retail forum

Retail forum was on today. Highlights for me were the presentations about luxury from the chief execs of Libertys and Fortunum and Masons – they were both gung ho and very clear about what they had to do to turn around their respective stores. I’m afraid my lowlight was the ‘agency’ session which featured 3 senior suits from the agencies handling Tesco, Boots and M&S. They opted to comment on communications in the broadest terms which was way beyond their competence as far as I could see.  Brand building campaigns for retailers work because they must distil down to a very simple idea. So the rest of the business may be driven by customer data but the advertising won’t be – it has to be for everyone.  The internet is critical for the success of major multiples now but it isn’t an effective branding medium. I wish they had got creative directors in who would have stayed close to the creative issues where this kind of advertising can really bite. It is a reminder of how much of a specialism advertising is and needs to be to be effective.  Without this single minded focus it came across as rather flakey by comparison with best of breed retailing. A good day overall. Retailing is a bit of a favourite of mine.  Afterwards I headed off to do some store checks for a project I’m beginning. Such a pleasure!!

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