Retail IS Marketing

We’ve been hearing about the eminent death of brick and mortar retail for a very long time. And while the industry continues to be squeezed as more people shift their buying habits online, retail is far from dead. It does, however, need to evolve and think about how it can remain culturally relevant. A lot’s […]

Here comes Krampus

When I told a friend and colleague about Krampus a number of years ago, before the legendary creature had captured the hearts of the world, I received an earful about the damaging nature of such a myth. I learned that Krampus was, it turned out, as bad as violent video games, eating too much salt […]

You Are What You Brand

It sometimes seems lost on people, but consumers have begun to face an important problem: the increased uncertainty about various product attributes. This arises from various asymmetric information consumers have access to, regarding a specific product. Consumers tend to assess certain product attributes in a holistic manner rather than a case by case basis – […]

Liminality and Shopping: Retail as a Shrine of Shopping

You will not find the term “liminality” in many dictionaries. For instance, at last check it is not in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary does, however, have an entry for “liminal,” the adjectival form, which it lists as a rare usage: “Of or pertaining to the threshold or […]

Good Retail Displays Are More Than The Materials

In Las Vegas, what you see is not necessarily what you get.  Whether it’s the gambler, the convention goer or the restaurant in the casino there is often a hidden agenda or a disguise. Las Vegas is a playground and a stage, a liminal space writ large. The events Global Shop is no exception. Across […]

Building Retail Environments Around Context

Environmental sensibilities shape cultural expectations about how every environment we interact with should be properly organized. The physical construct envisioned by the architect, the interior designer, the store owner, etc. are all varied to some degree based on how they understand and respond to vague notions like “shopping.”  Add to that the varied, contextually mitigated […]

The VMSD Interview

New Interview with VMSD Magazine: http://vmsd.com/content/qa-with-gavin-johnston-two-west Q&A with Gavin Johnston, Two West (June 2011) posted on Tue May 31, 2011Two West’s chief anthropologist talks about shopper behavior and the cultural understanding of the retail stage. As a chief anthropologist, how do you help retailers and brands better connect with shoppers? My work is designed to engage […]

Data Just Ain’t Enough, Folks

As me emerge slowly from the last recession, retailers are fixating on the “data.” They ask, “How can retailers leverage their in-store customer data for online purchase and preference sharing?” They want t know how in-store data can translate into a greater share of wallet and a greater share of preference? Completely understandable.  The problem […]

Retail Strategy By Any Other Name

Strategy is a word that gets used freely anymore, but it is rarely employed.  What people are talking about is a series of tactics that are strung together and because the people who own those tactics reports to a single person in an organization, it is called a strategy.  This is particularly true for retailers. […]