Kids are an important part of ANY community – their creativity can’t be forgotten! Mom & dad - don't drink and drive!
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Kids are an important part of ANY community – their creativity can’t be forgotten! Mom & dad - don't drink and drive!
This Spring Omnitel offer needs no discount or any other red explanation mark.
Along with traditional Italian gelato you can customize your order with a variety of toppings – personalization is currently a major trend.
It’s not every day you find amazing RAW food – this place even provides intimate detail to make you feel right at home.
Toronto’s China Town is a FULL experience of the senses – literally!
Being from Prague I was excited and proud to see the Bata Museum in Toronto. After searching high and low I discovered that there is NO information about the Bata family, or even their Czech origins - only shoes!
In a world with endless options - Flat iron offers ONLY one. What a concept…
A great store with a fun approach to merchandising.
The people have spoken! No more fatty, sugary, processed foods - now you can eat well in a hurry!
Stunning example of technology in the retail space! Once a lipstick is placed on the table the products information is automatically shown - including other colour possibilities displayed on pre-saved pictures.
Simply stunning! From the display to the product - you can easily lose track of time in this space.
When creativity and technology meet – great things are born! At the Ikea pop-up you can shop by touching the ACTUAL product!
Airports have become some of the premiere spaces for retail - you can find almost whatever you’re looking for while waiting for a flight.
Localized bottles give Johnnie Walker a fresh look on an already well established brand.
Great example of an airport creating an experience – maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see YOUR own luggage!
How do you create an exclusive product? Sell it out…
Looks like 93.5% of these products are “local”, BUT looks can be deceiving! The percentage is based on where the supplier is registered - not where the product actually comes from. Does this mean that all we need to do is to have a “local” company and everything becomes local? This system seems flawed...
The use of 3D imagery not only attracts your eye, but actually brings you closer to the store.
Amazing how good merchandising creates an appetite for soap and shampoo...
Nick Jones from Leo Barmet Chicago introduced the vision of future retail - it was technology and NOT social media that will lead the way! Penetration of mobile devices are increasing globally and with that increase retailers are able to uniquely reach their customers. The term “hybrid experience” describes a customer experience where all channels play an equal role and their syneries can increase sale up to 20%. In real time - this could mean selling directly from YouTube, or Facebook, and engaging potential customers with GPS games and location services.
Nothing is like it used to be – especially when it comes to our customers, traditional tactics no longer apply. Instead of talking about shopper marketing, Omni-channel marketing, and general insights - brands need to prove that they can adapt and truly attract their customers. Todays customer expects true care and attention – generic lingo and tactics that used to apply in the industry no longer have a place. “We as brands, have to challenge ourselves and always be ahead of the trends” – Anthony Bagley, Research Manager and CEO of New Creature.
Lynn Gonsior, from Ohio based agency ChangeUp, is continuously changing perception of how people feel about luxury and what it means to them. Especially for younger generations, luxury no longer has an emphasis on owning products - luxury is about fulfilling personal lifestyles. So if 64% of US customers believe their purchase decision is brand based - customer experience becomes more valuable than the actual price, which means we are going through a revolution in the luxury category. Luxury will forever continue to evolve, but the experience will always be the primary brand differentiator.
A few important thoughts from the Keynote speaker Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group.
"Brands must play an important role in our lives, not only sell stuff, they should co-create a social status.”
“Each store must play a relevant role in its neighbourhood - regardless of what they sell. The number of stores, size and specialization should have an impact on the people within that area, and who shop there. Displaying every item on the shelves is no longer completely necessary - online is now an option, but should not be a threat to the retail culture.”
“Modern technology helps us understand our customers better so we can know what they really expect from a retailer. Data tracking can help a retailer learn many things about its customer - permanent evaluation is the most important part of the process.”
Here’s an example of advertising overshadowing the product it’s selling! Even as an avid Apple customer I can see room for improvement with the Apple Watch.
“SALE” signs aren’t the only way to attract a customer - creativity and innovation now play a large role in getting customers inside retail spaces of all kinds. Impulse Zones help create a sense of immediacy for potential customers - an “ICE COLD BEER” sign on a hot summer day entices the customer to make an instant purchase.
Even gassing up your car can be an unforgettable experience. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of design simply because it is difficult to measure.
Like a romantic walk through the streets of Rome, complete with a “Fendi” fountain.
If you want a customer to invest into your product, you have to invest into his experience in your store. The Converse shoe store in Santa Monica offers some unexpected ways for customers to engage with the brand. A custom mosaic designed by local street artists, for example, is a popular spot for shop visitors to take photos, then post and share them online. You can also customize your very own pair of iconic Converse sneakers with a pattern or print designed by you.
As I walked around the grocery store I had a strange feeling I was being watched...
Retail agency McMillian Doolittle presented upcoming trends based on a Whole Food’s project in NYC. Customers are surrounded by design in this new layout – re-used materials from New York buildings and reclaimed furniture give this concept a unique look and feel. This style shows how retail can be fundamental without using all complicated theories such as multi-channel, or omni-channel. There are many ways that consumers are purchasing products these days so in order to remain relevant you must add value to the retail experience. 20% of customers remain unfamiliar with new forms of technologies – retailers should help to educate them and show their benefits.
Satisfying todays customer and gaining their attention/loyalty is no easy task. Retail communication is constantly battling the onslaught of social media, which makes it very difficult succeed. According to Florian Vollmer, strategist for the German research agency InReality - we should continue to do our best „First think about the customer, after that you can think about the technology“. Human connection and simplicity will help you to not just “sell stuff”, but to create an unforgettable experience. Retailers should not be afraid to make mistakes – it is not important what we think, but what they (customers) think!
Our society is always changing, and this change has undoubtedly effected the retail landscape. Five years of a human life doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lifetime in the retail world – enough time for the birth of 4 generations (Millennials, Generation X , Y and Z). In 5 years Generation Z will make-up the biggist population of active customers in the world. Christian Davies, Executive Creative Director at FITCH discussed what his 19 years of on-line customer experience has taught him – he presented what should be retail ready for the upcoming years. Since the customer is the most important aspect for any retailer, any/all data that is collected should be analysed and used to the retailers advantage. Davies used a funny example: in 1977 he was in Las Vegas during an Elvis Presley convention where 2000 impersonators gathered – in 2000 the number of impersonators had jumped to 80000. Using these numbers, by 2048 Elvis Presley would take over the world. No one can predict the future - we can only listen to our customers and do our best to make them happy.
