Posts tagged ‘shopping’
I went on a bit of a Retail Safari round Leeds yesterday morning:
We’ve heard of Pound Shops, but how about the Pound Bakery? They’ve over 30 stores, mostly in the North.
picture from a RidingsFm promo event because I didn’t think to take pics, doh
M&S have taken a stall at Leeds Market (where the original M&S first launched as open-air stall in 1884) selling souvenirs and PRing their new museum (yes, really) which exhibits stuff from the company archive and has just opened at the other end of town.
photo by the lovely LeedsGrub
There’s a pop-up One Direction store, which I kept getting asked for directions to by harassed looking Mums.
photo from the YEP
And that 1D store is in the newly opened Trinity Leeds. I first saw the plans for it in 1998ish (my old agency had a lot of property development clients) and it was sold to us as a way of connecting disparate shopping offers, rather than as a new development. It’s obviously been re-positioned since then because from all the hoo-ha round here you’d think it was the biggest thing to happen to retail since Bluewater.
photo by the gang at Leeds retail agency Gratterpalm
In reality, they’ve put a funky glass cover (note not a weatherproof roof, you can see the gaps at the edges in the photo above) over several different buildings that already had shops in them, connected them up, created walkways to access upper floors more easily and added some extra square footage by taking advantage of awkward corners and so on. It’s only half-open at the moment and freezing cold because not only is the roof more of a roughly fitted awning than something capable of stopping hot air getting out, the entrances are all ten foot wind tunnels with no doors that simply serve to bring the cold air in. It was so cold when I visited that people were wearing gloves inside and one Spanish restaurant had abandoned their al fresco terrace and stuck this sign up:
I thought there would be enough interesting stuff around Trinity to keep me going for a few hours of nosing about. In reality, I gave up and went on a hunt for some new jeans, finding them in a store outside the development. Where it struck me that the one thing Trinity has changed is the shape of the shopping hub for Leeds. It used to be T shaped (Briggate and Albion Place) and now with Trinity’s main entrance on Briggate and stores from Albion relocating into it, it’s become a one street town center. Which can’t be a good thing.
I’m working on a couple of fashion led projects (yay!) at the moment and I suppose in fashion more than anywhere else, targeting is a real issue.
Do you design and market aimed at the demographics of your current core target audience? Target the younger end of your audience because that might attract in the next generation of brand loyalists? Or target at the older end because that’s where the spending power is?
Problem is, you’re always going to upset somebody, somewhere. I read a great piece recently (god knows where…) pointing out that all the 18 year olds would like Topshop back please because its full of 30-somethings who spent their teens shopping there and aren’t ready to give it up quite yet.
I would definitely categorise myself as ‘too old for Topshop’ (google the phrase and you get 7,000+ results), I also don’t have the legs for Karen Millen or the bank account for Reiss. And as the Telegraph puts it, Dorothy Perkins has its moments – but the last, alas, was in 2002.
Where’s a girl to shop? Like (it seems) every other not-very-funky thirtysomething I end up hitting the yummy mummy brands – Boden and Monsoon. Add in some bling from Designers at Debenhams and basics from Next, Gap & M&S and you might not have the world’s most inspiring wardrobe, but at least it fits and flatters. On the other hand, I saw the most amazing dress on ASOS this morning…
So I suppose all this leads me to concluding that fashion brand allegiance is more about mindset, finances and body shape than age – but that’s very hard for brands to put into a database.
I’ve been struck by the number of black 4x4s with tinted windows I see on the way to work in every morning. No, its not a drug dealer’s convention – it’s the school run. When did Leeds get so upmarket?
I know everyone made a fuss when Harvey Nicks moved in eleven years ago, but now according to rumours, a very-well-known-and-expensive-shoe-designer is to join Jo Malone, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Nicky Clarke in parting (the apparently not all that tight-fisted after all) Yorkshire folk from their brass.
Its not as if we even have a premiership football team whose WAGS might provide some spending power.