Retails Told Around the World
by Jake Aull Summer 2008

A recent article in a marketing technologies e-zine celebrated innovations in British retail stores. The challenge for marketers in Britain, and indeed many global markets outside the U.S., is small stores inhibiting POS promotions. Of course the U.S., with “the rise and continued growth of mega-retailers” over the last 10 years, continues to offer more space for POS promotions (Mitchell). Hence, as U.S.-based global retail brand products increase, so do marketing expectations. The challenge in global markets requires greater adaptation and more creative solutions. "Coke adds that a one-size-fits-all approach to POP is no longer valid, either because it has to suit the lowest common denominator, and therefore significantly reduces impact, or it relies on an overly engineered approach that increases cost and complexity (Clegg)." Fortunately, global creatives are rising to the challenge. As the afore-mentioned article goes on to say, British designers are coming up with new POS media to fit the small stores. One great example includes electronic, interactive window display units. These units attract passers-by to create a design, and then go in to the store to have a T-shirt printed from their design. There are also strategies for in-store electronic promotions that appear on individuals cell phones and direct them to the aisles of specific products. This type of POS, customer-integrated marketing should have plenty of potential with 1 billion mobile internet phones in the world (Williams 85).

Experiential Marketing
The potential is also greater for these new approaches to make meaningful consumer connections. Traditional POS promotions are predominately visual. These new multimedia approaches have the opportunity for greater consumer engagement by virtue of multi-sensory marketing (Lindstrom). From this experiential perspective, multimedia POS approaches could be even be strengthened by a complementary scent placed in the retail store. "...Adding background music and pleasant aromas to a retail environment enhances consumer evaluations and shopping behaviors... environmental cues interact with each other (Mattila and Wirtz)."

Mixing the Economies
Just as U.S.-based global brands grow and homogenize the world of retail, it is also becoming difficult to distinguish U.S. from global consumers in retail purchasing. To confuse U.S. economy problems, "...a resident of Paris, Hong Kong, or Riyadh can make a purchase on a U.S. e-commerce site and it may show up in the U.S. retail sales data. In fact, the current growth in retail sales, to some degree, represents the strength of foreign buying... the Internet is outrunning the statistical system's ability to track the domestic economy (Mandel)." To complicate our economics even more, “the increase of international assignments” for U.S. MNC employees means that more citizens must also purchase retail outside the U.S. (Heron 1). Future globalization predictions not only anticipate foreigners’ desires to work in the U.S., but U.S. citizens may desire foreign company jobs and living environments. "Some futurists are saying that expanding foreign economies, particularly China's and India's, will draw young people to seek opportunities abroad, and Generation Y... may be the first generation in U.S. history to migrate overseas in large numbers (Schramm 176)."

Global population exchanges, retail adaptation, multimedia promotions growth, and blended purchasing calculations: retail’s latest tools for reinvention? Perhaps Generation Y workers abroad will absorb and spread foreign cultural artifacts, quelling global fears of Americanization. With such mixing potential, might the globe itself become the next great "melting pot?"

Copyright Jake Aull Summer 2008

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Clegg, Alicia. “Grab a piece of the interaction.” MarketingWeek. 10 Jul 2008



Heron, Leila. “The Challenges of Dual Career Households in a Global Economy.” Global Edge Business Review. Vol. 2, No. 4, 2008: 1


Lindstrom, Martin. “Sensory Branding.” Neuromarketing. 9 Jul 2007



Mandel, Micheal. “How Strong Is the U.S. Consumer?” BusinessWeek. 3 Jul 2008



Mattila, Anna S. and Jochen Wirtz. “Congruency of Scent and Music as a Driver of In-Store Evaluations and Behavior.” Journal of Retailing. Vol. 77 Issue 2. 2008



Mitchell, Stacy. “Taking Aim at the Big-Box Economy.” Blog. Clawback 1 May 2008


Schramm, Jennifer. "Internet Connections." HR Magazine Sept 2007: 176.


Williams, Mark. “The State of the Global Telecosm in 2008.” Technology Review May-Jun 2008: 85.



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