To Live, Retailers Should Innovate

Lately, the death of retail as we know it is everywhere on the internet. Big brands disappearing overnight, stores shutting down by dozens daily, malls becoming ghost towns and everybody is pointing at the internet being the reason behind this.

Well, I am a big believer of brick-and-mortar retail and no matter how big the internet and will get, in my opinion retail is here to stay but conditionally.

If retailers want to live, they need and should innovate. The beauty of brick-and-mortar retail is the flexibility.

The flexibility of changing what is not working, finding new ways to make their stores better and more attractive, spending more time on their shoppers behavior, re-engineering their concepts, analyzing their data, adapting new communications channels, taking a step back and looking at the wider picture of the situation and correct things.

It is not true that the internet is killing the retail when the internet retailers are opening physical shops. This simply means the actual business model of the retailers is not working anymore and they need change.

Change is not easy, especially for the old school retailers. with large, very large stores, hundreds of employees on the floor, endless aisles and a heavy machine to operate. The new retail business model should be lean to survive, with a very lean structure just to quickly adapt to changes, move on and live a happy retail life.

The Easy Brand Fight

theeasybrandfight is a well known British group having under its umbrella an endless number of brands combined with the word Easy, their most famous one is the low-cost airline EasyJet, the founder of Easy Group is Stelios. Not long ago, Easy Group also launched EasyFoodStore with a very simple business line “No expensive brands, just food honestly priced”.

Yesterday, Carrefour Belgium opened its 1st store called Easy Market along with their Carrefour icon and previously they opened also in Belgium 2 stores called Easy Caddy without any link to the Carrefour brand. The main idea behind these 2 concepts is to test a low-cost stores which are too big for the Carrefour Express concept and too small for the Carrefour Market concept. Both Easy Market and Easy Caddy use the famous orange color used by EasyGroup for all its brands and products.

EasyGroup is very keen about its branding and colors, they have a dedicated page on their website for this matter entitled Brand Thieves, we need to see where this going to get on the brand trademarking side, the word easy and the orange color, unless there is a deal about it.

If you have any information concerning this, please feel free to share it.

Consumer & Retail Incubator & Accelerator

I am a big fan of consumer products and retail concepts and this is what I do for living. I was trying lately to find any incubator and/or accelerator related to those industries in this part of the world (Levant & MENA) but unfortunately I came across so many of them who are only focused on technology startups and only technology and some of them also have a restricted geographic region they do cover.

I was kind of disappointed seeing no one is interested in “offline” consumer and retail (except if you are an online or e-commerce oriented). A very big industry and sector that touch the lives of millions if not billions worldwide but investors most probably prefer the fast bucks lane and are in continuous search for the next Facebook or Uber.

I would like to launch a consumer & retail oriented incubator and accelerator with no geographic restrictions, but looking for people sharing the same vision and dream to build it together.

If you are a consumer and retail incubator and accelerator that I missed finding in a way or another, please get in touch.

if you are a consumer and retail passionate, let’s do this together.

Smart vs Wise

Humans are all born equal with the same teacher, LIFE!
And the lessons start, some soft, some hard and some even harder, some stay fool, some get clever, some smart and some wise and wiser.

Being smart and wise come with time, experience and mainly age, anyone can easily decide which path to follow and practice to be smart and later wise by being the CEO of their own life and evaluating people, promoting, demoting and/or terminating their presence.

And when it comes to making decisions and choices, things get complicated depending on your age, the same question or decision is being looked at very differently for someone in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s. The older you are, the more you will say I wish I knew this few years ago.

Personally I wish I have read the below quote many years ago, but surely it is never too late to catch up!

smart vs wise
photo credit:

16 For 2016


It is the 31st of December and we are getting away from an another ~365-days around the sun~ and welcoming a new round!

And suddenly everybody remember that it is time for resolutions that most of them won’t survive till the end of January of the new year or even mid-Jan and most probably the superstar of resolutions is “I want to lose some weight” which won’t work for 99.99% of the people making that specific resolution.

