year of the rooster


I’m in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the moment and apart from eating all the amazing food on offer, one of the things I love to do in KL is shop.

It’s a great time to be in Malaysia as it’s the Lunar New Year, which means everywhere is decorated with red lanterns and, this year, roosters.

Walking around Pavilion shopping centre in the heart of KL—a large and shiny centre full of international brands—it was great to see all the retailers getting in on the Chinese New Year action.

year of the rooster

From London fragrance house Jo Malone, to the centre itself, the festive decorations added a special something to the atmosphere and were a great reminder about the power of connecting with your customers through events like these. Not to mention the power of a New Years sale.

Here are a few other things I’ve been interested in this week:

I’m reading… this piece from Bloomberg about the US retailer capitalising on the selfie craze. Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc.’s shares surged 38 per cent last year, due in large part to its mobile app, which allows shoppers to take selfies and apply virtual makeup before they make a purchase.

Ulta is also interesting as it sells beauty brands at all price points, so it can compete with both chemists and department stores, and its in-store services helped it overtake Sephora in 2015 to become the largest beauty-specialist retailer in the U.S. Well worth a read.

I’m talking to… Dan McMahon, head of retail for Thoughtworks APAC, about Retail’s Big Show held in NYC recently. Dan let us in on the retail trends he spotted at the show and talked us through some of the most interesting stores in New York. Read all about it here.

I’m thinking about… creating an atmosphere in-store through music. It can be difficult getting the right licenses to play the tunes you want to, but a new platform is trying to make it easier for retailers to find their in-store sound. Find out about it here.


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