Excessive, disposable and embracing over consumption, just a short summary of what can be described as the culture we are living in today. The idea of sustainability is a welcomed theme in a very unhealthy industry, where our relationship with fast fashion and mass consumption has developed to its strongest yet, becoming so extreme that being sustainable is a growing struggle. (Collins, S in Dufault, 2013) But how is this affecting society? The notion of fashion itself compounds the problems of over consumption. ‘The very definition of fashion fuels the momentum of change, which creates demand for on going replacement of products with something that is new and fresh.’ (Cline, 2012) As the aim of building a wardrobe bursting with new clothes becomes more and more accessible in today’s twenty-first century, our addictive appetite for disposable fashion is becoming an eco disaster. As new clothes enter homes, what is thought as old leaves, resulting in the rise of staggering figures year on year of landfill sites. Approximately 1.2 million tonnes of clothing ended its journey early at landfills in 2012, (Anon in Ethical Fashion Forum, 2012) but could the well-known phrase ‘one man’s trash, be another man’s treasure’ be brought back to light. As high street stores continue to offer products at low cut prices, they challenge the concept of charity and thrift shopping; the rise of products offered as cheap and new threatens the structure and appeal of the charity shop market. This project is going to investigate the second hand industry. The retailer we see that has untapped potential and introduce a concept that ultimately attracts new consumers who originally may have opted for the fast fashion choice.
Charity shops are described as ‘the game changer of retail in the 90’s’ (Mintel, 1997 in Horne) where consumers no longer had to root through jumble or car boot sales to find their second hand goods, the charity shop offered a convenient go to store on the local high street. Moving forward from the 90’s unlike many other retail chains, instead of entering liquidation the charity sector has, and is continuously growing, expanding their presence to over 9,000 locations in the UK. Nevertheless, despite growth the popularity of charity shops seems to have decreased and a negative stigma has attached itself amongst the younger generation, with many commenting ‘charities have become our dumps of tat.’ (Cline, 2012) With the younger generation shaping our future it is important that this issue is addressed, unlocking unfavourable connotations in order for charity shops to remain a part of the British high street for years to come. From research gathered, a concept and implementation will be created to improve the popularity within the 18-25 year old demographic, offering an alternative shopping experience from other retail stores. Specific focus will be based on Oxfam’s Boutique store in Nottingham as the initial issue was raised during a visit at the companys’ sorting centre in Huddersfield. (See appendix two) Suggestions will be applied of how executions can expand across the market after a pilot has been conducted. Also the female consumer will be a focal point, as research states they are primarily the gender attracted to second hand shopping resulting in further reasoning of how the pilot has the ability to be successful based upon analysing their buying needs.
‘Nationally, it is estimated that 60 percent of women visit a charity shop at least occasionally, and 27 percent of women using them regularly or often compared to only 12% of males.’ (horne, 2002) 8
FIG.1. FEMALE CHARITY SHOP USAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
Can charity shops take charge in the high street reformation? methodology A range of primary research was undertaken to meet specific objectives within this project and to overall gain a wider perspective and increased understanding of my subject matter. The table in appendix one shares detailed information as to which methods were carried out, and why these became the most suitable samples to gain a valid and credible response. My sampling strategy throughout my primary research was to confirm where the problems lie within the charity market in order to make an appropriate and viable recommendation at a later stage. This was achieved by collecting consumer insights, obtaining information about current consumer behaviour and analysing recordings from my own observations. Research, which was conducted via covert methods relating to what is described as the Hawthorne Effect, allowed me to view consumers in targeted environments without them changing their reactions, feelings or behaviour. Lansberger explains ‘The Hawthorne effect describes a temporary change to behaviour or performance in response to a change in environmental conditions.’ (Vector Study, 2012) To support this theory further Philip Graves states ‘Behaviour is often influenced when peers watch over you and your reactions tend to vary; by conducting research in a covert sample you have the opportunity to watch how the unconscious mind works.’ (Graves, 2012, P183) In addition to this, it is important to note that previous to the organisation of primary research each method was piloted to eliminate possible implications and to ensure the correct method was being applied. Ethical consent from each participant can be found in the stated appendix with the corresponding results of each research method. Along with this a time scale of when samples were carried out can also be viewed in calendar format within my critical path in appendix thirteen. To add theory and depth to my findings throughout primary research and to build a comprehensive understanding of the charity market, secondary sources were used to broaden my own knowledge and add further contextual links. Theorists such as B J Fogg and author Philip Graves both share views into the decision making process, how we react and how behaviour can change in certain situations. By reading texts from these authors I have been able to understand consumer’s thought process on a deeper level and have had the ability to apply theories that offer further insights into my personal observations. In addition, online databases and sites such as Mintel, WGSN and Mudpie have provided me with reports sharing valuable insider knowledge on market shares, how the future is shaping and detailed trend forecasts.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
of 18-25 are choosing to shop in charity shops
of 18-25 are actively donating to charity FIG.2. SURVEY RESULT 18-25 CHARITY SHOP USAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
When watching the daily news on television, radio or maybe viewing on your mobile it is never a surprise to hear or read a new story about yet another chain entering liquidation. The UK high street has become a vision in many towns of charity shops nestled among bookies, nail bars, pound stores and numerous fast food eateries. With the latest figures revealing the UK has narrowly avoided the triple dip recession, analysts insist ‘economy is still extremely weak in premature stages’ (Anon in Chu & Elliot, 2013) leaving clouds of gloom and doom settled above roofs of high street stores and consumers guessing what the future holds. Despite vacancy rate being at its highest ever; 11.3 percent (BRC/ Springboard Footfall and Vacancy Monitor in Chahal, 2013) it was established previously charity shops have found a comfortable home even in these recession biting times, but as consumers tighten their belts why are charity shops for purchases becoming a forgotten thought? Queen of the high street Mary Portas even commented on this situation ‘Charity shop sales should be sky rocketing in our current economic climate; but they’re not.’ (Portas, 2009) So, it would be thought that with consumers looking after their costs better than ever before, charity shops would become appealing shopping locations. However with the decline in footfall upon the high street it leaves only tumbleweed rolling around stores representing the 18-25 year old demographic. Primary research has provided the knowledge that this consumer group are actively donating to charity just not choosing to shop there, this is something, which will be addressed within the aims of the recommended implementation. (See appendix three) Charity Shops have a lot more to offer than they are doing within these bleaker days, they need to change focus from opening and expanding in vacant stores to providing a great experience, offering anything but the norm and working with what they have now.
