Published on: June 22, 2010...sponsored by TCC, “changing shopper behavior”
One of the things that is most interesting about global meetings is the ability to visit stores, and the just-concluded NACS Global Forum in Sydney, Australia, was a great and well executed example of that. The mix of supermarkets and convenience stores that we visited offered some excellent marketing and merchandising lessons, and let me delineate some of them here.
• A particularly endearing quality of a number of stores we visited is the way in which they seemed to be open to the environment, not using doors to separate them from the outside world. Sure, this is an advantage that Sydney has because of its climate; but you don;t always see stores embrace the light and take advantage of their space. The Woolworths-owned Thomas Dux Store that essentially has no front door at all ... a health food store called About Life that uses light extremely effectively ... and even an urban 7-Eleven convenience store ... all of them had a unique inviting quality. A special note about a Spar store that offers big windows and even an outside cafe ... which I liked a lot (though I thought a little more signage would have made it even more effective). Light and space = two of the more under-appreciated qualities of great retail.
• Loved the signs. Big signs. Bold graphics. Clear wording. Just liked them a lot. No subtlety, all clarity.
• There was one 7-Eleven store that we visited in a suburb of Sydney that was sitting on a strip that must have had seven or eight independent specialty coffee shops. It had a big sign out front - Lavazza coffee for a buck. We were told that coffee is a big item for the store, showing that there is a simple way to compete with the more upscale guys. Just undercut them on price.
As soon as I can, I’ll post relevant retail pictures from my Sydney trip on our MNB Facebook page.
Some of the other things I loved about my trip to Australia...
• Circular Quay. This is the nerve center of Sydney’s public transportation hub, and the great thing about it is that ferries play such an enormous role. You can stand on the shore for a half hour and watch dozens of ferries of varying sizes coming and going from a half-dozen docks, all of them full of residents and commuters and tourists. There is something exciting and old-fashioned about such a bustling ferry terminal. Very cool.
• The Odyssey. I couldn’t get to the wine country during my visit, but I found the next best thing - a wonderful wine bar with a terrific tasting room and a small bar and restaurant in the back. The selection of Australian wines was, as you might expect, extensive and the friendly staff was informative. As a result, I’ll be in wine recommendations for “OffBeat” for quite some time.
• Foreigners. One of the most endearing things about Australia is how many people I met there who had moved to the nation-continent from elsewhere. They weren’t just immigrants, though - they were smiling and enthusiastic advocates for their country of residence. (A great lesson for any marketer, by the way. Employees can and should be treated in such a way that they become enthusiastic advocates for the business. To not do so is to miss a wonderful opportunity and ignore a great natural resource.) Whether it was a guy at the bike rental place from Louisiana, a waitress from Calgary, or a woman I sat next to at dinner from Mauritius - their attitudes spoke volumes about the kind of place that Australia is and wants to be.
• The Sydney Harbour Bridge. See last week’s column about my climb.
• “In A Sunburned Country,” by Bill Bryson. This book isn’t just a wonderfully funny and comprehensive travelogue about Australia that I read during my trip. It is also one of the best books I have ever read, and I cannot wait to download other Bryson books to my Kindle. Get it and read it even if you have no intention of traveling Down Under.
• The Beer. Especially the James Squires ale. Wonderful, cold and just perfect.
• The sense of limitless potential and possibility. I know that in visiting only Sydney, I have seen just a tiny percentage of Australia. I cannot wait to go back, and in my heart I am certain of this - if I’d visited Australia 25 years ago, I probably would never have left.
Thanks, as always, to TCC ... which is sponsoring “The Content Guy On The Road.”
TCC offers customized retail marketing programs that change shopper behavior - attracting new customers and building customer loyalty...generating 4-5 percent sales increases and expanding basket sizes...generating in-store excitement and creating real and tangible differential advantages for your stores.
For more information, Click here.
- KC's View: