October 24, 2017 /Retail Insight



F Scott Fitzgerald once imprinted upon us that ‘life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall’. Certainly summer has surrendered to earlier nights and the city is now carpeted in plum, orange and reds.

With autumn’s arrival came an abundance of new energy. As with most seasonal change, our taste buds adjust to a new palette of flavours. And as such, our appetite extends to novel ideas, trends and innovations.

September was certainly a saturated month, to say the least. The eventfulness of the month has entertained us with Maison & Objet, Paris and London’s Design Weeks. Last month, we explored the prospect of comfort zones. However these events led us explore further the proliferation of breathing spaces. Whilst in Paris, we put together a retail guide of innovations in the city. You can discover three of our favourite discoveries from our flânerie in the city.

Like every September, the fashion calendar was of course saturated. As consequence, the events have left us reflecting upon consumer activists and how to communicate to this prominent and proactive group.

We cannot help but notice the role brands have with nurturing community and unity.
As we continue to explore how brands can nurture empathy, we sat down with Plum Turner, Co-founder of Booby-Shoes to explore what it takes to create a kind and conscious brand.

TOUCH - Courtney Maum

Our ability to show kindness and empathy is intrinsic to our humanity. At the start of this year, we reflected upon why retail needs to explore what it means to be human. With this sentiment in mind, we caught up with Courtney Maum, to discuss her recent novel TOUCH (New York Times Selection) and Brooklyn Book Festival where she was a panellist on a talk entitled ‘The Science of Intimacy’. We discuss skin hunger and the necessity to reconnect to what makes us human.

With human sentimentality in mind, we sat down with Clare Barry, founder of Urban Curiosity. Tucked away in peaceful a garden not too far from London’s notoriously bustling streets of Oxford St, we contemplate creativity, curiosity and the art of eye contact. All of course require us to tap into human DNA. A short while ago, we shared on our blog about the rise of the new elite. This is a consumer group who prioritise the acquisition of knowledge as a means.

All of this points us towards a growing trend for creativity, and we found ourselves in the heart of Bloomsbury with Harriet Griffey, a London based journalist and author exploring this further.

This month, London hosted its first ever cannabis conference. With the cannabis industry manifesting in the US and Canada, we talked with Phil Depault, founder of Ganja brand Maitri Leaf to establish opportunities for brands in this totally new market.

The cultural scene has been resplendent with London’s Literature Festival and Frieze this month. As Blade Runner 2049 hit the screens at the start of this month, it was unsurprising to establish Sci-Fi references upon our visit to the highly anticipated annual art show in Regents Park. As consequence, we revisit our research regarding a wider macro trend for utopias and how science fiction goes behind fiction and the screens to inspire inventive visual directions.

The prodigious nature of London’s creative offering is by no means slowing. We will be sharing insights to London retail guide later this month so you will see new store openings and truly innovative brand concepts that are keeping our minds enriched and fervently fresh.

Keeping in toe with inventive scenes bourgeoning on the streets, in Hackney you will find an example of zero-waste retail that is charming with its eco-friendly appeal. This ecological ethos is echoing a wider sentiment for simpler living. We delve deeper into this lifestyle in our blog post ‘the Bare Neccesstiests’.

Across the pond in New York, we have been enjoying pop-up concepts such as Gucci in Bloom and Google Home’s playful mini Donut shop in Dumbo. Of course the sweet spot was a donut accompanying the purchase. Over in Grand Central station, Hunter’s is hosting a pop-up in the form of a glass house where water mist permeates in the enclosed interiors. The experience enables those who step in to experience what it is like to live in Scotland first hand. As aforementioned, Courtney Maum’s novel Touch inspires us to consider tactility and this experience is a tangible and concrete experience that trades on physicality of water on the skin.

And so, as Keats contended, the mellow fruitfulness of autumn leaves us with fruit that is ripe to the core. Accordingly, we have been enjoying the fullness, vibrancy and creativity of the events of the last few weeks. And as we head into the latter part of the year, we look forward to this energy continuing.