Okay including me ;-)

While going thru my flipboard yesterday, an article entitled “16 Career-Boosting Lists to Make in 2016” got my attention, written by Adrian Granzella Larssen, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Muse.

I suggest you read the article and try making the 16 lists or some of them which looks to be fun doing.

1. Companies you want to work for.
2. 10 innovative ideas off the top of your head.
3. People you should know to get ahead.
4. Books you want to read.
5. What you want to happen in 2016.
6. What you want to leave in 2015.
7. Your career bucket list.
8. “Got a minute?” to-dos.
9. “Got a slow day?” to-dos.
10. A “not right now” list.
11. Your biggest accomplishments.
12. Lunches to make.
13. What you’re grateful for.
14. Things you do better than most people.
15. Things you want to try.
16. Sayings to live by.

Happy New Year!

In Business, Forgive But Don’t Forget

business ethics 960px
In your business life, you will encounter different types of people just exactly as in your everyday life and so many of them will make promises, endless business promises and you will discover that they can barely keep any of these promises starting the next morning.

And some of these people are so unethical in business that they don’t bother themselves calling or emailing saying that they could not keep the promise they made to you and you keep waiting and wondering what you should do next.

Then and suddenly they give you a small light of hope that they did not totally forget about you and you are on their list but they need more time to come back to you and early next week or the week after you will have the answer you are expecting.

As time is passing by, you start asking yourself, should I call , should I email a reminder, do they care for their business, am I valuable for their business? And at one point you get angry and feel the urge of calling this guy and saying whatever you feel about him.

But wait!

Why should you do that? You have other options, if he does not care about his business or clients, why should you? Use your other options, move forward and forgive his inappropriate and indelicate behavior, but don’t forget because one day he might come back asking for your business, then would be the right time to teach him a lesson!

You can also read my previous related post entitled “When In A Moment Of Anger“.

2015 Resolution

Mikkle Svane

Dancing @ Work

jeff bezos

I am a big fan of Jeff Bezos and this is not a secret on my blog, the guy is into retail and consumers. I was reading an article some time ago about his apparent heir to run the company and the article starts where the 50 years old, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he’s having so much fun that he still dances into the office each morning.

Should not we all dance into our offices every morning?

Indeed we should even if we don’t like our jobs (millions of you out there), we should not keep a small detail or a colleague or a direct manager with a bad attitude or character ruin that morning dance, the endless flow of work and daily tasks should not stop the flow of music.

Yes this office dancing theory looks very perfect but do your best and put some extra effort to make it happen every morning, it will help you moving forward.

Jeff Bezos photo credit: Emmanuel Dunand/Getty

Edeka Jingle Bells

Edeka is the largest German supermarket corporation and the employees of one of their stores decided to play the famous Jingle Bells music with the beeps of their cash registers, enjoy!

Hiroshi Mikitani

hiroshi mikitani

I started few days ago reading Marketplace 3.0: Rewriting the Rules of Borderless Business written by Hiroshi Mikitani the CEO of Rakuten.

I will not discuss the detailed content of his book which is extremely interesting to read for every person involved in daily consumer related business activities not matter the industry, even that his company is mostly focused on online marketplaces but a lot can be learned from this gentleman and the culture he created for Rakuten in Japan and its subsidiaries worldwide.

Mikitani is a visionary and this is very obvious in his book or when you take a look at the global success of Rakuten which means “optimism” in Japanese, he started a very small company and took it big and i am sure his dreams are way beyond what he already achieved.

You can feel how Mikitani is keen about lifting every one around him up to the top and setting his standards very high, his vision of going global and making all the needed efforts to achieve it without losing focus on the core business and the fundamentals.

He easily can be an excellent business mentor for many <failed CEOs who unfortunately think they have what it takes to run a company or create a business culture> thru his book at a very marginal cost, by just buying his book(s).

But the question is if humans are not resistant to change, the positive change!

I am looking forward to finish this book to start his latest one entitled The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy.

Rakuten Group is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, eBooks & eReading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten Group is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.