September is a crazy month for trade shows! We started with International Jewellery London at Olympia, next we were off to the Hospitality Design Show and the lunch! Show at ExCel London, then back to Olympia for 100%design as well as cramming in the multifarious London Design Festival events…phew!
But in spite of our sore feet, we’ve refuelled with some valuable market analysis, trends insights and retail design inspiration that will help feed our creative output in the coming months.
Another event this month – which we didn’t attend but we did celebrate - was Jack Ma’s 20th anniversary and final day as Chairman of the Alibaba Group. Launched in 1999, Alibaba.com is now the leading platform for global wholesale trade, serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world. And Jack Ma’s success story serves to remind us of the value that a clear vision and passion can bring to a business.
Where’s your vision? What’s your passion?
As strategic retail designers it is our job to help our clients understand how to harness their business vision and passion, and communicate this to their customers. We describe this as brand ‘storytelling’ and it’s a role that has never been more important than today.
As we all know, the retail sector is confronting dynamic changes in consumer behaviour that are shaking its very core and felling some major retailers. But despite this we remain future focussed and optimistic for our clients right across the retail sector.
For instance, at this year’s International Jewellery London show, Mintel presented the highlights from their market insights report. They confirmed that the UK Jewellery & Watch retail market is actually showing good growth with numerous opportunities still waiting to be explored across the pre-owned market, sustainable design, and an expanding diverse consumer base.
Meanwhile, over at the Hospitality and lunch! Shows, Simon Stenning shared key findings from the Future of Foodservice 2030 report revealing that the Food To Go market is due to grow by £2bn* over the next 3 years. That’s a huge opportunity for operators and retailers to explore. *Source MCA
And there are plenty of other good news stories across the wider retail sector – just see some of the trade news links below for proof that progressive retailers are alive and kicking!
So despite the current challenges for retailers, those who can weather the perfect storm of rising overheads, changing consumer habits and Brexit, have potential for future growth.
Embrace the potential
But in order to embrace this potential, retailers need to do more than just understand the market opportunities. They need to listen to Jack Ma when he warns against just chasing the next quarter’s results and forgetting your brand vision. He says “I’m the person always looking forward…we should never lose the dream”.
So make sure you harness your dream with a clear vision and passion for your business. Put it at the heart of your retail strategy. Build a strong and authentic brand story that your customers will love to engage with. Then keep listening to your customers and take them with you as you look forward to a future that embraces your full potential.