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<strong>Explorer</strong><br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> | Chile | July 2020<br />

1<br />

Digital<br />

Natives<br />

Chile’s biggest<br />

retailer talks tech<br />

Waste Not<br />

The Chilean retailer turning<br />

cardboard into paper money<br />

Retail Hotspots<br />

The stores putting the capital<br />

on the retail map<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> Sights<br />

A city that is bursting with<br />

new retail adventures

Feeling the Heat?<br />

visualthinking.co.uk<br />

In the current climate, retailers need to find ways<br />

of doing more, with less—like never before.<br />

Trusted by global retailers since 1993, our highly experienced team can provide vital<br />

support to help retailers improve store operations, elevate VM execution, develop skills<br />

and maximise store investment.<br />

Outstanding retail solutions that take stores from the everyday to the exceptional,<br />

with immediate results.<br />

2020<br />

2<br />

Adidas<br />

Harley-Davidson<br />

Hunter<br />

IKEA<br />

New Look<br />

O2<br />

Sainsbury’s<br />

Sony<br />

Speedo<br />

Timberland<br />

Triumph Motorcycles<br />

Unilever<br />

Waitrose & Partners<br />


Ready to Explore?<br />

Contents<br />

Feeling the Heat 02 | Revolutionary Retail 04 | Born 05 |<br />

Retail Hotspots 06 | Casaideas 08 | Palettas 09 | Digital Natives 10 |<br />

Zucca 12 | Bestias XX 13 | Chile. Vital Statistics 14 | Charting Sales 15 |<br />

Social Fabric 16 | Work Café by Santander 19 | ReThinking Retail 20<br />

¡Viva Chile!<br />

In this special edition of our global retail travelogue, we<br />

celebrate all that is good in the stunning capital city of <strong>Santiago</strong><br />

in <strong>Explorer</strong>: Chile.<br />

3<br />

Over the following pages, we look at the Chilean retail market from a shoppers perspective and with unique<br />

insight—showcasing domestic retailers, big and small, that driving high performance and success by pioneering<br />

new ideas, great VM, market leading instore service and outstanding store operations.<br />

We also feature exclusive interviews with senior retail leaders of South America’s biggest department store, Falabella.<br />

Read about how this powerhouse of national retail is combining the best of the store experience and innovative<br />

e-commerce operations to drive significant commercial growth, ambitious sustainability projects, and social<br />

programs that are deepening their roots with the community, helping Chilean people to learn, work and thrive.<br />

We hope you enjoy the issue.<br />

Special Features<br />

Digital Natives<br />

We meet Falabella Retail COO, Tomás Platovsky,<br />

to tour its flagship store in eastern <strong>Santiago</strong>, and<br />

talk retail operations.<br />

Social Fabric<br />

How Chile’s largest retailer is helping its<br />

country’s poorest by turning waste cardboard<br />

into paper money.<br />

Published by Visual Thinking<br />

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Revolutionary Retail<br />

Karl McKeever<br />

Founder and Managing Director<br />

of Visual Thinking<br />

Just before the recent global Covid pandemic, we visited Chile’s<br />

capital city, <strong>Santiago</strong>. Many things can be said of this beautiful Latin<br />

American city: sun drenched, sparkling, sublime. All apply, and<br />

much more.<br />

4<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> has come a long way, and most recently at pace. It’s history<br />

marked with periods of great progress and national strife, affected<br />

by catastrophic seismic disasters and all the time surrounded by the<br />

wonders of the outdoors and natural life. Today, the city presents<br />

a very modern and exciting vision of what it means to be a national<br />

capital in 21c South America. Since its transition to democracy in<br />

1990, the city of <strong>Santiago</strong> has swelled to seven million inhabitants.<br />

The Andes Mountains, several standalone hills and the fast-flowing<br />

Mapocho River, lined by lush green parks, shape the cityscape that is<br />

a mix of striking modern architecture and palatial heritage buildings.<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> fuses the influences of all that have settled there over the<br />

years. With a strong Spanish and Mediterranean vibe, its business<br />

connections with America, and the rest of Latin America are<br />

everywhere. The effect is a vibrant and colourful backdrop that’s full<br />

of spirit and dynamism.<br />

As the countries centre for banking and finance, <strong>Santiago</strong> has<br />

always attracted wealth, and this continues to fuel its growth and<br />

considerable development. Retail is characterised by diversity,<br />

quality and originality—at all ends of the market—with an impressive<br />

array of both local and famous international brand names. Opened in<br />

2013, the 62-storey tall skyscraper that is Gran Torre <strong>Santiago</strong> plays<br />

host to the largest shopping mall in Latin America, one of <strong>Santiago</strong>’s<br />

many outstanding retail destinations.<br />

Its remote location means that Chilean retailers are quick to look<br />

outward. With exciting concepts, new ideas and embracing new<br />

thinking to help them prosper, they are open and creative. In this<br />

issue, we select some of the exciting names and places that are<br />

making their mark—revolutionising retail in a way that only the<br />

country’s unique pioneering spirit and talented retail people can.

