Oliver Banks took to the streets of London alongside REPL’s Michael Grange, Travis Hespeler and Richard Haddon on the hunt for the latest retail trends and innovation.

Recently Project Manager’s own Oliver Banks took to the streets of London alongside REPL’s business development director, Michael Grange, content marketing manager, Travis Hespeler and videographer Richard Haddon.

They went to see what retailers are up to across London and keep up with the latest retail trends as well as to inspire innovation. The team also documented how project managers can learn from what’s already being done to improve with each new project they create.

You can check out everything they got up to on the day below!

Kings Cross

First up we headed to the Kings Cross area and St Pancras station to see what projects retailers had on the go there.
We headed first to Nike, which featured interactive sign designs demonstrating the use of omnichannel within the physical store.

Other stores we visited included Hamleys, John Lewis and Searcy’s St Pancras Restaurant and Champagne Bar.

We also looked at how you can take a large store format, keep its essence and deliver the same experience on a “postage stamp” by keeping the fun of theatre beyond that expected of a smaller store.

Hamley’s St Pancras store managed this perfectly with their Christmas window display.

Hamleys at St Pancras International

For sweet tooth’s a fantastic marketing campaign was in place by Godiva Chocolates, in collaboration with the Murder on the Orient Express film released in early November.

Oxford Circus/ Carnaby St

Next the team headed to Oxford Circus. Heading to Liberty first, it was obvious that the London giant were very clear on their target customer and encourages customers to ask questions about the availability of sizes – an important feature as many customers may instead head home and check online.

Liberty, Oxford Street. Clockwise from top -Richard Haddon, Oliver Banks, Travis Hespeler, Michael Grange

Adidas also provided some great instore insight in terms of their recycling and environmental impacts. The Carnaby Street store had set up spaces where customers could recycle shoes and emphasised the importance of having water in cans rather than bottles.

Adidas’ in store shoe recycling bin

Oxford Street

Hopes were high when jumping feet first into arguably, the king of UK retail: Oxford Street. Luckily, expectations of the team were met and even exceeded with an array of campaigns the get the Christmas shopper enjoying their experience – rather than simply bearing it.

Debenhams’ interactive Christmas windows were really brought the theatre of Christmas to the high street with motion sensors and a flashy display that would definitely make heads turn.

In a slightly different sector of retail was the Dyson London store, where the focus was on putting their products in real life scenarios to show them off – staff even get to take them home to get familiar so they can give customers a true account of each product!

And while staff at Lush may not need to know about the in depth engineering techniques that go into creating a vacuum cleaner, they do know an awful lot about bath bombs, with staff members demonstrating a great product knowledge while encouraging customers to try products out in a demo.

Jumping to Primark, the company has found a good way of stopping a gap-filled display when products begin flying off the shelves, by having a high capacity for holding stock on the shop floor without needing to replenish constantly throughout the day.

We also noticed lots of large digital screens making an appearance in stores – showing us the importance of digital within physical stores.

Regent Street

At TUMI on Regent Street, it’s clear that personalisation is the order of the day, as the store offers the service of printing or embossing initials on your luggage while you wait.

Clarks were making the most of the technology available to them with staff being armed with a Smart Tablet to make finding a customer’s size so much easier than making them wait while they run to and from the stock room. They also give customers the option of taking home a printout receipt of a product name if they wish to purchase it at home instead.

Meanwhile in the Apple store there were great tutorials taking place that encouraged interaction between customers and staff.
Teams ran actionable group tutorials on photography – great for their target audience and a generation intent on upping their Instagram game.

Apple Store – Live Demo & Tutorial

Retail Trends & Innovation Summary

You can have a listen to our lunchtime thoughts in the tweet below.

While there were some great projects and campaigns to be seen, there were also other places where it seemed that opportunities were missed.

In one store, the click and collect section was separated from the general store – so much so that it felt disjointed and a missed opportunity for building loyalty, upselling and inspiring a customer to think about their next purchase. Not to mention a difficult position to staff, as it was so isolated from others.

Physical stores still relevant, lots of shoppers out not even at a peak time proving that the market for experiencing a physical store is still huge.

Did you catch the live store tours on social media? What are the great retail projects you’ve seen in the run-up to Christmas? Comment below or get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!


project management expert Oliver Banks

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