Thursday, December 4, 2014

Target shows how to capitalize on social trends

Bullseye-- the Target mascot dog-- is starting to make an appearance in the young-persons clothing area of Target.  Strategically and whimsically placed dogs make for a fun photo-op and drive social sharing opportunities in a friendly direction.  It's easy to imagine moms taking photos of their kids sitting next to the adorable dog and sharing the photos everywhere.

One thing I particularly like about Target's approach is that they don't offer lengthy instructions or attempt to explain anything.  They simply state, "Pose and Post" then offer the hashtag #TargetDog.

Target's Social Sharing area within select stores.  The Retail Monitor Blog, 2014.
I even like the subtle use of the Instagram and Facebook logos.  Well done, Target.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wal-Mart 5628 opens in Monroe, WA

Today around lunch time I got a chance to visit the latest Wal-Mart supercenter in Monroe, WA (which opened at 8am for the first time today).  The new store will be open 24 hours and features a new, online pick-up area that I have not seen in other locations.

The folks at Pepsi commemorated the event by building a giant mosaic out of Pepsi products.  

Wal-Mart 5628 in Monroe, WA--Opening Day 12/3/14

The store was squeaky clean, comfortably busy and loaded with Wal-Mart associates willing to help.

Here's the link to the Wal-Mart press release for this store.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kudos to Kohl's for Free Electric Car Charging

While other retailers pose as being green by installing bamboo flooring, recycle bins and pay-to-charge vehicle stations, Kohl's appears to be the real deal.

Kohl's is truly embracing the electric car movement by making it convenient and free to recharge your electric car.  This is likely a brilliant idea as owners of electric cars are likely well-heeled and passionate, making for great Kohl's customers.  And of course it doesn't hurt that the prime electric car spots are near the door.  Kohl's has numerous entrances, so disabled parking and front row spots are available to others as well.

Kohl's offers free electric vehicle charging while you shop.

I hope other retailers follow suit, as this is the right recipe for electric vehicles and satisfied customers--at least until the market grows bigger.

I took this photo in Redmond, WA.

Way to go, Kohl's!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Nube Green--A small retailer immersed in their mission

Pop-Up retail has not been as popular in Seattle as I would have expected, but one small retailer has caught my attention.

Since June 2013, Nube Green Mobile--a spin off from Seattle parent, Nube Green--has had a temporary location in downtown Bellevue, WA.  Nube Green sells re-cycled, up-cycled and sustainably sourced products. What I like most about the Nube Green Mobile shop, though, is their actual facility.  To "practice what they preach," the small retail location consists of a re-purposed sea container, leveled and landscaped using re-claimed wood and old shipping pallets.  And even their store sign is made from re-purposed street signs.

While I have not personally found the need for any of the home-decor goods they sell, I am impressed with peripheral services they offer like the rental of eclectic collections of dinnerware and silverware.

To further live out their mission of minimizing their footprint and impact, Nube Green planned their closing the day they opened and their facility will close Sept. 15.    Their Seattle location remains open.

Hats off to a small company who has stayed true to their mission.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Retail Vending: One Day's Worth

On a recent Saturday shopping trip my son and I found ourselves faced with a few more retail vending machines than normal, which made me ask myself, what is the new normal for retail vending?   Ashley

A grocery store offered a lineup of movie rental and our choice of warm beverages.

The Retail Monitor
Redbox: Video and Coffee Machines

And then our trip to the mall yielded a Pokemon vending machine.

The Retail Monitor Blog
A Pokemon card and plush vending machine
And then when we stopped to look at shoes at Kohl's, we saw this nicely styled kiosk.

Kohl's Retail Kiosk

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seattle Area McDonald's Completes Upgrade

McDonald's has been working hard over the past six years to refresh both their food and their facilities.  One of their latest retail remodeling projects was recently completed in Issaquah, WA, a suburb west of Seattle.

The remodel consisted of both external and internal improvements, including a complete exterior facade and drive through upgrade along with an additional 421 square foot addition to the front of the building.

The new interior evokes an energetic, bistro-look featuring chalkboard-style wallpaper and a palette of warm, earth tones.  Updated flooring, wood-highlights and a rectangular arch complete the improved dining room.

McDonald's: Issaquah, WA

Interior featuring earth-tone stripes.   

Interior with bistro-like, chalkboard lettering.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Tesla Motors Store at Bellevue Square Mall, Bellevue, WA

Last year about this same time president Obama laid out a goal for the US to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  While forecasters and analysts project we will fall just short of that goal, the Tesla Motor Company is doing all they can to help us pass up the pump and juice up at home with one of their impressive electric cars.

In November 2011 the Tesla Motor Company opened up one of their latest retail stores at Bellevue Square Mall near my home in Seattle.  One of only 16 locations in the USA and 21 worldwide, the store showcases their existing Tesla Roadster and their-soon-to-be Model S.

The Tesla Model S.  Image courtesy of Tesla Motors.

A Tesla retail location.  Image courtesy of Tesla Motors.
The minimalist store design features side walls exhibiting car-shaped color chips and samples of trim and fabrics, while the back wall features a plasma monitor and a few other goodies that help you visualize what your designed-to-order Tesla could look like.

In addition to a full-sized and presumably working model of the Tesla Roadster in the center of the retail space, the real highlights of the store are the various technical bits of the car showcased like prized museum pieces.

The Bellevue location features the underbelly of the Tesla-S, which is a sleek flat plane containing all the batteries for the vehicle.  While looking a bit like a wide, gray skateboard, it convincingly illustrates that the upcoming S will have plenty of room inside.  Another interesting highlight is an example of an actual Tesla electric motor.   Appearing like a cross between a torpedo and a silver coffee maker, seeing and touching this powerhouse really lets you experience something different about these extraordinary cars.

Tesla:  Bellevue Square Mall, Bellevue, WA.