Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blink or miss it Notions

Remember last week when tales of retailers gearing up for BTS was all the rage? This week the mass merchants are price slashing deeper than ever before. Seems pretty difficult to compete on pricing right now, so The Retail Muse” searched out some weird and wonderful products, which might distinguish your store from all the rest. In the process, we found a few interesting tidbits on pop up retail, and how to keep up with changing trends.

 Blink or you’ll miss it notions!

 Sometimes a Great Notion                         Week of Aug 3, 2009                                                

  The $300 laptop 

Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy have launched major back to school laptop promotions, breaking the $300 retail price point. Best Buy is offering an entry level laptop at $299. Not to be outdone, Wal-Mart started offering its laptop this weekend, at a price of $298. Both companies are offering national branded product, although the laptops are definitely entry level, with low levels of RAM and Hard Drive size. At $300 though, customers will be giving some serious thought to these offers, and might have some trouble understanding the large price difference between these models, and laptops needed by college students.

 Weird and Wonderful 

Looking for products and services that make you stand out? Here are a few weird and wonderful ideas for the upcoming sales season: 

  • Web sites promoting handmade and unique items are gaining in popularity. Madeitmyself.com, Etsy, and Silkfare, are three web portals linking local artisans with interested buyers. As customers search out new and different products to buy, these sites have gained rapidly in popularity. Etsy, saw sales rise from $166,000 in their first year of business, to now over 87 million. Opportunities for retailers to hook up with these sites are growing. This allows stores the chance to stock, and sell items that customers can’t find elsewhere.
  • Harry Potter is so July 2009. This fall it is all about Twilight, as the second movie of the wildly popular book series hit the theatres this October. There are many opportunities for selling Twilight merchandise, including of course, the books! Nordstrom has just launched a new fashion line in their stores inspired by the movie, called Twilight: New Moon collection. Except every other retailer to ride the Twilight bandwagon in the fall.

  • Mosquito repellent as the big seller? How weird is that! The new Proctor and Gamble clip-on mosquito repellent has become the must have item this summer. According to P and G, sales for the plastic clip-on mosquito repellent fan, sold under the “off” brand name, have exceeded sales projects by 400%
  • Stores are sold out, customers are searching far and wide for one, and P and G can’t keep up to the orders flooding in for this $9 geek clip on fan. Sometimes you got to wonder what grabs the attention of people.

 Pop goes the Store 

Pop up retail is back. The action of setting up stores in un-used spaces for a few days or weeks has had some success in the past. Now retailers are back to experimenting this summer, opening in old museums, abandoned store fronts and other, unused buildings. The key is to create excitement for the customer and emphasise scarcity. Buy it today or we are gone tomorrow.

 No word on retailers considering college campuses, like they did in some places last year. But, worth keeping an eye out on your campus in case the big Target bulls-eye is suddenly draped across your campus commons.

 Track it all 

Now you can track everything in the world of trends through trendrr.com it’s a free service that bills itself as a real time social and digital media tracking service. You can track up to ten trends from all the top social networking sites, and track twitter searches to see what is hot, and not,  every hour of every day. It’s an interesting site, proving again that mass culture trends come and go in the blink of an eye.




No comments: