Speaking: the Endeca Retail Dinner

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Just back from the rarified atmosphere of Mosimann’s  for the Endeca Retail Dinner.

Great group of people – Shop Direct, RS Components, Wiggle, Game, Tui… fun to catch up with people and meet new faces.

Endeca sponsored the last InternetRetailing CEO Dinner (see the photoset of Dinner05) and we had a wonderful and relaxed evening, so I was pleased to accept the invitation to say a few words to open (or delay!) dinner. I covered some topics from recent editorials – changes in retail, the growth of the voice of the customer, the challenges to eCommerce Directors as they embrace multi-channel and move to the Board table, and – of course – my most recent editorial on Total Retail, brining the skills, attitudes and approaches together.

We eat in the “Mappin & Webb” room (goodness only knows why the rooms are named after retailers and brands – the others are Mont Blanc, Davidoff, Bentley, Parmigiani Fleurier…). I had visions of watch salespeople jumping out mid-course, but the goods were locked in glass cabinets around the outer edges of the room. Mosimann’s is in a converted 19th century church and the M&W room was the old belfry.

Great venue, but I wonder why it wasn’t just called the Belfry… đŸ˜‰ Meanwhile, any guesses welcomed as to how much M&W pay to sponsor the room, whether anyone takes that seriously, and how would you measure the ROI on the cost?

Thanks to Endeca for being great hosts and making the evening happen.

TheAppLounge – launched tonight

Just back from Wardour Street where I was pleased to have spoken a few words at the launch of TheAppLounge ‘pop up’ experience store.

You can see details at www.theapplounge.com, but in brief it’s a place to meet, socialise, experience and understand software and technology in support of one’s ‘digital life’.

Alexander GrĂ¼nsteidl (Senior Director of User Experiences at Method), who conceived the AppLounge sums it up:

“The AppLounge is a pilot store that aims to bridge the gap between the in-store and online retail experience. The space is designed to encourage customers to slow down, have a drink, and sample a variety of applications and accessories on display.”

I’ve had numerous discussions with Alexander over the years since we were introduced by Nico Macdonald at an Innovation Reading Circle evening, and he’s been working on ways to change the relationship between brands and customers, and the way products are designed for markets, for a number of years via his Digital Wellbeing Labs.

The AppLounge will be open as follows:

15 September, 2010 – 2 October, 2010 at

Meza, 100 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TN