Born<br />

Ripping up the rulebook for<br />

children’s stores, the carefully<br />

curated product assortment<br />

and personal service lead<br />

approach from Born is a<br />

haven for shoppers seeking<br />

niche instead of norm.<br />

Unique to Chile, Born is an<br />

exciting new boutique concept store for parents and<br />

parents-to-be that has turned the formulaic concept of a<br />

children’s store on its head. Highly considered in scale,<br />

size and style, it oozes designer appeal, with its ‘spacewithin-a-space’<br />

approach offering its own individual take.<br />

In a sector that is often afraid to take risks or defy<br />

convention, Born takes a welcome stance against the<br />

mass production and standardisation we’ve come<br />

to associate with this type of store. Located in the<br />

country’s biggest and busiest mall, Parque Arauco, it’s<br />

an unexpected find—a shining example of the treasure a<br />

little exploration can uncover.<br />

5<br />

Refreshing in its refusal to conform to traditional baby design<br />

concepts, the brand ignores the golden rule that ‘children’s retailers<br />

don’t use black’. The minimalist frontage makes a commanding<br />

statement—a confident, understated aesthetic that works fluently on<br />

its own terms.<br />

Inside, the look is intimate, calm and upscale. A pitched timber<br />

roof and low mood lighting creates a cosy feel. The enclosed linear<br />

ceiling inspires a cocoon-like sense of calm, containment and safety.<br />

The effect on shopper psychology is both powerful and useful,<br />

creating a relaxed mood for discrete interaction with shoppers, to<br />

discuss their needs with a sense of privacy.<br />

VM is a masterclass in curated storytelling. Products are displayed in<br />

informal compositions, deliberately relaxed in style, naturally forming<br />

a series of related, interconnected baby and child stories. High<br />

instore standards confirm pride and care.<br />

VM is a masterclass in<br />

curated storytelling… informal<br />

compositions, deliberately<br />

relaxed in style…<br />

The brand is poised and self-assured right down to a granular<br />

level. Product and store and service segue together seamlessly to<br />

give parents and prospective parents an uplifting, quietly confident<br />

experience with every interaction.<br />

The result is an overall experience that is elevated, expert and<br />

discrete. Born does not shout, but whisper, and guides the<br />

shoppers hand. It’s thoroughly modern in style and approach… and<br />

an extremely welcome addition to the sector<br />

Staff refresh product displays regularly based on shopper feedback,<br />

and actual purchases made to suggest the best combinations. This<br />

keeps displays new and relevant, integrating sales data to drive the<br />

best commercial VM solutions instore.<br />

Shoppers can enjoy one-to-one staff service, with specialist advice<br />

on choosing, and using, their purchases. Appointments can be<br />

booked in advance via the Born website and extended to include<br />

home demos for selected items. It’s a good example of thinking<br />

‘outside the store’ to bridge the gap between the boundaries of<br />

traditional retail and e-commerce shopping.<br />


Retail Hotspots<br />

Dynamic and cosmopolitan, <strong>Santiago</strong> is a vibrant capital city, with outstanding<br />

retail destinations showcasing the very best of Chilean retail. Its rich history<br />

and diversity shines, with ancient city streets meeting independent design<br />

shops and makers markets. The city’s many modern malls are home to<br />

a variety of stores featuring an impressive range of regional, national,<br />

and international brands. <strong>Santiago</strong> is bursting with opportunities for retail<br />

adventure. Time to explore…<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> Metropolitan Area<br />

04. 10.<br />

03.<br />

6<br />

05.<br />

02.<br />

07.<br />

06.<br />

09.<br />

01.<br />

08.<br />

Centres of Attraction<br />

01. Barrio Lastarria<br />

02. Barrio Bellavista<br />

03. Parque Arauco<br />

04. Casacostanera<br />

05. Costanera Center<br />

06. Drugstore Boulevard<br />

07. Calle Bandera<br />

08. Barrio Italia<br />

09. Mall Plaza Los Dominicos<br />

10. Alto Las Condes

01. Barrio Lastarria 06. Drugstore Boulevard<br />

Expect festivals and live performances when visiting the<br />

streets of Lastarria. This lively neighbourhood has become<br />

a popular tourist hub for its cultural and lively social events.<br />

Find cool indie shops, branded pop up’s and quirky<br />

boutiques alongside small family restaurants and flavourful<br />

street food vendors.<br />

Don’t be fooled by the name. This vintage retail arcade is<br />

today the ‘must visit’ place for tiny boutiques from up-andcoming<br />

designers, arty bookstores, jewellery, and lifestyle<br />

stores. Enjoy trendy bars and hip eateries, plus a thriving<br />

organic market at the weekend that pulls in young, eco<br />

conscious shoppers.<br />

Jose Victorino Lastarria Av. Providencia 2124, Providencia<br />

02. Barrio Bellavista 07. Calle Bandera<br />

This trendy area sits between <strong>Santiago</strong>’s famous Mapocho<br />

River and San Cristóbal Hill and is known as the city’s<br />

bohemian quarter. Here, bustling days and vibrant nightlife<br />

come together in an eclectic mix. Free spirited indie retailers,<br />

restaurants, avant-garde galleries, bars and night clubs open<br />

late here.<br />

Known locally as the colourful painted street, this is a key<br />

artery set within historic downtown <strong>Santiago</strong>. Discover micro<br />

