recent poster-art group show benefitting the neighboring Media Arts Center San Diego.

While the young entrepreneur doesn’t like to call himself a curator, he’s managed to sell out most of the shows. That’s because moving artwork and making sure his artists get paid is something Negado considers an integral part of his job. He agonizes over the marketing of every show and each individual artist, fussing over every photo or video that ends up online. For Klincewicz’s show, for instance, he borrowed a friend’s drone and enlisted the help of young filmmakers in producing a video for Instagram that includes compelling aerial footage; in just 15 seconds, it conveys the show details while making Klincewicz look like an artist you might like to get to know.

“We always need to be reinventing how we talk about art and how we market art, because, you know, you need more than just a date and a picture of what’s going to be in the show,” Negado explains. “I think there needs to be more storytelling, which is what I learned in advertising: You’ve got to get people to fall in love with the art before they even go to the show. If they’re coming here April 26 and they have no idea what they’re going to see, that means I fucking failed as a promoter of the arts. If you’re showing art, you better be fucking working your ass off because your artists are working their asses off, right?”"
edwinnegado  sandiego  gymstandard  2014  kinseemorlan  art  instagram  twitter  marketing  retail  northpark 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Episode Fifty Two: Disintermediation & Externalisation; Housing; Odds
"Would Amazon test, for example, an Amazon Express option for browsing their site where they *only* show you the highest-rated, most-recommended items against your search? Because even the presence or indication of hundreds or thousands of other options can be stress-inducing. And perhaps pair it with a liberal return policy?

I guess the thing is this. Disintermediation and increased consumer choice rely upon the assumption (if you care, I suppose) that your consumer or audience is a rational economic actor who *has the time and the resources to be a rational actor*. I get pissed off at stereotypical, straw-man privileged engineers who just want a spreadsheet with a table and do all the research and go buy the best thing because seriously: who has the time for that?

And there's a significant, vulnerable section of the population that *doesn't* have time for that, that doesn't have time to be a rational actor. And who are you supposed to trust? Do you trust the financial advisor who is getting kickbacks? Do you trust your health insurance company? Do you even have health insurance to trust? This isn't a mere case of "information overload" in terms of a firehose of stuff coming to you. This is: how do I make a basic decision and ensure I am informed to make a rational, appropriate choice.

The other side of this is the fantastic one for businesses that get to externalise formerly internal costs under the guise of consumer choice. So instead of having knowledgeable salespeople (for example), "the information is available on our website". This is perhaps the difference with a retailer like Apple where I believe their store employees are taught to listen to user needs (there's that phrase again) and help them accomplish them rather than being commission-driven and pushing everyone to buy the most expensive model, for example. And so a place where retail can be improved both offline and online: Amazon doesn't have salespeople that understand their products to help you choose one, they externalise that cost by having you write reviews and lists instead."
danhon  paradoxofchoiuce  choice  2014  decisionmaking  comparison  retail  amazon  wirecutter  travelagents  housing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
In Praise of Chain Stores - Virginia Postrel - The Atlantic
"Contrary to the rhetoric of bored cosmopolites, most cities don’t exist primarily to please tourists. The children toddling through the Chandler mall hugging their soft Build-A-Bear animals are no less delighted because kids can also build a bear in Memphis or St. Louis. For them, this isn’t tourism; it’s life—the experiences that create the memories from which the meaning of a place arises over time. Among Chandler’s most charming sights are the business-casual dads joining their wives and kids for lunch in the mall food court. The food isn’t the point, let alone whether it’s from Subway or Dairy Queen. The restaurants merely provide the props and setting for the family time. When those kids grow up, they’ll remember the food court as happily as an older generation recalls the diners and motels of Route 66—not because of the businesses’ innate appeal but because of the memories they evoke.

The contempt for chains represents a brand-obsessed view of place, as if store names were all that mattered to a city’s character. For many critics, the name on the store really is all that matters. The planning consultant Robert Gibbs works with cities that want to revive their downtowns, and he also helps developers find space for retailers. To his frustration, he finds that many cities actually turn away national chains, preferring a moribund downtown that seems authentically local. But, he says, the same local activists who oppose chains “want specialty retail that sells exactly what the chains sell—the same price, the same fit, the same qualities, the same sizes, the same brands, even.” You can show people pictures of a Pottery Barn with nothing but the name changed, he says, and they’ll love the store. So downtown stores stay empty, or sell low-value tourist items like candles and kites, while the chains open on the edge of town. In the name of urbanism, officials and activists in cities like Ann Arbor and Fort Collins, Colorado, are driving business to the suburbs. “If people like shopping at the Banana Republic or the Gap, if that’s your market—or Payless Shoes—why not?” says an exasperated Gibbs. “Why not sell the goods and services people want?”"
virginiapostrel  us  chainstores  2006  urbanism  cities  heterogeneity  retail  consumerism  diversity  activism 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Grocery store geography
"There's a grocery store just about everywhere you go in the United States, because, well, we gotta eat. They look similar in that they sell produce on one side, meat in the back, and snacks and soda on the side opposite the produce. Magazines and small candies are carefully situated at eye-level by the cash registers. There's usually a deli counter and prepared foods near the bread section. And yet, despite the generic format and layout, these stores can remind us of places and specific periods of our lives."
geography  via:vruba  2013  maps  mapping  retail  grocerystores 
june 2013 by robertogreco
B&B: Good drinks and good reads in Shimokitazawa | PingMag : Art, Design, Life – from Japan
[Wayback: ]

