It seems that we're watching the death throes of the House of Fraser - or at least of the House of Fraser brand. How much of this is a sign of the broader changes in retailing, and how much is the story of a poorly managed brand?
Marks and Spencers have announced seven thousand job losses. What does this mean for M&S and retailing more generally?
Apple UK has allegedly asked UK landlords for substantial rent cuts. In an environment where the value of retail space is a fraction of what it was 6 months ago, should we be surprised if retailers are looking for significant rent cuts?
Many cities are using Covid-19 as the reason for significant shifts in their attitudes towards cycling – and particularly towards making roads significantly more cycle friendly.
But the evidence on the street is that this shift to urban cycling hasn’t really happened yet.
Now that retailing in the UK is starting to open up (past supermarkets, bike stores, and DIY stores), we can start to see how UK retailers are responding/changing how they operate.
We are starting to see some v. small changes in how transportation is changing in Covid-19 Scotland – early thoughts on what Spaces for People is doing in Scotland.
Find out more about the set of magazines I wrote earlier this year pulling together what the LIKE project has learned about building local innovation cultures in Europe.
I have been a long-term critic of amazon for a couple of reasons – one is because they don’t contribute enough to cities to cover the actual costs of their business model (a criticism not limited to amazon), and the other because amazon is an increasingly poor customer experience – with more and more counterfeit goods (what percentage of “Apple” products on Amazon are actually genuine apple prodcts? ), an increasingly complicated user/platform interface, and the ‘Prime’ service increasingly isn’t – less and less is available as Prime and ‘Prime’ goods can now take a week plus to be shipped/delivered.
A company spokesperson said the brand was focused on “elevating consumer experiences through more direct, personal relationships.”
As long as Amazon can’t control their sellers – and as a reseller it’s not necessarily in Amazon’s interest to actively control sellers who use their platform – this is the reputational risk Amazon faces.
Amazon is an increasingly bad place for brands to be – particularly if they have alternative distribution platforms.
Three years ago I subscribed to Jocelyn Glei’s bimonthly newsletter. It was recommended somewhere (probably by Tina Roth Eisenberg, aka @swissmiss), and it looked interesting. And like many newsletters, I never read it. Any of it. Ever.
And then I recently made the decision to change how I used email, and to split my email life into “work” and “other” email accounts. And I saw this virtual pile of newsletters, piled up in my ‘new’ work email inbox, just like the pile of unread Esquire magazines on my nightstand.
And I took a look – finally. After three years.
Reader, it is an amazing email. Short, high quality, and infrequent enough not to feel overwhelming.
In Jocelyn’s words:
Twice a month, I publish a newsletter that highlights new ideas about how to be more creative and make time for the work that matters. It’s smart, actionable, and useful.
A key risk of many projects is they don’t make sure that they have enough staff to deliver everything that they promise to deliver. I’ll tell you why this is such a reputational risk, and how you can change your approach to better manage this situation.
In my experience the key thing delaying the start of research projects is staff availability - whether you have access to the people you need, or if you need to recruit and how ready to recruit you (and your organisation) are.
Interesting article on the BBC on the Local Data Company’s latest report on the high retail vacancy rates in the UK, with one in seven shops (14%) empty.
Focusing on the headline vacancy rate is interesting, but does it help us understand if we're getting more (or less) good shops on our streets?
Interesting article on the future of Towns and Cities in the Drum Magazine – and I don’t just say that because I’m quoted in it! My key points cover
- What will the Future city look a like
- Urban efficiency and relevancy
- The importance of the quality of the built environment
- ‘Smartness’ is not a given and can't be assumed
- Personalisation - will it happen?
- Cities and the shared experience