malls in restored buildings, national department stores and<br />

local chain boutiques. With an authentic, lively atmosphere,<br />

historic architecture vies for attention with vibrant graffiti and<br />

street art.<br />

Antonia López de Bello 14, Recoleta, Providencia Calle Bandera<br />

03. Parque Arauco 08. Barrio Italia<br />

7<br />

This chic new mall recently opened in the exclusive Vitacura<br />

neighbourhood. With 80 global brands, an area for 16<br />

independent design and clothing retailers, and stylish<br />

outdoor eateries, it typifies small but beautiful. With a smart<br />

NH hotel and multiplex cinema onsite, it’s an ideal place for<br />

visitors and locals alike to hang out.<br />

Home to <strong>Santiago</strong>’s opulent antiques stores. Visit this<br />

local hotspot for luxurious gifts and unique home decor<br />

treasures. Search in smaller galleries off the main streets<br />

of Italia and Condell to find beautiful, handmade Chilean<br />

woodwork and leather goods, lapis lazuli jewellery,<br />

confectionery and exotic spices.<br />

Av. Presidente Kennedy 5413, Las Condes Barrio Italia<br />

04. Casacostanera 09. Mall Plaza Los Dominicos<br />

This mall is said to be Chile’s top retail destination with 350<br />

brand outlets and its own luxury district with flagship stores<br />

from leading international designers, and affectionately<br />

called the fashionista’s mall of choice. Found in the affluent<br />

Las Condes neighbourhood, it offers easy connections to<br />

commercial areas and hotels.<br />

Mall Plaza Los Dominicos is a flagship integrated shopping<br />

and entertainment development designed with contemporary<br />

architecture and managed to high standards. Inside,<br />

retailers of every category are complemented by a modern<br />

hypermarket and DIY warehouse. It’s a high point of modern<br />

Chilean retail.<br />

Nueva Costanera 3900, Vitacura Av. Padre Hurtado Sur 875, Las Condes<br />

05. Costanera Center 10. Alto Las Condes<br />

Latin America’s largest mall has 300 stores on 6 levels, a<br />

2000 seat food court and a 12-screen multiplex cinema. At a<br />

height of 300 metres, the Sky Costanera observation deck,<br />

part of the neighbouring Costanera Torre building, offers<br />

free skyline tours with unrivalled views of <strong>Santiago</strong> and the<br />

surrounding metro areas.<br />

Best for top-end Chilean and Argentine clothing and<br />

accessories brands, this modern mall also has a department<br />

and cinema complex. There are also specialist Chilean and<br />

international branded outdoor-equipment suppliers to stock<br />

up on essential kit for taking on the Andes mountains.<br />

Av. Andrés Bello 2425, Providencia Av. Pdte. Kennedy Lateral 9001, Las Condes

Casaideas<br />

Casaideas is the spiritual<br />

home for a growing new<br />

breed of urban shoppers,<br />

with its strong but affordable<br />

product collections and fun,<br />

upbeat branding.<br />

Mirroring many capital cities across the<br />

globe, <strong>Santiago</strong> boasts a growing middle-class urban population.<br />

Along with increasing development of homes for private residents,<br />

this has created a whole new generation of shoppers with more<br />

space—and more disposable income. Good news for the home<br />

furnishing sector, and especially for homegrown retailer, Casaideas.<br />

8<br />

This fun, playful retail chain has stores across Chile, and a cheerful<br />

ambience that effortlessly gives it broad shopper appeal. Its stylishbut-affordable<br />

