• Pick of the best Christmas 2013 Marketing

    Posted January 6, 2014 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Pick of the best Christmas 2013 Marketing

    Coca-Cola

    ..were on fire this Christmas. We spotted this great experiential billboard: 

    And this wonderful message from Santa was erected in Euston Station in London, next to the departures board and seemed to be  waving off the train travellers as they headed home for Christmas holidays. 

    Coke Christmas

    And then Coke got us with their super fun ‘Sweater Generator’, which I felt I had to investigate in the name of research:

    Coca-Cola Sweater Generator

    WestJet

    This airline created a Digital Santa who asked their passengers what they wanted for Christmas. Look what happened: 

    Harvey Nichols

    This didn’t get much exposure for some reason, but we loved this alternative Christmas ad from Harvey Nics. So funny. So tempted to do that next year. It is the thought that counts after all! 

    Selfridges 

    From the exterior of the store that announces ‘Destination Christmas’ in bold neon above the main doors, to the gorgeous windows and excellent in store marketing that drives you upstairs and through the whole store, to the actual Christmas Emporium itself -- Selfridges created an amazing atmosphere and a fabulous retail environment to buy everything you could need in store, on Oxford Street. 

    Selfridges Christmas 2013

    Selfridges Christmas 2013

    Selfridges Christmas 2013

    Purina Friskies

    Staring famous viral cats at its core. A cute viral cat video that has garnered 2.4m hits. 

    Random Market Stall

    Tell it how it is:

    sprouts

     

  • It’s an e-Christmas

    Posted December 18, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments It’s an e-Christmas

    Its that time of year when retail activity reaches new peaks, and the latest statistics reveal that 25% of UK shoppers plan to spend more over the festive period this year than last. The increased simplicity of ecommerce and popularity of mobile technology has undoubtedly boosted the popularity of online shopping and thus driven the growth in sales, meaning that 13% of these sales will be through online purchases.

     

    The popularity of online shopping is constantly on the rise and new research from Adobe predicts that tablet shopping will grow over the following year by 60% and Smartphone shopping to grow by 97%. Meaning that 12.4% of total online sales in Europe are expected to come from mobile devices, which shows a massive 68% year-over-year increase from 2012.

    Even if shoppers don’t buy every item online, the likely-hood is, they will at least use the Internet to do some savvy pre-purchase research. At least three quarters will carry out some research this year ahead of Christmas day, 25% of which will be on a mobile device.

    Household tablet ownership has risen from 28% to 46% during the last 12 months, indicating that they are set to play a much bigger role in Christmas shopping this year. This ‘rise of the tablet’ is making it easier than ever before to shop on the go and make last minute purchases without feeling the stress of the high street.  According to new research, over 80% of tablet owners are using the devices to shop, with over 60% saying they will do more Christmas shopping because of their tablet.

    It seems the savvy shopper is here to stay, primed and ready to shop the best deals online.  One has to wonder whether with the constantly improving mobile-commerce facilities, will we be seeing tablet and Smartphone conversion rates gaining ground on desktops? And what with the ever-growing customer confidence in ecommerce and m-commerce, this could mean average online order values will keep on increasing. Christmas can be the make-or-break season for many retailers, but by embracing new technology and the popularity of e/m – commerce things could be on the up!

     

  • The New Age of Vending Machines

    Posted December 6, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments The New Age of Vending Machines

    The 21st century vending machine will leave you delving for your credit card rather than your loose change, and is more likely to supply you with a designer handbag over the once standard chocolate bar. We have been looking at the latest, most innovative and fun vending machines out there. 

    Selfridges department store have recently installed the worlds first champagne vending machine.  The decadent addition to their Christmas Emporium contains up to 350 bottles of Moet and Chandon champagne, each of which is coated in miniature Swarovski crystals!

    For a reasonable £18, customers can purchase one of the 200ml bottles either as a gift for a loved one or to devour there and then, in an attempt to lessen the pain of Christmas Shopping.

    Selfridges Champagne Vending Machine
     

    This in fact only the latest in a line of luxury vending machines that have been unveiled in recent times.

    Earlier in the year, Selfridges provided a Chanel vending machine that dispensed mascaras and their rival department store Harvey Nichols hosted a BeautyMart machine that dispensed an array of beauty treats.

