Driving retail success through visible uniqueness


My wonderful wife, the talented jewellery designer Victoria Buckley, has had her boutique in Sydney’s historical Strand Arcade for 21 years.

The Strand is the best possible location for her in Sydney, with its classic Victorian architecture and rosta of leading Australian designers such as Akira, Alex Perry, Scanlan Theodore and sass & bide.

The Strand is producing a series of videos titled We Are The Makers, featuring the stores in the arcade. Below is the video of Victoria, which in less than 2 minutes successfully captures some of the vitality and creativity that is expressed in her jewellery. A very nice write-up of the interview is also available.

Over the last few years I have been drawn increasingly into the future of retail, not least due to the degree of uncertainty in the industry.

In my keynote next week at the International Retail Congress in Lima, Peru I will be sharing some of my latest insights, while recent work has included working with a large supermarket chain with their suppliers, a US pharmacy/ convenience store in developing future-oriented strategies, and fashion retailers in exploring shifts in the industry.

One of the key issues that will drive the future of retail is uniqueness. In many retail sectors it is very difficult to have unique elements to their offer, however it can be a critical differentiator. In sectors where offerings truly are unique, through design, on-premises craftmanship, and truly personal service, that needs to be made as visible as possible.

This is why the Strand’s video series is so apt, focusing on and capturing the uniqueness of the artisans in the arcade, including restauranteurs and shoe craftspeople.

Have a look at the video. You will catch a glimpse of how unique personality and creativity is being made available in a world in which so much is exactly the same.