goods cover a range of practical and decorative<br />

categories, with simple product presentation and clever theming<br />

offering inspiration and ideas to shoppers. Unpretentious, welcoming<br />

and down to earth, it’s a destination which draws shoppers in.<br />

… technology and traditional<br />

[…] VM skills blend together<br />

with highly competent execution<br />

instore.<br />

Its latest store is in the smart new Casacostanera mall. This upscale<br />

retail destination sits within the large Las Condes district. Inhabited<br />

primarily by upper-mid to high-income families, it’s considered to be<br />

home to the country’s economic elite. With a collection of around 60<br />

international and domestic lifestyle brands, this chic open-air retail<br />

space is an untypical, aspirational location that’s likely to broaden<br />

brand appeal even further.<br />

One of Casaideas’ strengths lies in its product collections. Bold<br />

‘fashion colours’ combined with quirky aesthetics are a unifying<br />

presence instore, with coordinated themed design and considered<br />

adjacencies. These ‘everyday essentials’ items are young in attitude,<br />

low in price and bang on trend for the Instagram-sharing generation.<br />

Here, the store environment is modern but understated, fixturing<br />

takes a step back to allow products to shine centre stage. Attractive<br />

and inspiring visual merchandising is however key to success.<br />

Detailed planograms are provided for all categories and shared with<br />

stores to use on digital tablet devices. Store teams implement the<br />

planograms within their own shops, modifying the VM results to<br />

suit their own space, fixtures and store environment. It’s a perfect<br />

example of how the use of new technology and traditional retail and<br />

VM skills blend together with highly competent execution instore.<br />

Reminiscent of other international homewares brands, Casaideas<br />

is something of a national treasure in Chile. And it’s easy to see<br />

why. Fun and affordable, it’s a brand that knows its market position<br />

and appeal, and delivers this with consistency and quality—dayafter-day.<br />

Affordable prices will leave shoppers feeling like they’ve<br />

bagged a bargain. However, it’s the retailer’s uncompromising store<br />

standards and superb visual appeal that make it a pleasure for<br />

people to browse, shop, and be inspired to buy more. A place where<br />

you can’t help but feel at home…<br />

With different size, store layouts and formats nationwide, Casaideas<br />

manages the very real differences within its physical store estate with<br />

a flair and consistency that are vital to the success of its collections.<br />


Palettas<br />

Bringing fun and colourful<br />

treats to a health-conscious<br />

generation, the Palettas<br />

franchise keeps it sweet and<br />

simple. Great taste, swift<br />

service, planet friendly…<br />

Drawing inspiration from a 1940’s<br />

business model founded in Mexico City, Palettas is a deliciously<br />

simple and highly profitable ‘business-in-a-box’ franchise<br />

concept, serving the ice cream treats from mall-based units,<br />

mobile units, or a mini shop.<br />

Packed with fresh fruit chunks… a paleta is the perfect way to cool<br />

down on a hot day and still enjoy one of your five a day. These are<br />

ice creams for the modern age, guilt-free treats that look good<br />

and taste good. Today’s healthy living, calorie-conscious and<br />

environmentally aware consumers are demanding more from their<br />

products. Or rather, less. So these products—100% natural, and<br />

plastic-free packaging—hit the right notes.<br />

9<br />

Palettas has become the<br />

sector’s #1 franchise worldwide,<br />

with more than 50 stores in<br />

operation.<br />

In just over two years, Palettas has become the sector’s #1 franchise<br />

worldwide, with more than 50 stores in operation. Already found<br />

in malls in Peru and Argentina, as well as Chile, the brand is now<br />

expanding into select sunshine destinations within North America<br />

and growing fast.<br />

Buying a paleta is not just a tasty treat; it’s a visual one too, thanks<br />

to Palettas’ truly eye-catching retail spaces. Serving up more than<br />

120 flavours, ices are neatly arranged in pristine rows in brightly<br />

LED-lit refrigerated freezer counters. Strong colour pops are created<br />

by clever product grouping, with each display curated as carefully as<br />

precious jewellery.<br />

Customer service is fast, simple and fuss free. Consistency in the<br />

welcome, service and kiosk standards is a hallmark of success.<br />

The focus here is all about the customer experience, and no more.<br />

No sign of the tedious ‘slow-me-down/trade-me-up’ customisation<br />

options found in other ice cream brands.<br />

As a franchise business model, the Palettas retail and service concept<br />

offers a ‘fully boxed’ proposition for prospective business partners—<br />

paradoxically unlike its distinctively unwrapped product range.<br />

The experienced Palettas management team support franchisees<br />

on-premises or remotely, providing all the tools necessary to<br />

maintain the brand’s famed retail experience and store standards.<br />

In a market with so many refreshing snack-on-the-go alternatives,<br />

Palettas high standard of retail execution has the competition well<br />

and truly licked<br />

Translating to ‘paddle’ in English, paleta is aptly named for its instantly<br />

recognisable paddle-like shape. It can also mean ‘palette’, and the<br />

bright, bold branding also reflects this. With a signature ‘squiggle’<br />

oversized ice lolly set against a golden plank wooden background,<br />

it’s bursting with vibrancy, colour and fun. Nonetheless, it preserves<br />

a contemporary and stylish design aesthetic, neatly swerving the<br />

standard sugary sweet look so beloved of ice cream shops.<br />


Digital Natives<br />

Chile is a country that knows how to shop. Storied<br />

department chain Falabella is one of Chile’s most<br />

treasured national brands. A more than century old<br />

success story, it operates 110 stores in four countries<br />

and is a South American powerhouse.<br />

The pioneering traits that helped it reach that status are still evident as it expands its omnichannel<br />

retail operations to embrace a new generation of shoppers. Something that Falabella Retail<br />

COO Tomás Platovsky intends to harness to the full—all while maintaining its reputation for<br />

service, of course.<br />

We met him for a tour of the Falabella Los Dominicos store in eastern <strong>Santiago</strong>, and to talk<br />

retail operations.<br />

10<br />

Tomás<br />

Platovsky<br />

Retail COO<br />

Ron<br />

Parcel Robot<br />

How would you characterise the Falabella work ethic?<br />

I would describe it as being customer-focused, obviously, but<br />

also obsessive—there is genuine pride in working for Falabella.<br />

For us, the service we give during a return or exchange is as<br />

important as when a customer is making a purchase. Our<br />

people also have a deep understanding of what it means to<br />

work in a high performance team, and are committed to always<br />

finding ways to do more, with less. But our approach is also<br />

based on realism and pragmatism. People are not going to do<br />

things simply because we want them to, or tell them to—it’s<br />

not going to happen. Culturally, the business understands that<br />

if you want to give good service then you need to truly engage<br />

the hearts and minds of those working on the frontline instore.<br />

You place great emphasis on retail standards within Falabella<br />

stores. How does such a large retail company achieve such a high<br />

level of execution, so consistently?<br />

It starts with our people. With 65,000+ employees, we focus on<br />

creating high performance teams across every aspect of store<br />

operations. We try to keep the back room office function in our<br />

stores to a minimum. We want our store teams to be interacting<br />

either with customers or the product, rather than doing low<br />

value activities. Everybody has an iPad and they have access to<br />

all information digitally, without needing to leave the sales floor.<br />

We also have very good control KPI’s, so we know exactly what<br />

is happening in the stores at any given time.

