• eBay descends on the high street as Philip Green announces he is closing 260 stores

    Posted November 25, 2011 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments eBay descends on the high street as Philip Green announces he is closing 260 stores

     

    ebay announced plans to take over the High Street with its first “bricks and mortar” shop due to open on 1st December, in Dean Street, London.  This will take the form of a pop up store offering a discount of 70% on named brands. Combining the best of both online and in store worlds, customers will benefit for the first time from the convenience of scanning QR codes on real products they can touch and feel and having them packaged up and sent home.
     
    This comes at an interesting time, with the news yesterday that Philip Green’s Fashion empire, The Arcadia Group plans to close 260 of it’s stores and it’s jewel in the crown Topshop, announced that profits have declined a massive 38% YOY. With more and more retailers focusing their ever decreasing profits online and on the growing mobile channel, this move really bucks the trend. So, why are ebay doing it?
     
    Ebay’s heartland lies in the democracy of the faceless, limitless internet: open access to all regardless of location, category (everything from a combine harvester to a teaspoon) or means.  Your passport? A paypal account. It is this technology and ease of use that they are transporting over from the virtual world and essentially creating a ‘suped-up’ Argos.  In brand terms, the promise they have become synonymous with “powered and controlled by you” will remain, as the shop will employ “Quick Response Codes”. Shoppers simply scan the product they want to buy with their Smartphone, purchase it on-line and have it shipped home.
     
    So, if Ebay currently stands for :
    - Auction
    - Deals
    - Choice
    - Ease of use
    - Reach and accessibility
    - Democracy

    …how will this Pop up outlet change the face of the brand?
     
    Transactions will be limited to the usual one-way transaction of Retailer-to-Shopper, which means that the auction aspect will be lost in this incarnation.  It can only signal a further commitment to their “Ebay Outlet” offering online, a virtual retail space for brands off-loading last season’s or unwanted stock at discounted prices.  So, is Ebay’s intention to act more as a retail environment rather than a peddler of people’s unwanted junk in the attic and so create a kind of Amazon/TK Maxx lovechild?
     
    We, at Vivid Brand, anticipate that it has ambitions to take on the likes of TK Maxx, Amazon & Argos , whilst exploiting their brand ethos and moving way beyond them.  By creating an actual retail space, however small and temporary at this stage, it forces consumers to reconsider and evaluate ebay in a different light; One that positions them at the forefront of retail, offering deals, choice and ease, away from the unwanted tat in the attic.

    What does strike us as interesting, is why none of this has occurred to Argos and why they have not evolved and developed their catalogue/collect concept to offer increased browsing and purchasing convenience and flexibility for their customers. Why do we still see printed catalogues (how very old fashioned?!) instead of digital catalogues with 3D views of the product, brand videos and try it on/check it out features? Why are there no digital panels in- store to purchase? Wouldn’t it be easier to just scan a QR code with your mobile, rather than queue, tap in a code, pay and then wait at a specific collection point? Despite Argos’s current stronghold on the UK high street, could this retailer soon be facing a very real challenge from forward thinking ebay?

    Interesting times. Check back later for our review of the ebay Pop up Store when it launches at the beginning of December.

  • Remember remember it’s the start of Movember!

    Posted November 1, 2011 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Remember remember it’s the start of Movember!

    The Fine men (and boys) of Vivid Brand will once again be participating in a moustachio’d love in, pruning and conditioning their manly hairs/bum fluff to compete to see who is most virile (or neanderthal), who most looks like Magnum (The P.I. for those young-uns who think I mean Ice Cream) and who is really a lost member of YMCA.

    Vivid Brand is joining many other Mo Bros in the UK/around the world in sprouting (mainly) embarrassing moustaches during the month of No/Mo-vember to become walking, talking billboards and raise awareness and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health and hopefully raise vital funds specifically for prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners: The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. These channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with Movember’s strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

    To see how our Vivid Brand men progress from clean shaven silky babies to scary moustache’d lotharios by the end of the month, you can follow our progress here and more importantly, donate to this very worthy cause here.

    We at Vivid Brand, our Mo Bros and indeed all the men (including your Brothers, Fathers and Grand Fathers) of the UK, thank you in advance for your kind generosity.

    At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Partés held around the world by Movember, for Movember.

    Check back at our Facebook page for more details towards the end of the month so you can join in the hilarity at the expense of our hairy males.

    As inspiration for the cause, we include our list of famous moustache’d men here:

    Lawrence’s inspiration: The Village People

    Lawrence's inspiration for Movember: The Village People

    Greg’s inspiration: Magnum

    Lawrence as Tom Selleck/Magnum for Vivid Brand Movember

    Andy Scott’s inspiration: Freddie Mercury

    Andy Scott as Freddie Mercury for Vivid Brand Movember

    Gideon Karmiloff’s inspiration: Borat

    Gideon's Movember inspiration: Borat

    Seb’s inspiration: Brad Pitt from Inglorious Bastards

    Seb's Movember inspiration: Brad

    Dan’s inspiration: Clark Gable

    Dan's Movember inspiration: Clarke Gable

    Ben’s Inspiration: Errol Flynn

    Ben's inspiration for Movember: Errol Flynn

    Mako’s inspiration: Fu Man Chu

     

    Matt’s inspiration: Hulk Hogan

    Matt's inspiration for Movember: Hulk Hogan

    Dorian’s insiration: Poirrot

    Dorian's inspiration for Movember: Poirot