Globalshop 2018. Retail is not dead, It’s finally getting better.

Globalshop returned to the Windy City for 2018 after a 4 year run in Las Vegas. Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities, and it was this show, 18 years ago, that was my first business trip. I have been a designer within the retail industry for most of my career, and with the media attention surrounding the “retail apocalypse”, I wanted to understand what the industry was saying. I landed in Chicago on the first day of the show and made my way to the W-Hotel City Center…

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The Most Funnest Water in The World.

How are you feeling today?  #happy, #cool, #healthy, or perhaps #lazy or #grumpy? Now you can communicate mood with your water. Toronto based Moodwater has packaged Canadian Spring water with colourful “moodicons”. I have been working with Moodwater for a few years, helping them with their in-store merchandising. Moodwater is now available across Canada in many locations including Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws and popcorn company Kernels. Being a young company that is focused on branding, Moodwater, also releases special edition moods like #pride for the Toronto Pride Festival and holiday…

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Papa’s got a brand new bag

Handbags may have always been the quintessential accessory for women. But with our love for technology, urban lifestyles and travel, men have driven a trend for the “do everything bag”.  A simple filter in crowdsourcing site Kickstarter showing bags in design and sorted by the most funded reveals 1063 projects with names like The Everyday Backpack, The NOMATIC travel bag and Avanada. For example, the top 3 most funded bags are: Everyday Backpack Tote and Sling – $6,565,782 with nearly 27,000 backers The Everyday Messenger Bag – $4,869,472 with 17,000…

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Shaken not Stirred, Reynolds flies high with Aviation American Gin

Celebrities are investing in liquor companies like never before. Last year, George Clooney’s 4 year old tequila company Casamigos sold to Diageo for as much as $1 billion dollars. Clooney and friend Rande Gerber initially started making tequila for personal use, but were forced to get licensed because they were drinking too much. Talk about first world problems! Ryan Reynolds may have his eye on a billion dollar buy out, as he becomes the new owner and face of Aviation American Gin. Reynolds said: Aviation is the best tasting gin…

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Bad to the BONE

Bone Structure Homes - Stanford California

Bad to the Bone…. Rethinking the Building Industry I have always had a love for modern homes, the clean lines, open spaces and minimalist style.  I have owned my home for 6 years now and have been very lucky, as the investment has been excellent. As I look towards the future, I think about developing the land into something more to my taste. In my neighborhood, the typical plan is to tear down and rebuild the property. The city has no design guidelines, so developers will replace a small 1200ft…

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Best Buy Steps It Up!

I have been working in visual merchandising for nearly twenty years and have witnessed the evolution of retail first hand. I recall working on a display for Samsung/Verizon that integrated a 7” screen that was used to advertise a flip phone. At the time, it was very rare to see any kind of digital signage in retail, mainly due to the high cost of screens and content development. The Retail Display industry or Point-Of-Purchase (POP) is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and as retailers look to have more innovation and interactivity, the…

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Never Lose Suction… Dyson opens first Canadian Demo Store

  The company that made vacuums cool is now opening demo stores.  The first Canadian location in Toronto’s upscale Yorkdale mall allows consumers to test out products and learn more about the technology. This is the statement from Dyson: Dyson technology works differently, it is engineered to solve real problems. The best way to understand it is to experience it. This is why the Dyson Demo was created – a place that brings to life the science and engineering at the heart of each machine. Last year Dyson entered the…

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Can empty malls become the Ultimate Fun & Fitness Destination?

Trends in fitness have changed over the years and new facilities are opening constantly. Facilities like OrangeTherory, F45, and Soulcycle are taking the fitness industry by storm. These companies all offer group based workouts that are typically between 45 and 60 minutes. These new companies all have something else in common, they are very conscious of their brand. The spaces are designed with bold colours, cool elements and funky lighting. Check out this London based gym 1REBEL designed by New York based firm Sheridon&Co. It is a great example of…

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The Cadillac sized Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini has release the world’s first Super Sports Utility Vehicle, the Urus. This is a very important vehicle for Lamborghini as they look to double their sales in the hot high end market.  They have created a whole new state of the art assembly plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese, opened new dealers across the globe and launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #sincewemadeitpossible.  Enthusiasts and brand experts will claim that this hurts the brand, just as they did when Porsche launched the Cayenne back in 2002. The Cayenne became…

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We are Marshall

Christmas morning 2016,  my family chats over espresso and Italian pastries, my mother is setting up the kitchen for a day of cooking and my dad is in the living room, checking the weather as usual.  Around 10am, my mother asks, “shall we open the presents”? My brothers and I go to the tree and begin to hand each other gifts. For the last few years, almost comically, my two brothers and I would exchange gift cards, typically Best Buy or Home Depot, to the point where we would just…

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