Talking of digital technology: How important is Click and Collect becoming<br />

for Falabella within your channel mix?<br />

It is hugely important for us. Today, more than 65% of all e-commerce<br />

sales are despatched from our stores. But in my view, it doesn’t matter if<br />

sales come from the online or offline channel—the sales are what matter.<br />

The focus within our business is very much on training store teams to think<br />

of them as “one channel”, in order to fulfil the sale.<br />

And you’ve been an innovator in this space for quite some time?<br />

Absolutely. We were the “first movers” in terms of installing the whole<br />

network of Click and Collect service, and I think that we still have an edge<br />

of innovation over our direct competitors. If a customer is 100m from the<br />

store, we will send them a push notification telling them that they have a<br />

despatch waiting in Los Dominicos, and asking them if they want to come<br />

and collect. If not, customers can join a digital queue or pre-book on low<br />

traffic moments for an alternative collection time, directly from our app.<br />

We are also working with a European partner to develop an automated<br />

fulfilment point that delivers your Click and Collect order in 10 seconds.<br />

Think of it almost as a giant robotic vending machine, with a back-ofhouse<br />

fulfilment centre attached. If you buy online, you get your purchase<br />

confirmation and with that you get a QR code, so you can go directly to<br />

the automated collection point instore without the need to interact with<br />

anybody. It’s about creating hyper-efficiency and removing friction. Our<br />

Click and Collect space is able to serve a capacity of 45 people, either<br />

collecting from the ‘robot’ directly by themselves or, if they have a bigticket<br />

item purchase, to take from the main Click and Collect point.<br />

You’ve also focused on making furniture more of a web-based purchase.<br />

Tell me about that.<br />

We have digitalised the department, enabling customers to source<br />

whatever they want, or one of our store advisors will engage with them<br />

and assist the sale—providing inspiration and support. We have a range<br />

of digital technology, giving customers access to everything from detailed<br />

product information to fabric swatches and finishes. And 15 minutes from<br />

this store in Los Dominicos, you have our flagship store for furniture where<br />

customers can see, feel and touch products, and ask more questions.<br />

11<br />

How is Falabella helping its store teams to adapt to these new ways of working?<br />

We continue to invest heavily in training for our store colleagues. For us,<br />

they are the other part of what we see as the “connectivity” between the<br />

store and customer within a modern retail experience. Store teams have<br />

to play their part in completing that connection, and that means providing<br />

them with the knowledge and skills required. Here too, technology is at<br />

the heart of our thinking. Our store teams can access learning workshops<br />

digitally, so they can learn at work or home. We also ask for our brand<br />

partners to give a lot of hours training to our personalised staff. It’s a<br />

combination between inner program and the brands program. Good<br />

training, good tools and good support, deliver good results.<br />

Want more in-depth conversations on Chilean retail? Listen to<br />

our exclusive interview with Falabella Director of Sustainability,<br />

Pamela Lagos, only on The Retail Exchange podcast —<br />

theretailexchange.co.uk<br />


Zucca<br />

For city dwellers on the go,<br />

Zucca offers a seriously smart<br />

alternative to its ‘louder’<br />

luggage brand competitors.<br />

This is style, service and<br />

substance… zipped up.<br />

Chile is a haven for outdoor<br />

enthusiasts. Living here, you can go from the Atacama<br />

Desert in the north, to the lake and volcanoes in the<br />

south. And not forgetting the spectacular 4500-mile<br />

Andes ridge. Slicing through seven of the continent’s<br />

nations, it is a particular feature in <strong>Santiago</strong> and forms a<br />

backdrop to almost every city view.<br />

12<br />

Catering for life outdoors, Zucca is a specialist producer<br />

and retailer of casual luggage. Whether for urban,<br />

mountain or coastal adventures, it targets city residents<br />

keen to explore. Its range is undeniably chic, but with<br />

a firm focus on functionality. Drawing inspiration from<br />

nature’s colour palette, their totes, holdalls, backpacks<br />

and courier and messenger bags are a class above<br />

their competitors, distinctive and unique. There are<br />

pockets, sewn-in carabiners, stowage nets and drinks<br />

carriers. These are products designed to be used, not simply admired.<br />

Unlike competitors, branding is low key with emphasis placed on<br />

achieving function over form.<br />

Zucca is free of the<br />

cumbersome ‘brand red tape’ […]<br />

that’s often found in bigger, global<br />

retailers.<br />

The pared-back, minimalist look is reflected instore. Shoppers are<br />

presented with expertly crafted products and a highly enjoyable<br />

shopping experience. It defines what local means, and is all the better<br />

for it.<br />

With only small production runs, Zucca offers to personalise, customise<br />

or make unique products by request. Social media is used to drive<br />

traffic to stores, offering valuable opportunities to engage and inform,<br />

along with promotional incentives and shopper treats.<br />

Combined with an informal but knowledgeable instore sales process,<br />

the whole experience is designed to serve shoppers better and offer<br />

them the most suitable luggage products for their personal needs.<br />

Zucca may be a young retailer but it thinks big, and reaffirms how<br />

independent retailers can harness product expertise, simple but neatly<br />

packaged store presentation, and great service to carve out a niche—<br />

getting both sales and loyalty in the bag. It is unquestionably a brand<br />

that is going places<br />

Developed on a limited budget, the interior features urban<br />

monochrome, concrete grey, pale birch and lime-washed plywood<br />

finishes. Wall fixtures are flexible and easy to change, while raised plinth<br />