"Times are changing for publishing. E-books are here to stay and publishers are trying out a range of digital strategies to entice new customers. The music industry was one step ahead and the large retailers like Tower Records and HMV have all felt the pain of declining business, replaced by iTunes and Amazon. Bookstores are likewise looking at an uncertain future.

Well, one answer to how bookstores can continue to bring in readers to shop may lie in a new type of bookseller that has opened in Shimokitazawa, the laid-back Tokyo neighborhood just west of Shibuya.

The formula is visible in the name: B&B. British readers might be forgiven for thinking the shop is actually a cheap form of accommodation (bed and breakfast), but the two b’s are even better than that — “Book & Beer”, two things we at PingMag certainly love. Having coffee and tea for sale in bookstores has been the norm in other parts of the world for years now, but B&B has opted for a more alcoholic version. There is a proper bar with beer on tap, meaning customers can browse while sipping a chilled bevy or read a purchase with a beer in hand.

But this isn’t just about drinking (there are countless bars in Shimokitazawa, after all!). The books are also highly curated, selected per theme and genre by the staff to match the concept of the store. In other words, the entire place is like a magazine.

We sat down with B&B owner Shintaro Uchinuma to chat about the Shimokita’s latest hangout."
bookstores  books  cafes  2013  pingmag  tokyo  japan  openstudioproject  booksellers  shimokitazawa  bookshops  retail  bookfuturism  b&b  publishing  ebooks 
april 2013 by robertogreco
J.C. Penney offers kids free haircuts - Sep. 10, 2012
"J.C. Penney announced an unconventional new promotion Monday in a bid to take a cut out of the competition.

In an email to customers, CEO Ron Johnson said that starting in November, kids from kindergarten to sixth grade can get free haircuts every Sunday at J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500) stores.

The announcement follows J.C. Penney's previous offer of free back-to-school haircuts for kids. Johnson said that promotion had been "far bigger than I expected," leading the company to give away over 1.6 million free haircuts in August."
children  promotions  haircuts  retail  2012  ronjohnson  jcpenney 
september 2012 by robertogreco
"We did it! With the loving support from our friends, family, and community, Yoko and I have opened Umami Mart, a retail shop in Oakland, CA, specializing in kitchen + barware from Japan.

The idea for starting a brick-and-mortar shop really derived from necessity. We had been running our online shop for nearly two years, and the inventory was eating up Yoko’s apartment, ie her life. I’d walk into her place and there were boxes everywhere, packaging products, human-size rolls of bubble wrap — the entire online shop resided in every nook and cranny of her apartment. She was about to lose it (Skylar style). It was time for some breathing room."

"For Umami Mart, he [Anders Arhøj] envisioned a bright space where Shinto meets Scandinavian minimalism. He designed all the furniture, logos, graphics — everything."

"We created this space on a shoe-string budget of $10k, using mostly birch plywood."
joeperez-green  devinfarrell  manuallabor  hamaya  andersarhøj  popuphood  japan  kitchen  design  art  food  japanese  bayarea  oakland  cafes  openstudioproject  interiors  plywood  lcproject  glvo  srg  retailspace  retail  2012  umamimart  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Ron Johnson on the Progress of His J.C. Penney Remake - Businessweek
"If you change the interface, you can dramatically change the entire experience of the product…What we call that is the street, and you’re standing in the middle of it…

“Let’s not look at the paper. Where is the best place to buy a pair of jeans? …Let's … go there right now.” …

Our average store will have almost a third of a mile of streets when it’s done. There’ll be different activities along the street throughout the store. …

We view this as a startup. Like any startup, the question is how big will you be when you get your idea fully played out? At the end of this year, we’ll kind of find out how big our startup is. It will be less than it was the year before because we’re going through this process of retraining our customer. We knew we would go backwards, but once we get to next year, we think we start to propel forward. We’ve just got to get to the other side…

You know, we’re here to put a bear hug around the middle class, treat that customer with respect."