     Selfridges chanel vending machineHarvey Nics Vending Machine

    Commuters in New York City can access a variety of L’Oreal products from vending machines in the subway. With choices designed to clash or match outfits – customers need never panic about leaving the house without an appropriate lipstick again!

    loreal vending machines

    Over on the higher end of the pricing scale London’s Westfield shopping centre introduced a machine that dispenses gold bars called ‘Gold to Go’. Whilst Westfield malls in LA have vending machines filled with luxury food goods such as caviar, truffles and even snails.

    Westfield Vending Machine

     And for all the really big spenders out there, a vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel in Miami sells luxury items such as Bentley cars and even 24 carat gold handcuffs …

    However this new generation of vending machines are not just for the luxury shopper and sometimes the contents do not require any cash in exchange!

     Hellmann’s mayonnaise recently created a slot machine that allowed customers in Brazil to pull on a lever in order to dispense recipe instructions and samples of dishes that used mayonnaise in the ingredients. Even better though, if a lucky customer hit the jackpot, they were rewarded with multiple jars of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

    Hellmanns vending machine

    Strongbow latched on to the trend for personalised vending machines when they launched their new dark fruit drink with the ‘Earn it’ campaign.  Commuters in London’s Victoria Station were challenged to hit targets on an interactive vending machine that rewarded successful applicants with a refreshing Strongbow dark fruit drink.

     Strongbow vending machine

    The most famous of these promotional vending machines are probably Coca Cola’s  ‘Friendship Machine’, which offering a two for one service on the condition that you worked alongside your friend to claim your prize.

     These vending machine installations allow customers a more beskoke, fun and personalised in store/ on the go service. Providing there are no ‘trapped behind the glass’ moments, which are often experienced with the regular confectionary vending machines, this is an excellent idea!

    These machines create a fun shopping experience that is more personable and instant than an online shopping service, as well as creating conversation and interaction between fellow shoppers.

  • Take the Gingerbread Challenge

    Posted By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Take the Gingerbread Challenge

    Happy Christmas everybody!!

    To celebrate and get everyone into the festive spirit, our elves have been baking gingerbread and crafting them into a wondrous digital Gingerbread Generator, so you too can create your very own Gingerbread House, with the mere touch of a few buttons.

    Have a go and share with your colleagues, friends and family and you could win a Fortnum & Mason Hamper.

    Click on the house below to start:

    Vivid Brand Gingerbread Generator

  • It’s Cyber Monday

    Posted December 2, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments It’s Cyber Monday

    As a Dr Who fan, we were thrilled to hear that the Cyber men were coming, today, Monday! Turns out it’s now’t to do with the merciless cyber machines, but everything to do with retailers redressing the balance of cash flow over Christmas with Online sales so impressive and compelling, that even aliens and robots are splashing the cash early this Christmas.  Retailers expect today, Monday 1st December, to be the biggest Online retailing day of the year.

    Interesting stats:

    Cyber Monday, UK eCommerce at Christmas

     

    UK retailers must be rubbing their hands with glee. John Lewis expects to see its Online traffic peaking on December 1st. Mark Lewis, Online Director said: “Our customers shopping habits have changed over the past few years.  Better connectivity and the rise of smartphones means people can browse online throughout the day and our peak time for browsing and shopping on Johnlewis.com is Sunday evening.

    Cyber Monday,  Online sales at Christmas 2013

     According to the Guardian, Amazon is predicting that today will be its busiest day for sales, on the basis of previous years’ sales; advising that the 1st Monday of December has historically been their busiest day of the year for the past three years. IMRG,t he trade group for online retailers, said that Monday’s were traditionally always the biggest sales days. A spokesman said: 

    “Mondays are always the busiest day of the week online. People go out at the weekend, browse shops, then come into work and at lunch time they make some purchases to get a better price. Traditionally people also waited to be in the office where the broadband used to be better. These two Mondays are likely to be the big days – possibly even the one before. All that says is that every Monday in the lead up to Christmas is a busy day. Because its a phenomenon that has taken place retailers see it as a day to help stimulate it and try to encourage people to come to your site.”

    Cyber Monday,  Online sales at Christmas 2013

    Marina McKeever of shopping website Voucher-Codes.co.uk says online sales are expected to account for more than £14.5billion of sales over the festive period.

    She said: “A fifth of shoppers will do the majority of Christmas present shopping online. We expect to see retailers ramping up their sales promotions.”

    The Centre for Retail Research and shopping website VoucherCodes.co. uk predicts that online sales will increase by 16 per cent tomorrow, with six million shoppers spending £605million over 24 hours. Hold tight people!! 

