It’s been a couple of weeks since our Autumn Haul event, and we’ve been reflecting on our latest retail masterclass. For those of you who are new to the haul, this day is designed for busy brand professionals to experience the way we work, tackle a current brand challenge, and receive one-on-one strategic coaching from our expert team.
This season, we had attendees from the music, heritage, and children’s entertainment industries come together for a jam-packed day of research, strategy, and shopping! The day begins with a macro-trend presentation by our Director of Design, Sara Bignardi. This provides the day with context and gives participants a framework to use while comp. shopping. After exploring the capital’s best retail hotspots, the group reconvenes to consolidate their findings and receive coaching on actionable outcomes.
We decided to host Skew’s haul event after consistently hearing similar feedback from several clients. Many brands have mentioned that they don’t have enough time to gather market intelligence, and they value strategic insights, but bringing in an agency is too expensive.
“The licensing industry has changed dramatically over the last 20 years; however, there are challenges that brands bring up time and time again - capacity and budget. At our haul events, we condense a week’s worth of research into one day and provide insight into how an established agency like Skew approaches projects. This allows brands to experience the Skew way of doing things and enjoy a great day out in our hometown of London,” said Oliver Dyer, CEO of Skew.
The next event will be Spring Haul, scheduled for the 18th of January. It’s the perfect one-day workshop that can slot easily into your planning schedule and kick off 2024 with expert insights specifically tailored to your brand. Registration with no commitment is now open, just drop us a message here and the team will be in touch with more info. By registering, you’ll gain access to early bird ticket releases and be the first to receive full details of the masterclass.
After a day of exploring the best shops in London and engaging in strategic planning on clients’ live projects, we wanted to share some of our key takeaways from the day.
House of Hackney x Liberty
This whimsical collaboration has a quintessentially British tone to its aesthetic. Products feature environmentally conscious slogans alongside gothic illustrative animals and florals in sumptuous hues. The collection is the perfect source of inspiration for any heritage brands looking for a modern take with rich storytelling. Another noteworthy mention is Liberty’s homeware. They have successfully blended individual product identities with a consistent overarching brand style to create a diverse yet cohesive range.
An In-store Symphony
As you would expect from such an iconic brand, all your usual band merch can be found at the Rolling Stones’ flagship store on Carnaby Street. However, what stood out to us was how presentation and in-store design have been used to elevate the product. In contrast, the recent Rita Ora at Primark collection felt underwhelming, with lacklustre POS materials and the noticeable absence of a strong brand story.
The trend for lumpy, bumpy homeware is still going strong in retail, with some of the best examples at Arket. Brought to life in bold and bright colours, Arket has created an impactful in-store statement with their current range. We see this as a reaction to the ever-increasing presence of AI-generated design. These wonky products offer an antidote to the super smooth, artificial finish, evoking a sense of the handmade and personal.