[Print view: ]
departmentstores  remakes  clothing  experience  retail  redesign  tcsnmy  startups  ronjohnson  jcpenney  2012 
september 2012 by robertogreco
A Vision for Talkable Brand: J.C. Penney - Digital Influence Mapping Project
"Ron Johnson, now CEO of J.C. Penney…ran the Apple stores before…his first few months at the historic department store have been challenged by Wall Street who only see short term revenue problems and subsequent stock dips.

…With so much abundance via the Internet, the store is there to inspire. He has plenty of other innovations up his sleeve from activities in-store (cooking classes?) to iPad-toting staff, to magic dressing rooms that somehow connect online with in-store…

I hope his vision gets realized and it pans out in a timely fashion. It stands to make J.C. Penney and those that chase after its vision into places we talk about and, in his words, “belong.”

[Article referenced within:

[More J.C. Penney: ]
jcpenney  cafes  openstudioproject  lcproject  social  2012  experience  apple  retail  ronjohnson  via:russelldavies 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Edicola, a New Kind of Newsstand, Opens on Market Street: Visual Arts | KQED Public Media for Northern CA
"Upon learning of the Edicola newsstand in San Francisco, started by the artists Luca Antonucci and Carissa Potter, I was impressed; it is one of those rare projects that is not only inspired and original, but has been successfully realized.

Antonucci and Potter met when they were graduate students at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Potter, feeling a certain affinity for her classmate, approached him with a proposition. "I had this crazy idea to ask him to be in a video with me where I told him that I liked him without knowing anything about him," she said. The video didn't turn out too well, but the two have been friends ever since. Together they launched both Colpa Press and Edicola, a newsstand that sells a curated selection of artists' books, newspapers and prints. That's not the only thing that makes the newsstand unique: the store is run out of a formerly closed San Francisco Chronicle kiosk on Market Street in bustling downtown San Francisco…"
tovisit  prints  retail  art  curation  newspapers  books  sfai  2008  carissapotter  lucaantonucci  newsstands  sanfrancisco  edicola  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Amazon same-day delivery: How the e-commerce giant will destroy local retail. - Slate Magazine
"But now Amazon has a new game. Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy. (Disclosure: Slate participates in Amazon Associates, an "affiliate" advertising plan that rewards websites for sending customers to the online store. This means that if you click on an Amazon link from Slate—including a link in this story—and you end up buying something, Amazon will send Slate a percentage of your final purchase price.) It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.… Physical retailers have long argued that once Amazon plays fairly on taxes, the company wouldn’t look like such a great deal to most consumers. If prices were equal, you’d always go with the “instant gratification” of shopping in the real world. The trouble with that argument is that shopping offline isn’t really “instant”—it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home. Getting something shipped to your house offers gratification that’s even more instant: Order something in the morning and get it later in the day, without doing anything else. Why would you ever shop anywhere else?"
amazon  sameday  tax  2012  via:Preoccupations  delivery  ecommerce  local  retail 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Speculist » Blog Archive » In the Future Everything Will Be A Coffee Shop
"Eventually you could have local campuses becoming places where MITx students seek tutoring, network, & socialize—reclaiming some of the college experience they’d otherwise have lost.

Phil thought this sounded like college as a giant coffee shop. I agree. Every education would be ad hoc. It would be student-directed toward the job market she’s aiming for.

This trend toward…coffeeshopification…is changing more than just colleges:

Book Stores Will Shrink to Coffee Shops…

The Coffee Shop Will Displace Most Retail Shops…

Offices Become Coffee Shops…Again…

What Doesn’t Become a Coffee Shop?…

…houses of worship…

What will remain other than coffee shops? Upscale retail will remain…[for] experience…Restaurants remain. Grocery stores remain.

Brick and mortar retail stores will be converted to public spaces. Multi-use space will be in increasing demand as connectivity tools allow easy coordination of impromptu events…"
restaurants  multipurpose  multi-usespace  impromptuevents  events  coffeeshopification  thirdspaces  thirdplaces  howwelearn  howwework  work  enlightenment  stevenjohnson  amazonprime  amazon  shopping  espressobookmachine  coffeehouses  coffeeshops  coffee  on-demandprinting  highereducation  higheredbubble  highered  information  reading  ebooks  stephengordon  future  retail  deschooling  unschooling  sociallearning  self-directedlearning  mitx  mit  learning  srg  glvo  2011  universities  colleges  education  opencoffeeclubdresden  3dprinting  ondemand  ondemandprinting  bookfuturism  books  cafes  openstudioproject 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Goodsie : Goodsie
"Online retail should be easy.
Make a branded storefront without any of the traditional hassles of setting up shop online."

