Surprise of this tour was that there was lots of new or re-organised retail concepts… unlike last year where apart from Eataly it was had to find any newness
And its also worth remembering that the Tesco Korea AR code driven concept on train stations has already been recognised …by everyone so I wont go there!
My pick for top 10 cleverest new or re-organised retail concepts is…
1] Desigual Showroom… where the full range is on show in a perfectly organised experience space…but here you purchase on-line either in store or at home and the garment is delivered to your door within 3 hours …outtake no-more restocking stores …or having customers try on wrong sizes…clever use of online to simplify logistics!
2] Mood Shopping Mall in Stockholm is a CBD concept but the space is organise like a street …mixing food with fashion and services and creating the sense of a modern street….outtake was that the merchant mix guaranteed traffic from the food stores would visit the fashion and services stores…everyone is happy!
3] Weekday …. Is H&M’s newest concept extension and here they have cleverly mixed ‘new and upcoming designer ranges’ with their own sharper fashion statements ….pitched perfectly above H&M and at Zara but without losing that sense of being a H&M brand extension..outtake ….another market perfectly covered by a dominant retail group
4] Planet Modulor….is 2000sqm of the ultimate art, craft, sewing, design, graphics and office stationery store…but no C.E.  …just a category killer of  DIY creative time  ….outtake… here is a unique rearrangement of existing categories but I’ve never seen them put together like this
5] KocHaus is the first grocery store that is dedicated to the consistent theme of cooking and sorted not by product, but is by recipes. Free-standing tables full of fresh ingredients,organised around a specific recipe …and that there too…outtake ..it’s the most original and clever grocery supermarket catering to the time poor but keen urban chefs
6] Mekohomen Sweden is a re-organised business …refocused around Car Care with over a 1000 shops and another 600 aligned service outlets …promoting ‘Simpler CarLife’…. Outtake is the strong and arresting branding and clever graphics along with the rethought product mix
7] Mogg & Melzen …well we have experienced Mexican, Thai, Korean, Japanese casual dining and we love it…so why not a casual dining experience that simply makes
the best Reuben Sandwich with Sauerkraut as a way of expressing a New York deli of the ’30′s  …outtake there will always be the opportunity to explore new cuisine
8] Plantagen Sweden is the ultimate category killer of gardening and landscaping …everything from DIY thru to DIFM with every imaginable product [even gnomes]
….outtake with 12 months of sunshine versus 6 in Sweden there must surely be the opportunity for someone to kill this category in Oz [apart from Bunnings]
9] Treasure & Bond is located at the intersection of retail and philanthropy, Nordstrom-owned it  is more than just a store, it’s an exciting concept in giving that has, at its core, one simple goal: To help people help people – and to do so with wit, imagination and style…outtake …a clever way to trial a new market and build cred doing it
10] Mykita is a completely vertical optical, on trend eyewear brand that’s now extended to its own store in Rosa-Luxemburgstr Berlin …outtake ..there will always be a need for super trendy eyewear combined with perfect optical support
Plus three special mentions….
11] Ikea urban small footprint [10,000sqm] store is being trialled in the Netherlands…an interesting spin on a hugely successful business model …so well worth watching
12] JC Penney’s new concept was revealed to the investor market last week ….again well worth watching to see if Ron Johnson can ‘rebirth’ a tired old brand
13] Target City …we found it and walked it in Seattle … and not sure if its different enough so again worth watching
Later this week I’ll publish my ‘Top 10 observations, opportunities and learnings’ from the tour
Ok  Steve