‘80 per cent of women buy new Saturday night party outfits over fears of being seen in the same clothes more than once’
The real cost of cheap fashion
FIG.3. THE AFFECTS OF FAST FASHION. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
Fast fashion is essentially the antithesis of sustainability. It has provided consumers with endless options and choices that we have never had before, not only can we now have fashionable clothes when we want, but financially we have developed an attitude that allows clothing to be worn once and potentially thrown away. In the not too distant past brands and fashion houses would produce lines seasonally, but today new apparel is offered throughout every stage of the year in order to retain interest in stores throughout mid season. As the industry became more and more competitive, seen the rise in clothing lines, reduced prices and decreased garment quality, long gone is the favoured quality over quantity phrase. This change in retail urged consumers to forget about buying two key wardrobes a year and develop a personal style that gets continuously built on throughout. With only positive reactions from the public fuelled more and more brands to re-examine their buying systems resulting in fashion speeding up even further. As the younger generation have grown up seeing apparel almost become a disposable commodity it is believed the finger can be pointed in their direction being the main culprit in leaving a pollutant footprint. (Claudio, 2007) Blinded by the problem and powered by the developing trend of ‘nextism’, the crave for new and exciting experiences promised by the next generation, youth of today are focused on finding their next purchase before the horrifying moment of being photographed in an outfit twice. ‘It seems our obsession with fashion may have gone too far after a survey revealed a staggering 80 per cent of women buy new Saturday night party outfits over fears of being seen in the same clothes more than once. Some women also went on to claim that they would rather cancel than wear an item repeatedly.’ (Wynarczyk, 2012) Garment lifecycle is stuck in a vicious circle, one in every four of the millennial pounds are being spent on ‘value’ fashion provided by the likes of Primark, Asda and Topshop (Siegle, 2011) but the true weight of this addiction has only really been felt by an unfortunate few. Charity shops have had to face the ever growing mound of cheap ‘tat’ to flog to consumers, goodbye to unique vintage pieces and hello to rails filled with mainstream brands. The junking up of second hand clothing has not gone unnoticed, not only have consumers become aware, textile recycle workers have too. ‘Countless times I’ve gravitated like a moth to a flame to what looks like a nice blouse or a wool sweater at Salvation Army only to see the H&M or Target-brand mossimo tag popping up.’ (Godber, 2013) ‘I can tell you that the quality coming through the donation stream has been trending down, that ‘new’ feeling has been lost within the charity sector.’ (Paben in Cline, 2012) As consumers continue to buy from high street brands the problem becomes further complicated ‘it is important to ask the question now, how can the need for fast or at least inexpensive fashion be made in an entirely environmentally acceptable way.’ (Blackburn, 2009, P14)
FIG.4. SHOCKED FEMALE. 2012. ONLINE.
WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITIES WHEN DONATING CLOTHING? FIG.5. SURVEY RESULT DONATION PRIORITIES. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
In April 2013 a live discussion was created, a panel made up of members from H&M, who is one of the brands at the forefront of fast fashion and Vogue, a leader in high fashion magazines. The conversation started with the debate of how socially responsible are high street brands like H&M in promoting a sustainable future. Panellist Julie Gilhart Fashion Consultant and Barneys New York Fashion Director, stated her view on the subject ‘Fashion brands have to provide consumers with what they want, if they want clothes we give them it, the difference is we have to start thinking about teaching consumers as they purchase. The idea of a sustainable future will become further accessible as the idea develops and the younger generation grow older. We initially just have to plant the sustainable seed.’ (Gilhart in Hennes & Mauritz, 2013) This backs up further reasoning why to focus this project on the younger audience, not only because they are still growing but they can create the greatest impact on future generations also. The negative correlation between the love of fast fashion and second hand clothing has been noted as one increases the other decreases, but where is a healthy balance? A growing trend named ‘eco-cycology’ has recently emerged where consumers will begin their quest for a more sustainable lifestyle. This is something that many fashion brands have related to with many revealing and promoting new environmental programmes as part of their corporate social responsibility. Swop shops, loyalty programmes and voucher exchanges are beginning to become the norm. Today a phenomenal number of brands including Marks and Spencer, Monsoon and as identified H&M (see case study in appendix eight), are all producing incentives to help consumers recycle by taking back all old items, whether it is from their brand or not and actually doing something constructive with them. Figures shown by Marks and Spencer show schemes such as swop shops are becoming just another fad as figures fall each year with less and less participants. ’Earlier this month M&S admitted that they didn’t score as highly as they would of liked, within this months swopping target. It seems that figures have fallen dramatically since the scheme started in 2008 which originally attracted 10 million items to be donated.’ (Smithers, 2012) Primary research has revealed that within the 18-25 year old demographic receiving rewards was the least of their interests and 41% stated that getting rid of an item quickly was their top priority as seen in infographics opposite. This matched figures sourced by Hibbert, showing that the highest percentage in ways to dispose of clothing is to go to the charity shop at 49.7% as this has become consumers quickest and easiest option. (Hibbert in Horne & Maddrell, 2002, P32) Despite many brands offering these schemes our research proves that offering another incentive to encourage consumers to return is not the answer and essentially would not be beneficial. This is something that will be looked at in further detail during the execution stages, charity shops need to become places that consumers want to live in, shop in and visit. ‘For the charity sector to survive and blossom they need to adapt to be seen like any other retail store.’ (Skelton, 2013)
22.22% EARNING EXTRA MONEY
40.74% CHARITABLE ACT
37.04% TO GET RID OF A ITEM QUICKLY
FIG.6. HIGHSTREET. 2010. ONLINE.
I’m not shopping there. Won’t or don’t want to? The general attitude among the 18-25 year old demographic is certainly one that the majority would agree on. The negative stigma attached to charity shops has developed stronger and stronger as years have gone by, with many now choosing not to associate themselves with the store at all. Due to unfavourable connotations and stereotyping charity shops prime consumer is now a female between the 45 and 65 plus year old age bracket and a small percentage of females with an AB status who may have a little browse as they drop off unwanted goods. (Mintel, 2010) As within the execution we are working towards opening Oxfam’s doors to a younger audience it was important to establish what are the main factors and faults within the charity shop that need to be improved upon for this to happen. Primary research allowed us to communicate with our target demographic and see at first hand what they really thought about charity stores and what they associated with them. (See appendix four) By stating the word ‘charity shop’ to numerous shoppers, we asked them to respond with the first word that came into mind. Unsurprisingly the only half positive comment we received was bargain, and that is because everyone loves a bargain from time to time. Through analysing the gathered responses we were able to pin point specific issues to address both, the top two associated words were ‘cheap’ and ‘bad smell’ which represented 22% of the count. (Survey, 2013. Appendix 4) Within our aim we are already working on removing the ‘cheap’ connotation by creating a brand ethos that reflects the same quality as any other store on the high street. As for smell, this is something to be worked on further. Martin Lindström comments ‘Smells affect us substantially more than we are aware of. Test results have shown a 40 percent improvement in our mood when we are exposed to a pleasant fragrance.’ (Lindström, 2010, P105) Scent is one of our strongest senses and as for many consumers today we remember specific memories based around a smell and it is upon that memory that certain decisions are made. An example Jones gives on this situation is ‘When stepping into your car more often than not you climb in and inhale the scent around you, ignored is the stench of old muddy football boots in the back as the memory of the new car smell rushes back to mind.’ (Jones in Lindström, 2010, P125) Ultimately we want consumers to leave happy but as it is the scent that hits them as soon as entering a charity environment the shopping experience that that store provides is put down at the very start of the journey and there is not a previous happy memory to overcome it. The younger audiences are extremely strong minded when it comes to making a decision, they know what they want to do and where to go and research has reiterated the fact that charity shops are not on their current agenda as they already have their favoured locations. ‘I prefer to buy fashion and I have my favourite shops already.’ (Jamieson, 2013. Appendix 6a)
Do you shop in charity shops?