[From the makers of ]
ecommerce  retail  online  web  commerce  tools  glvo  onlinetoolkit  business  design  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Quarterly Co.™
"…new way to connect w/ the people you follow & find interesting. We spend so much of our lives connecting w/ people online that we forget the value of tangible interactions that happen in the real world. Quarterly wants to bridge that gap by allowing anyone to subscribe to influential contributors and get physical items in the mail from them. It is like a magazine, but instead of receiving words on a page, our subscribers receive actual items that tell a compelling story crafted and narrated by the contributor.

What kind of stuff will I get? A blend of original, exclusive, & consumer items that are timeless, practical, exciting, & fly under the radar. We don’t want to fill up your house w/ clutter, & we’re mindful of the waste that each of us generate every day. But we also recognize that consumption isn’t inherently bad, it’s just a matter of making smarter choices about the things we surround ourselves with.

Each product should reflect on the person who selected it…"
design  quarterly  retail  subscriptions  geoffmanaugh  mariapopova  tinarotheisenberg  swissmiss  alexismadrigal  lizdanzico  shopping  gifts  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Gruen transfer - Wikipedia
"In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer is the moment when a consumer enters a shopping mall and, surrounded by an intentionally confusing layout, loses track of their original intentions. It is named for Austrian architect Victor Gruen (who disavowed such manipulative techniques). Recently, the Gruen transfer has been popularised by Douglas Rushkoff.

The Gruen transfer is the moment when consumers respond to "scripted disorientation" cues in the environment. Spatial awareness of their surroundings plays a key role, as does the surrounding sound, art, and music. The effect of the transfer is marked by a slower walking pace."
design  culture  architecture  psychology  retail  shopping  via:bopuc  manipulation  disorientation  confusion  behavior  victorgruen  gruentransfer  malls  douglasrushkoff  scripteddisorientation  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Retail in Japan: Turning silver into gold | The Economist
"THE Ueshima coffee shops that dot Tokyo seem like any other chain. But look more closely: the aisles are wider, the chairs sturdier and the tables lower. The food is mostly mushy rather than crunchy: sandwiches, salads, bananas—nothing too hard to chew. Helpful staff carry items to customers’ tables. The name and menu are written in Japanese kanji rather than Western letters, in a large, easy-to-read font. It is no coincidence that Ueshima’s stores are filled with old people.

Ueshima never explicitly describes itself as a coffee shop for the elderly. But it targets them relentlessly—and stealthily. Stealthily, because the last thing septuagenarians want to hear is that their favourite coffee shop is a nursing home in disguise."
aging  japan  retail  users  userexperience  user-centered  coffeehouses  elderly  age  2011  via:russelldavies  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Chile Behind Uruguay Converge on Brazil for World-Best Expanding Retailers - Bloomberg
"With a population of almost 16.9 million, Chile has become one of the region’s promising retail markets, driven by government incentives to stimulate consumption, increased middle-class disposable income and an urban population, according to the A.T. Kearney report. Retailing in Chile, which places consistently among the index’s Top 10, is projected to grow 10 percent in 2011, the authors said…

At the same time, Chilean retail sales have slowed. After averaging 16.4 percent annual growth in the first quarter, they fell to an average 8.6 percent in April and May and sales are projected to rise to 10 percent in June, according to the median forecast of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg."
chile  uruguay  markets  retail  2011  brasil  business  finance  consumerism  consumption  brazil  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Google+: Robin Sloan thread on the Borders bankruptcy
[See also: ]

"Public service announcement: I think the Borders bankruptcy isn't essentially about the book business. In fact it's much more closely tied to the real estate business. Borders had a ridiculously expensive portfolio of stores: huge spaces on glitzy corners with long-term leases (and an average of ~8 years still left on the lease, per store) that they couldn't walk away from, even as the fundamentals of their business changed beneath them.

But!—that's not like The Inevitable Fate of Bookstores Everywhere. By all accounts, Borders was just really poorly managed. The company could have struck smarter deals for those spaces, or approached its lease portfolio more cautiously, etc., etc., but didn't. It was reckless and profligate.

This bums me out, b/c I feel like Borders' bankruptcy is now part of that Death of Bookstores narrative—when in fact it's much less exciting than that. It's just the story of a company run badly."

