• Improving the instore experience

    My most recent article for FMCG News magazine talked about the importance of the instore experience, and how shoppers who make the effort to go to a store these days have greater expectations in terms of the shopping experience. A couple of weeks ago I was taking part in a panel session at the Retail

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  • Savvy savers – or just plain sensible shoppers?

    Much is spoken about the impulsivity of shoppers’ spending habits, and their lack of planning before venturing out to the grocery store.  Indeed, there was a whole TV series in 2015 dedicated to helping those poor unfortunates who habitually bought more than they needed – an alternative take on retail therapy, if ever there was

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  • Pop Up Shops

    A new shop front appeared on our local high street just before Christmas – 8and.com. When the fascia went up with that name over the door it didn’t exactly sell itself, after all what does ‘8 and’ mean? And a google search has yet to reveal anything, which is very unusual in this world of

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  • Looking beyond numbers

    I was pretty late to the table when it came to qualitative research. I spent my formative years focused on quantitative methodologies, studiously ignoring the ‘fluffy’ side of the industry. So I have some sympathy with clients who crave robust numbers, and rarely give qualitative research a second glance. My qualitative epiphany came when I

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  • Break the mould but think twice about breaking the rules

    We all know that breaking category conventions can get your brand noticed. Defying established and pre-conceived principles of a category tells shoppers I’m here, I’ve arrived. It says “Hey look at me I’m not like anyone else”. But of course at the same time, shoppers have to know who you are, what you’re about, and

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  • Plastic bag charging is here!

    So, how many times have you forgotten to take a bag with you when you’ve popped out to the supermarket since the 5p levy came into force? If you’re anything like me your house will be bursting at the seams with Bags for Life already. There is, of course, a sense that charging for plastic

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  • Christmas is coming!

    An obvious statement I know – but this blog was triggered by the scary news that Christmas music had been heard in a local grocers this week! And for retailers and manufacturers, Christmas planning is likely to be in full swing as products and displays start to head to the stores. So, what can we

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  • Thinking about introducing an app? Consider what your consumer actually wants first.

    I’ve had a smartphone for five years now – and I still only have three ‘pages’ of apps, of which I probably use one on a regular basis. So why is it that so many brands and retailers feel the need to create an app? Am I alone in thinking there’s a bit of ‘keeping

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  • Easy shopping = easy life

    Despite all the ways in which we can shop these days, the fact is that many consumers still find it a chore. Ok, so grocery shopping really is a chore, no matter how much we may try and liven it up using a range of stores and avoiding the typical main shop slog around all

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