I ultimately look at their faces and the reaction is literally disgust, they think I am weird (Shipley, 2013. Appendix 7)
Although it does seem to go from one extreme to another, despite the popular hatred there is a small minority of the 1825 year old demographic that in fact love spending their time wandering around charity shops. During a survey 24% of the target audience selected charity shops as to where they find their second hand goods. (Survey, 2013. Appendix 3) Fashion blogger Georgia Shipley is one of the named few who not only enjoys shopping in the likes of Oxfam, Barnardos and Save the Children, but enjoys volunteering there and devotes her blog entirely to her love of thrift. By posting religiously and sharing her latest finds, Georgia also comments on the context behind the charity shop and why she believes it is still a delightful place to visit. From sharing this with the world she has gained her place as one Company magazine’s blogging finalists. During an interview with Shipley we asked if she had become aware of the negative associations being discussed within her peer group and why she chooses not to follow the rest of them. ‘When I mention to peers that I got an item of clothing from a charity shop, I ultimately look at their faces and the reaction is literally disgust, they think I am weird because I don’t shop in Topshop or Urban Outfitters like the rest of them.’ (Shipley, 2013. Appendix 7) If we were using Rogers Curve of Innovation as seen opposite, Georgia is the perfect candidate to represent the innovator, the trendsetter voicing a positive message to influence others. Within her clique, blog followers or a passerby in the street will then see or hear and catch on even if it is just to give charity shops a second thought. The trend develops as it works its way through the early adopters, the early majority and latterly to finally reach the laggards at the back. In order for Oxfam and other charity shops to be successful in the future with the target market, not only does the structure and overall appeal have to change, the behaviour of consumer’s minds has to as well.
Yes, but I only really go to get things for fancy dress. Like there was an ugly clothing day at school, that pretty much says it all (Fisher, 2013. appendix 6b)
clique of friends
peer to peer communication news travels amonst other cliques
majority of youth adopt accepting the new trend
FIG.7. ROGERS CURVE OF INNOVATION. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.8. SERIES OF VOLKSWAGON FUN THEORIES. 2009. ONLINE.
Society does not need preaching to nor do they need a lecture, they need a simple nudge in the right direction, shopping needs to remain fun to those who enjoy it despite the environment. Consumers need to think of charity shops as somewhere not just to rummage through on the off chance they might find a hidden gem, but to make it part of their normal shopping journey. Volkswagen is a perfect example to take inspiration from within this project. The automobile manufacturer looks at the bigger picture providing solutions to problems that are not directly related to the brand but helps the environment as a whole. The series of fun theories created by the brand and consumers use the nudge approach by providing a fun alternative to change behaviour for the better. By using fun as a motivator, it encourages consumers to get involved in tasks they might not usually do. A series of successful implementations has proven how well this can work; want consumers to recycle bottles more, introduce a bottle bank arcade. By changing simple chores into a game instantly raises the participant involvement, as more and more consumers want to compete and play. In one evening the bottle bank arcade encouraged one hundred people to come and recycle used bottles whereas the conventional bottle bank was only used twice within the same period of time. (Rolighetsteorin (a), 2009) The bottle bank arcade was one of the three original behavioural experiments Volkswagen produced; the piano staircase being another that was included. ‘Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better’ (Volkswagen in The fun theory, 2009) something that Volkswagen stated they always heard, well they made it happen. 66% of people more than normal chose to take the stairs rather than the escalator in Odenplan metro station in Stockholm. (Rolighetsteorin (b), 2009) This was achieved by creating a musical melody on what looked to be a piano as they worked their way up the steps. Motivation is a key element to impact human behaviour; B J Fogg discusses the nudge effect in further detail stating ‘for motivation to exist, one must believe that pros outweigh the cons.’ (BJFogg, 2011) Currently for the 18-25 year old demographic the cons are outweighing the pros, explaining why mentally these consumers are not feeling the need to shop in the likes of Oxfam nor do they feel motivated to return. He highlights within his model that there are three core motivators, these include sensation, which refers to the degree of pleasure or pain involved; anticipation relating to feelings of hope and fear and social cohesion which encompasses the level of rejection or acceptance by others.
So how can this theory work for Oxfam Boutique and future charity stores? FIG.9. BJFOGG CORE MOTIVATORS. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
SENSATION PLEASURE // PAIN
Relating to the experience the store provides in order for Oxfam Boutique to become pleasurable the environment needs to be enjoyable. It could be said that charity shops as a whole are stuck in old ways and need to understand consumers current buying behaviour to move forward. Both primary and secondary research has led me to one key insight that needs to be addressed within this section. ‘Women demand more of shopping environments than men do. Too much signage and point of purchase displays takes all the adventure away. Stores should seduce shoppers through the aisles with suggestions and hints of what is to come.’ (Underhill, 2009, P169) Oxfam currently displays all their stock within grouped titles whether it is high street, vintage or a specific colour they give consumers direction as to what is next. (See photographs in appendix two) Underhill, points out signage is something consumers do not particularly enjoy, especially as they may not associate themselves with that given title. To overcome this issue stock could be displayed creatively, to entice shoppers to spend more time in store.
A positive combination of both hope and fear could work well in the charity shop environment. From the changes that will be made in the upcoming execution consumers will develop a thrift addiction. The mystery of new stock and the feeling of what they could be missing out adds fear, Oxfam will become like other retail brands that the target consumer checks weekly. ‘I find myself looking online at retail brands such as Topshop daily, checking what new stock they have and I will go into store at least once a week.’ (Wynarczyk, 2013) Hope is suggested through the thrill and excitement new purchases provide.
ANTICIPATION HOPE // FEAR 27
SOCIAL COHESION REJECTION // ACCEPTANCE
FIG.10. BJFOGG MOTIVATION MODEL. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
This could be seen as one of the biggest motivators, as established the younger audience is highly influential not just to future generations but from peer to peer also. The Social Cognitive Theory emphasises that people learn socially and much of what is learned is gained through observation, increasing behavioural changes. (Hamilton, 2012) This behavioural change maybe a slow process, but as identified in Rodgers curve of innovation there only needs to be a small group of people to make the acceptance grow. ‘Customers can be motivated not only by the thrill of the unpredictable consumption opportunity, but by the sense of sociability they find in charity shops, where they may be known by name and an interest taken in them as individuals and consumers.’ (Horne & Maddrell, 2002) Despite Horne, suggesting charity shops could be a sociable environment, results from ethnographic research in Oxfam Boutique Nottingham would suggest not. (See appendix eight a) As much as consumers need to accept the charity market, charity stores also have to accept consumers by portraying an inviting attitude. ‘Even the smallest stores can build customer loyalty, our studies show that any contact initiated by a store employee – and I mean even a hello – increases the likelihood that a shopper will buy something.’ (Underhill, 2009, P169)
B=MAT Along with motivation there are a further two stages to Fogg’s behaviour change model which include ability and trigger. The idea is to make this equation as easy and as simple as possible in order for it to work successfully. Jasmin Malika Chua, who took part in the H&M conscious talk panel agreed and discussed her own similar theory. ‘The future consists of a big behavioural shift, people won’t always do the right thing but they will always choose the easy thing, it is about making your aim seem the easiest option in consumers eyes so the appeal of that subject will grow and spread.’ (Malika Chua in Hennes & Mauritz, 2013) Oxfam needs to become noticeable not just when the consumer passes the store but before and after they shop. It needs to become embedded within their daily routine. This is something which will be looked at in further detail during the execution stages and how online will be incorporated as a touch point between consumer and store.