    See more Cyber Monday and Black Friday stats from eConsultancy here. 

     

  • Christmas Online

    Posted November 29, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Christmas Online

    In the run up towards Christmas, things can get kind of hectic! In between all the parties and consumption of mulled wine, there is theendless task of shopping for the perfect present for loved ones.

     The impact of increased Online Shopping at Xmas each year, has meant that Shoppers have become more and more savvy about snaring last minute bargains and deals in the retailer promotions held in the last two panic stricken weeks before Christmas, with some Shoppers leaving it as later as Christmas Eve and even on Boxing day. For the first time this year, Retailers have copied the US’s  ’ Black Friday’ approach, by offering early discounts to encourage Shoppers to buy earlier and keep the cash flow rolling.

    The good news is that the endless pacing up and down of the high street is rapidly being replaced  by a considerably more relaxing ‘click a button from the comfort of your armchair / coffee shop’ approach, thanks to the power of the internet / and increasing use of mobile devices.

    With access to Online shopping 24/7,  more and more people are doing their research and making their purchases from the comfort of their own home.

    A study by Pay Pal suggest that 9 out of 10 people will buy their Christmas gifts online, with the MD of Paypal stated that, ‘Our retailers are leading the world in making it easy to shop from the sofa, train and bus – while giving the best of both worlds with click and collect.’

    Also The Daily Mail reported that sales on Cyber Monday ware predicted to be up 16% on the equivalent day last year, and Visa is predicting that £450million will be spent online by British consumers on Monday with 7.7million transactions through its cards alone!

    So which brands have understood the Omni-channel Shopper this Christmas and who is using Online to make Shopping at Christmas easier / quicker / better?  

    Urban Outfitters

     With the target customer aged between 18-35, Urban Outfitters use their website to promote their silly yet cool brand identity.

     Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

    For Christmas they have gone all out – with competitions to with £500 to spend on a #dreamxmas, 20% discount online and promotional £1 delivery costs – the store is making it very hard to resist their online deals! 

     Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

    The site uses bold letting and pictures to direct its customers to different areas of the site and filtered, drop down menus, just in case you want to see all the options in one place. Categories such as ‘Gifts for Him’ and ‘Gifts for Her’ , make clear gender distinctions for present buyers, and areas such as ‘Stocking Fillers’ provide an area for gifts under a tenner. Filtering inside these categories then allows the customer to order the results alphabetically or by price.

    Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

     The site looks great but the large quantity of categories can get quite overwhelming and it is easy to get ‘lost’ – forgetting what you have already looked at and maybe missing what you need by going into the wrong category. Fewer categories but more filtering could be a more user-friendly solution.

     ASOS

    It’s the end of November already, but surprisingly there is barely any reference to Christmas on the ASOS home page, until scrolling down to the bottom section where you will find a ‘Gift Guide’ option with gender determined filters.  It’s worth noting that we have received numerous Christmas e-mails from ASOS encouraging us to check out gifts, party dresses, black dresses, the gift guide, etc… so perhaps this is a different approach?

     Upon clicking on the general link, you are taken to a playful and easy to use page of brilliant gift ideas. One has to wonder whether ASOS is missing a trick here as without a determined scroll down, many potential customers could assume there were no helpful Christmas hints available!

    ASOS Online Xmas Shopping

    The site has bold and clear category selections – ME!. BFF, Cheap n’ Cheerful, Beauty Booty, The Boys – With large first page images that can be clicked to give full item information and then a link to the full selection of ideas. As well as a helpful banner than has a Christmas countdown and last order date info. Now this is Christmas shopping made easy!

    If the general categories don’t help, there’s more help at hand with a ‘Not sure what to buy’ quiz, which customers can take to help them determine what items would suit the needs of the recipient. This is a great interactive app and everyone loves taking a personality quiz, however it is slightly disappointing that the quiz only caters to women… tut, tut ASOS!

     ASOS Online Xmas Shopping

    ASOS also goes one step further by adding a ‘Wish List’ option where shoppers can now store away all their desired items and then send them on to a generous loved one as a mega hint!

    For a more unusual gift there are also links to ASOS Marketplace Christmas picks, where you can find a more unique and quirky gift ideas or if you fancy being a bit silly there’s an array of Christmas jumpers on offer.

    Easy to use and easy to navigate, ASOS’ Christmas shopping pages are a massive hit. However we all have that one person who is a bit tricky to buy for and for that you have the always a hit Christmas gift voucher option! Everyone’s a winner!

