A.R.E. RETAIL COUNCIL
Michael Cape, Michael Cape Consulting;
Robert Higgins, Fossil Inc.; Chuck
Luckenbill, OfficeMax Inc.; Anthony
Mancini, Alex Cannon; Marc
Riera, Nike North America
Can Mr. Selfridge’s ideas be reinvented
in modern retail environments?
—Jennifer Dillon, Jennifer Dillon Design and Designhub,
Tullamore, Offay, Ireland
Luis Andrade, Under Armour; Bevan
Bloemendaal, The Timberland Co.
(Retail); Jackie Bonic, Liquor Control
Board of Ontario; Mark Brodeur,
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; David Curtis,
Crocs Inc.; Michael De Fazio, Walgreens;
Ray Ehscheid, Bank of America; Joseph
P. Flaherty, Macy’s Inc.; Jason Floyd,
Microsoft; Richard M. Geist, Uncle
Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters; Ignaz
Gorischek, The Neiman Marcus Group
Inc.; Richard Hamori, Hudson’s Bay Co.
(HBC); James Harte, Bob’s Stores Inc.;
David Hicks, Canadian Tire Corp.; James
Hilyard, Performance Inc.; Brenda
Houston, Brenda Houston Design; Marc
Jamieson, TELUS; Rob Jordahl, Belk Inc.;
Tom Jowett, Bass Pro Shops; Danette
Kroll, Foot Locker Inc.; Paul O. Loux,
Sephora USA Inc.; Michael Mc Tamney,
The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack;
David Meekings, HAMLE YS; Al R.
Rodgers, Dollar Tree Stores Inc.; Paul
Schleef, Michaels Stores Inc.;
David Thomson, Le Chateau Inc.;
Michael Trowbridge, Limited
Brands; Bob Waddell, Limited Brands;
Bink E. Zengel, Luxottica Retail;
Bill Zuercher, Shopko
As the Internet gets more converts and retailers carry the same mundane prod-
uct, they give less and less reason for their existence. Retailers need to concen-
trate on staff members who are professional and know their jobs. Too many
retailers underestimate the intelligence of the customer.
Staff and customer service are an integral part of the retail experience. I’ve visited too many stores where staff barely acknowledge my existence. If those products are online, why would I shop there? In my town there is a great hard- ware shop. They make it their business to know customers’ names and are well
trained on products. People call in with all sorts of DIY problems, and there’s a great community atmosphere. I always walk out feeling uplifted.
—Jennifer Dillon, Jennifer Dillon Design and Designhub, Tullamore, Offay, Ireland
Social media influence is changing how we behave and interact with each other. The virtual and physical shopping experiences are merging. Shopping malls have charged themselves with the task of becoming lifestyle centers, and we are moving toward department stores becoming places of social encounters and
interaction with product showrooms focused on personalized services (fed by media data)
rather than warehouses with retail storefronts. Change is happening—and creative teams will
deliver environments that will take Mr. Selfridge’s vision beyond imagination.
—Régis Péan, omni/form inc., New York
In this day and age, retailers can’t just be great. They need to be phenomenal. The store’s design and overall brand need to provide sheer visual excitement from floor to wall while creating a memorable experience that keeps customers coming back for more. Although the Internet is becoming important, the overall experience in-store is something that cannot be duplicated.
—Tom Shea, T.M. Shea Products, Troy, Mich.
It’s precisely by creating an experience environment that retail locations of upper-tier product offerings will continue to provide customer value and produce sales. Personal shopper experiences that can’t be duplicated online will continue to grow and move down market. The middle section of the retail sector will shift
toward a blended ‘brick-and-mobile’ model where you can shop the store online even from
within the store and have access to face-to-face customer service, physical interaction with
the product, and instant acquisition of the product. The brick-and-mobile model will also serve
to give access to infinite inventory. If quiet rooms, libraries, and restaurants align with an
experience that supports the sale or meaningful promotion of a product, we will definitely see
them again. The meaningful part is the tricky one.
—Alan Robles, Gensler, Los Angeles
These responses are excerpted from a longer
discussion in the Retail Environments Network
on LinkedIn. “Mr. Selfridge” was available on
ITV.com beginning in January, and is scheduled
to premiere on PBS’s “Masterpiece” on March 31.
Join the discussion on this topic—or start your
own—in A.R.E.’s Retail Environments Network