Retail is dead … or is it?

Julian Jones
December 16, 2013

Open_for_bus_blog

Retail is in trouble. Everybody knows that. How can high-street businesses compete with the myriad online stores now offering an abundance of cheaper options? Every man and his glow-in-the-dark dog bowl is selling online these days.

As our offices are located in a fashionable inner-city retail strip, I’m constantly walking past stores and lamenting the number that sadly proclaim CLOSING DOWN from their windows.

But recently a new business opened in one of these vacated stores, which won’t have to compete with online competition.

Take-away tattoo, anyone?

Well, not quite take-away, but think about it. This is a purchase that relies totally on the in-store experience. Sure, a little online research beforehand is a good idea just to see what the latest B-grade celebrity or sporting personality is wearing down one arm, but ultimately you will have to go in-store with head down and bum up (figuratively speaking, in most cases).

Although we used to think of tattooists working in some murky hovel in a gritty neighbourhood, it’s not surprising that one has opened in a trendy suburb, replete with all the trimmings of a designer brand. Given the conservative popularisation of this ‘must-have’ accessory – a literal emblem of our current era of personal branding – it could just be a perfect fit. They have targeted their demographic, offer a unique service for this particular location, and provide not just a desirable but mandatory in-store experience.

So next time I wander down to Country Road I may just drop in and pick up a No.13 from the new store’s beautifully presented menu, to go with my new chinos. Come to think of it, maybe I can snag a holiday special. I missed the Halloween promotion they had going, but maybe I can pick up a Santa sleeve cheaply on Boxing Day – if only to show my support for a traditional icon in a changing world.

Julian Jones is a Senior Designer at Wellmark

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