Retail School

Valentina Fine Foods: the next level in store design

Valentina Clapham visual makeover

With eight branches already in London, Surrey and Kent, authentic Italian delicatessen, restaurant, cafe and wine shop Valentina Fine Foods, opened their ninth store in Clapham Junction at the taile end of last year.

Valentina called upon the expertise of Eve Reid, founder of The Retail School and visual merchandising specialists, The Metamorphosis Group, to help them with their in-store merchandising, space planning and increasing overall commercial performance.

These exclusive case study pictures gives a real insight into the process and methods behind planning a new store from concept to completion, particularly for retailers moving into their next, third or fourth bricks and mortar enterprise.

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5 MINUTES WITH…Keri SheehanFounder of Tribe Creative London

Meet Keri. The VM extraordinaire who will be kicking off an exciting new residency at the Retail School.

Following a 15 year career in visual merchandising with brands such as H&M, Burberry and Arcadia, Keri applied her wealth of expertise and founded Tribe Creative London; a leading retail design and VM agency. With many different ventures now under her belt, including build concepts for garden retailer Wyevale, delivering four flagship concessions at Debenhams and interior styling for Hello! Magazine, we know the real icing on Keri’s cake is her new partnership with The Retail School here at WBC (or so we like to believe).

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What is a ‘concept store’ and why is everybody doing it?

Top Man - General Store

When we look at retail today, it’s clear to see that we as consumers, sick of being stuck in the mundane routine of life, are aching to see innovation. We want new ways of shopping and fresh experiences that stand out from the crowd.

Ask yourself this.

Have you ever seen an Apple store empty?

Isn’t it true that whenever you walk past one or stop to go inside, you’re amazed to see what is a remarkably blank space packed to the rafters with millions of humanoids playing with shiny screens, like they have all the time in the world!

And then in contrast, you come across a Curry’s or a T Mobile store, and it’s midway between a ghost town and dawn of the dead.

You wonder why these businesses haven’t noticed the very real impact that locking your goods away behind glass doors or using ‘fake’ phone models in place of real ones, can have on your ability to engage with your audience and get them hooked and reel them in.

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What’s the most important skill a retailer can learn?


What will be the most important business skill of the next 5 years?

Well a Harvard professor says it’s storytelling. In fact, Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt, has boldly stated that tomorrow’s products and companies will “Live Or Die By Their Stories….”

That’s big talk!

Stories help to build deeper relationships between consumers and the products they’re selling. Stories join up dots and make connections. If data gives credibility, then stories provide truth.

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10 shopper trends shaping retail landscape in 2015

Eve Reid From Eve-olution to showrooming, The Metamorphosis Group’s visual retail specialist Eve Reid gives us her 10 pointers on the shopper psychology that is shaping the retail landscape in 2015.


There are more than 20 million people over the age of 50 living in the UK today. And yet retailers are still obsessively focused on young people. As we are down-ageing, this new ‘ageless society’ creates many trends that have impacted on the retail landscape.

Consumers have been nostalgic for carefree childhoods and have found comfort in familiar pursuits and products from their youth. Plus, we have really started to appreciate being alive, and that’s leading to a greater awareness that good health extends longevity and leads to a new way of life. So in 2015, if you want to flourish you need to consider the generational crossover and the implications of this demographic shift.

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Exclusive visual merchandising workshop for local makers

Retail School

Did you know that in Europe shoppers don’t like to talk to people? It’s true, 76% of us never actually speak to a sales assistant when we’re shopping. That means that what we see makes all the difference to what we buy. How you present your products and the stage you set them in, is critical to the success of your sales. That’s the art of visual merchandising.

In partnership with Makerhood and the Metamorphosis Group, this 3 hour workshop is packed full of useful tips, tricks and guidance that we hope will take your sales to the next level. It’s hands on and practical too. You’ll be surrounded by the fantastic tools, retail props, display units and fixtures and have a chance to practice your dressing and display skills and get to grips with how to make your space work harder for you.

14:00pm – 17.00pm
Saturday 8th November 2014
WBC Retail Training Room – details below

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How important is your store window anyway?

Sales window display at sweet shop, Hope and Greenwood

Attracting shoppers to your store begins way before they even step through the front door. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then creating winning windows that work, is where the road to success begins.

As the modern pace of life increases and working hours continue to break from the traditional 9 – 5, we as consumers have become ever more demanding.  We want to eat, we want to drink and we expect to shop wherever and whenever we choose.

Now you could, like the old countryside churches, keep your doors open to the masses 24/7. But for most retailers, unless you live in the States, that’s just never going to happen. So perhaps it’s time we considered just how big of a showcase opportunity your windows display can be. May be it’s time to really learn how to use it to its maximum effect, so that your window display is working when you are not.

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