What’s the most important factor a store can do to convince customers to buy a product/servie? Focus your marketing techniques – target your customer communication according to age, income, ethnicity and other various factors. Knowing your customer is a MUST! POPAI Research Director, Madeline Baumgartner, presented an intriguing comparative study for a multitude of target groups. How do you decide to buy? When do you decide to buy? Where do you decide to buy? etc. These factors change drastically depending on the demographic - Baby Boomers, Milenial Shoppers, Hispanics, Male, Female, and many other identified groups, for the most part have their own spending habits. Although each group is different one main statistic remained consistent – older groups generally make their purchases off shelves, where as younger groups are more open to alternative POP methods. Although most demographic groups have their differences - all groups share a rate of 79% in-store decision making when considering a purchase. In-store navigation also remains very important to ALL groups during the purchasing process.
How do you attract local people to a football stadium who aren’t soccer fans? Seems like a city’s history is the key - Markus Schwitzke and his design team completely transformed not one, but two soccer stadiums in German to pay homage to their heritage. Both stadiums are located in cities with a rich industrial culture - Schwitzke and his team customized each venue to reflect each unique tradition. The walls of the Leverkusen stadium are painted with pictures of the clubs most famous players from the past – the entrances of the locker rooms in the Essen Schalke stadium are hung with traditional miner garb to symbolize their hard working past. Schwitzke: “Use visual language that will be attractive for younger generations and also use a graphic elements representing heritage that is relevant to locals. To doing it you will get much more than you expect. Markus Schwitzke, Managing partner – Schwitzke Graphics GmbH.
Emotional stimulation helps to sell more than just a promotion or product - Christopher Brace, CEO of Shopper Intelligence believes customer experience and emotional truth can become a great help for sales. Shopper Intelligence is a company that measures emotion in retail – drawing attention to an emotion of a potential consumer is directly linked to an increase in sales. As technology continues to play a large role in our lives, consumer emotions help to sell more than ever as they become increasingly easier to define and measure.
Design is an irreplaceable element in the culture of every brand - the best and most successful brands know how to manipulate design almost perfectly. Design is not just what is "nice to have", but rather something that helps define their identity in the eyes of customers. Visualization is the key, whereas written word is much more complicated and subjective. Brands with great design have a large advantage and can be much more successful – strong visuals attract customers unlike anything else. (Examples: Apple, Target, or Starbucks). Presented by James Damian, Founder of Brand Integrated Services.
If a brand wants to attract new customers and be successful, sometimes a simple change will do the trick. Hyundai made a change to their sales techniques when London based agency, Daziel and Pow transformed the regular Hyundai showroom into a "car boutique". With minimal staff, large format digital LED screens and interactive kiosks were installed – customers could research and investigate the cars at their leisure. Not only was there a huge increase in overall potential customers (55,000 compared to 250 for the same period), but also a change in the customer demographic (58% of traffic was female). "Can you recall a showroom that will attract more attention in women than in men?" Asked listeners Keith Ware, Development Director, Dalziel and Pow.
How do you build a brand that customers can trust? Engage them, let them play, have fun, and express themselves. Mario Chadd, founder of the restaurant chain Spoleto shared a number of ideas on how to attract customers: give kids a chance to cook, ask your guests about their own recipes, or even support local community artists. Maintaining his integrity and remembering his roots are clearly paying off for Chadd as Spoleto already has 380 branches in Brazil. This month Spoleto will be hitting the US market - serving authentic, and delicious pasta prepared fresh in front of the customers. Too bad it’s only in Cincinnati for now…
Creating experiences for customers can work also through localization. This is not necessarily bound to the place where customers live, but also with common hobbies, such as the successful mass popular TV series. We live in a time of a large number of high-quality series that are tracked across generations. "Both of these areas help the customer to open the way to his ego and thus logically attract his attention and interest in the product" says Joan Insel, Retail Design Strategist at Callison.
A brands mission is not to fill shelves with goods and services, but rather to offer effective customer solutions that add value to a product they are already willing to pay for. Having a great product remains the primary key for success – without the product, marketing or communication is irrelevant. The retail landscape is continually changing and we are forced to adapt in order to remain competitive. These ideas and other retail strategies (including the introduction of Coors Light in the US) were presented by Gerry O'Brion.
Agnes Sciby, President of POPAI Hungary, presented research on consumer perception/experience of POS & POP while in-store. Brands spend enormous sums of money on the acquisition and placement of these systems within their retail spaces, but do not know how effective they are in terms of sales. Only 56% of customers are interested in secondary placement and continue to make their purchase off the shelves. The average time to read one of these communications is about 0.9 seconds, however customers often overlook them - only 16% of customers make purchases from these specialty areas.
Global Shop 2015 keynote speaker Nadia Shouraboura, shared her experience as a store owner – directly linking the use of technology to sales. Customers choose their items by using smartphone software - the selected products are then delivered directly to the fitting room to the customer. Shouraboura predicts that retail will change drastically over the next five years primarily through the use and implementation of technology – also that technology will remain as an important long-term solution. In theory, Shouraboura thinks these types of technologies will help facilitate an experience for the customer – creating a positive atmosphere related to the brand/product.
The Toronto Blue Jays retail display is a great example of where digital media is going at the store level
I love it when brands use materials other than paper.
An interesting CIBC kiosk at the Toronto Pearson airport.
Fossil’s holiday window display featured some pretty battered looking shipping boxes. Apparently, cardboard is still a big trend.
While doing some Boxing Week shopping in Southgate Centre in Edmonton, I came across an interesting retail concept from Shaw Communications. Some good examples of how digital communication can be used effectively in-store.
I used to think that store fronts needed clean windows. But Abercrombie & Fitch and this newly designed Lululemon store in Edmonton Canada convinced me that old rules can be broken.
After a long break - Apple upgraded their store windows giving a glimpse of the future.
Apple has a new retail communication strategy. Its no longer all about hero shots of Apple products, but how Apple devices can be used in the everyday.
This restaurant in Ružomberok, Slovakia takes the term "farm to table" to the next level - pick your pig and have it cooked your way!
The digital store of my dreams…
Good communication doesn't always need to be about a sale. Emotions are also a very effective tool for retail activation.
There are lots of great, amazing and shocking shop windows. To see Harvey Nichols I just couldn't make up my mind and didn’t know what to say. This excellent technical installation reminded me of something from my childhood nightmares.
Even the security marks on glass can be done creatively.
Would you like to have your personal MUJI shopping bag? Please help your self and express your self.
On my last trip to Hong Kong, I came across a great idea how to get customer interaction. Every customer can create his/her own campaign for the Lane Craftwork brand and the lucky ones will be awarded.