cupboards store excess stock, also doubling as a base for displays<br />

around the perimeter.<br />

As an independent retailer, Zucca is free of the cumbersome ‘brand red<br />

tape’ and stifling corporate bureaucracy that’s often found in bigger,<br />

global retailers. This can get in the way of delivering great customer<br />

service and flexible responses that delight shoppers. It’s where Zucca<br />

win out.<br />


Bestias XX<br />

Bestias, with the Spanish<br />

translation of Beasts, sell<br />

shoes that are designed with<br />

passion and handcrafted by<br />

expert shoemakers under fair<br />

trade standards.<br />

The shoes are created based on drawing<br />

and observation, where the union between designers and expert<br />

shoemakers manages to find the perfect balance to deliver quality,<br />

comfort, and design. Only fine, soft, natural leather hides, from<br />

‘beasts’ are used.<br />

The design of a Bestias XX store can be summarised by two space<br />

constrains: quantitative and qualitative. The brief, how to create<br />

a micro store with minimal sqm which has to hold at least 380<br />

shoeboxes, 2 employees and 3 potential customers. And to balance<br />

this quantitative restriction, the solution must form a striking image<br />

for the shop and help to characterise the brand.<br />

A third, covers the practical and transactional aspect of delivering<br />

good customer service. The conventional ‘boxed’ store model relied<br />

on keeping size stock, off the shop floor. This creating the potential<br />

for lost time, attention, contact and ultimately, sales with the<br />

customer. When contact is lost with staff off the floor locating shoe<br />

stock, shoppers attention can wane, and if the wait time is too long,<br />

they will wander off. Lost sales!<br />

As a result of the micro space restrictions, the store design was<br />

approached as combined need for storage space and to create a<br />

strong image. When launching the brand in 2014 in the first BESTIAS<br />

XX store, this was resolved. Instead of off sales area storage, the<br />

entire stock was presented instore, forming part of the architectural<br />

walls of the store. Movable ‘library ladders’ give easy access to high<br />

stock for store staff.<br />

In this instance, the customer is never left unattended, and sales<br />

momentum is maintained. Staff selecting the correct size from<br />

the walls becomes an animated and interactive part of the brand<br />

experience. It’s an example of how attractive architecture and store<br />

design was approached from the perspective of delivering effective<br />

customer service—and to maximise sales.<br />

adopted by so many brands that want to optimise space for the<br />

lowest rental cost.<br />

…easy, comfortable and hassle<br />

free. This is a sincere, ‘humble’<br />

artisan chic brand.<br />

A natural rough plywood and charcoal painted interior design, with<br />

kraft cardboard shoe boxes featuring the brands trademarked XX<br />

design, form a stylish and simple brand identity, which allows the<br />

colour of products to standout.<br />

The footwear is simply presented on a monolithic slab plinth, a<br />

technique which has been repeated by other international footwear<br />

brands (Camper). Single shoes are arranged side by side, with<br />

minimal fuss. Easy-to-shop, tidy and maintained for store staff. The<br />

presentation, like the store design is a complete end-to-end brand<br />

concept and philosophy - easy, comfortable and hassle free. This is<br />

a sincere, humble, ‘artisan chic’ brand.<br />

The brand also sell a range of leather laces, small leather goods,<br />

personal luggage and shoe care items. These are simply presented<br />

on adjacent accessory walls<br />

13<br />

The innovative design model has since been repeated by other<br />

‘sized assortment’ brand stores that hold a large stock inventory<br />

requiring sufficient space for stock holding, and service delivery,<br />

including: Allbirds shoe stores, Freitag luggage stores, and<br />

Nespresso stores worldwide. BESTIAS XX was a less credited<br />

trailblazer for this highly efficient store design model, which has been<br />


Chile. Vital Statistics<br />

Life has not always been easy for Chile or its citizens,<br />

marked by many ups and downs. As 2020 began,<br />

income, living standards, Internet access and smartphone<br />

ownership were all up. 30% of its population now use<br />

their devices for online purchases, with e-commerce<br />

sales predicted to grow by 140% by 2022.<br />

Then the global pandemic hit. Right now, consumer confidence is down to a record low, with retail sales<br />

falling for three consecutive months to the end May. As ever, it will take its toll on Chilean retailers, but it<br />

will also herald new opportunities.<br />

19.1m Population<br />

14<br />

3% GDP Growth<br />

$7bn e-commerce Sales<br />

4.5% YOY Retail Sales<br />

$1.5bn Fiscal Package<br />

-20% Consumer Confidence.