FIG.11. ELEMENTS TO MAKE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.12. STOCK FOUND IN BRADERIE. 2013. OWN PHOTOGRAPH.
Using findings to date, we entered the mind of the 18-25 year old and began analysing the market as they choose to see it through their eyes. By placing brands within the perceptual map guidelines (see appendix ten) we collated and identified who could be seen to be Oxfam Boutiques’ main competitors. From analysing the consumer’s current buying habits, how they perceive a store relates to the brand’s status in the market and how appealing it becomes to shop in. These are two of the main issues we plan to address within the reinvention of Oxfam. With that in mind competitors were evaluated on both of these elements and marked as to how positive or negative that brand’s status was, while appeal was scored by looking how creative and welcoming the environment was to encourage return. The perceptual map brings together brands not just from the lower end of the retail chain, but supermarkets with lines such as F&F by Tesco and George by Asda as they have become easily embedded in consumers buying journeys through the production of affordable fashion. Items can be picked up either when shopping for essentials, weekly shops, online or even just popping in for that one missing item. With Oxfam carrying the name boutique it would suggest that they were on another level in relation to other charity shop sites, but in fact research shows they offer very similar environments. Neither the defined meaning of boutique from the Oxford Dictionary ‘A small store selling fashionable clothes or accessories’ (Oxford University Press, 2013) or Oxfam’s definition ‘creating a new benchmark for sustainable clothes. Providing shoppers with unique style and beautiful one off garments.’ (Oxfam, 2013) portrays the truth, as Oxfam Boutique is just a different name with the same content. Oxfam Boutique has not become distinct enough as to what the name could suggest and has potential hiding away that could be unveiled. By applying a new concept it will hopefully move the store into a new market (seen within figure fourteen) opening further opportunities. Although this group of youth have turned their back on the charity sector, vintage stores, which offer a similar aesthetic type of clothing, are still very much in their lives and although many may not choose to shop there all the time the idea of it is not dismissed. Looking back on a survey result discussed previously, there was a thirty-three percent difference between youth shopping in charity to vintage, with the remaining either choosing neither venues or resorting to online. (See appendix three) As the move in the market will also bring further competitors Oxfam Boutique in Nottingham will be seen in the same playing field as many of the vintage stores found in the Hockley area but with a slight difference. Blackburn comments that for vintage stores to be successful garments have to be affordable and fit for purpose (Blackburn, 2009, P9) but more common that not the affordable price tag and vintage do not mix. The analysed results in appendix five c, highlight that during ethnographic research in the vintage sector there was a discrepancy between the quality of
FIG.13. PERCEPTUAL MAP SECTOR. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
an item and the buying price. Braderie was charging twenty pounds for used trainers such as Converse that can be seen opposite, but with various mud marks and stains the price seems out of reach and the item visually looks unappealing. Again there is a cross over on views as Shipley states ‘I do notice a difference - especially the prices of clothing. Some vintage shops in Leeds are very expensive so I prefer to hunt for vintage gems in local charity shops’ (Shipley, 2013, Appendix 7) but from the majority group accepting these high prices and buying from renewal sections in the likes of Urban Outfitters. ‘Renewable sections in the shops are not the same as charity, It is just different.’ (Perkins, 2013, Appendix 6c) Oxfam Boutique has the potential to take the upper hand in the situation by visually taking inspiration from the creativity found in vintage stores, selecting the very best of donated items to be available in store and selling them at reasonable prices.
THE BARGAIN HUNTERS
THE CONSCIOUS CLUB
It has been established who the charity shops prime consumers are and who we plan to address, but it was important to look at the bigger picture to further understand who has a connection with the charity sector and how we can build a relationship within their social roles.
I therefore introduce The Bargain Hunters: representing the current charity shopper. The Conscious Club: ladies who are well opinionated and have strong ethical morals. The Alternative Bunch: the small group of lovers within the younger generation, searching for unrecognisable labels.
FIG.14. MUGSHOT OF CONSUMERS. 2013. ONLINE.
The Pick and Mixers: the newly proposed consumer.
THE ALTERNATIVE BUNCH
THE PICK AND MIXERS
Within the Bargain Hunter there are two split personalities, you have the over 65’s who see charity shops as a potential home, a place of leisure. There is a sense of community amongst this generation, they may volunteer or just visit to have a quick gossip with friends over a cup of tea whilst picking up the odd item or two. The additional personality is formed by the woman on a mission, the cash restricted mum hit by recession opting for value clothing to keep herself and children in fashion. For the three remaining consumer groups Malcolm Gladwells’ personality type theory can be applied where he suggests there are three types of people, Maverns, Connectors and Salespeople. At the forefront of social and community events is where The Conscious Club are placed. As a Mavern, a combination of their strong views, knowledge and insider scoop on the marketplace provides the perfect conversation starters. They are usually the ones to initiate the right and wrongs to sustainability. Dressed smart or casual they always look presentable, as she never knows to whom she may speak with that day. The Alternative Bunch, aged 16-25 are the Salespeople. They have already established a positive association with the charity shop and as these select few are mixed within the target demographic they have the skills and ability to persuade others when they are unconvinced and pass the positive message on. ‘Sales people are critical to the tipping of the word-of-mouth epidemic.’ (Slim, 2010) In the proposed demographic, The Pick and Mixers are the Connectors within this theory. As youth today are overloaded with digital consumption from desktops, tablets, to on the move smartphone devices, they have knowledge and news available instantly at their fingertips. Within the execution stages it will be explained how Salespeople can provide vital help to spread the message as they link us up to the world. Across the next pages you will find an insight into each of the four-consumer groups key buying habits in relation to charity shopping.
THE BARGAIN HUNTERS ‘Charity shops are unhidden gems on the high street. If you have ever ventured into the charity shop world you are most likely a charity shop addict if you haven’t then you are missing out- big time’
FIG.15. THE BARGAIN HUNTER. 2010. ONLINE.
Godber, H (2013)
the conscious club
FIG.16. THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER. 2010. ONLINE.
Maverns are our data banks
FIG.17. THE ALTERNATIVE BUNCH. 2010. ONLINE.
THE alternative bunch Are persuaders, they tend to have an identifiable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others agree with them
THE picks & Mixers
FIG.18. THE PICK AND MIXERS. 2010. ONLINE.
Connectors are the social glue
FIG.19. NEW PAPER ARTICLE. 2013. OWN PHOTOGRAPH.
