Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Post-Recession Consumer, Retail and Construction

There has been a lot of turbulence in the industry since the recession. After such a financial crash, we have questioned our finances and our governments. Understanding the influence on the consumer is crucial to success in modern retail. Ideas put forward such as The Great Unwind by John Gerzema, aim to explain this phenomena. Poor consumer confidence was presumed to be the sole reason for movement of preference but now as recovery is in effect we are seeing different degrees of permanence and an array of new habits. The obvious trend is seeing consumer’s desire to economize but there is more to the story than this:

Experiential retailing – the consumer lifestyle and demand has moved to suit the conditions in which e-commerce creates. Specifically retailers are unable to compete with the convenience, price transparency and range the internet offers. Therefore retailers need to look at the experience they provide within shops to differentiate themselves. A unique fit out can be a key influencer, combined with great staff and an environment that connects to them. Urban Outfitters argue themselves that their successful expansion is down to their shop fittings and environment having such a strong empathetic connection to their consumers, so distinct that it becomes persuasive. You need to immerse them in an ideal in which they can identify with within your store space.

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Over 10 days, The Empty Shop MCR raised 7,550 pieces of clothing from 265 donors to help the homeless in Manchester

Local homeless charity, Mustard Tree, is celebrating a ground-breaking week of Mancunian goodwill, as donations from The Empty Shop MCR are counted.

In partnership with shopfitters Clarke Gough and Manchester Arndale, Mustard Tree has received 7,550 items of pre-loved clothing from Manchester shoppers in just ten days, through this innovative project based in Manchester Arndale.

Modelled on a pioneering project in Brazil, The Empty Shop MCR is the first of its kind in the UK, inviting local people to bring their pre-loved items of clothing to be styled-up each day by brands, bloggers and stylists to create a unique shop display. Each day the shop was emptied and all items of clothing have been donated to Mustard Tree, either to be made accessible to those in need or to be sold to raise funds for the charity’s projects.

Totalling 242 bin bags of clothes and ranging from designer dresses to cosy knits and stylish accessories, donations came from generous Manchester residents, 20 local businesses, retailers within Manchester Arndale and independent brands. Local brand AKA donated 1,000 items totalling £20,000 to kick off the project, there were a few famous Manchester faces at the shop and Bruce, the dog from Manchester’s Blackdog Ballroom chain even stopped by to drop off 15 branded t-shirts.

Volunteers from Mustard Tree manned The Empty Shop MCR throughout the ten days and worked hard to raise greater awareness of homelessness in the Manchester area.
Adrian Nottingham, CEO of Mustard Tree said: “We’d like to give a very big thank you to everyone who took part in this fabulously planned, organised and delivered innovative project. Mustard Tree was proud to partner with Manchester Arndale and Clarke Gough, to give the people of Manchester an opportunity to demonstrate their generosity towards some of the most vulnerable members of this great city.

“For ten days our volunteers focused on raising awareness of the plight of those who are currently homeless and marginalised, in a fantastic and visible location. The resulting donations of clothing will give us the opportunity to offer immediate relief to people in need, as well as much needed resources to drive the ongoing work of delivering long term solutions.”

The partners are now looking to next year and how to make the Empty Shop MCR even bigger and better.

For more information go to the Press and Media section of The Empty Shop Manchester’s website:

Twitter: @EmptyShopMCR
Facebook: /EmptyShopMCR
Instagram: EmptyShopMCR