[Read the thread too.]
thisandthat  borders  business  bankruptcy  mismanagement  realestate  money  finance  internet  web  booksellers  books  retail  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Post by Robin Sloan; "the Borders bankruptcy isn't essentially about the book business"
"I think it might have something to do w/ the franchises you cite, +Tim Carmody. I think the real locus of love & engagement today is not books (e- or otherwise) but rather fandoms. You know this is the case when you don't ever cite a particular volume. Instead it's just: Twilight. Harry Potter. Middle Earth. Game of Thrones. (And there's an interesting cross-media dynamic in that last example: the TV incarnation has essentially usurped the naming rights for the whole fandom. I call the book series "Game of Thrones" now—not "A Song of Ice and Fire.")

Now, as it turns out, books are a great way to kick off sprawling cross-media stories, and manga are even better; words are still a world-builder's best tools. But importantly, the thing people get wrapped up in, the thing they feel this crazy allegiance for, isn't the words, or the paper, or the E-Ink. It's the fictional world."
robinsloan  timcarmody  bordersbooks  books  booksellers  print  publishing  retail  bankruptcy  2011  genre  franchises  fiction  literature  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Dangerous Minds | What it’s really like to work in a music store
"And there you have it. These videos are mini-masterpieces of comedy. Not only are you laughing at the “musicians” testing out instruments at the store, but when this guy makes his cameo appearance, the look on his face will have you in tears. He doesn’t have to say anything at all and it’s side-splitting. When you make eye-contact, you know what he’s thinking!"
humor  work  retail  music  via:anterobot  video  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
At the Core of the Apple Store: Images of Next Generation Learning (full-length and abridged article) | Big Picture
"What are the essential features of the Apple Store’s learning culture?

* The learning experience is highly personalized and focused on the interests and needs of the individual customer.

* Customers can make mistakes with little risk of failure or embarrassment. Thinking and tinkering with the help of a staff member provide opportunities for deep learning.

* Challenges are real and embedded in the customer’s learning and work.

* Assessment is built right into the learning, focusing specifically on what needs to be accomplished.

A disruptive innovation? We think so. The Apple Store has created a new type of learning environment that allows individuals to learn anything, at any time, at any level, from experts, expert practitioners, and peers."
apple  applestore  learning  schooldesign  innovation  via:cervus  education  lcproject  technology  williamgibson  geniusbar  retail  studioclassroom  openstudio  thirdplaces  problemsolving  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  personalization  individualized  challenge  disruption  assessment  deeplearning  21stcenturylearning  learningspaces  thirdspaces  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Gravel & Gold
"Gravel & Gold is a shop in the Mission District of San Francisco run by three ladies, Cass, Lisa, and Nile. We sell useful goods from stand-up makers—hand-picked vintage and new things to wear, to adorn, to hear, to read & write, to furnish, and to love up. We like to know where our things come from and to directly support the people who create them."
sanfrancisco  shopping  gifts  boutique  diy  fashion  design  clothing  retail  glvo  via:robinsloan  art  handmade  make  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
pass the baton tokyo vintage shop
"pass the baton - this vintage shop promotes a new idea of recycling : pass on things that you truly love. the idea is that if an object is used and not needed anymore, people can pass it along without making new goods

(and potential waste). so that each new owner can create their own new memories. 'pass the baton' is a new personal culture marketplace in japan, a country where the idea of buying used items is not really appreciated. this could change quickly, the bricks-and-mortar flagship store in the center of tokyo offers buyers and sellers a fashionable forum for exchange. as a member of the 'pass the baton' initiative, people can sell as simply as one would at a flea market, but with the added dimension of optioning proceeds to charity. 50% of the proceedings are distributed to the seller. the seller will then contribute a part or all of proceeds to one of several social action groups through the non-profit organization charity platform (NPO)."
reuse  used  nonproduct  charity  vintage  retail  tokyo  glvo  japan  secondhand  beausage  resa;e  readymade  lcproject  unproduct  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's - Aug. 23, 2010
[via: ]

"Few customers realize the chain is owned by Germany's ultra-private Albrecht family, the people behind the Aldi Nord supermarket empire…Albrechts have passed their tightlipped ways on to their U.S. business: Trader Joe's and its CEO, Dan Bane, declined repeated requests to speak to Fortune, and the company has never participated in a major story about its business operations.

Some of that may be because Trader Joe's business tactics are often very much at odds with its image as the funky shop around the corner that sources its wares from local farms and food artisans. Sometimes it does, but big, well-known companies also make many of Trader Joe's products. Those Trader Joe's pita chips? Made by Stacy's, a division of PepsiCo's (PEP, Fortune 500) Frito-Lay. On the East Coast much of its yogurt is supplied by Danone's Stonyfield Farm. And finicky foodies probably don't like to think about how Trader Joe's scale enables the chain to sell a pound of organic lemons for $2."
traderjoes  business  food  fortune  marketing  retail  2010  aldi  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Galco's Soda Pop Store
I'm bookmarking this mostly to see how many people have already done so. Galco's is on of the gems of Los Angeles, especially for soda lovers (not me). Update: I was number 150.
losangeles  nostalgia  drinks  gifts  food  retail 
june 2010 by robertogreco
"In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint.

Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily. We’re starting with a limited beta and rolling out to everyone in early 2010."
android  iphone  ipad  payment  processing  creditcards  credit  ecommerce  commerce  glvo  applications  business  mobile  money  design  services  retail  twitter  technology  tools  ios 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Square Turns Your iPad Into A Cash Register
"As a general-purpose tablet, the iPad can be many things to many people: an ebook reader, a wireless TV, a touchscreen videogame console. But to store owners and business people it can also be a cash register, with the right app, of course. Jack Dorsey’s Square, which was initially developed for the iPhone, now has an iPad app as well"
ipad  applications  ecommerce  payment  money  retail 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Google Shopper for Android
"Shopping smarter with Google Shopper on your Android Phone."
android  mobile  applications  retail  shopping 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Pop-up stores are becoming an overnight sensation - Los Angeles Times
"Major chains are legitimizing the phenomenon. It lets merchants move quickly, opening up shops to test a new product or market and closing them without much fuss."
tcsnmy  lcproject  pop-upstores  flexibility  retail  impermanence  ephemeral  via:rodcorp  popup  pop-ups  ephemerality 
january 2010 by robertogreco
"General Store is a collaborative entity created by Serena Mitnik-Miller and Mason St. Peter which features carefully curated items from both new and vintage sources. Local Artisans and Craftspeople contribute to the mix of furniture, clothing, tools, plants, household items, books, jewelry, cards and small electronics, a little bit of everything useful! Coming in January we will unveil our backyard garden and patio featuring a greenhouse by Jesse Schlesinger. Come out for a visit!."
sanfrancisco  california  design  curation  retail  glvo  furniture  stores  furnishings 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: On connectivism
" to educationally consider the culture being recorded in these mediascapes, in such a way so as to ask...more than the obvious (& pointless) questions..."how can we use these tools to do what we're doing more effectively?" Questions like this miss bigger issue. In depth engagement w/ social media seems to lead many educators to the question, "is what I am doing even relevant anymore? what is my new relationship to this culture - if it becomes dominant in my society?" Journalism has asked itself, entertainment industry has, retail sector has, government arena is asking itself, why not the education sector? So far, too few of us are asking these questions, fewer still are exploring answers. But can we find & measure learning evidence in Social Media that is disciplined enough to warrant such serious rethinking in our institutionalised practices? Given that the work we do is economically protected & market regulated, what will the motivation be for asking such a question?"
leighblackall  connectivism  education  ivanillich  stephendownes  change  retail  government  socialmedia  media  journalism  entertainment  technology  internet  online  gamechanging  learning  learningtheory  theory  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  youtube  wikipedia  detachment  isolation  mediascapes  culture  society  irrelevance  reform 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Busy Bee Hardware, Est. 1918 | sweet juniper!
"I bug Richie Crabb for about a week to talk to me about his hardware store for my "blog." I'd assumed it would be easy: I'd take a few pictures, scrawl out a few stories, and be out of his hair in twenty minutes tops. But every time I come in he's shooting the shit with somebody else and I don't want to interrupt. As I wait for him, lingering in the aisles and watching the employees helping customers I realize that Busy Bee Hardware...really is busy. I've always felt like I was the only customer there, but only because that's how they've always treated me...This is where we played as kids," he says, "And where our kids played. Things weren't like they are nowadays. Back then you brought your kids with you to work." The kids of all the family businesses in Eastern Market would hang out here, he says. "We could watch them kill chickens down at Capitol, or hang out here. The boys liked it here because they could build things.""
detroit  retail  momandpopstores  hardwarestores  service  families  work  children  parenting  daysgoneby  throwbacks 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Detroit and national retail chains | sweet juniper!
"I laugh when New Yorkers complain about the strip mauling of Times Square and their weird nostalgia for when it was seedy and dangerous. If you really miss seedy and dangerous, I know a house I can sell you for a dollar. Seriously. The fact that risk-averse national retail outlets who care only about the bottom line won't invest here is part of why I love living in Detroit. Being skipped by decades of prosperity means that this city doesn't look like everywhere else. It comes at quite a cost, but I'll be doggone if I wouldn't celebrate the absence of these national retailers rather than add it to the heap of things we already have to complain about here.
bigbox  walmart  starbucks  detroit  retail  chains 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Buy Food Gifts and Sell Artisan Food on Foodzie
"We are an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers."
food  design  craft  cooking  culture  diy  local  gourmet  shopping  etsy  retail  gifts 
october 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: just sell it
"You can feel it can't you, after all these years of brands pursuing branded retail experiences and retail theatre and blah blah blah, people are starting to want the opposite. They just want to buy something and leave. No experience, no brand, no up-sell and ideally no eye-contact."
retail  marketing  ux  experience  russelldavies 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Detroit: A city without chain grocery stores - Jul. 22, 2009
"Detroit is one of America's largest cities, but there isn't a single grocery chain store within the city limits. Spurned by national retailers, Detroit's nearly 1 million residents instead rely on independent stores run by local entrepreneurs for their most basic needs.
detroit  groceries  food  retail  economics 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Consumed - Repurpose-Driven Life -
"A recent book, “Retrofitting Suburbia,” by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, notes that in 1986, the United States had about 15 square feet of retail space per person in shopping centers. That was already a world-leading figure, but by 2003 it had increased by a third, to 20 square feet. The next countries on the list are Canada (13 square feet per person) and Australia (6.5 square feet); the highest figure in Europe is in Sweden, with 3 square feet per person. “Retrofitting Suburbia,” as its title suggests, is concerned with projects that address problems stemming from “leapfrog”-style development — the constant expansion of new housing, and new stores, farther away from city centers. As Dunham-Jones, an associate professor of architecture at Georgia Tech, told me when we spoke recently, one of those problems is that we’ve gotten “overretailed.”"
adaptivereuse  reuse  architecture  retail  space  change  crisis  adaptive  suburbia  malls  us  suburbs  books  via:adamgreenfield 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Dr. Jim's Really Nice
"If you're going to rent, why not design the space first? The guts are in place. You decide the rest. Get $10,000 toward your creative build-out and 3 months free rent to start using it. 16' celiings. Fabulous neighbors. Bike routes. Design it, build it, live in it. Sublease it if you want. Just don't get a giant mortgage."

