Posts By :

Stuart O'Brien

Brightcove Retail Video

EU retailers ‘planning futures as media companies’

New research from Brightcove shows that 81 per cent of European retailers are planning for a future as a media company, with 85 per cent already looking for ways to target consumers in their homes with original content.

In ‘The Future of Retail: Streaming into Your Living Room‘ the video streaming specialist compared the responses of 200 retail decision makers and 2,000 consumers across the UK, France and Germany.

The research, which Brightcove has been detailing at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam, explored the extent to which retailers are experimenting with TV-like digital video experiences to engage with their audiences, and gauge subsequent consumer readiness.

Having seen the likes of Iceland and Matalan (plus brands such as Red Bull) take the lead in terms of content generation, nearly all the retailers surveyed said they are already delivering some form of ‘lean-back’ content offering

Top cited campaign benefits include:

  • Increased revenues (66 per cent)
  • Customers buying a wider range of products (50 per cent)
  • Increased website traffic (45 per cent)

However, retailers also highlighted concerns about content creation, including not having the right in-house skills inhouse (29 per cent), lack of content (28 per cent) and uncertainty about the ROI (25 per cent).

Mark Blair, VP of EMEA at Brightcove, said: “In recent years, video has established itself as an absolute must-have component in any digital marketing strategy, but as driving meaningful consumer engagement becomes ever more difficult, brands are looking for new ways to unlock additional revenue streams. And this has turned their attention to the living room.

“For retailers and brands to be truly successful in what is traditionally the broadcasters’ domain, they must first understand that it’s as much about the quality of the content they’re producing as it is how they are delivering it. Our data revealed that 39 per cent of the European consumers that haven’t watched branded ‘lean-back’ content simply haven’t come across it – only 29 per cent have been served TV-like content from brands via advertising and less than a quarter (24 per cent) as a result of direct targeting.

“For brands, it’s about treading the fine line between being salesy and informative, entertaining and relevant, and matching content output with consumer demand. If they are able to get this balance right, a wealth of revenue and engagement opportunities will be ready and waiting for them.”

Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit

Discover new ideas at the Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit

Attending exhibitions is tiring. Sore feet from pounding expo halls, trying to catch people’s eye, over-priced coffee, taxi queues.

But there is another way to discover new ideas and source new suppliers…

The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit – which takes place on February 5th & 6th at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted – is nothing like an expo. As one of our VIP guests, you will spend two days meeting with relevant suppliers based on a pre-arranged itinerary that suits your requirements and upcoming projects.

It’s entirely free for you to attend and you’ll also get access to our inspiring seminar sessions, while all hospitality – including overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, plus an invitation to our gala dinner – is entirely complimentary.

Coffee is free and we guarantee you won’t get sore feet.

Register for your free place HERE

Or contact Victoria Petch today on 01992 374085 / for more information and to secure your place.

Alternatively, if you’re a supplier to the sector, contact Courtney Saggers on 01992 374088 or to find out about a range of event partner packages.


Retail spending in August reaches two-year high


New statistics have revealed that Britons choosing to holiday at home and an influx of tourists created an increase in spending through the month of August.


The survey, commissioned by accountancy firm BDO found that UK like-for-like sales values rose 2% in August after falling 0.6% in July, the biggest rise since September 2015 and the strongest performance in an August for four years.


The survey highlighted a particularly strong performance for lifestyle goods, with sales rising 3.1% year-on-year as a result of increasing numbers of foreign tourists and “stay-at-home holidaymakers.”


Fashion sales also saw a new high since November 2016, increasing by 1.5%, along with homeware sales which were up by 1.9%.


“As school terms begin after the summer break and the start of festive trading nears, retailers will be gearing up for their most critical trading months,” said Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO.


“The uncertain environment and fragile consumer sentiment requires all retailers to be ever more strategic with their pricing and promotional activities.”


A separate survey by the British Retail Consortium also revealed that retail sales had grown by an annual 1.3% on a like-for-like basis, but warned that growth in volume terms was weaker than in the previous 12 months.


