Beyond The Internet:
It’s often said that retail is dying. But it’s very much not if the latest CEW talk we went to is anything to go by, it’s just bad retail that is going the way of the dodo. The event heard from two retail gurus – Meredith Smith, Managing Innovation Consultant at Fluxx and Jibran Saleem-Sheikh, Brand Acquisition Manager at Landsec – about how there is a ‘halo effect’ between physical and digital retail, each driving the other. Notable statistics being that having a bricks and mortar store for an emerging brand increases online traffic by 45% (still 37% uplift for established brands) and 82% of retail is still done in physical stores. We saw fantastic examples of the three elements that retail has to deliver on today: create IRL community, be an opportunity for testing/learning and provide singular, memorable experiences. It could be multi-brand showcase stores like The Lobby in Stockholm that can vary its offer on an almost weekly basis. Or like direct-to-consumer brand, Universal Standard, that toured its inclusive fashion offer around cities in the United States, using the retail store as a location ‘call for models’ providing them with social and website content, consumer engagement and retail sales. Or literal playgrounds like Winky Lux’ pop-up featuring seven themed rooms designed around seven different products, complete with ball-ponds, fuzzy pom-poms, rainbow clouds, makeup try-on spaces and more besides. Definitely something for us to consider when we’re asked to design a brand world.
Food Matters Live:
Once again Food Matters Live focussed on showcasing the innovators shaping the future of the food and drink industry – with nutrition for health, wellbeing and immunity firmly in the spotlight. Nutraceuticals, microbiome and plant-based products were prolific at the two-day event, which we happily sampled as we explored the ExCel. Chaga mushroom brand Ötzibrew – named after the 5300-year-old preserved Iceman found with the medicinal mushrooms – was a warming, welcome boost and coffee alternative. As was the soon-to-launch turmeric drink Alchemy Gold with active compound curcumin and other deliciously health-benefiting ingredients.
In Real Life and Other Spaces:
The team also tripped the light fantastic at Olafur Eliasson’s captivating In Real Life installation at The Tate and at The Store x The Vinyl Factory’s new exhibition at 180 The Strand, Other Spaces. Each multi-sensory work used light, sound, space and motion to investigate the way we perceive and interact with the world. From Eliasson’s rainbows to Other Spaces’ immersive laser installation, we were drawn into the artworks and the effect they had on our senses. A truly sensorial experience and inspiration for an exciting new project we’re working on!