[via: ]
architecture  design  hackingbyconsent  housing  retail  business  renting  portland  oregon  leasing  space  cascadia  non-project  unproduct  customization  usercreated  userdesigned  flexibility 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Brand Avenue: Building a Better Big Box
"The Washington Post enlists the imaginations of several DC-area architects in envisioning the future of the "big box" retail spaces that we all know and loathe. What will happen when the anchor tenant moves on, goes under, or decides it needs an even bigger space? What about changing retail and transportation preferences?
via:adamgreenfield  architecture  design  neighborhoods  suburbs  bixbox  retail  gardening  urban  urbanism  parking  us 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Bits Of Destruction
"This downturn will be marked in history as the time where many of the business models built in the industrial era finally collapsed as a result of being undermined by the information age. Its creative destruction at work. It's painful and many jobs will be lost permanently. But let's also remember that its inevitable and we can't fight it. Technology and information forces are unstoppable and they will reshape the world as we know it regardless of whether or not we want them to."
culture  internet  crisis  finance  recession  2008  economics  business  change  disruption  gamechanging  mobile  phones  information  commerce  retail  destruction  future  autoindustry  us  capitalism  innovation  ecommerce 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Orange "identity studio"
"The sort of place where you can get a picture of you and translate it into a digital identity with the consentment of the french government (as attested by the little sticker on the upper left-hand corner)."
nicolasnova  identity  retail  images  photography  mobile  phones  branding  selfbranding 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News - Alternative Retail Channels Capture Cyclists
"“Given $500 is the upper limit of what they want to spend, I find I have to help steer them to shops that can help them get the bike they need. A customer for a $300 to $500 bike doesn’t get a lot of help,” Guerrero said."
bikes  retail  business  transportation  trends 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Providence in the FAIL of a Sparrow « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Nevertheless, sooner or later it’s all but inevitable that someone’s going to pull this concept off. I think that someone should be careful what it is that they’re asking for, because they - and we - just might get it."
adamgreenfield  interactiondesign  experience  motorola  shopping  rfid  retail  payment  mobile  design 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Disembodied Voices II
"In our increasingly sensor rich world the arms race for your sensory attention is stepping up a gear. As a consumer sometimes the only way to step back is to kick back. New weapons for the disengaged consumer and the engaging retailer are just around the
janchipchase  interaction  senses  attention  consumer  retail  business  etiquette  engagement 
april 2008 by robertogreco
innovation playground Idris Mootee: Service Design and Experience Design: Starbucks Vs Le Pain Quotidien
"traditional distinctions between products & services are beginning to blurr...product was physical & discrete, something obviously demarcated in space and time...has become a node connecting to other both from a data and social perspectives."
business  design  experience  food  retail  service  starbucks  lepainquotidien  usability  strategy  brands  services  slow  slowfood 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Brand Avenue: Hey, Big Schlepper
"What happens to big-box retail (and by extension so much of suburbia), when the need to schlep is taken out of the equation? How does changing the experience of shopping change the experience of place?"
sustainability  nau  retail  business  green  transportation  urbanism  urban  mobility  shopping  lcproject  via:cityofsound  marketing  fashion 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Things I Learned At The Apple Store |
several anecdotal observations (generation crossing) about Apple's retail stores & experience they create around products sold with mention of in-store coffeehouse (news to me). see also follow up post:
apple  starbucks  experience  retail  technology  generations  shopping  humor  trends 
march 2008 by robertogreco
DVICE: Order coffee directly from your iPhone
"Soon, thanks to Apple's deal with Starbucks for free access to WiFi at their stores, ordering overpriced coffee will be easier than ever." not a Starbucks or coffee shop fan, but here's an interesting use of the iPhone