During a recent article in the Mail on Sunday, the new boss at Oxfam, Mark Goldring, stated ‘I’m not a retail specialist so I’m not going to get my hands dirty in designing how we set out our shops, but it is important for several reasons.’ (Goldring in Owen, 2013, P89) Goldring continued by stating just how important the store was to ensure their future. With this in mind we thought we would do the work for them. During the following tasks we entered the mind of a retail specialist analysing the research collated to date and creating future goals to ensure that Oxfam Boutique can become a major player on the high street, and show they are here to stay. To reiterate our concept we want to unleash Oxfam Boutique’s potential, by creating a status for their name and reposition the brand into a higher playing field, to be seen above other charity stores. Ultimately, changing the negative perceptions in the younger audience by embracing a creative solution will allow consumers can spend less and still enjoy purchasing. Oxfam Boutique can become a new branch within the Oxfam community ensuring that there is a visible difference and offering a further professionalised experience. ‘Research findings suggest that further professionalism – especially in presentation – is an important element in attracting potential consumers resistant to the current charity shop offering.’ (Maddrell, 2001a) The charity and brand TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) made it into one of the top stores to visit whilst in London. With only ten stores across the whole of the UK found spread across the city they have become an inspiration as to what Oxfam Boutique can achieve. Being described as ‘decent, stylish and modern’ (Timeout, 2012) their consumers love the little things from even a changing room with a curtain. ‘I think TRAID has set the filter level higher than most charity shops, you don’t have to plough through bales and bales of stuff before you find something good. You can pretty much see what’s what and head for the part of the shop that is for you.’ (Anon in TRAID, 2013) They aim to provide a stylish alternative to the high street by supplying good quality second-hand clothing. By creating a strong communication channel and journey from store to sorting centre this can similarly be achieved by Oxfam Boutique.
So what are THE GOALS?
A strategic proposal has been put together which consists of marketing goals, which need to be addressed to secure Oxfam Boutiqueâ€™s future. This is to be achieved within a three-step plan. Through the process of putting this plan together we have identified and highlighted key areas to develop. Starting at the beginning, the sorting centre is the first point of call within the garment journey and recycling process. It is here where garments are chosen to be either sent overseas or sold within the UK and it is up to the volunteers and workers to make that decision. From having hands on experience as a volunteer I was able to witness how some of these decisions are being made, which seemed to be based on how an individual felt about an item and not specifically based on the needs of a store. To improve the quality and variety of products being delivered to stores we feel the workers need to widen their knowledge. This can be accomplished through trend books arriving in centres and regular updates being sent, making the communication path between store and centre more accessible. This also allows the selection process to become more specific and be the best it can be in terms of trend awareness, key shapes, colours and key items.
As Mark Goldring commented, the store is one of the most important features of the charity, it is there to visually represent the brand and to promote and communicate the brandâ€™s ethos. Throughout this project I have stated that we wanted to open Oxfam Boutiqueâ€™s doors to the younger generation, specifically the 18-25 year old demographic. We believe that they need more of an incentive to visit the store before the boutique will appear in their regular shopping journey. By raising the brands online presence we can build an on-going conversation with this consumer group, which as a result will increase awareness as the brand evolves. Along with this the store environment needs to be addressed by redesigning and making the most of what is available, the store has potential to become an enjoyable experience. By creating a new layout with easy navigation, creative VM displays and modern designs to accompany the variety of stock, the store will relate to the consumers current likes within their buying habits.
Finally we want ensure this consumer group returns, by increasing their buying to recycling ratio. As stated previously in this report the targeted demographic are actively donating to charity but shopping elsewhere and this is a key statistic we want to turn around. Oxfam Boutique needs to become a social environment and a point of conversation. This could best be achieved by holding and event in store. Not only can this be piloted and adapted to fit in with the social calendar of the consumer, it can also massively increase the footfall if successful within a short space of hours.
During time at both the sorting centre and in Oxfam Boutique it was noted that as a company they had made some effort to acknowledge ongoing trends by placing various visuals around the environment. (Highlighted within figure ) Despite efforts at this they did not seem beneficial. They were outdated, focused around catwalk looks and not current, which made searching for stock based on these unrealistic for both workers and consumers. Within the sorting centre, printouts lacked attraction; they were provided in black and white and were inaccessible for most of the workers during their shift. To improve on this, a trend document has been produced which will run biannually based around spring/summer and autumn/ winter. (See separate document) The document incorporates colour and print inspiration, which is applied to key shapes and styles of garments that realistically could be received through donations.
To work alongside the trend document, monthly updates will also be produced and sent via email to the centre. Email allows updates to be instantaneous and is also cost effective for the company. Figure twenty one shows an example of an email update, which shares an a-z of ideas for what to look out for within the upcoming season. Workers at the sorting centre are not fashion experts so it is important updates are relatable within their tone of voice, and provided frequently to build an increased awareness. Within sorting centres it would be suggested for workers to be briefed as newly released publications arrive, and for a notice board containing the vital information to be displayed within the staffroom so workers can browse the information during breaks. Having a visual display reiterates the message they are sending every time they are seen.
FIG.21. UPDATE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.20. SERIES OF TREND DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING OXFAM BOUTIQUE PHOTOGRAPHS. 2013. OWN PHOTGRAPHY AND IMAGERY.
Price has been included within the top search bar. This will be used, as a further tool to help improve staffsâ€™ knowledge as found there are often discrepancies within items. A new communication strategy will be proposed within the next upcoming chapter. Social platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, will be imbedded within The Exchange for quick and easy access to keep up with conversations.
Access to The Exchange will be found in the bottom header on the current Oxfam website. By placing the icon small here it will be an unnoticeable change and will not affect current consumers accessing the site.
the exchange As The Exchange has been created for employees of Oxfam to keep the site secure a username and password will have to be entered to gain access. After The Exchange has been piloted within the Nottingham store each Boutique store will then be provided with their own personal details.
The Exchange, which will be available online via the Oxfam website, will be accessible for Oxfam Boutique stores. This platform analyses updates in further detail and will be used as a guide for inspiration and everything staff need to know from trends in garments, colour, styling, creative visual merchandising displays and pricing. The Exchange will also act as a communication channel between stores and sorting centres so they can inform them what is selling well and not so well. As we proposed the Boutique store will not collect donations in house and will run off what is sent to them. Staff morale can also be boosted through this, as knowing something that they may have found has sold well is pleasing to know and reminds workers of the good they are doing within their job for the charity.
FIG.22. THE EXCHANGE: WEBSITE MOCK UP. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.23. NEW LOGO DESIGN. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
A BLANK CANVAS
LAYOUT Bill Schley, brand developer believes that there are seven reasons to make people buy and in order for a store to be successful it has to tap into each of these feelings. (Lyle, 2013) As Oxfam will be investing to secure their future it is important that this theory is communicated effectively to consumers to receive a profitable return on investment to help the charity further.
LOGO To clearly define the differentiation between Oxfam and Oxfam Boutique stores a new logo has been designed incorporating a change so it becomes noticeable but still visually relatable to the brand. As Oxfam only recently updated their logo we felt the most realistic adaptation was colour. Currently branded by shades of green we looked into making a visual contrast by opting for the colour sector found opposite on the spectrum. (See appendix eleven d) Oxfam Boutique can now be built to become as visually recognisable as the green branding.
So how can these feelings be portrayed?
Effectively, consumers are not just buying a new item; they are investing their money to help a good cause at the same time.
Clear displays and formation allow consumers to browse at the pace they wish. Stock will be easier to find, resulting in consumers leaving the store pleased with their purchase.
Due to cost restrictions we are aware money would be on a budget when designing the new store layout, therefore the suggested layout incorporates what the store currently has available to them and how these can reused. Up- cycling and fabrication is a trend that is often used within the making of unique furniture and designers such a Rupert Blanchard have shown how successful and effective this can be. By using elements such as wood from the table or cabinets they can create a vintage, retro and timeless look all at the same time, but add personality as a patina of age can show through each paint job or chipped wooden leg. (See figure twenty six and appendix eleven c for further inspiration)
‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’ With the new effective pricing system, stock is reasonably priced in relation to product and quality.