     Amazon

     Amazon have a difficult task in creating an enjoyable and easy to use Christmas shopping option, mainly because of the diverse array of categories and products stocked as well as a diverse Shopper.

     Splitting the ‘Christmas is coming’ section into categories other than gender really helps customers to think about a variety of options available and helps to break down the vast quantity and variety of stock available. These categories are labelled with a photo example of the products they contain and then a small list that also indicates what you will find by following the link.

     Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

    Aside from the usual gifts that you would expect from a provider like Amazon they also offer a gift card service and a more personal gift experience option. The latter allows the buyer to use from a variety of local ‘experiences’ that they can then gift to a loved on. These experiences vary from personalised chocolate to a day out golfing, giving the recipient a gift they wont easily forget!

    Of course Christmas isn’t all about giving, it’s about getting! The standard Amazon feature ‘wish list’ can come in particularly handy at this time of year to drop helpful suggestions to those around you. 

     Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

    There is a somewhat clinical appearance to the site, and it definitely lacks the ‘fun’ element that some of the other sites deliver.

     There isn’t much distraction away from the task of shopping, which clearly works for Amazon, but it is starting to look quite dated and lacking in engagement and detail compared to many other ecommerce sites.

     However, Amazon more than compensates for this missing element with its practical and efficient shopping guidelines. Multiple delivery options and item tracking allows you to rest assured that your items will get to you on time! Overall leaving the impression that your Christmas shopping is well managed and in safe hands!

    Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

     

     John Lewis

     Christmas at John Lewis online is exactly what you would expect from John Lewis! It is family orientated and wholesome; there is a great and high quality array of traditional gift ideas, as well as some quirky and fun stocking fillers.

     John Lewis online Christmas

    Overall, the site is simple and easy to navigate, with present ideas categorised into 6 key sections – Him, Her, Little Ones, The Night Before Christmas, Keen Cooks, and Cosy Nights. Filters include brand, price, rating and delivery options, which are all incredibly helpful when determining choice options.

     A ‘Personalised’ section has appeared this year, where you can add a name to a selection of items such as stockings, advent calendars, alcohol, and crockery to name but a few! Personalising a product adds a touch of love, warmth and a human familiarity that can be lacking from purchasing gifts online and is a nice extension fro John Lewis.

     John Lewis online Christmas

     John Lewis has a gift wish list as standard to their site, which can be collated and then sent out to those in need of a hint or two. However, the site has not changed this area of the site to appropriate it for Christmas, which seems like a missed trick!

    The site ticks all the boxes for family Christmas shopping Online and conveniently multiple delivery options such as next day/ express, Click and Collect and CollectPlus (meaning you can pick up the item from a local convenience store or petrol station). Really great for helping people manage their time effectively during this busy time of the year!

      Graham and Green

     Graham and Green offer unique and charming gift ideas categorised into sections based on price, gender, accessories and homewares.

     

     Graham & Green

     

    The site is very simply laid out, with such a variety of unusual gift ideas on offer that you would not find on the high street that it somehow brings a little bit of soul to the sometimes tiresome chore of Christmas shopping.

     Graham and Green Online Christmas

    When we visited, we noticed a 20% special offer discount for Online buyers providing extra temptation to sway a ‘maybe’ Shopper to a ‘yes’ Shopper.

  • Tacky Christmas Jumpers

    Posted By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Tacky Christmas Jumpers

    It has come to our attention that Coke Zero have a rather fun digital ‘Sweater Generator’. So in the interests of research, we had a little play and created our own works of woolly wondrousness. Feast your eyes on this little lot:

    Matt’s jumper:

    Matt's Coca-Cola Zero Sweater Generator

    “Because bears are cuddly.”

    Rachel W’s Jumper:

    Seb's Coca-Cola Zero Sweater Generator

    “Who doesn’t like cats? Ranking 764, of several hundred thousand jumpers worldwise  (or ‘sweaters’ as those Americans like to say) attests to this fact (and top of the Vivid Brand jumper leader board). The arms feature my inner world of robots, ninjas and my expectation that I will receive so many presents I can’t open the door.”

    Rachel F’s Jumper

    Rachel F's Coca-Cola Zero Sweater Generator

    “It captures the true spirit of an ugly christmas.”

    Seb’s Jumper

    Seb's Coke-Cola Zero Sweater Generator

    ” Minimalist Christmas. ” (coming from the official ‘Best Dressed at Vivid Brand)

    Try it yourself. Click here.