Charting Sales<br />

Stores may have closed their doors during Covid-19, but<br />

more people than ever in Chile had already started to<br />

increasingly move online—following in the footsteps of<br />

Western markets.<br />

The e-commerce boom has seen a particular rise in<br />

sales in apparel, technology and homeware categories,<br />

with female shoppers (59%) being the most fervent<br />

online customers.<br />

Best Selling e-commerce<br />

Products 2019/20<br />

Technology<br />

15<br />

Clothing & Footwear<br />

Home<br />

Food<br />

Beauty<br />

Source: © Statista 2020<br />

The rise, the fall… the future?<br />

Chile’s economic fortunes have traditionally followed a boom and bust cycle. Maybe, therefore, they<br />

are well placed to find opportunity where others would see only challenges. In early July 2020, the<br />

Government announced a further fiscal package worth USD $1.5billion to support the middle class<br />

through cheap lending. Build it and its built (although not yet paid for) appears to have been the mantra<br />

that’s fuelled much of the new commercial development to date. The increasingly obvious challenge for<br />

Chile—as for the rest of the new post-pandemic world—is to make people come and keep coming. But<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong> people and its retailers gives us plenty of hope for a bright future.

Social Fabric<br />

The more than century-old success<br />

story, Chilean-based department<br />

store chain Falabella is a South<br />

American powerhouse. Now a<br />

fresh generation of talent is helping<br />

it develop a (business model with<br />

a conscience), ensuring that its<br />

future is secured—responsibly—<br />

as Visual Thinking founder Karl<br />

McKeever found out in the second<br />

of his exclusive interviews with the<br />

company’s senior management team.<br />

Here CEO, Ricardo Alonso, and Director of Sustainability, Pamela<br />

Lagos share how the business see’s itself as more than just a retailer<br />

and employer, but that of a ‘good neighbour’, through offering<br />

practical help and support and opportunities for Chileans.<br />

Ricardo Alonso<br />

CEO<br />

Falabella<br />

Pamela Lagos<br />

Director of Sustainability<br />


Last year, Chile was rocked by some of its<br />

worst civil unrest in three decades, with protesters’ anger focused<br />

on the continued marginalisation of poorer sections of society.<br />

Previously, the country had been praised as a reformer—bringing<br />

about positive change and prosperity after the regimes that<br />

governed until the 1980’s. Now, one of the country’s most famous<br />

retail names is investing in a responsible plan for future success<br />

that it believes will show that people and profitability can co-exist in<br />

greater harmony.<br />

…recognised as an early adopter<br />

amongst South American retailers:<br />

innovation is in its DNA.<br />

When it comes to social responsibility, department store retailer<br />

Falabella is, quite literally, thinking out of the box. “In Chile there are<br />

around 60,000 people who collect and sell cardboard cartons for<br />

recycling, as a way to earn money,” explains Lagos.<br />

These people are perhaps one of the most visible indicators of the<br />

social inequality that exists within the country. The desire to work<br />

and feel useful is a driving motivator for many of the cardboard<br />

collectors. This is coupled by a sense of pride in being able to pay<br />

your own way. Under current law, the country’s cardboard collectors<br />

aren’t viewed as official members of the recycling industry. But there<br />

is a growing call for their contribution to be officially recognised, so<br />

that they can receive proper wages, better protection and dignity.<br />

“As one of the nation’s leading retailers, we have a responsibility to<br />

do what we can” says Alonso.<br />

Retailers are sometimes accused of pursuing surface-level<br />

initiatives, designed to satisfy PR metrics rather than deliver real<br />

change. That cannot be said of Falabella. A commitment to being a<br />

‘responsible business’ is far from a new strategy—its social program<br />

‘Making School’, for example, is 50 years old. “Every store sponsors<br />

a public school. In Chile, public schools are very poor. So, we<br />

work with them. We help to buy things to teach classes, or go with<br />

volunteers to repair and paint. Until this year, it has never promoted<br />

the program. “We did it all without publicity. That wasn’t the driver<br />

for us,” says Lagos. “The reason we have now started to focus<br />

on sharing these more publicly is because we hope that if people<br />

look at what we are doing, hopefully it will encourage others to do<br />

something similar.”<br />

17<br />

Falabella is recognised as an early adopter amongst South American<br />

retailers: innovation is in its DNA. The business also works tirelessly<br />

to encourage its internal community to put forward suggestions and<br />

recommendations to its leadership team. “We run a contest every<br />

month across all the stores, as well as conducting annual surveys<br />

with our customers and suppliers here in Chile.”<br />

Source: www.falabella.com<br />

Recognising this, Falabella launched a store initiative that sees<br />

stores working to support this marginalised section of society. In<br />

many ways, it’s an unlikely place to find a green revolution but it’s<br />

just one example of how the business is blazing a trail in recycling its<br />

waste. Across six of its stores, the retailer now works with collectors<br />

on a more formal ‘contract’ basis, enabling them to go to stores<br />

to collect cardboard waste, or arrange for it to be taken to them.<br />

“There are many reasons to be proud of this initiative,” says Lagos.<br />

The process has an economic as well as an environmental benefit,<br />

since it reduces the amount of garbage residents send to the landfill,<br />

which charges to receive it.<br />

“Through this activity, we receive a lot of great ideas and feedback.<br />

It plays a vital role in helping us to identify how perceptions and<br />

attitudes are changing. Whether that’s a focus on climate action<br />

or labour practices. We aim to engage as many stakeholders as<br />

possible in the process.” explains Alonso.<br />

…being a ‘responsible<br />

business’ is far from a new<br />

strategy—its social program […]<br />

is 50 years old.<br />

When it comes to sustainability, there have been a lot of changes<br />

within the business in the four years that Lagos has held the role.<br />

There is still much work to do. But much has been achieved, too.

