Follow Winston Wright to get close to retail’s front edges.

This epiphany about blend rather than intersection comes from a recent introduction to The Phluid Project, the first gender-free store, a new retail experience—no, a new retail community experiment in New York’s NoHo neighborhood.”

Winston Wright is a brand consultant in NYC. He’s got an infectious natural passion for clear branding and brand communications. He’s particularly hip to the state of retail today. This year he started writing the Retail Column at, the trend tracking site. Now we can visit brave new shops with a smart guy who knows enough to name where the trends meet, converge and diverge.

Here are some of the things he’s reported in his new column this year.

“In the congested labyrinth of retail, there are critical congestion considerations:

– Fast moving cultural messages
– Who needs to be reached? Who’s not being served?
– Create “product” and “experiences” that do serve that community
– Let your disruption be conversational—not disruption for disruption’s sake
– Combining legacy with currency”

“…What makes this experiment work is that it’s grounded in purpose. It’s an antidote to our current environment (here and around the world) which is rife with extremism, fragility and tension-filled zeitgeist. Experimentation and purpose allow for unity, excellence and the ingenuity of invention. It’s what organically mobilizes and encourages optimism. It’s knowing that somehow when we all rally for the greater good, we know we can figure out the tough stuff.”

Article:For Better Blended Retail, Purpose Needs To Outshine Tech


“And, since emotional connection is the most important thing to Brand loyalty, retailers need to start with the basics – the ambient service experience between the bricks.

In a 2016 Stella Services report, the reasons people hate to shop are:

-Waiting – for anything

-Dealing with things that that don’t work properly

-Being in an annoying environment

-Having no place to pause, particularly to sit down

-Feeling their business is not appreciated”

Article: Why Retailers Should Never Forget Common Sense Principles


“One of the first and most surprising things I learned is that Pinterest doesn’t consider themselves a Social Media Channel. With 200M global users, that’s astonishing. But it’s what Pinterest is doing FOR these 200M and is doing FOR retail is nothing short of Astonishing. Here’s how it (generally) works…I hope I get this right. Their in-house developed AI observes what you’re pinning to your wall. And through what I’ll now call Emotional Intelligence they understand what it is that you like, nay, LOVE. Then, your “trends” are further emotionally intellectualized and develop for you a Taste Profile Graph. It understands who you are, what you love and then, by Jove, it takes you to the place where you can buy it. Then it turns around and makes suggestions to you for things you might be compelled to buy. The “where to buy,” partially made of retail partnerships (both Native on-line and Brick and mortar.)”

Article: Retail Wins From Las Vegas To Chicago


“Kudos to Dyson (Dyson Ltd.) on being the latest of the VERY FEW manufacturing names to have successfully brought its brand to life in retail. The New York Fifth Avenue Flagship, which opened in mid-December, has gotten its land legs and is a savory visit. The design, visual communications and person-to-person interaction is what building brands at retail is all about.

“The praise is also for Dyson’s successful extension of the design ethic into select big boxes. Primarily done with product presentation, the elegance and simplicity of the fixtures speaks perfectly to aesthetic of the product. And best of all (in the cases I’ve seen) the product works on the floor. The fans waft. In many cases, the vacuums inhale. The blow-dryers do.

“Nice work, Mr. Dyson.”

Article: How To Get Brick-And-Mortar Retail Right

You can follow Winston on Twitter @winwilw


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