iphone  coffee  starbucks  applications  retail  semacode  ios 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » « My daughter never went to a supermarket »
"The future of grocery shopping might be a wonderful, sensitive and spectacular experience on one side, with computers, recommendation engines and home delivery on the other. Does that strike a cord? Sounds an awful lot like Apple stores to me."
apple  retail  food  shopping  future  groceries  experience  design  interaction  online  internet  web 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Kid O
"dedicated to enriching the play and learning experiences of preschool children at home. We provide families with the products, tools, and experiences they need to support their children's journey toward becoming life-long learners and confident, independ
nyc  objects  children  play  learning  education  gifts  shopping  toys  retail  development  creativity  montessori  design  baby 
january 2008 by robertogreco
PopMatters | Columns | Rob Horning | Marginal Utility | The Design Imperative
"We are consigned to communicating through design, but it’s an impoverished language that can only say one thing: “That’s cool.” Design ceases to serve our needs, and the superficial qualities of useful things end up cannibalizing their functionality. The palpability of the design interferes, distracts from the activity an item is supposed to be helping you do. The activity becomes subordinate to the tools. You become the tool."
design  critique  criticism  function  form  utility  popular  aesthetics  retail  target  consumerism  consumer  society  competition  popularity  symbolism  industrial  products  customization  hipsters  marketing  image  personality  handmade  books  possessions  materialism  objects  fashion  style  commerce  variety  hipsterism 
january 2008 by robertogreco
oobject » items to build an apple store
"If you want to re-model your home in the style of an Apple store, here are links to the suppliers of the actual items they use."
apple  architecture  design  interiors  furniture  retail  lcproject 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Inside Apple Stores, a Certain Aura Enchants the Faithful - New York Times
"encourage a lot of purchasing, but also lingering, with dozens of fully functioning computers, iPods, iPhones for visitors to try — for hours on end...policy has given some stores, especially those in urban neighborhoods, the feel of a community center
apple  retail  lcproject  design  interiors  experience  space  community  services  computers  gamechanging 
december 2007 by robertogreco
The Piracy Paradox: Financial Page: The New Yorker
"But we should be skeptical of claims that tougher laws are necessarily better laws. Sometimes imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery. It’s also the most productive."
apparel  business  capitalism  competition  consumerism  copyright  culture  design  fashion  innovation  law  legal  patents  piracy  retail  trends  economics 
november 2007 by robertogreco
David Byrne Journal: 11.03.2007: Social "Hateworking", Ikea
"Immediately I thought it was like entering a videogame world. Who lives here? What do they do? Why is that book on the table? Is that significant? Could it be some kind of clue to the occupant’s identity?"
ikea  words  names  videogames  play  experience  retail  davidbyrne  socialnetworking  furniture  shopping  diy  language  naming 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Eataly, Turin [Monocle]
"Buy, taste and learn about the best foods"...slogan of Oscar Farinetti's super-market Turin...offers the finest artisanal produce from Italian suppliers, all selected with the assistance of Slow Food Italia and accompanied by lovingly compile
food  markets  italy  slow  retail  slowfood  eataly 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Growing Up Camper
"Wholesome yet idiosyncratic, Camper seems to be achieving a tricky balance between self-righteousness and self-deprecation."
camper  design  business  sustainability  campana  interiors  retail  shopping  shoes 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Smart Set: Here's To the Death of the "Death of" Article - October 12, 2007
"problem with both Luddites and Technorati ...tend to moralize technology itself, [as] “good” or “bad” by definition, rather than simply representing a number of blank, inert platforms for...human storytelling impulse. It’s the stuff on...pages
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  writing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future  storytelling  stories  literature  luddites 
october 2007 by robertogreco
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