“40% of our energy for store operations already comes from<br />

renewable sources. And we want to continue increasing that.<br />

Our biggest challenge is that our company is 130 years old. With the<br />

older stores, it’s impossible to always lead. But where we cannot<br />

lead, we work and change things until we can.”<br />

18<br />

The business continues to look to the likes of Marks & Spencer in the<br />

UK as a source of best practice inspiration. “For the past year and a<br />

half, we have been working with 40 companies on a pilot to reduce<br />

landfill waste from our stores to just 10 per cent.” But while M&S and its<br />

10-year plan clearly provides inspiration, Lagos says that trying to plan<br />

and work more than five years ahead is currently difficult in her country.<br />

Competitive boundaries will<br />

have to be redrawn, or even put<br />

aside altogether.<br />

“European retailers have built up significant experience of how to<br />

minimise waste through the supply chain. In Chile, there are few<br />

laws—everything we have right now is because we want to do those<br />

things and we want to be the pioneer.”<br />

Source: www.falabella.com<br />

Alonso believes that in order for industry to tackle the challenge of<br />

climate crisis, collaboration—in many different forms—will become<br />

increasingly important. Competitive boundaries will have to be<br />

redrawn, or even put aside altogether. “For me, one of our biggest<br />

aims is to foster even greater collaboration. We realise that people<br />

do different things in different ways. I know that for business it can<br />

often be difficult to share the knowledge but when it comes to issues<br />

of improving social responsibility and sustainability, no one can solve<br />

the challenges we face alone.”<br />

falabella.cl<br />

Destination<br />

<strong>Santiago</strong><br />

In our latest retail podcast, guest<br />

host Karl McKeever explores the<br />

story of Falabella, South America’s<br />

largest retailer.<br />

Online and on all major podcast<br />

apps theretailexchange.co.uk<br />

Listen Now<br />

Follow Us

Work Café by<br />

Santander<br />

Changing the face of traditional<br />

banking, Santander’s bold<br />

venture embraces innovation<br />

to connect with its<br />

customers… and connect<br />

them with each other.<br />

In a move to present its bank as<br />

modern, socially connected and relevant, Santander<br />

has taken the concept of a ‘bank as a meeting place’<br />

to new heights. Here, citizens from all walks of life—and<br />

not exclusively those who bank there—can meet, work,<br />

network and interact in a comfortable communal space.<br />

Step inside and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re<br />

in a high street coffee chain. With a combination of<br />

communal and individual seating and tables, there is<br />

an instant welcoming vibe that is filled with chatter, and<br />

bursting with delicious coffee aromas.<br />

19<br />

This is one of the most comprehensively rolled out ‘café<br />

banking’ concepts in Chile, with a growing international<br />

presence. Indeed, the UK has an operational branch in<br />

Leeds, which is being market tested as a prototype for<br />

future roll out. Though far from an entirely novel concept,<br />

here it stands out amongst other examples thanks to<br />

both its scale and execution.<br />

In a country with a large,<br />

traditional banking sector,<br />

it delivers a true sense of<br />

‘something different’…<br />

It’s also a bolder, braver step change than other banking<br />

organisations have been prepared to make. While NatWest, HSBC,<br />

Barclays and Nationwide have made updates through cosmetic<br />

change, Santander has effectively redefined its core purpose,<br />

exploring a new way to meaningfully connect with their customers’<br />

lives and banking needs. It’s a paradigm shift. Recruiting new<br />

customers and selling banking products is a by-product of the<br />

space and a social, hospitality offering.<br />

Santander appears to have recognised this from the outset,<br />

demonstrating not just their belief in the concept, but also the<br />

importance of taking the staff who’ll work inside ‘on the brand<br />

journey’ with them—colleagues energised and at ease in their new<br />

surroundings.<br />

In a country with a large, traditional banking sector, it delivers a true<br />

sense of ‘something different’, with a visually appealing and sensory<br />

experience that clearly puts daylight between it and the competition.<br />

No doubt, introducing this concept will have been easier in a market<br />

with fewer established ‘corporate branded’ coffee shop chains. With<br />

an almost endless choice of places to meet up and drink coffee, will<br />

its trial branch in the UK see the same appetite for mixing banking<br />

with leisure?<br />

All this begs the question of how traditional banking staff will be<br />

retrained and supported to work in a new kind of way, in a very<br />

different type of ‘store’ environment, integrating hospitality staff to<br />

work inside a sober, financial setting.<br />


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20<br />

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coordinated team of skilled experts and over 25<br />

years experience supporting top-tier retailers.<br />

Call us +44 (0)20 8050 6028<br />

mail@visualthinking.co.uk<br />


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