Do you want to see really great shop windows? Then be sure to visit the Hermes stores in Frankfurt, Germany…
Mobile operators currently sell more than phones or invisible service packages. The new trend is to move retail into a place where all options can be tested in a real life environment.
Bathroom faucet with built-in digital ad display? Yep, Vegas has it.
Food marketing experts always preach "to present food it needs to be a real picture, because the customer needs to see the freshness", however, as we can see in M&S in London there are food brands bucking this practice. And as I know M&S does not have problem with customer loyalty or sales...
Soon, we’ll shop on the internet using our voice, and check-out and pay with a face scan - and we’ll manage much of our lives from our smart phones. Our purchasing habits and the entire process will be influenced by social media, where we knowledge and experience about everything we love. Including, of course, our photos – speaking of which new 3D “printers” can now manufacture almost anything we want.
This is how the world is changing, and everyone including our clients’ marketing departments must be ready according to Paul Price, Creative Realities.
Every brand wants to distinguish itself from the others - with a clear message that is understandable and remarkable. It doesn’t happen by trying to follow others - anyone can duplicate the competition. Nor is it accomplished from just being sexier, bigger, louder or cheaper. These ways don’t succeed and are unremarkable: create your own rules, however, and you’ll become truly remarkable.
All of this and much more was presented on the last day of the conference by Perry Seelert, Emerge.
"I'm very pleased to see a full conference room today - that proves that POP-UP stores have become a discussion point" said Jennifer Davis to start her presentation. Indeed,
Pop-Up retail is one of the most interesting ways to reach customers and deliver brand messages to them. It’s an exclusive, and obviously dynamic solution that uses all of today’s retailing technologies.
Nicole Reyhle believes that happy customers buy more. In her opinion, shopping is an emotional experience about creating an “environment”: a beautifully decorated home full of color and with attention paid to all the details. First ask your customers “who they are”, and then set out to meet their needs. Talk to customers as they enter your store, listen and answer all their questions (even when it’s unpleasant). Give them a reason to feel good about your shop, and share their feelings. By the way, store navigation and signs that clearly present your offerings contribute to the emotional experience customers want: so even you’re ET it’s easy to shop and get what you need!
The use of digital media is a powerful and interesting way to deliver communications messages. However, trust and privacy concerns are creating barriers against the digital capture of customer information. These were some points from Jim Crawford’s talk, whose perspectives may instigate a return to more traditional forms of communication with the customer. Although the world is flooded with technology advances, it’s up to us how we use them in best making the sale and meeting customer sensitivities – and it is not always well done.
Virtually every type of store fixture could be found at Global Shop…..
When you order a bottle of wine in the Aureole Restaurant, it comes up to your table on a lift. Amazing!
The differences between brands are getting smaller. Last week’s unique hot brand is matched by a new brand this week, and the presence of price wars doesn’t need elaboration. If, however, we can create reasons for customers to enjoy their shopping experience, they will come back and recommend us to others. That’s how you win the competitive battle in the long run: an interesting service, an original method of installation or an interactive communications platform. But perhaps today’s most heated debate is about the value of excellent, highly-trained personnel. All this, according to Joan Vinsel of Callison Retail Experience.
Chris Kneeland loves basketball, and he equates customer interest to a well-executed play leading to a basket. How do people or brands become icons? The analogy to basketball is like a creative play that catches the opposition off guard. The key is to shift customer expectations and inspire them with something unexpected. Dare to do something completely upside down, offer knowledge to solve their problems and change their view of the world.
Add first-class customer service during the sale, and enthusiastic customers will attract new ones. Give customers something to talk about! Make them your allies, build the brand from the inside-out and be open and honest. Connect them to the retail experience, and customers become much more than just customers.
A group of researchers led by Paco Underhill, including Dr. Antonia Ward, Michael Wilhita and Tom Herndon see a new future in retail: “personalization” instead of “averaging” customer relationships. Not only with the brand, but also with your sales team. The in-store experience is a fundamental differentiator between retailers. Customers welcome a personal approach such as how Macy's will, in exchange for your personal details, offer to register your dress for a party so that on that day nobody else will have it. Retail today is very different than 5 years ago - and in another 5 years retail will shift to even more individuality.
Despite all the available data, all researchers agree on the fact that analysis can`t replace the value of touch, interaction and relationships with customers.
Discussion about the demise of “bricks and mortar” due to online retailing growth has being going on for years. However, the reality is that retailers open online stores, and online retailers open physical shops. Customers still need to touch the goods, smell them or taste them. And here, maybe, is the real key for the future of retail: creating a physical environment that websites simply cannot match. Perhaps we will continue to appreciate the physical experience - even at slightly higher prices. Certainly Christian Davies, creative director at Fitch is a great optimist about that future.
Twice the experience – one theme. You can go for a few dewy dark beers in an authentic Irish pub, and then buy souvenirs at the flagship next door. Or do it the other way around. Either way, both experiences fit the theme and hook customers every time. Simple and effective.
On a Starbucks patio you`ll never be alone. Check out the transparent graphics treatment...
Marketing nowadays will attempt to capitalize on almost any social issue. Sometimes I wonder if this was really about ecology and the environment, or if it was just a way to get my contact information.
The “Embrace your Imperfections” campaign took a lot of courage, but I question if this shock approach to communications works...
It’s always great weather for shopping in Las Vegas…
Many retailers have adopted the digital trend without making smart use of it potential. But some retailers, like O2, have leveraged the medium to both turn heads and to effectively communicate their brand values.
Another good example that price is not always the only reason to buy. Building a brand based on quality and value is one of the hottest trends in retail.
When J. Crew opens a new store, it's always something to look at.
Imagine the center of industrial London with the fresh aroma of thyme, levander or rosemary. Close to Charing Cross they have their own garden…
CSR and Eco friendly lifestyle is currently one of the main image building blocks.
The Waitrose private spice brand can be both clean and eye catching at the same time.
A religious kiosk smack dab in the middle of a farmer's market in St. George's, Grenada. Everything was for free. Funnily enough, I just recently had a discussion with my colleagues on religious marketing.
Unforgettable retail can be found anywhere in the world.
Simply beautiful. The retail experience as it should be.
Window posters made of only paper just don't cut it any more...
If there was a rule about only one poster per window, it was made to be broken...
Strong local communication responding to a local need helps build customer loyalty.
Shop windows don't always need to be made of glass, nor must they always display discounted merchandise. Display windows are also capable of communicating brand values and emotions. And in combination with a local approach, this can be an extremely effective marketing tool.
Now I get why Apple trademarks every thing…
If you don't know what to say, let the product speak for itself.