Scottish retail figures on the up after disappointing summer

Figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) found that retail sales improved through Scotland in August after a tough summer.

Total sales grew by 1.3% in August after deflation adjustment, which was up on the three and 12 month averages. Food sales boosted total sales with an increase of 4.1%, compared to a decrease of 0.3% in August 2016.

There was a decline of 1.5% of total non-food sales through August; however this was offset when compared to a decrease of 3.7% in August 2016.

Speaking about the figures, Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy and external affairs for SRC said that the figures were good news “on the surface,” but warned that the year-on-year food sales was driven in part by food inflation of 1.3%.

“Retailers will welcome these figures after a pretty disappointing summer,” added Russell.

“However, the underlying challenges facing the industry, not least the continued pressure on household incomes and fragile consumer confidence, mean Government should be very careful about any policies which could lead to increases to the cost of living.”

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, commented: “Grocery sales lead the charge once again, with a 4.1% year on year increase bringing the 12-month average to its highest level for more than three years.

“With August bringing children’s return to school, the Edinburgh Festival and the release of autumn clothing ranges, non-food’s recent poor performance received a late summer boost, with online sales nudging the category into growth.”

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Research reveals the power of persuasive labels

New research by printing specialist Avery UK has revealed just how much labels matter when it comes to consumer decisions and customer loyalty.

Working with an established behavioural psychologist, Avery UK tested consumer response to small business label designs to reveal how certain elements can encourage positive reactions to the items they are attached to.

The study explored important aspects for anyone selling goods either online or face-to-face. It considered how various label designs affected how much someone was willing to pay; how they made people feel towards a company and how likely test subjects were to make a repeat purchase.

Fiona Mills, marketing director at Avery UK said: “This has been ground-breaking research for us. We suspected there was more to the science of label design than might first meet the eye, but the discoveries have been extremely enlightening. We can now speak with the utmost authority to say that labels really do make a difference to the performance of small businesses.”

The research included three scientific approaches to understand what makes a successful label. A literature review of 159 academic papers about previously conducted research helped to identify the gaps in knowledge and shape the rest of the study.

Mills added:“While we don’t recommend businesses stick labels on their packages for the sake of it, there is a clear business case for going above and beyond a simple plain address label. An address label, a company brand label, a return address label and a friendly special message label will give enough space to get across the important information, your brand, your professionalism and your heart for your valued customer.”

To read the full report click here

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Tesco executives trial adjourned

Three former Tesco executives charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting have had their trial adjourned until September 25th.

The trio – UK managing director Christopher Bush, ex-finance director Carl Rogberg and ex-commercial director John Scouler – were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in September 2016, pleading not guilty in a hearing in August.

The trial is expected to last 10-12 weeks, with a possible prison sentence of seven to 10 years if found guilty. Lawyers acting for Bush, Rogberg and Scouler have  entered a plea of not guilty.

The scandal was the result of Tesco revealing that it had overstated profits by £263 million in its half-year results, with the trio among eight senior Tesco staff members suspended after the false accounting emerged.

The subsequent scandal following the false accounting had a negative effect on Tesco’s share price and sparked a series of lawsuits from investors who claimed they had lost millions after buying shares based on the original account information.

The supermarket giant was hit by a £129m fine and ordered to pay compensation to its shareholders by the Financial Conduct Authority.


BRC warns of gaps on shelves post Brexit

Trade association the British Retail Consortium has warned that Brexit brings the possibility of food shortages if the UK does not resolve issues around customs processes.

The report by BRC claims that the choice and availability of affordable, quality products for consumers is at risk without additional agreements and investment to supplement a customs deal. It added that significant investment in ports, roads and transport infrastructure needs to be in place when Brexit happens, and that agreements must also be signed to prevent goods being held up at ports and docks through red tape.

The BRC also stated that European supply chains are a key part to delivering the goods into the UK.

“A strong deal on customs is absolutely essential to deliver a fair Brexit for consumers,” commented Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC.

“Whilst the Government has acknowledged the need to avoid a cliff-edge after Brexit day, a customs union in itself won’t solve the problem of delays at ports. So, to ensure supply chains are not disrupted and goods continue to reach the shelves, agreements on security, transit, haulage, drivers, VAT and other checks will be required to get systems ready for March 2019.

“We want to work with the Government to develop a system which works for consumers, so that there’s no difference in terms of the availability of affordable, quality products when they make purchases or visit stores post-Brexit. We believe our recommendations will help to achieve that and enable our world-leading retail industry to continue serving customers and contribute to the growth of the UK economy.”


How much do the top earners in retail actually earn?

New analysis by salary benchmarking site Emolument has examined the salaries of over 52,000 individuals in London, revealing that the top 10% of retail and trade executives earned an average of £77,000 per annum, with gross salary and annual bonus taken into account.

Unsurprisingly, the finance sector led the field as most well paid, with the top 10% earning an average of £290,000 per annum, followed by the insurance sector with the top 10% earning an average of £153,000 per annum. Energy, mining, chemicals and environmental industries listed third, with the top salary averaging £143,000 per annum. Retail professionals were featured further down the list…

Financial Services: £290, 000 per annum

Insurance: £153,000

Energy, Mining, Chemicals, Environmental: £143,000

Law Practice: £136,000

Recruitment & Executive Search: £124,000

Technology & Telecoms: £120,000

Consulting & Professional Services: £118,000

Manufacturing: £115,000

Apps, Web, eCommerce: £113,000

Pharmaceuticals & Biotech: £110,000

Consumer Goods: £105,000

Transportation & Logistics: £103,000

Construction & Real Estate: £92,000

Media & Communication: £88,000

Healthcare: £84,000

Retail & Trade £77,000

Services, Tourism, Restaurants: £72,000

Sports, Culture, Recreation: £72,000

Public Sector & Education: £67,000

Charity & Not For Profit: £61,000


GUEST BLOG: The new Lexicon Bracknell – A future blueprint for revitalising town centres

With Prosper as Lexicon’s Retail Design Delivery partner, Director Linda Tait previews this innovative new scheme ahead of its opening on 7th September to explain its success and significance for the future of retail…

Bracknell is the first post-war ‘New Town’ to be comprehensively demolished and rebuilt, making it one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration schemes. A key element in this ambitious project is the Lexicon, a £240m, 580,000ft² retail and leisure development revitalizing over 60% of Bracknell’s town centre.

Bracknell’s background

Until recently, Bracknell town centre was an ugly mass of Brutalist concrete from its 1950s origins as one of first post-war New Towns, built to house 25,000 residents.

While Bracknell’s catchment area soared to nearly 1 million people, its commercial centre remained in decline – the grey concrete a decaying eyesore that retailers and shoppers had deserted.

The Berkshire town lacked appealing retail and leisure to attract shoppers from the affluent surrounding areas.

Radical remodelling

To address this, the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership was formed – a collaboration between Bracknell Forest Council and investors Schroder UK Real Estate Fund and Legal & General Capital – who proposed a radical remodelling of the whole town.

The first phase delivered a new Waitrose supermarket in 2011, to assert the town’s potential to retailers and shoppers.

Knitting old with new

Much of the existing centre was then demolished to make way for 70 new shops and restaurants though some historical buildings were upgraded to knit cohesively into the new scheme.

The Bull Pub – a listed 14th century local landmark – has been restored and given a contemporary extension, to form the centrepiece of a new town square. The original high street also remains but with upgraded retail facias to fit Lexicon’s new theme.

Creating character and cohesion

The Lexicon’s layout forms a basic figure of 8 with linked blocks and key avenues, each having their own character. The blocks vary in colour and cladding style, a deliberate design feature to echo the character of a traditional high street.

