Saturday, July 28, 2007

That’s SO 5-minutes ago!

While reading “Entertainment Weekly” last weekend (love it!), I ran across one entertainment pundits' "In, 5-minutes Ago, and Out" installment. And I thought, "What a great Muse post that would make...the In, 5-minutes ago, Out of Campus Retail as sent in by some of the movers and shakers of the industry.

So...I hopped on e-mail and sent a note to a few college store folks that 1) I thought would qualify as “industry pundits”, 2) I figured would get a kick out of a challenge, and 3) I was somewhat certain would respond.

Below, I have compiled the contributions from those that did respond. And, yes, they are all Canadian. Go figure!

Note that I’ve credited them for their thoughts…READ: “Direct your comment-posts to them and not me!” :-)

So without further ado, I give you---

“The Campus Retail What’s In / So 5-minutes Ago / What’s Out” (July 2007)

According to: Mark Patten, Coordinator - MacEwan Bookstores (Edmonton, Alberta) & Regular Muse on The Retail Muse

What's IN
txt mssg – The Simpsons Movie – The Adult Daniel Radcliffe – Orange – Facebook

So 5-minutes Ago
Harry Potter – Green – Yoga – Myspace

What's OUT
Grey – Trans fats – Magazines/newspapers – Paris Hilton

According to: Mikhail Dzuba, CCR, Bookstore Manager - Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia)

What's IN
Recycled products – Fairly-traded products – Hemp products
Ceramic metal halide light bulbs – Another wave of cloth/woven book bags
Additives to plastic bags that make them self-destruct in landfills
The soft-cover (young reader's version of "An Inconvenient Truth")
Screen printed manufactures labels on the inside of t-shirts
Pre-paid pin codes for individual bundle components

So 5-minutes Ago
Back packs – Nun chuckers – Graphic Novels
Packets of colored chemicals for flavoring bottled water
Manufactures labels sewn-in on the necks of t-shirts
In-store digital media (that would be those plasma screens popping up everywhere)

What's OUT
Lance Armstrong's rubber yellow bracelets – Rolls of fax paper – CD's
Computer books, and dictionaries, well, and most fiction titles too, (heck--let's just say all things you need to read).

According to: Debbie Harvie, CCR, Director - UBC Bookstore (Vancouver, British Columbia)

What's IN
Greener options on all products – Carry bags made of old pop bottles – Organic cotton and bamboo clothing – Flo-jo flip flops – Gothic logos – Brown and yellow are hot – Off-centre logos on clothing – Philosophy books (really!!) – e-Books

So 5-minutes Ago
White – Pastels – Camouflage – Yoga – Electronic greeting cards

What's OUT
Computer clones – Print advertising! – Black – High heels

According to: Darrell Kane, Manager-General Merchandise Retail Services - University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario)?

What's IN
Digital Display Advertising – Green – Long-fitted female T's – Non-traditional print locations on hoodies and T's – Offering services

So 5-minutes Ago
Crested Flip Flops – Brown
Publisher's including a physical website access code in the textbook
Sweatshop issues (not that they are important but they are not talked about)

What's OUT
Powder blue (unless you are a Tar Heel) – Dictionaries – Those laminated study aids – Maps – 'Selling'

And for a bit of a different twist: How our student customers view the whole 'green' thing. I have no data whatsoever to back this up but it's just a gut feeling:
- Up to 12 months ago: A very niche group
- 12 months to now: An important thing to do for the greater good
- Now: So mainstream that it's hard to tell if a company is genuine or just another marketing scheme.
Discuss or debate, if you so choose.... :) --Darrell

According to: Colleen Olexiuk, General Merchandise Buyer - University of Alberta Bookstore (Edmonton)

What's IN
Jewelry – Silver and gold, big and small. Long necklaces with keys and lockets – Anything Asian (purses, boxes, etc.) – Ladies long, skinny t-shirts – Organic cotton – Fashion watches – Cinch belts – Short shorts – Madras or plaid long shorts for guys – Scarves – Empire waist – Lip-gloss – Vitamin D
Eating chocolate cake over the sink.

So 5-minutes Ago
Picture frames – Anything camouflage – Candles – Big pleated bulky purses – Lipstick
Eating chocolate cake over the sink.

What's OUT
Ladies short cut, baby t-shirts that show the navel (cute while they lasted) – Trucker hats (even in Alberta) – Melton leather bomber jackets – Scrunchies
Eating chocolate cake over the sink.

In the end...
Believe what you will. Perhaps use this info, if you like. But above all, ask yourself, "Can I crank out the 'In / 5-minutes Ago / Out' for my campus community?"

Happy Musing!

Tony Ellis, CAE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is fun. I'll chime in.

Apple Laptops
Tote Bags
Dickies Backpacks
Logo wear in Brights and pastels
String Bags

Last 5 minutes:
I pods....still selling but not as fast.
Plastic shoes
Flip flops

Open bottomed sweat pants
Traditional Backpacks

Loreen Maxfield
Univ. of Illinois-Chicago