     

  • Festive Christmas Windows

    Posted November 22, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Festive Christmas Windows

    We took a trot around London, peering into all the shops we can’t really afford like excited children, as well as the high street favourites, to see who has captured the essence of Chrismas.

    Who was inspiring? Who make it easy to find the perfect present? 

    Here’s our favourites, chosen for ‘Christmas magic appeal’ and effective Shopper marketing:

    John Lewis 

    John Lewis tops our Festive Windows list this year with their amazing, innovative, animal themed sculptures.

    By constructing a menagerie of beasts made from a diverse array of homeware items, John Lewis pays homage to their much celebrated Christmas advert, whilst also serving a fun acknowledgement to the array of products available for purchase in store.

    Great innovative thinking has produced a magical and clever display like no other on the high street! 

    John Lewis Christmas Windows 

    John Lewis Christmas Windows

    John Lewis Christmas Windows   John Lewis Christmas Windows  

    The Hare! 

    John Lewis Christmas Window

    The Bear! 

    Penhaligons 

    Although the window in the Penhaligons South Molton Street store is smaller than most of the other stores featured in this list, they really make the most of the space available creating a Christmas scene full of magic and opulence.

    Gold is key, with a bare branched tree, fairy lights, snow and caged lanterns all featuring the colour. The dim lighting makes the scene extremely intimate and the caged perfume bottles only add to this feeling of magic and exclusivity.

    Penhaligons Christmas Window

     

    Miss Selfridge

    Their target market of young adults is in need of festive outfit inspiration and Miss Selfridge can more than deliver.

    With a display featuring dark and light fairy mannequins and an array of possible outfit choices, the store leverages the excitement surrounding upcoming Christmas Parties and Work dos, by promoting their party dresses in the windows. 

    Miss Selfridge Christmas WindowMiss Selfridge Christmas WindowsMiss Selfridge Christmas WindowsMiss Selfridge Christmas Window

     

    Harrods

    The steam train Christmas Window display can’t help but spark excitement about the upcoming party season – it’s lavish and over the top and most of the items on display are well beyond the average shoppers budget (one dress featured would set you back £80,000) but that’s what makes it so special!

    Harrods Christmas Windowharrods christmas windows

     

    Selfridges

    Selfridges have created a winter wonderland that features Christmas wish list items such as giant bottles of perfume, ballet pumps, snow globes and an extremely impressive gingerbread cityscape amongst mountains of fake snow and a flowing river of syrup! The display is playful, and appeals to all the ages with its array of super size presents and fantasy Christmas scenes, allowing passers by to spare a moment for a ‘what will I be getting this year’ thought.

    Selfridges Christmas WindowSelfridges Christmas WindowsSelfridges Christmas Windows

     

    Primark

    With eye catching digital displays and bargain basement prices – Primark’s Christmas windows show passers by that festive fun can be had, even on a budget.

    Primark Christmas WindowsPrimark Christmas WindowsPrimark Christmas Windows

     

    Liberty

    Liberty’s Christmas windows are arresting, interruptive and beautiful. Featuring dramatic zigzag edging and bright white lighting; it’s hard not to stop and gaze at these explosions of presents/products on display.

    Products are grouped together in themes to suggest clear gift ideas to shoppers whilst the stylish mannequins and pretty fairy lights create a fun and stylish, christmas feeling. 

    Libertys Christmas WindowLibertys Christmas Windows

     

    Fenwicks

    The magic of a fairy tale Christmas is key to Fenwicks window displays this year. The forest scene and uber fashionable grown up red riding hood mannequins capture the excitement of the autumn/ winter wardrobe selections whilst also the allure of the festivities.

    Fenwicks Christmas WindowFenwicks Christmas Windows

     

    Victorias Secret

    With masses of tinsel, baubles and fairy lights, the Victorias Secret Christmas window creates a dazzling display for their infamous underwear collections. 

    Underwear is a favourite Christmas gift idea and this display showcases the best bits to passers by whilst still having an undeniable Christmas theme 

    Mark Jacobs

    An enormous hovering  eyeball is not the typical Christmas icon one might expect, but Mark Jacobs unusual and unexpected twist certainly stops you in your tracks in what is otherwise a quite ordinary Christmas Window.

    A store known for its cool and quirky designs, it seems even at Christmas this is a store that breaks away from the norm.