The store will become visually pleasing, as consumers are enticed with creative visual displays. Due to a fresh look, perceptions will gradually change and it will become socially acceptable within the majority to shop in Oxfam Boutique as ‘un-cool’ connotations disappear.
As the news travels through Rogers curve of innovation, consumers become smarter as they discover the brand and as an additional benefit the consumers become more knowledgeable about the background of the brand
Through the updated trend packs, new stock will arrive at a quicker pace, encouraging consumers to return to view and hopefully leave with further purchases
‘Charity shops that continue to freshen up their image and attract the fashion-conscious as well as the ethical shopper will be successful’ (cline, 2012)
FIG.24. BILL SCHELY SEVEN REASONS WE BUY. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.25. RUPERT BLANCHARD. 2010. ONLINE.
A combination of new and old displays will create focal points at various stages across the store, encouraging the shopper to take a journey browsing each individually. Seen in figure twenty seven, you can see how the old store layout has been adapted by incorporating Tony Morganâ€™s floor guide. The store plan now shows product adjacencies and how items can interlink as consumers are guided through fixtures from one product to the next as the categorised genres of clothing are removed. Zones transcend from platinum at the consumers entrance point to gold where all the newest and highest quality stock is found, then to silver, home of the fitting rooms and the possible resting point with seating. Finally to the bronze area having cheaper priced products and add on sale displays. Within each zone you can see a focal point has been created, not only is this an attractive way of displaying products, it is a commercial decision as it entices consumers to stay in the store longer and results in a greater chance they will make a purchase. (Morgan, 2011)
FIG.27.MODEL OF NEW STORE DESIGN. 2013. OWN IMAGE. FIG.28. WINDOW DISPLAY. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.26. BEFORE AND AFTER OXFAM BOUTIQUE FLOOR PLANS. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
‘Handwritten swing tickets are frowned upon in the visual merchandiser’s world; even the smartest handwriting will look unprofessional. A printed ticket will always look better and be easier to read.’ Many charity stores are currently opting for the handmade and written look when it comes to displaying product prices. We feel printing these is one-way Oxfam Boutique can prove they are of a higher status. As prices vary from pence to pounds, it is easily understandable within the charity sector as to why hand written tags are used - they do what they need to do, inform consumers with a price and are easiest option for staff to maintain. With these factors in mind figure thirty shows the new design of swing tickets that can be used within store replacing the variety of stickers and envelop tags, which are currently being used. Although swing tickets are now designed to be printed, the back offers a space for the price to be written as this would be the most cost effective solution for the brand as they can be created in bulk. To add further interaction with the 18-25 year old demographic a piece has copy has been displayed across one of the four designs, this is to add a further personal touch and make garments more desirable. Alongside the copy a hash tag has been utilised to drive consumers online, sharing the story of how they met their item. With mixed connotations from meeting friends and relationships the hash tag has the ability to attract further attention as the conversation grows. This will help achieve our goal as more consumers become aware and join in, encouraging perceptions to change. FIG.29. SWING TICKET DESIGNS. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
Within a report on Mintel it is stated that ‘Making charity shops look like retail spaces is the way forward to attract new consumers who are currently wary of second hand shopping.’ (Mintel, 2009) Within the proposed designs we have incorporated the best of the old with the new to attract new consumers, but also to ensure that current consumers are happy and that the overall existing experience can be improved. Earlier I discussed that smell was one of the negative connotations attached to the charity environment but due to the aesthetic of clothing this is something which is unrealistic to change. However with all the new recommendations and positive feelings from the store they will hopefully overcome the bad smell negative factor.
FIG.30. SWING TICKET ON GARMENT. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
(Morgan, 2011, P97)
FIG.31. INSTAGRAM APP ON IPHONE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
@OXFAM boutique notts
As mentioned within the aim of goal two, building an ongoing conversation with a consumer is vital for a brand as it this, which determines whether a shopper generally chooses to shop and revisit the store again. As generation Y are the most digitally active, online platforms will be used to promote Oxfam Boutique’s communication strategy and build an online community. ‘Technology within interactive media creates one simple advantage over traditional: the speed and ease with which a consumer can consume. Within seconds a consumer can react to a communication message.’ (Barry, 2009, P185) Along with this advantage stated by Barry, online will be cost effective for the brand and be the most suitable in terms of grabbing The Pick and Mixers attention as traditional print advertisements could possibly be ignored. Currently Oxfam Boutique has an inactive online presence as social sites such as Twitter and Facebook have not been posted on since September 2012 and were only activated two months prior to this. Whatever the reason was to stop using these sites we feel they are vital in encouraging the change in perception across the younger generation, as they become a relatable brand.
#FIESTAGRAM why instagram
Instagram will be the hub of Oxfam Boutique’s online communications. Why? To follow the trend of big brands that are now located within this image-based social site and have integrated Instagram within their marketing mix. This has proved to have the ability to convert pictures into purchases through visual emotional power. Due to recent changes with Instagram the social site has taken charge within online communities. Simply put, Instagram removed the ability to view an Instagram photos on Twitter, forcing the user to click a link to redirect them to view the image housed in Instagram itself. Therefore instead of Instagram directing traffic to Twitter and creating further conversation through the use of the hash tag, the roles have been reversed. Recent stats show that due to this setting change the social site has increased user usage by ‘35% in 3 months and brand Instagram follower count grew by 41%.’ (Cockerly, 2013) Outlined in a WGSN report ‘Instagram driven purchases’ it was highlighted that there seems to be a shift from traditional brand to consumer selling system to more peer-to-peer. Preston, added ‘Key items posted on apps such as Instagram are a conversational thread. These conversations can translate directly into online sales and shift brand perceptions.’ (Preston, 2012) This incorporates what is suggested through the newly designed swing tickets as consumers can become brand ambassadors not only will they post new stock which is delivered to store and can be displayed, creating further demand for stock and directing consumers to a store that is the only place they can purchase.
Car brand Ford Fiesta was one of the first brands to jump on the visual social media bandwagon with their campaign ‘Fiestagram’ in 2012. With a relatively simple idea the brand created a photo competition to generate interest around the innovations used within their models, where consumers where set challenges to accomplish. Through the competition Ford was able to target the ‘relatively small but important group of early adopters and amateur photographers with whom the photo sharing app was already popular.’ (Bachfischer, 2013) Unlike Ford, Oxfam Boutique are looking to communicate with the majority of early adopters and results have proved that this platform was successful within this consumer group. As popularity with site has grown it offers a security that by selecting Instagram is the most viable and correct choice.
‘During a seven week campaign linked with ‘Fiestagram’ around 16,000 photos were posted, an average dwell time of 3.4 minutes were recorded (time spent on an advert times by the rate of engagement) and approximately 120,000 new fans were introduced to the brand.’ (Bachfischer, 2013)
Instagram is still in its infancy and proving to be a success for brands to date. So hopefully as this grows Oxfam Boutique will reap the benefits and grow with it. The use of hash tags can create further buzz around the brand as they are interlinked with other social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and encourages the conversation can travel faster than ever before. Engagement metrics can be tracked across all of these platforms to ensure that an opportunity is not to be missed. In addition, Instagram offers one further benefit; the fully optimised app for mobile allows consumers to check in on the go which can be essential in driving the consumer to brand if within a close vicinity.
