Here is a transcript and video clips of an interview with Apple's Senior V.P. of Retail, Angela Ahrendts.I like what she's doing with the Apple stores by focusing on educational sessions and a place to meet and network with friends and colleagues. In today's challenging retail world, it's important to provide consumers with a unique experience rather than just a product selection. The Internet is way better at that.
Apparently, I have been working too hard lately. I just found out from one of my students that Lella Vignelli passed away in December. I've linked to her obit in the NY Times. I teach a first-year seminar in design that features the Vignelli's and their eclectic body of work. I do not think that Lella has received enough credit for the output. By contrast, there were moving tributes to her husband Massimo when he passed in 2014. I am hoping to get up to the RIT campus where the Vignelli Center for Design Studies opened in 2010 and houses much of their archives.
Here's a great ad from McDonald's U.K that lampoons the self-indulgent and overpriced coffee drinks made popular these days by brands like Starbucks. It's an effective way to position McCafe as a simple alternative if you just want, you know, a cup of hot coffee.
In another sign that traditional retail is dying, Sears has announced the sale of its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black and Decker. Their goal is to raise cash to help overcome struggling financial results. Sales declined in 2016 and the company is burdened with more than $3 billion in debt. The good news for consumers is that Craftsman products will now be available in a much wider range of stores and will likely be offered at Lowe's and Home Depot.
This is nice to see. The iconic Pirelli calendar is taking a new direction in 2017 and using "real" photos of women in all their natural beauty. It's great to view images that have not been Photoshopped to the point where women look like idealized cartoons of themselves.