Top 10 retail ideas 2016-For all you retail buffs: 10 of the most innovative retail concepts we covered last year, both offline and online, and from across the world.
Sexy supermarkets in the Alps:
MPreis, a chain of supermarkets in western Austria, bills itself as “The Seriously Sexy Supermarket”. The company’s stores literally stand out because of their unusual and progressive architecture. MPreis has been commissioning up and coming architects for the last fifteen years, encouraging them to design buildings that make the most of their settings in the Tyrolean Alps. Which is in stark contrast to most chain retailers, who find a formula and repeat it, regardless of location. A keen eye for aesthetics continues inside the stores, which feature sleek café’s and carefully chosen materials.
We don’t mind spelling it out again: in an age of abundance, curators rule! Riding the CURATED CONSUMPTION trend in all its glory is Japanese Ranking Ranqueen, a Tokyo chain selling only the top 3, 5 or 10 items in a bewildering range of categories. Rankings are based on sales data from big Tokyo department stores and independent research. Think best-selling lists for bath powder. Tooth picks. Pasta sauce. Cell phones. And so on. Rankings are updated every week, mercilessly replacing the out of favor with the Next Big Thing.
A deal a day:
What’s the ultimate in curated consumption? Limiting your customer’s choice to one product a day. Add a pinch of eBay-style excitement and bargain hunting, and you end up with Woot! (“one day, one deal”) and iBood. Woot founder Matt Rutledge came up with the concept back in 2004, as an internet offshoot for his Dallas wholesale business. Since then, Woot’s combination of great deals, highly novel approach and irreverent attitude have created a huge following. Thousands of regular buyers and visitors perch in front of their computers before midnight every day.
Dock and shop:
The iFood terminal at Nordiska Kompaniet’s food hall lets customers hook up their iPod and download audio recipes. The process is described in five simple steps (we couldn’t resist including the Swedish original): 1) Docka – Plug in, 2) Ladda ner – Download, 3) Handla – Purchase, 4) Lyssna – Listen, and 5) Laga – Cook. After choosing from a wide range of recipes and downloading audio instructions to their iPod or other mp3 player, shoppers can purchase all necessary items from a colour-coded deli area.
There’s a new premium commodity in town, and its name is mastiha. Those of you with no ties to the Eastern Mediterranean or the Middle-East are forgiven for not knowing exactly what mastiha, or mastic gum, is. It’s a product of the mastic tree, which is mainly cultivated on Chios, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Small cuts are made in the bark of the tree, the sap seeps out and congeals into ‘tears’ of resin, which are harvested and cleaned by hand.