Retail

From groceries to placemaking, a wide-ranging exploration of the retail industry

Need to Know
30 : 07 : 19

Sainsbury’s educates staff and customers in sign language, Old Spice tells men to put their friends first, and fake influencer marketing is costing brands.

This K-beauty store doubles as a production studio

Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul
Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul
Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul Villa de Mûrir by Collective B, Seoul

Seoul – Villa de Mûrir is a cosmetics store and branded content studio targeted at Chinese tourists.

Designed by Collective B, the retail space comprises four areas across two floors, including a multi-brand Beauty Select Shop, a make-up station, a café and a production studio for YouTube beauty content-creators.

In a market flooded with K-beauty competitors, Villa de Mûrir has found its niche by offering local Korean brands targeted at Chinese and Japanese tourists. The experience-driven store also serves as a base for the Mûrir brand, which will subsequently be exported to other Asian markets.

Although K-beauty growth is reported to be slowing in both South Korea and international markets, Villa de Mûrir hopes that an experiential retail concept rooted in digital creation and community will boost the market’s reputation.

Nolla is a tech-driven, zero-waste restaurant

Restaurant Nolla, Helsinki Restaurant Nolla, Helsinki
Restaurant Nolla, Helsinki Restaurant Nolla, Helsinki

Helsinki – The restaurant’s waste-free practices maximise ingredients to show that creativity and sustainability can go hand in hand.

This week, Nolla re-opens in a permanent location in Helsinki’s Design District. Taking a high-end approach to zero-waste dining, the restaurant does not produce waste, nor does it cook from it. Instead, Nolla works with suppliers to source all ingredients without packaging and serves a set menu of seasonal dishes highlighting local Finnish ingredients. The new space also includes a microbrewery that produces the restaurant’s own craft beer.

At the end of each night, any leftover food is composted, with the resulting mulch sent on to farmers or given to customers to take home to use in their own gardens. Before anything is composted, however, the food is weighed and analysed using waste management software, providing Nolla’s chefs with data on what is thrown away so that they can better plan future menus. By seeking to stem food waste in this way, the restaurant is inverting the trend for trash-to-table dining.

Sainsbury’s turns educator with sign language project

Bath – The supermarket chain put sign language in the spotlight with its Signsbury’s project, encouraging staff and customers to use British Sign Language (BSL) with one another.

Taking place over four days, the Signsbury's initiative saw staff signing common words and phrases used in retail when interacting with customers. Meanwhile, screens placed throughout the store demonstrated how to sign key phrases, giving shoppers on-the-spot, interactive BSL lessons.

To make the pop-up possible, more than 100 members of staff at its Bath store took part in sign language lessons, supported by deaf colleagues and Rachael Shenton, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who signed her 2018 acceptance speech. According to Sainsbury’s, it is estimated that 11m people in the UK live with hearing loss, suggesting there is real need for major retailers to continue their efforts to become more inclusive and accessible.

Property firm Landsec, for example, recently announced a number of initiatives to improve the shopping experience for people with autism across its retail developments.

Signsbury's by Sainsbury's, Bath Signsbury's by Sainsbury's, Bath

Old Spice wants men to prioritise their friendships

Never Let A Friend Lose His Swagger, Old Spice, Wieden + Kennedy Portland

US – The brand’s latest campaign highlights a guy crisis in which playful male friendships are overlooked in favour of adulting.

The campaign, entitled Never Let a Friend Lose his Swagger, is based on a US-wide survey commissioned by Old Spice, which found that men who once maintained a number of friendships are ‘falling into guy traps that keep them couch-bound when they should be hanging out with friends’.

The study found that 92% of American men feel that it’s important to maintain their friendships, yet 79% spend less time with their mates as they get older. Reasons given included the need to look after children, working, and binge-watching television shows. The accompanying campaign film takes a humorous look at this male friendship crisis and calls on men to prioritise – and save – their guy friends.

For more on how brands are using their advertising to represent masculinity in new ways, read our round-up of the most progressive dadvertising campaigns.

Stat: The billion-pound cost of fake influencer marketing

While influencer marketing has become both popular and successful as brands seek to reach audiences on social media, a new report from cybersecurity company Cheq says the rise in influencer fraud, wherein influencers pay for fake followers or engagement via bots, is costing brands £1bn ($1.3bn, €1.1bn) a year.

In addition to indirect costs such as erosion of trust and potential brand impact, the report warns the global cost of fraudulent influencer activity could rise to £1.2bn ($1.5bn, €1.3bn) by 2020 if left unchecked. Cheq cites inflated follower counts and the use of automation as two major problems plaguing influencer marketing.

To help rebuild consumer trust and product authenticity, brands are starting to focus more insider advocates rather than external influencers. For more, read our dedicated listicle.

Thought-starter: How is beauty empowering people with disabilities?

Innovative technology and packaging solutions are ushering in a new era of inclusivity for consumers with visual impairments and conditions like multiple sclerosis, says senior foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor.

Since 2014, brands have championed a more inclusive approach to beauty through products developed for a variety of different skin tones. Now, however, the definition of inclusive beauty is expanding, as brands acknowledge that to be truly applicable to all is not just about their formulations but also about creating products that take into account factors like loss of sight.

‘People think that just because blind women can’t see, that they don’t care about what they look like,’ says Sam Latif, company accessibility leader at Procter & Gamble (P&G) who lost her sight in early adulthood due to the condition retinitis pigmentosa. High-profile blind and visually impaired vloggers like Molly Burke and Lucy Edwards are helping to change this narrative.

The actress Selma Blair recently took to Instagram to post a tongue-in-cheek video highlighting the difficulty in applying make-up when you suffer from multiple sclerosis. Looking to tackle this problem, the UK-based brand, Grace Beauty has developed three attachments for mascara wands to aid people with different mobility levels.

Read more about the rise of Adaptive Beauty here.

Grace Beauty, UK Grace Beauty, UK
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