It just goes to show. Great product packaging can be found anywhere. Even in a city where the average snow blower has more mileage than a car.
Starbucks really thinks of everything. Every customer needs to enjoy their coffee, right?
I c. You c. We ALL c! Don't already own an iPhone 5c? Maybe this colourful shop window will convince you.
The good ol' chalkboard is back in the spotlight
The Digital tool helps to reduce waiting time for the right shoe size. Shop assistant scans the price tag, choose your size and send the data directly to shop storage. Your shoe is found in a minute and through the belts delivered back to store quickly. Another shop assistant will bring it in a minute. Everyone has the role and waiting time is significantly reduced.
Levi‘s has introduced this totally new store concept in Chicago, and the roll-out in Europe is underway as well. Once again, despite the retail trend towards digital displays, Levis sticks to basic posters thumb tacked to the wall to do its communicating - and rather effectively I might add.
Hudson Bay choose for its shop-windows impressive motion decoration inspired by typical holiday activities. Smart and beautiful way how to attract customer and remind him that shopping time is coming.
This Crate & Barrel Christmas window casts a magical spell over shoppers - reminding them it's time to start buying seasonal gifts.
While enjoying being lost in the sights of Michigan Avenue, I got caught in the net of these great Louis Vuitton branding visuals.
A window display that's impossible to miss…
I couldn´t miss seeing this classic piece: there aren´t many of them in the world and this one in Chicago proudly carries Big MJ´s legacy.
The worlds premier grill manufacturer has opened its own restaurant in Chicago. All the meals are delicious and prepared, of course, only on its own products. A great idea for self-promotion. What if Miele opened its own laundry service…?
Proof that even traditionally boring navigation aids can benefit from creative approaches.
The Starbucks store in Time Square displays all its Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds on a cool digital wall. "Drink in" imporatnt information while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Lego, one of my all-time personal favourites, is back. These window displays on Michigan Avenue in Chicago are built entirely out of Lego.
I expect creative presentations in clothing or sport equipment stores, but this Best Buy window on Michigan Avenue proves that even appliance retailers can creatively capture a customer´s attention.
Kudos to AT&T on this interactive store that ensures a very personal experience for customers: with the products on display and also the learning provided on how to use them. Truly one of the pearls of Michigan Avenue and a standout among mobile operator stores.
If you'll pardon yet another pun appearing in our blog, not all flagship stores sail well at all. While some manage to draw all of your attention to the products being offered, many of them go all out to impress customers with pompous branding, unique decorative materials and various new technologies.
I recently almost got lost in a major retailer's flagship store where the design was breathtaking and the huge product assortment almost shocking - and this was just a doll shop!
Many clothing retailers offer free or inexpensive in-house tailoring services for simple alterations such as pant hemming. Whilst most retailers do not actively promote these services, a few have cleverly turned it into a distinct competitive advantage. The Levi's Tailor Shop in Berlin, for example, is part of Levi's group of premium concept stores and is the label's focus on the premium side of denim making. Staffed by experienced master tailors, customers can have their denim truly personalised or have a favourite old pair rehabilitated.
A lot of brands, especially retail brands, tend to deluge customers in a tsunami of POS marketing messages. The customer, not knowing where to look first, can become overwhelmed and leave the store without making a single purchase. There is an art to knowing just how much to say to a customer in order to get his attention and to entice a sale. This COS shop window in Berlin is a near perfect example of saying a lot with very little.
We often say that window displays are like a billboard for your store and can be the make-or-break factor in whether a customer enters your shop or walks right on by. The KaDeWe department store in Berlin gets it right with an eye-grabbing display that uses bold shapes and strategic lighting to promote the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
The North Face is a brand which takes product testing very seriously and is not afraid of demonstrating how its clothing and equipment can withstand the most extreme conditions. From freezing a winter coat in a giant block of ice to submerging a rain jacket in water, The North Face knows that the proof is always in the pudding.
Every time I go into a Lego store, I turn into a little kid. All I want to do is get down on the floor and start building something with the brightly coloured blocks. Wouldn't it be terrific if other brands could elicit this same kind of powerful emotional response with their product or service experience? What could a bank or car dealership do to inspire the same sense of play within its customers? Definitely some food for thought!
It was only 2 years ago that Adidas still stocked its in-store children's play areas with colourful wooden building blocks. Today, however, everything has gone digital, including the blocks. It's a shame because not everything digital is necessarily better. In fact, in our increasingly digital world, some good old-fashioned blocks would be refreshingly different.
Even a smoking area can look great. A Seoul airport offers modern and detail-oriented customer service.
Jewelry doesn’t always have to be presented on black velvet with spotlights. I found this creative display in an MXX shop in Seoul.
An alternative to the traditional sticker decoration of cars gave rise to this innovative car-lettering solution discovered in the streets of Prague. Here, the vehicle body is covered with felt, allowing you to apply, and easily change your messages with letters and words printed on Velcro. A great idea…but how well it holds up in an intense rain storm may be an issue!
The location of brand communications should be planned around customer flow within the store. Here in a Beijing store, the creative use of the roof of a kiosk under the escalator works just as well as posters at eye level.
Here, a thoughtful display design powerfully utilizes the fundamental principles and values of the Nike brand. You’d almost want to change clothes and began practicing…
Lego can be used for everything, as the company shows by using it to for their own sign.
The element of surprise or something unexpected is a current trend being spotted in London, New York and even Seoul as seen above. It’s an effective way to stand out from the clutter of other discounts promotions, etc.
Samsung is not just about electronics. Samsung is a lifestyle.
If you need help learning what you can do with your new Samsung phone, just skim through this dynamic and unique user manual.
Yet another creative example of Samsung communicating about their products . Here we see one of their many eye-catching presentations.
In Seoul, native company Samsung dominates the retail landscape and can be seen almost everywhere. Samsung reaches the masses in the subway (Seoul subway internet is free) as well as at the point of sale in retail locations. Here we see an example of the latter at CEOX, the largest underground shopping center in Seoul.
Thinking "out of the box" applies to creating retail solutions – as it does to any thinking process. Here we see a wonderful use of standard posters, using layers, to literally tell the story!
The platform of Lulu Lemon`s marketing strategy has been to engage and work with the communities it serves. Lulu Lemon shops not only offer active clothing, but also yoga and aerobics classes.
Moreover, the style of communication is always adapted to the region in which it appears. Here in a Victoria store you see posters featuring local fitness trainer Bob. In Toronto you`ll see Kate leading a yoga class. The concept is to feature local fitness people, and you can even meet them person when attending local yoga class.
