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  1. Shanghai weekend

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  2. RFID: The Rise of the Intelligent Product

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    I might be classed as the typical male when it comes to shopping, a focused ‘mission-based’ shopper, only responding to a stimulus that aids my goal to buy that thing I came for. I’m a retail designer. I enjoy looking at shops, designing shops and talking about shops, but the tussle and elbowing of a frantic store on a Saturday afternoon is not my idea of fun.

    Often the internet is the answer, but when I’m only looking to replace that simple pair of jeans with a pair exactly the same, walking into a shop should be simple. My key problem occurs when I find the part of the shop that purports to have that pair of jeans I’m after, but I can’t find my size. There are no staff around to ask, the merchandising is tired and it’s late in the day, so the neatly displayed product has already been re-ordered numerous times by other customers. I cannot find the size I’m after so I walk away, unrewarded for my efforts, possibly never to come back.

    This is a problem that has largely been ignored, with many sales lost at this most crucial stage. Better segmentation and signage always helps, but that can be too complex and difficult for many retailers to manage and maintain. In fact, the solution is already being used by most retailers, but behind the scenes in warehouses, rather on the shop floor. Radio-frequency identification. RFID – four simple letters, but a whole world of possibilities.

    Brazilian brand Memove’s RFID stock tracking technology addresses this very issue, with tags stitched into their clothing to monitor items from manufacturing to the moment the customer walks out of the shop. Keeping track of the stock supply chain is made much simpler through the use of technology – Memove provides a fine example. (Source: Forbes)

    Let me go back to my simple denim problem, I’m standing looking at a pile of jeans, I’m ready to buy, but not sure if I can wade through the product – last time I did that my pair wasn’t there. With an RFID tag in each product, and an intelligent digital display showing the availability of the sizes and styles, I can look with a degree of certainty that what I want is there. I’m happy and the shop has a sale, a win-win.

    RFID tags, particularly the passive type, are getting cheaper – between 5-12p dependent on range – but the more they are used the lower the price will drop. Of course it would mean a new commitment to bringing warehouse technologies onto the sales floor, but it’s time the product became as intelligent as the mobiles in customers’ hands. My advice is to adopt RFID now to benefit from the huge potential it brings. And I might finally find that elusive pair of jeans!

     
  3. Clerkenwell Design Week

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    This award-winning festival takes place right on our doorstep, across various venues in EC1. With workshops, presentations, product launches and debates it's always worth popping down, which we did, last week. Here's a handful of photos.

    www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com

     
  4. Ricochet – For anyone who is popping over to Sydney for the weekend!

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    www.byte.frostdesign.com.au

     
  5. Carte Noire Instinct: A Window into Intensity

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    Nice use of digital in a shop window at Westfield.

     
  6. Thoughts on Department Store Futures

    What is a department store? It may seem obvious: a department store offers a multi-brand experience on a large scale, with a variety of services and propositions, usually in a city-centre location with a rich history. We automatically think: Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, Lane Crawford, Macy’s… The list is large, global and impressive; these are department store icons – destinations, global names that resonate internationally.

    Retail is changing: perhaps the internet is supplanting the department store as the ultimate destination for a collection of brands; maybe Amazon is the new department store, the multi-brand offer of the future. Will the traditional department store format become the retail white elephant, a huge slow moving institution with an illustrious past and an uncertain prospect.

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  7. D&P Company Photo Challenge

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    15 teams, 15 categories, 4 central London locations, a bunch of props and a very sunny afternoon, here are the results of the D&P Company Photo Challenge that took place last week. Congratulations to Team Jurassic 7 who came first and won a European day out and well done to all the other teams who got some pretty good photos too.