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September 29, 2010


I think French Connection are trying, part of the problem is the manifesto doesn't translate well enough into a retail experience. In the one in Manchester they do have signs above the tills in a similar fashion. I can't remember what they say, they reinforce the idea (e.g. the man sees, he likes, he buys here) but I agree, the experience doesn't overwhelm in any way. Nor does American Apparel. Urban Outfitters gets close and Hollister Co. definitely knows what it's doing - on Saturday there were queues to get in. For a lot of people who hate the darkness so much, the queues spoke louder than words anyway.

I can't think of any other retail spaces in Manchester that impress..not high street at least. Maybe Topshop with a quirky fitting room but the rest of it hardly qualifies. As for London...well, that's a different story.

I like the "The woman already has a bag, but there is much to carry" line, but agree that it doesn't make or break the experience in any way.

Better than Primark and their 'East Germany bread queue' circa 1975 shopping experience.

Take a place like Ann Summers. A while back when a new marketing person came in, she said she wanted to take the shop away from the idea of a "raunchy" place that was almost like a sex shop when you walked past it. She said she'd take away anything incriminating from shop windows and hide it either at the back of the store or in a basement/separate floor if the shop had one. Thus, if you walk into the Manchester one, upstairs is all fine and innocent. Downstairs looks like a combination between a sex shop and a mobile phone shop. All the, er, objects are lined up for people to have a play (and feel). I can see how that came out of a kind of "if you let people try, they won't have a NRFB feeling" (where NRFB=never remove from box)

But it fails on so many levels. It lacks any raunchiness (here is our stuff. do whatever you want with it) and ruins the experience that Ann Summers wants to deliver.

Primark's shopping experience says just that. A bit like Hans Brinker...this is who we are and this is what you get. In every inch of our store. Of course all unintentional probably.

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