    Mark Jacobs Christmas Window

    William & Son

    Appealing to the inner child, William & Son have created a mystical forest display in front of their shop windows, featuring a unicorn beside an icy pond. Passers by can’t help but be drawn over to this magical scene. 

    William & Son Christmas Window William & Son Christmas Window

     

    Roberto Cavalli

    An enticing display of glitz and glamour is arranged in the windows of Roberta Cavalli.

    Mixing Luxury fashion with sparkly arctic animals, (and for some reason, an Ostrich) gives the scene an interesting feel with a touch of decadent glamour. 

    Roberto Cavalli Christmas WindowRoberto Cavalli Christmas WindowRoberto Cavalli Christmas Window

    Beyond Retro

    This trendy vintage clothing stores Christmas window display masses of creativity to inspire customers to come in and rummage amongst the rails!

    Despite being on a low budget in comparison with most of the stores reviewed, Beyond Retro have gone mad with the Christmas theme and created windows that are slightly barmy, but undeniably fun. Mannequins are dressed in bright coloured garments, accessorised with Christmas tree decorations. The obligatory suggestion of a slightly tipsy miss in the midsts of a pile of presents is hysterical. Great fun! 

    Beyond Retro Christmas WindowBeyond Retro Christmas Window

     

    Harvey Nichols

    Infamous for their theatrical window displays, Harvey Nichols once again produces a Christmas scene with wow factor results. Bright lights and bold colours create a dynamic Christmas wonderland that completely takes over the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Square.

    Harvey Nichols Christmas Windows Harvey Nichols Christmas WindowsHarvey Nichols Christmas Windows

  • Happy Halloween from Vivid Brand

    Posted October 31, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Happy Halloween from Vivid Brand
    Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
  • Nipper returns to HMV

    Posted October 14, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Nipper returns to HMV

    Trotting down Oxford Street in London on Friday night, I was thrilled to happen across the newly refreshed HMV, at an unexpected location near Zara and H&M at the lower end towards Bond Street. 

    HMV

    Following years of dwindling high street sales and the ubiquitous prevalence of music streaming, digital downloading, illegal downloading / sharing and faster consumption of entertainment & gaming, the ailing retailer has been in serious dire straights, with Hilco taking it over in January. Frankly, I had consigned HMV to the ‘sadly out of date in modern retail’  retail shelf in the sky, next to Woolies, so I entered this new store with both surprise, genuine interest to see what was new, and some trepidation.

    HMV

    Surprise, because to my knowledge, nothing has really changed in the world of entertainment consumption – except perhaps that purchasing physical entertainment seems even MORE out dated than it did a year ago. I still struggle to comprehend who spends £10.99 on a physical CD, when you can download it straight to your mobile/digital library, or buy  it considerably cheaper Online (at a well known pure play retailer). Or you could choose to stream an unlimited number of tracks & albums by multiple artists for £9.99 per month. 

    And this is still at the root of the issues at HMV. The whole concept of physical entertainment retail seems wildly out of touch with the reality of actual consumption of media and entertainment. I admit that I was honestly hoping to walk into HMV and to see major changes in the way they sell and market entertainment. I hoped for digital zones, listening areas, huge video walls you could interact with, streaming zones and getting back to the roots of HMV being THE entertainment hub to meet and chat about music with your friends. Interestingly, there were even retro photos showing consumers listening to records on old turntables- so why is there not a modern version of this now – digital areas sponsored by a headphone manufacturer where you can come and listen to music, grab a coffee with friends (another reason to frequently visit) and download music with free wifi in HMV?

    There were some key changes however. Nipper and nostalgia was prevalent around the stores, from the external neon fascia, to gorgeous black and white images up the escalator.

    HMV

    For the golden oldies out there, it’s lovely to be connected to the heritage and it would be nice to see this related to a new way of music retail.

    HMV

    There was more entertainment merchandise, books and photoframes and mugs and some dedicated licensed areas promoting key properties such as Dr Who at the front of store. This was all merchandised well and was appealing. There was also an area on the ground floor dedicated to head phones and speakers. All of these would make great Christmas presents.

    HMV

    But overall, my feeling was that nothing significant had really changed. The vast majority of the store was still filled with over priced music and there was not one digital download zone, or anywhere to listen to new music.  I’m not sure how, or why anything will be different this time around and I still have no reason to re-visit this store.

    It really is a shame, as HMV has the opportunity to transform their stores and the way the engage and sell to their consumers, but must fundamentally change the way they sell, or I fear they will be in the same place again by Summer.

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