FIG. 33. #FIESTAGRAM. 2012. ONLINE.
FIG.32. INSTAGRAM BOUTIQUE PAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
whos using it
To create an event targeting the mainstream of the 18-25 demographic to raise the brandâ€™s awareness and footfall by communicating that Oxfam Boutique is a relatable fashion brand and that charity shopping can be fun.
WHO WILL BE THERE:
Oxfam Boutique will offer an alternative to your average night out with an aim to fill a shop floor rather than a dance floor with after hours lock in. Occurring between the hours of six till ten, consumers can come and enjoy a change of scenery as the charity shop will be transformed into a social area with dj’s, drinks and bargains. Ultimately the aim will be to fuel further profits for the charity, but even if consumers do not spend anything, they can come and experience the lock in, catch up with friends and capture a memory which could result in them returning at another point in time.
FIG.35. VAULT E-INVITATION. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.34. VAULT PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
WHAT IS VAULT?
As the mass markets of 18-25 year olds are predominantly students this event will be aimed towards them and their peer groups. ‘Despite being under greater financial pressure than ever before, the student masses still have substantial spending power. With 2.5 billion people in higher education, their annual spending power is put at as much as £15bn. But because of increasing financial pressures, the choices students make are changing. They are looking for money-saving offers, an experience and ultimately value for money’ (Leeson in Wood, 2012) VAULT can ultimately offer what consumers are looking for. In addition to the younger generation attending, influential writers such as online bloggers and representatives from newspaper and magazine companies will also receive personal e-invites. Sunday supplement editorials such as the Mail on Sunday; which will follow up on the previous article with Mark Goldring. Stylist and Fabulous magazine will be targeted along with a local paper, the Nottingham Post. We feel these would be the most influential places that would help spread the word about Oxfam Boutique through write ups following VAULT. During an interview with Georgia Shipley author of ‘for love of thift’ blog she stated that she would love to write about her experiences at charity shops more to encourage others and VAULT can provide the topic of a new angle for charity shopping.
how will it be communicated:
FIG.36. VAULT PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
Primary research highlighted that our target demographic clear out their wardrobes twice a year to prepare for new purchases. (See appendix three) We decided to link this to summer and winter wardrobes. With this in mind timing of the event is no accident, taking place within the first week of October and six months later as a second trial in April. It is early in the first term and courtesy of either student finance or the bank of mum and dad students are still flush with cash and eager to fit in with fashion conscious peers. Again VAULT in April will take place during a week in which refreshers are normally celebrating on campus just after Easter time.
As the first pilot takes place just a week after fresherâ€™s week this time can be used to maximise awareness, figure thirty four and thirty six (seen on previous page) shows an example of leaflets which can be handed out to students across campus and as they travel the word spreads further. In addition to the leaflets, fifty lucky consumers will be able to get their hands on V.I.P bands which allow them to enter VAULT thirty minutes prior the official opening. Relating to BJ Foggsâ€™ theory which was discussed early the brand incorporates the anticipation stage, as the event evolves and awareness grows consumers will become more hopeful as they wish to be a part of the exclusive pre entrance.
Communication to bloggers will be formed in a personal e-invitation, which can be instantly sent direct to email addresses found through their contact section sourced within their blog. (E-invitation shown in figure thirty five)
FIG.37. VAULT BAND. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.38. PRESS PACK. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
For writers belonging to publications a press pack similar to what is shown within figure thirty eight, will contain all the relevant information they need to know about the event. In addition, to the fifty pre entrants, writers and bloggers will also be able to gain access into the event at the time they wish. Ensuring that this group enjoy their visit is essential, as they can increase further promotion and encourage footfall to rise in the lead up to the second event in April.
(trend hunter, 2013)
FIG.40. VAULT INSTAGRAM PAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
For the consumers that may not be a student or be mixed within a student friendship group but still fall within the target demographic of 18-25, they can gain knowledge about VAULT through the newly designed window display featured above. Reported by trend site WGSN, pixilation is forecasted to be a major trend within the upcoming year and the new design incorporates features to relate to this by displaying small squares imagery matching the various other promotional material.
# vault VAULT will also be heavily promoted through social media sites prior to the event and conversation will be continued and monitored after. The communication hub Instagram will become the home of imagery, displaying stock leading up to the event to entice consumers to visit. Also photography captured at the event from consumer’s new purchases to how they interact with the brand will be uploaded and interlinked to Twitter creating a live feed throughout the night. The photographs will create a visual memory that can be shared across the community and also allows shoppers to join in a post their own additional photographs, which can be grouped by the hash tag. By creating a live conversation, consumers who did not attend the event still have the option to become included and see what they missed out on.
FIG.41. VAULT TWITTER FEED. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
FIG.39. VAULT WINDOW DISPLAY. OWN IMAGE.
‘Once considered exclusively as a photography faux pas, pixilation has now lent itself to the art and design world. Innovators are drawing inspiration from computerised images in order to create imperfect-looking products in the realm of furniture, films, eye wear, gadgets and more. Collage-esque pixelated style coincide with a consumer desire for imperfection and a DIY ethos.’
CONSUMER TOUCHPOINTS By incorporating the Three Step Plan in consumers lives you can see within figure forty two how each of the four consumer groups have the ability to not only to connect with one another, but how each execution has provided a nudge or motivation for them to go on to do something else. Possible motivations shown are either revisiting Oxfam Boutique or spreading the word about the store and event further within social groups or online platforms.
FIG.42. CONSUMER TOUCHPOINTS. 2013. OWN IMAGE.
gauging success Throughout the three step plan the predominating goal is to ultimately build strong brand awareness and by encompassing each of the execution phases this can be achieved. As the Oxfam Boutique store in Nottingham is the suggested first trial area it is important to monitor the success in order to further improve and adapt to fit in within the current market climate as it evolves in time. By creating benchmarks that can be monitored both from within the store and externally, similar to mystery shop ethnographic research conducted within this project, Oxfam Boutique can perform to the best of the stores ability as they could be reviewed at anytime. Within appendix nine a table has been collated sharing goals for each of the individual executions for both a three and six-month period, along with a two year review. Not only will the storeâ€™s performance be analysed in terms of maximising profits, footfall, and transaction values, the growth in online business will be closely followed along with pinpointing suitable times to expand executions to the next stage. In order for Oxfam Boutique to be successful and remain present on the British high street whether you are a worker or volunteer, the chain and journey of garments from sorting centre to store have to work as a team utilising all communication channels.
