Archive for September 2006

O Oscar!

Who doesn’t like Oscar de la Renta? I’ve never actually bought (or even tried on) any of his designer apparel, but I’ve seen his collections on TV more than enough times to know that, could I afford it, I would cloth myself only in Oscar de la Renta day and night, 365 days a year. As if I needed any more reasons to love this designer, did you see his appearance on "Oprah" awhile back? The one where he gives a tour of his beach house in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic? I not only loved him, I wanted to BE him. Continue reading →

iPods and Elmos

iPods (i.e., the original iPod with more and more memory every year, Shuffle, newly remastered Nano now available in the same colors as the former Mini–retooled as today’s Nano); and Tickle Me Elmo both have something in common. In fact, a couple of things. Not only have they been THE gift to give during recent holidays past, but they also have the nine lives of a cat. They give new meaning to re-invention.

As the holiday season approaches, retailers may find themselves a bit disappointed on what is supposed to entice shoppers to stores to buy that "gotta have it" gift. Continue reading →

Walking: Back in Style

A recall of all 23,500 of the self-balancing electric scooters known as the Segway Human Transporter has been issued because of a minor software glitch–you know, just suddenly reversing directions mid-ride and tossing riders like a wet rag to the street.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has advised consumers to stop using the vehicles immediately. Personally, I would have stopped using the vehicle back in 2003 after its first recall (yes, this new one is a second go-around), when the scooters were losing control when the batteries ran out. (Woohoo–what a ride!)

The moral of the story–walking will never let you down. Continue reading →

Mad Dog Maude the Squeemish…

… is my pirate name according to the "pirate name generator" on Long John Silver’s Web site. Before you think I’m crazy, let me explain how it all started. While doing some research, I came across a press release for this fast food retailer’s annual “Talk Like A Pirate Day” on Sept. 19 (today!). The title of the release was so funny that I couldn’t help but laugh. And yet, I was strangely intrigued.

The seafood chain, which is named after the pirate in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is inviting customers to get in on the buccaneer fun and visit their restaurants today for special “Talk Like A Pirate Day” festivities, including pirate-themed menu items and hats. Continue reading →

Exposed! Inside the Secret World of Store Design!

Seems like September is the month when the national consumer press discovered store design. It started with USA Today’s expose on how retailers "set lures" to trick shoppers into buying things they don’t need. Next came Business Week’s Special Report on new advances in shoplifting prevention at retail, followed within a week by the same publication’s feature on Safeway’s store redesign. And two out of the three stories came with full-page graphic renderings of a store layout. You know store design is much more than creating an attractive space, that it’s a complex field requiring a deep understanding of design, consumer behavior and technology…and that, done right, it can have a major impact on sales. Continue reading →