The Telus headquarters in Toronto features a massive interactive LED cube: its light reacts to the surrounding environment for added impact.
In my opinion, this is a great example of local marketing. Wind Mobile found a very inexpensive and creative way to use the good old chalk board – they update the menu every day so it is always fresh.
Having become an iconic Canadian retail brand in outdoor equipment, Mountain Equipment CO-OP stores can be found all across Canada. Along with product information, you`ll find many interesting displays.
Junk shop on the Queen Street in Toronto: its display makes it one of the most noticeable stores in the neighborhood.
The Czech Savings Bank innovatively decorates their shop windows with this winter scene.
This branch of the Bank in Rytířská Street displays some elaborate Christmas decorations.
The all white concept, inspired by the Prague architecture is complemented with contrasting materials in acrylic and multicolored LED lighting. An changing mechanical interior design and lighting makes the display far more attractive.
Design and implementation by WELLEN.
Not every A-stand has to look the same! Even a standard store sign can present a dynamic brand experience.
During my travels I haven´t seen many shops that have invested so much time and expense into every detail of the window display. Stand back and ENJOY!
An interesting way of presenting new phones in the shop window.
At Christmas, communications can be done on a “shoe-string” budget.
There are two reasons why nobody will ever read this sticker.
First, long-term research shows that most floor graphics are just not noticed, and the messages are usually wasted.
Second, this sticker is located in the so-called "decompression zone" at the store entrance. Here, the customer is unfocused, he takes off his hat, decides on his route and gets acclimated.
Digital media is ubiquitous in today's retail. In an Edmonton Disney store it is used in a large thematic backdrop changing the whole mood of the store.
This Ballantines display in the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam gives travelers an alternative to shopping to pass the time. An opportunity to forget everything gray and ordinary and to consider what is innovative and new. So now, let`s buy a bottle of whiskey...
Even during renovations, cover-up posters can be put to effective use…
Wall mapping is one of the most visually interesting forms of communication, even in retail. Once again we found a retailer with a creative alternative to standard digital screens.
The image here is visually perfect - in my opinion. Pity for Czech customers that it’s in English even a good graphic presentation doesn´t work if the message isn`t understood.
The first two floors of this parking lot in Schustergasse are reserved exclusively for women. This is an example of innovative customer service, catering to women shoppers, who by the way lead in retail shopping spending.
I discovered a new way that Victorinox attracts customers over to its store in Nuremburg. I wonder how well an outdoor stand focused on impulse purchases will work. Anyway, the concept was new to me and I’ll watch for similar displays in the future.
In the Indian district in Singapore, everything about retail happens right on the street. You can have a suit custom made, take time out to enjoy one of the many local foods or just browse and enjoy the atmosphere.
Of course, there’s not a lot of “window shopping” going on: instead, products are out on display to touch and try them. Just as you can in the very successful APPLE stores throughout the world and where staff are having fun as they give you advise and help you experience anything your eyes behold. It’s also the same idea at NORDSTROM who raised the bar on the retail experience with their exceptional customer service.
Finally, all of the products and services offered in the Indian district are purely local. And to make another comparison to a global giant, while LULU LEMON’s products may not be local, they have always focused on the ”local approach” by tying store activities and communications to the local interests of its customers.
There are many ways retailers can make shopping a great customer experience. Many, like in the Indian District, have been around for some time and it is only a matter of rediscovering these ways that we can reinvigorate the shopping experience.
Here’s a nice simple way to show a wide assortment of goods available - in a form that is not boring and making you want to know more and more...
This sign informs customers that there is lots of food left over from the week’s cooking on Friday. So portions will be generous. I’m not so sure this will be taken as a plus by the customer!
The infinite possibilities for attracting customers include unusual window displays, scantily clad women or in the case of BASE here, a flashing light at the top of a catchy sign.
On the other hand, there are also many ways to turn customers away such as with this great-looking promotion of mobile phones for 10 Euros. It is spoiled by also listing many terms and conditions – a real turn-off to customers looking for a deal. If the flashing light doesn’t make you dizzy, all that fine print surely will!
Have you ever withdrawn money from an ATM drive through?
This is a great way to feature your product prominently. You’ll find this Heineken video wall created from beer bottles in Amsterdam.
Breaking out of the everyday to attract passers-by and potential customers with something new is a trend: one that no one in retail would doubt. This current summer offer by Samsung was spotted in one of T-mobile’s stores in Amsterdam.
Many stores try to attract customers from inside the store out with messages that are current and exciting. Logically, this should appeal to impulse shoppers – especially if presented with engaging content in a new way such as here where it seems like the store came up with this promotion just a few minutes before opening! Another benefit of this “immediate” type of communication is that it can be easily and inexpensively changed and kept fresh.
From hospitality to food to mobile operators, all segments of retailing are getting onto the trend, even clothing retailers.
The example above is from a Roxy store in Prague.
On the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria, I found a great example of effective communication. Please excuse the poor-quality image taken on a rocking ferry! The sign on this stack of napkins says: "Made from the trees. Please take only what you really need."
In Amsterdam, on the Veemkade, I found a cafe that has a luminous ceiling: proving you can always find ways to utilize the ambient weather and mood. The café has great views across the island of Java, and the coffee tastes great too.
... And a bit farther back in Rotterdam I discovered this interesting graphic. It’s a Nike basketball ad using pixelated graphics for impact.
In Rotterdam, I found another, for me yet undiscovered Camper store with a very cool design and layout – once again making it more fun to shop at a Camper store. However, the navigational design on the back of the kiosk is, perhaps, a little too creative ...?!
PUMA has opened this new store concept in Prague – the PUMA Social Club. It is a regular retail store during the day that becomes a lively club in evening! Way to g0 PUMA! Prague once again is home to an exciting retail concept. Detailed information can be found at www.pumasocialstore.cz.
China is a country of great food and unlimited possibilities - but also the glaring contrasts. On one side of the street you find a super modern shopping center, on the other a celebratory showcase of Big Mao photographs. One day it’s as if time has stood still, on another you feel like you are walking the fourth millennium city.
One example of such interesting contrasts is the Audi auto salon in the Oriental Plaza Hotel downtown Beijing. Just take your shopping cart to the Audi store, between visits to the drugstore and pharmacy, and take an Audi with you!
Abercrombie & Fitch knows how to redefine old rules. In Madrid, on the corner of José Ortega y Gasset and Maroues de Salamanca, you’ll find a shop that doesn’t look like a store at the first glance. This Abercrombie & Fitch store is for those who know what they are looking for.
