Latest Retail posts
31 Jan 2013
“Never fire the social media people until you've disarmed them of their passwords.”
That's what the lesson learnt by the administrators currently running the HMV record chain, which went into administration in mid-January.
Live-Tweeting from the mass-firing, the social media manager let rip at the bean-counters who have been running the company since its collapse.
“There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand. #hmvXFactorFiring”
“Sorry we've been quiet for so long. Under contract, we've been unable to say a word, or – more importantly – tell the truth #hmvXFactorFiring”
The Tweets concluded with a classic:
"Just heard our Marketing Director ask how do you shut down twitter?" #hmvXFactorFiring
A “keyboard tussle” subsequently ensued while the marketing manager worked out how to change the password, before HMV re-asserted control of its own Twitter feed and the offending messages were deleted.
Maybe, though, it ought to embrace such subversiveness? After all, on the afternoon of Thursday 31 January, HMV was unexpectedly trending and people were, for the first time in a generation, actually talking about it.
05 Sep 2012
Retail sales manuals have always been a triumph of hope over reality. The trainers seek to imbue the putative new staff at, say, Dixons with a friendly, customer-focused, sales-oriented method, turning them into smart, sleek sales machines. But the result is an army of dense, slightly scruffy Herberts.
Not at the super-groovy Apple Store, though, which only employs smart, stylish, good-looking and unbelievably clever people – Apple Geniuses, no less.
The shops even have built-in riff-raff detectors on the doors to keep the seriously unstylish out, or so we’re told.
But now Apple’s secret has been leaked, with the publication online of Apple Store’s “Genius Training Student Workbook”. And the secret, it would seem, is to employ the kind of gullible people who might be attracted to Scientology, if only they had Tom Cruise’s money.
The Student Workbook includes an Orwellian language guide because, of course, Apple products never “crash” or “freeze”, they merely “stop responding”. And staff are encouraged to give each other “fearless feedback”, ie to criticise each other in a passive-aggressive manner.
The manual also includes a guide for reading customers’ body language. Or as one blogger put it, “you’ll find psychological profiling, banned words and lessons on how to capitalise on human emotion, with sales being maximised via crowbarred ambience and cod-empathy”.
18 Oct 2011
We often feature gifts for those with more money than sense, and what could be more exciting than a DNA rug! Not a rug covered in your DNA, which many will have in your bedrooms already, but one woven to match your genetic signature.
“DNA Rugs use a sample of your unique DNA, fingerprint or kiss print to create a hand-tufted, 100% New Zealand wool rug. The most original accent piece for any home,” says the blurb at DNA Labs.
Prices will start at $999, but we prefer to imagine the pleasure you could give to a crime scene investigator if you were slaughtered on your own DNA rug.
19 Jul 2011
Hey, Computing readers, looking for a belt buckle that says, “I’m in IT”? Probably not, but someone is, because retailer GettingWeddy is selling belts with computer mice as buckles for $20.
It really makes a statement about your sense of style. Whether that’s a statement you want to make in public, we’ll leave to you.
07 Jul 2011
Last issue we brought you the story of Best Buy’s heroic fight to own the concept of geekiness, or at least protect its trademarked Geek Squad against Newegg.com’s “Geek On” slogan.
“I guess Best Buy is happy about Buy More and the Nerd Herd then,” says Ian Thompson. In case you’re wondering, “We are Nerds and proud of it… If you have a technincal (sic) question or problem, the Nerd Herd’s got the answer!” is their proud boast. But they didn’t use the word “geek”, so we suppose they’re in the clear.
This is how intellectual property lawyers earn the big bucks.
An irreverent and offbeat look at the lighter side of technology
Philip Wylie on Toblerone train turns out to be pointless
paul markham on And a special mention...
Philip G on Seeing through Windows 'user comments'
Jonathan on Mac users: there's one born every minute
Nintendisco on Disco divas on the game
Browse posts by date