conclusion Throughout this report our concept was to reinvent the Oxfam Boutique brand, to ensure the store remained on the British high street for years to come. We believed, to do this successfully a new strategy had to be created targeting the younger generation specifically aged within 18-25 year old demographic, as research suggested they hold control of the future. As currently, the majority of this consumer group have a negative relationship with the charity environment key goals were created to encourage perceptions to change and to ultimately regain engagement between themselves and the store. Key goals that we wanted to achieve included increasing footfall, increasing the buying to recycling ratio and to improve the product selection available in store. I believe we have achieved these goals through a detailed three step plan focusing on the sorting centre and store environment and increasing the level of consumer interaction though online platforms. A vision was created for each goal though a number of creative executions along with a clear plan with realistic targets of how each element can expand in the future. Oxfam Boutique now has a clear defined brand image and has potential to become apart of generation Ysâ€™ shopping journeys as their brand presence grows. 89
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OXFAM, 2013. Oxfam Boutiques. [online] Oxfam. Available at: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/local-shops/oxfam-boutiques Accessed April 29th 2013 OWEN, V. (2013) ‘An extraordinary month in the life of the new boss at Oxfam’. The Mail on Sunday, 5 May 2013 p.89
FIG.1. FEMALE CHARITY SHOP USAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.2. SURVEY RESULT 18-25 CHARITY SHOP USAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.3. THE AFFECTS OF FAST FASHION. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.21. UPDATE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR & HANNA FOWLER
FIG.4. SHOCKED FEMALE. 2012. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: http://www.crazytownblog.com/crazytown/2011/07/remember-when-i-dropped-out-of-grad-school.html
FIG.22. THE EXCHANGE: WEBSITE MOCK UP. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.5. SURVEY RESULT DONATION PRIORITIES. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.23. NEW LOGO DESIGN. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR & HANNA FOWLER
FIG.6. HIGHSTREET. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: http://www.giftwarepro.com/article-9231-retailers-breaking-marketing-promises-says-survey/
FIG.24. BILL SCHELY SEVEN REASONS WE BUY. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.7. ROGERS CURVE OF INNOVATION. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.25. RUPERT BLANCHARD. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.RUPERTBLANCHARD.COM
FIG.8. SERIES OF VOLKSWAGON FUN THEORIES. 2009. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: PIANO: http://geregeldgeblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/cool-involvement-piano-stairs/ BOTTLE BANK ARCADE: http://www.innmentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Juego-contenedor-de-botellas-bottle-bank-arcade2.jpg WORLDS DEEPEST BIN: http://wearewhatwedo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/60.-DeepestBin.jpg SPEED CAMERA LOTTERY: http://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/tv-commercials-ambient/volkswagen-the-speed-camera-lottery-14467705/
FIG.26. BEFORE AND AFTER OXFAM BOUTIQUE FLOOR PLANS. 2013. OWN IMAGE. BEFORE PLAN CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR, AFTER CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER
FIG.9. BJFOGG CORE MOTIVATORS. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.10. BJFOGG MOTIVATION MODEL. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.11. ELEMENTS TO MAKE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.12. STOCK FOUND IN BRADERIE. 2013. OWN PHOTOGRAPH. FIG.13. PERCEPTUAL MAP SECTOR. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.14. MUGSHOT OF CONSUMERS. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: THE BARGAIN HUNTER: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/mod_product/fileupload/1840_old_women_black_white_portrait.jpg http://www.falshcharlie.co.uk/prestbury-family-photography THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER: http://jessetherrien.com/tag/woman THE ALTERNATIVE BUNCH: http://wlickr.com/photos/barrar/ THE PICK AND MIXERS: http://25.media.tumblr.com5e4641575a7fd910
FIG.27.MODEL OF NEW STORE DESIGN. 2013. OWN IMAGE. FLOOR SPACE CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER, DISPLAY AND INTERIOR CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.28. WINDOW DISPLAY. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER FIG.29. SWING TICKET DESIGNS. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.30. SWING TICKET ON GARMENT. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.31. INSTAGRAM APP ON IPHONE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.32. INSTAGRAM BOUTIQUE PAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER FIG. 33. #FIESTAGRAM. 2012. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: HTTP://WWW.AQUARIUS.BIZ/EN/2013/04/26/CASE-STUDY-VISUAL-SOCIAL-MEDIA-MARKETING-WITHINSTAGRAM/ FIG.34. VAULT PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.35. VAULT E-INVITATION. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.36. VAULT PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.37. VAULT BAND. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER
FIG.15. THE BARGAIN HUNTER. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/mod_product/fileupload/1840_old_women_black_white_portrait. jpg // http://www.falshcharlie.co.uk/prestbury-family-photography CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.38. PRESS PACK. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR & HANNA FOWLER
FIG.16. THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER: ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER: http://jessetherrien.com/tag/woman CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.40. VAULT INSTAGRAM PAGE. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER
FIG.17. THE ALTERNATIVE BUNCH. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: http://wlickr.com/photos/barrar/ CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER FIG.18. THE PICK AND MIXERS. 2010. ONLINE. AVAILABLE AT: http://25.media.tumblr.com5e4641575a7fd910 CREATED BY HANNA FOWLER FIG.19. NEW PAPER ARTICLE. 2013. OWN PHOTOGRAPH 94
FIG.20. SERIES OF TREND DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING OXFAM BOUTIQUE PHOTOGRAPHS. 2013. OWN PHOTGRAPHY AND IMAGERY. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
FIG.39. VAULT WINDOW DISPLAY. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.41. VAULT TWITTER FEED. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR FIG.42. CONSUMER TOUCHPOINTS. 2013. OWN IMAGE. CREATED BY AMIEE LITTLEFAIR
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GRAVES, P. (2012). Consumer.ology: the market research myth, the truth about consumers and psychology of shopping. 2nd edn. Boston: Nicholas Brealey
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Provide fashion for conscious customers
Conscious actions of guilty minds It could be debated that H&M is either a problem in a chain of many, or possibly providing a controversial solution. The Swedish retailer and high street giant is at the centre of providing our fast fashion culture with low quality, inexpensive garments at an accelerating pace, but unlike many other brands has a highly conscious mind. With just under 3000 stores in 49 different markets the company has made themselves a global influence as they reposition and become a ‘sustainable ecological thought leader that both present and future generations should respect in everything they do.’ (Artigas in Dufault, 2013) Following on shortly after, they announced their new visionary title; saw the launch of the H&M Conscious Collection, a range of fashion garments produced through a most environmentally friendly method and a new in-store recycling system promoting alternative options to landfill. The scheme encourages consumers to bring their unwanted apparel in exchange for a £5 voucher, which can be redeemed against a £30 purchase. The aim of this is to ultimately boost footfall, encouraging more shoppers to return to spend again but considering as a store they have an ‘average transaction value of approximately £15.00’ (Foggin, 2013) the voucher redemption is double which secretly is encouraging consumers to buy more products than they would originally. This questions how sustainable are they really being, as the motive for the store seems more beneficial especially in recession times compared to how well it is for the environment. H&M Conscious Collection is only one of the seven strategic commitments the company is working to achieve; another includes defeating on- going issues with water resources. Water is a key resource for H&M’s garment production ‘around a third of the factories that make clothes for H&M using wet processes are already located in extreme scarce areas, or will be by 2025’ (H&M, 2013) It can be said that H&M are reacting before it does become too late, starting at the very beginning and working their way throughout the process of the value chain. Not only is the brand educating staff to make sustainable choices, the ultimate goal for the brand is to leave a lasting impression with consumers out of store and not just communicate with them whilst in store.
‘we need to shoe consumers the added value of being sustainable’
Choose and reward responsible partners
Be climate smart Reduce, reuse, recycle
Use natural resources responsibly
(Catarina in Hennes & Mauritz, 2013)
Strengthen communities 122
(Information sourced from Mintel, 2010) 124
A. Littlefair 24.05.13