Shared town assets such as lighting, green space and meeting areas – now largely under single ownership – also aid coherence and enhance the scheme.

Integrated yet individual

The individual units all feature highly glazed facades to bring a light, contemporary feel and coherence, yet still allow brands to express their individuality. Nando’s restaurant is a standout example, where layers of fretwork and greenery customise its facade and add brand personality.

This was an integral part of Prosper’s role delivering the Retail Design. Acting as ambassadors for the Lexicon, Prosper helped retailers to harmonise with the scheme while also delivering to their fullest potential. We also enabled good relationships between tenants and landlords, smoothing the approval process to ensure a good experience.

A lighter, greener feel

Overall Bracknell’s new aesthetic is much lighter and softer, contrasting the dense grey of its predecessor. Ample use of timber adds texture and a natural feel.

The concept of ‘bringing the forest to Bracknell’ is also key, with lots of greenery incorporated, including Europe’s largest green wall, plus nature inspired art showcasing the local flora and fauna.

Lighting solutions throughout add interest and ambience in the evening. On one wall of anchor retailer Fenwick, cut fretwork panels with lighting behind form a striking sculptural feature.

A day to night destination for all weathers

Being an open street scheme that’s not closed at night like a mall, there’s an authentic town centre feel that’s more pleasant to spend time in. This also helps to revive the town’s evening economy.

Just as there’s a trend to incorporate more dining and entertainment in traditional malls, leisure facilities are intrinsic here too. Eagle Lane is the main dining street, featuring popular restaurants such as Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Pizza Express with outdoor space for alfresco dining. The street leads to a 12-screen Cineworld, the only 4DX cinema in the Thames Valley.

To create a more all-weather destination, diamond-shaped glazing panels create elegant arcades covering some streets, while other units have high level canopies for shelter without enclosing the space.

More reasons to stay

Open public spaces are also crucial to create a thriving community, so each intersection has dwell areas featuring seating and soft landscaping. These can host exciting arts and entertainment events in the future to drive continued interest.

With the completion of the Lexicon this autumn, Bracknell now has a diverse mix of appealing retail and leisure, as well as services, some residential and communal spaces, to attract people back into their local centre.

A blueprint for future town centres

That’s why Lexicon Bracknell is an exemplar scheme and will prove significant in inspiring future ideas on revitalizing other town centres in a desolate state.

It goes well beyond the realms of retail, providing a more cohesive solution to breathe new life into tired towns.

If you’d like to find out more about Prosper’s Retail Design Delivery service and how they help landlords create thriving retail destinations by maintaining standards in their commercial centres, please get in touch via or by calling 01582 460990.

Etailing Summit

SAVE THE DATE: eTailing Summit 2018

The eTailing Summit will return on July 10th 2018 at the Hilton London Canary Wharf, once again providing the leading platform for senior eCommerce professionals to meet with trusted solution providers, learn from the sector’s preeminent thought-leaders and network with peers.

The 2017 instalment of the event was the most successful yet, with attending delegates from the likes of Olivia Burton, Feelunique, Molton Brown,, Huggle, Kimberly Clark, Thomas Cook, IKEA, Belstaff, Perry Ellis, Antler, River Island, Samsung, Royal Caribbean, Dixons Carphone, Wickes, Hotel Chocolat, Drake’s, Fortnum & Mason, Signature Gifts, Charlotte Tilbury, Skinnydip and many more.

A bespoke itinerary of meetings with solution providers is created for each delegate, based on their selections, so there’s no time wasted. In addition, delegates have access to insightful and inspirational seminars, plus full hospitality is provided throughout the day.

It’s a great opportunity to benchmark and gather information on new services and solutions within eCommerce, all in one place.

Of course, for 2018 the event will remain completely FREE to attend for eCommerce professionals – to register for your VIP delegate place click here, or contact Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email

Alternatively, if you’re an eCommerce solutions provider and would like to showcase your products and services at the eTailing Summit, contact Craig Ross on 01992 666726 or email