IKEA has new children’s play areas. In addition to using typical mechanical parts, there is also an interactive screen where kids can play memory games.
There are many moments retailers use to capture customer’s interest. This retail clothing store at the main railway station in Ostrava is trying to do so in a rather unique way indeed - if this works, congratulations!
Self-service kiosks at the store entrance provide easy and convenient ways to make purchases. For those who know exactly what they need and don’t want to wait at the checkout, this is a very practical solution.
There aren´t many grocery stores in the Czech Republic showing that they value their customers and providing them with a dignified shopping experience. They don`t offer a modern and clean environment designed to simplify the purchasing process and showcase the retailer’s promotions clearly. Clear navigation can inspire customers to notice branding efforts and buy new products - even if it is "only" about food.
Until last week, I had only experienced shopping like this abroad or in M&S stores and at M & S stores you have to pay a little more and you can´t find everything you need every day. But from what I saw at this Albert, if all Albert stores adapted this same concept, I might consider throwing away my discount cards from the other chains and switch to Albert.
We have so many options today that we often decide to switch banks, insurance companies or mobile operators due to their constantly evolving offers and services. Or we change to a new supermarket just because it’s closer to home or they offer more promotions. But in today's "discounting” food environment, Albert is, in my opinion, moving in the right direction and definitely worth trying out.
At IKEA in Prague, they have made use of fluorescent arrows to help customers navigate around the store. The arrows are clearly visible and they can be easily moved at virtually no cost. Simple, effective and inexpensive.
Passers-by can´t miss this Louis Vuitton product display in Seoul. This attractive "swarm" of arrows immediately focuses a customer’s gaze on the product. Believe it or not, I noticed that at LV on Paris street in Prague, they are taking the merchandise out of the display! Why? Because with luxury brands becoming almost a scarce commodity, they need every item available for sale inside the store! A good problem to have?
DM drugstores have new shopping baskets with a built-in magnifying glass! Today, producers print all sorts of small, difficult to read lettering on product packages: so this aid is a real step forward for customers. Great! “Visionary” even!
If you like to look at a half-naked David Beckham, you can find him in three displays on Na Prikopech street in Prague.
The heart of any great campaign is a great product. Many people think that advertising alone will generate success: but without exception, it all starts with having the right product. And if you have a product with interesting packaging, its unique qualities are easier to present. Look at MARKS & SPENCER wouldn´t it be nice to have such a beautiful tea room at home?
Czech Post has recently started appearing in shopping centers and supermarkets. In my opinion, a great move and a win-win solution since even in today's digital age Czech Post doesn’t have a problem attracting people to its locations. As shopping centers add these post offices, as well as business centers and other new service-provider tenants, customers can get more done in one place. This retail trend should be good for customers: it should also attract more traffic for tenants and the shopping centers.
Of course, as in the case of Czech Post, the question is how many people will actually change their habits and do other types of shopping when they are in the shopping mall? Regardless, in today's troubled times the centers need to try everything they can to attract new tenants that can afford the fixed monthly rent.
The number of discounting sales increased rapidly at the beginning of 2012. Is this a harbinger of the coming lean years? Or maybe it’s just the discounting inertia of the "crisis" recently past. Regardless, in January of every year, discounts rule retailing and we can enjoy them to the fullest!
Discounts deserve to be communicated boldly and clearly. They should also communicate creatively, in order to surprise and engage the customer. But not by covering up the entire storefront so that the customer thinks the store is undergoing a major renovation! Sales should also be communicated in a creative way. I attach one example where a little white color mixed with innovative approach had far more impact than the yellow and black full-wrap.
There aren´t many stores in Prague where even if you didn’t plan to buy anything, the product line-up, presentation of goods and the atmosphere itself convince you to make a purchase anyway. Yes, I admit that doing so is much easier in the case of food products. However, prices in this high-end shop are not likely appealing if you need to spend what money you have on the basics such as bread.
Having said all that, it continues to be a retailing art to motivate customers to buy such higher-end items even in times when customers need to "tighten their belts".
Despite all the bargain hunting, the market for quality products at higher prices still exists. Shopping for Italian products in The Wine Market in Prague is a beautiful example of this. If you want to enjoy a pleasant weekend afternoon and excite your palate with lots of samples, I highly recommend it. Attached are a few photos.
... yes, discounting can be imaginative and eye-catching!
Just as the master and his dog are alike, the communication method should reflect the philosophy of the brand. As part of our ongoing study of discounting and sales, I took a couple of pictures as examples. See if you know what the brand is.
Correct answers can be found after you click on the images
"Go big or go home". If you want to tell customers about your discounts, you should make sure that they notice them! A nice example of “going big” is found at this GURU store- an effective and smart sale promotion.
... and still more innovative solutions.
Observing customer and passersby will appreciate this intriguing two-monitor presentation.
Another unusual treatment with digital media. The digital wall informs customers about individual sections of the shopping mall.
Do you find it not catchy enough? Maybe it was the designer’s intention to differentiate from all the other digital screens that we have learned to successfully ignore.
In Hong Kong, a short walk from Times Square, at a commercial center of the same name, I came across an excellent interactive display.
The speed and number of stock market transactions determines the size, color and density of the elements. All happening in real time - this was a fascinating and dynamic design. I witnessed something similar this year at the Lincoln Center in New York where a wall display with various elements informed viewers about the current situation in the city, including information on traffic congestion, the flow of people etc..
Such unconventional and topical displays are really engaging and could be used effectively in retail. Today’s demanding customer would experience something different every time he enters the store. That makes the store much more attractive to thim.
The concept of POP-UP shops is not often seen in Prague. Perhaps this is due to the conservative approach of merchants, or maybe because of the currently unfavorable economic times. POP-UP retail is definitely a refreshing retail idea making the stores different from the rest.
One such POP-UP shop can be found on Vezenska Street in Prague, but only temporarily over the Christmas shopping period. The Mcely Bouquet shop conveys an atmosphere of Chateau Mcely fragrances. In the shop you will find all of Mcely Bouquet’s beauty products and selected pieces of crystal and ceramics - all in ChateauMcely design.
More information on http://www.chateaumcely.com/cs/pop-up-shop.php
An unusual use of different materials creating a different mood is nicely illustrated here at this Benetton window display. The winter design follows the last year theme, but has a new message
Any product can be enticingly presented to draw attention. As is the case of this fruit shop and even without the help of a creative agency with experience in merchandising. It just requires a little extra work , more interest in customer needs and a creative approach from the retailers themselves.
Good retailers know their customers. They customize and tailor to their customers. Even if that means they have to break the rules or create new standards to do so.
Good retail is where customers feel comfortable and believe that the retailer is trying to understand their needs.
I´ve found one such interesting example in Madrid. A children’s store designed with its small customers in mind.
Madrid comes alive at Christmas time and you’ll find countless Christmas trees around the city. Many of them in unique shapes and made of different materials. In the Spriegfield clothing chain which belongs to Zara, they invoke a casual style complete with a pinch of nostalgia.
What’s most interesting to me about this tree is the reproduction of the Czech Railways in its base. After all, Czech railways enjoy a good reputation around Europe.
Camper is known for unique look of each of their store. I found this one in the heart of Madrid's Gran Via.
This Mime makes the shop window irresistibly charming.
The Czech Savings Bank decorated the shop windows in Rytirska Street The Prague Christmas theme is enhanced by tiering the display which lets the viewer explore the city’s attractions and architecture in 3D. The customers are invited to enter the branch by duo of slowly swinging angels accompanied by a mime during the day. This unique display was created by the WELLEN agency.
There are too few such interesting displays in Prague. The Czech Savings Bank together with Pietro Filipi in Narodni trida have some displays definitely worth seeing.
Now you can even design your own shoes in Timberland…
Much has been said and written about AirBank’s new store concept shown here.
Ultimately though, only their customers’ evaluation of the new approach matters – and that's what I highlight how they focus on their client needs. Right at the entrance you find out when is the branch open and the bank lets you know what you can bring inside with you, even ice cream and drinks are allowed! And if you withdraw money from this AirBank ATM, you`ll see yourself on video and become a movie actor for a while!
Some would say these are small things, some would call it brand building. But it’s certainly a different way of communication and connecting with customers. Congratulations. Great!
Now, hopefully they’ll have clients flocking to the branches.
Check them out again!!!
The Praha Hotel held another POPAI conference this year. The program, entitled "Potential Points of Sale based on analysis and case studies” took on a rather gloomy atmosphere perhaps because of the proclamations of another recession or the poor presenter´s performance. The final debate presented by Jaroslav Novak, however, was definitely a refreshing part of the program.
This year’s program offered eight separate tracks – each on different topics. I must say again, and I think it’s the general rule for great conferences in the Czech Republic, that foreign or global experts perform much better than Czech speakers, in terms of presentation styles, and more importantly in terms of added content value.
I’d like to briefly comment on the most interesting presentations. The lecture by Bram Nauta, CEO Instore Shopper Marketing Institute in the Netherlands, beautifully showed how important research is in retail – and yet how terribly simple and short-sighted decisions are when made without any relevant data. A lecture by Massimo Fabbri, founder and CEO of Crea International explained the importance of effective retail design and presented their AirBank branch concepts. Finally, a brilliant lecture by Pavel Los, global POS Manager of Shell, who showed his understanding of the importance of the “Customer Journey” and how Shell is incorporating that knowledge into their distribution network.
It is extremely important that these events feature people who can present new, fresh and relevant ideas for all of us to get inspiration. Old methods like the use of floorstickers or wobblers doesn’t belong at events like this!
The display communicates the WELLEN vision of a "communication space" and is visually connected to the company’s new website. Along with this very successful display, WELLEN made an Agency presentation at this year's POPAI conference. The dislay represents the WELLEN agency mission: “Communication in space” and it is visually linked to the company`s website layout.
Further evidence that the ECO trend is really on track in retail. We shouldn’t underestimate a seemingly unimportant detail: that nowadays, when retailers can do almost anything, incorporating these important issues into our strategies helps us influence customers.
Kotva department store has a new image. Ugh! Any opinions?
This Vagabond Store in Prague’s Myslbek Shopping Gallery surprised me with this great communication concept. Clear winter message carrying window display, suitably chosen form and perfect use of light.
Pity that the message is written in English! Addressing customers in their native language is, in my opinion, one of the basic rules of effective communication in retail. Localization really works.
I visited Chrudim on business, and not far from the square I found a decommissioned church with the Museum of Baroque statues. I entered and was in for a few surprises - the first being the price of admission. After all, I considered 60 crowns in the provincial town of Chrudim to be a lot. The surprises continued when they provided me with an electronic guide, which was a little bigger than a cell phone - something I have only experienced in foreign exhibitions. As I wondered through the three dozen exhibits, the electronic guide gave me exactly the information I needed - when I needed it. The renovated building for these great works also included nice touches such as TV presentations and even watching a movie while I enjoyed a coffee from Nespresso - all included in the price and all placed logically as you moved through the exhibition.
Such a beautiful and effective example of how excellent communication creates powerful impressions: I did not want the experience to end – but in the end those 60 CZK seemed to be more than justified.
So if you have any reason to get to Chrudim, take the tour as I did. It's worth it!
I realized that even the Czech Statistic Office has started to communicate using window displays. Although the message offered is not clear enough, it`s a good direction for official institutions.
The Prague city center still has a few shops that seem to be behind the retail curve. I certainly mean no insult or slander – but to me this is a great example of how things should not be done. Everything has its own rules, and instore communication is no exception: the way we talk to customers, how we communicate specific information and how the customer evaluates that information.
Shop windows are the first, and most important thing customers see when they arrive. Information provided should be clear, recognizable and somehow special. But here, dozens of different offers, discounts and labels only confuse the customer. It’s like being in a crowd of people screaming: with all the shouting you don`t really hear anyone. This analogy is very relevant to our business - customers only have a few seconds to hear and understand your message - so let's give them a chance to understand it!
But you might want to be there on Monday when the store comes up with its Christmas offers. Perhaps then we’ll see something worth coming for?
Design to Milan, is like bread to the bakery. Everything is beautiful here, from people to food products.
High design is part of normal life in Milan, even I people have to pay extra for it.. Retailers know that if they want to earn profits, they must attract the customers to the store first. Shopping is part of the very culture here, not just in store design but in the actual placement of shops in the historic city center. Likewise, nothing should be obstructed – yet this huge Burberry sign with an attractive model, hanging on the Gothic cathedral is a perfect example of doing just that. Fashion week is finally here - amen.
Many clothing retailers offer free or inexpensive in-house tailoring services for simple alterations such as pant hemming. Whilst most retailers do not actively promote these services, a few have cleverly turned it into a distinct competitive advantage. The Levi's Tailor Shop in Berlin, for example, is part of Levi's group of premium concept stores and is the label's focus on the premium side of denim making. Staffed by experienced master tailors, customers can have their denim truly personalised or have a favourite old pair rehabilitated.
On Königsallee Street, a short walk from Prada, LV or even Tiffany, you’ll find a shop selling only one product, knives. But Victorinox stores do not offer only the classic knives, here you’ll find them in blue, green or gold. How about knives made of wood, antlers or of course, the simple red classics. You can even choose the specific equipment you want such as a pair of scissors or tweezers, or just a knife and corkscrew.
This "personalization" is definitely trending up - we are seeing retailers offering it if they can. Today, it’s not just about owning a knife, but as with your mobile phone, cup of Starbucks or a bottle of Evian, the knife choice also indicates status or even defines your world view. Victorinox is not only a male brand, Ladies also find a stylish knife matching to their handbag in Victorinox stores
I found this elegant discounting message using just a small section of an entire display window. No exploding grenades or bomb as is often the custom…
I’ve worked in retail for a long time, but I never imagined it could be this easy to make a potato attractive. And I’ve seen many shops that very exclusively present their products – e.g. at Paul Bakeries. But potatoes?! Small, large, long, oval.… all nicely arranged to entice you. I found this exemplary potato flagship store in Dusseldorf. Regarding potatoes, you'll find everything you might imagine: even your wallpaper can be made from potatoes!
So… wouldn’t you like to buy a kilo or two?
The VISCOM Fair now taking place in Dusseldorf hasn´t brought anything new or revolutionary. I saw standard printing technologies that have already been presented at other fairs. There are also usual interactive displays that do not bring anything innovative. The venue was again full of Chinese manufacturers trying to negotiate using very poor English.
With little that was special or unique to be found this year, we’ll just have to hope that next year will be a little more interesting. Maybe we'll have to wait longer than that - until a new star as significant as Steve Jobs creates something we've always wanted but just couldn’t identify. Or, unfortunately, we may have to accept the fact that many companies will just continue to offer what you are familiar with and stay away from innovation.
If you are still planning a trip to the fair, it is open until this Saturday, October 15 from 9 am to 6 pm each day and Saturday until 5 pm at Messe Dusseldorf.
Another Design Week display, this one featuring the motto "Think Twice" to promote recycling.
Taking responsibility for recycling is an increasing trend. In this case, content prevails over form – but in a great way! This trend is being followed by retailers, as customers appreciate when a brand has a responsible approach towards the environment, especially when done in such an overt way as the tent. It's a good way to generate positive emotions towards the brand in places other than the traditional point of sale.
Austrian A1 recently completed its rebranding which has included a new look for their stores. The elegant black “A1” gives way to a lively green and white which beautifully illuminates stores. This treatment is complemented inside the store by emphasizing the "locality" of the brand - a clear trend among many other retailers. Displays also allow customers to try out products in the store – another requirement in the current retail environment.
You’ll find the store on Mariahilfer Street.
There are stores that sell great products and services. And then there are also places that just stir the soul, even if you do not actually buy anything. I found one such place on Rotenturm Street.
This might look something like Noah's Ark - if God was the designer? :-)
And his email to the world might look like this one:
From: God <email@example.com
Subject: Regarding the Flood
Date: August 3, 2011 4:09:31 PM GMT +2:00
To: Noah <firstname.lastname@example.org
---------- -------------------------------------------------- ------------------
I've decided to put an end to all human beings due to the act that their excessive consumption is causing the earth to experience dramatic climate changes. Therefore, I command you to build an ark from these blue containers. Place pairs of furniture on top of them so that they will survive. Paint all the furniture blue as well.
Then I will bring the flood upon earth in order to destroy everything that lives and breathes beneath the sky.
In seven days from now I will let it rain for forty days and forty nights.
What would we have loaded onto the Arc? All designers have some stylish item they don´t want to give up - and it doesn´t have to be a piece of furniture.
God created the world in seven days, and he created all the beauty around us. For designers, we’ll be creating new designs forever. Regardless, surely it will be worth saving some pieces for future generations as the legacy of tour creativity, esthetic and inventive approach.
Noah's Ark on the Kvasthusmolen waterfront really amused me :)
I love good food, and Prague has nothing to be ashamed of compared to other major cities. New cuisine varieties are appearing and the overall quality of service is increasing. Unfortunately though, restaurants are not as good at communicating as they are at cooking. One of the exceptions is Ambi, which really stands out from the crowd. I found their inspirational approach in Singapore, where the whole brand philosophy is built on a plain burger. I also appreciate their interesting creative approach.
More on www.thehandburger.com.
You can experience all sorts of things on the way out of the bar, and so it was on the way in Singapore when I met these rather scary fellows. I had to take a picture. Do you feel their scary looks?
Mobile operator SingTel has a digital store offering mainly data services in Singapore. As a market leader, SingTel focuses on the quality of communication to the customers. You can try out all the latest products, and staff are ready to answer any question. When we visited, however, we couldn’t connect to the internet! Surprising when WIFI is available almost everywhere these days, even at the pastry shop on the square in Podebrady.
In my opinion the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris may be the worst in the world. You’ll spend at least 30 minutes driving back and forth, or dealing with traffic lights once you are on the tarmac. And this is the best scenario assuming there isn’t another airport staff strike.
But in Terminal F you’ll find creative washrooms: they´re unlike anything I’ve seen in other airports where it’s usually nothing but “airport gray”. It´s like a breath of fresh air under the rustling leaves, as the pictures shows.
Witness Scandinavia's "the best of the best", and in particular, Danish design, was very exciting to behold.
Copenhagen’s Design Week 2011 was a promise of great visual experiences. “Think human” was this year's theme and it occupied multiple locations around Copenhagen.
The Royal Danish Theatre, the central venue, held an international competition entitled “Designs to Improve Life”. This competition was open to independent productions that creatively presented ways of making life easier for people living in socially disadvantaged areas, or areas affected by natural disasters.
The main criteria for projects in Think Human wasn´t visual richness, but simplicity, practical use, efficiency and a large dose of corporate social responsibility regarding our planet’s natural resources. We experienced a mix of sunshine, wind and chilly weather on the waterfront by the Royal Opera House under the seemingly watchful eye of a military cruiser. I love the charm of such contrasting scenery!
The main info kiosk was made ecologically from metal containers - they were large objects resembling anthills scattered along the banks of the river, and the shortlisted projects were displayed on the top of them. Each was outstanding in its own way, and frankly, almost pathetically due to the beauty of their simplicity and the desire to help. I've rarely experienced so powerfully the simple, yet genuine functionality of such objects.
The Copenhagen´s Design Week featured products and ideas designed to improve the terrible living conditions of many people: portable drinking bottles with water filters, medical aids and diagnostic equipment, educational and many other products. The full gallery can be seen at http://www.designtoimprovelife.dk/