Creating The Ultimate Physical Store Experience with Danny Lattouf | #376

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Danny shares the best of the best physical store experiences and how you can create them

Danny Lattouf has over 20 years of experience developing his skills and knowledge within the retail marketing, services and sales sector in Australia, London and Singapore. As Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at The General Store, Danny works with high-profile Australian brands, including Coles, BCF, Mirvac, Barbeques Galore, Wittner, Vicinity, Freedom Furniture, Supercheap Auto, Rebel, Salvos Stores and more. Prior to The General Store, Danny was Regional Head of Retail at VMLY&R, working with brands like Breville, Coca-Cola, Myer, Petbarn, Rebel, Samsung, Telstra, Terry White Chemmart and Woolworths to name a few.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Danny Lattouf from The General Store

Danniy is a true friend of the show… he works with our very own co-host Jo-Anne Hui Miller and his business partner, Matt Newell,  had a conversation with me way back when Add to Cart was just taking its first steps onto the airwaves – that’s episode 11!  Danny Lattouf is partner and Chief Strategy Officer at The General Store, a multidisciplinary creative agency for retail with clients such as Freedom, Rebel and Barbeques Galore.  As you’ll hear in this chat, Danny’s had a colourful and impressive career history and he gives us his insights when it comes to professional development choices.  He also shares the most innovative technology he’s come across lately (and he gets around, trust me) plus his advice for ecommerce retailers stepping their toes into the world of physical stores.  And if that wasn’t enough, we get into the detail of the amazing re-design of Rebel’s new flagship store at Emporium Melbourne, basketball court and all!

“High passion, high touch, high CX all the way through to expedience, utility and enablement.”

Danny Lattouf

Designing a next level flagship

“We did almost a thousand square metres of finished artwork for this store. We developed two new games with a partner in Germany for the football experience area. We blew open a hole in the building and put a basketball court on the rooftop. And then that was a prime opportunity for us to embrace one of the greatest basketball players in history with Curry brand to do something really special up there. And it is, as a basketball person myself, it’s pretty special. 

When it comes to three and a half thousand square metres, it’s dozens of gestures that have to be great. And there are dozens of customer journeys that have to be considered. High passion, high touch, high CX all the way through to expedience and utility and enablement.

And they’re different for different customers and there’s lots of different expectations across the board. And so what are the triggers? What are the levers? What are the layers that reinforce the Rebel proposition, but also celebrate these global brands. There’s a lot. It’s alot. So it was a big project.  It was a really wonderful project.”

Advice for ecommerce going physical

“One would just be to learn from those that have come before you. And ideally as recently before you as possible.  You could have a conversation with those guys. I’d be talking to Vince from Roly Nation. I’d be talking to Athan from July. They’ve done some beautiful work landing in a physical environment. And I’m sure there’s plenty more examples. So I’d be saying have conversations, visit those stores and interrogate those experiences, mystery shop them, I mystery shop all the time. 

I would say number two would probably be just really lean into the fact that you have no legacy. You don’t have old IT infrastructure. You don’t have  large networks of stores that if you make a change in one, you’ve got to make it all roll it back through the whole network.

I’d say just really identify the fact that you don’t have those legacy issues. You don’t have the things that hold you back that most of your competitors do have. Let’s face it. So use that, be flexible, be nimble, try things, do the things that otherwise would hold you back.”

Career moves 

“When you’re agency side, the most rewarding, fun, interesting thing about being agency side is the variety. I could literally in the same day have a meeting about a baked good brand, a fine jeweller, a outdoors retailer, a sporting retailer, a new pet brand. And I could go from an incredible Christmas TV commercial through to a shop in shop or pop-up, you know? So it’s the variety, it’s wonderful. You go from loyalty to digital, it’s great. That’s fun.

But what you don’t have is ultimate control. And that’s control in terms of the level of information and insight you can truly get your hands on, not being in the retail business. The control in terms of decision making, how far or deep an idea can go, those kinds of things, you have a limited level of control over. And you have to really reconcile with that quickly.

On the other side, the client side, the variety is a challenge, depending on the business you’re in, but variety can be a challenge sometimes. But the control is excellent because you have full accountability. You live and die by your decisions. You manage your P and L or you manage your specific set of KPIs. And you can manage those and have ultimate autonomy and control over those to the degree of which you’re essentially hired to do. And so I’d say variety and control, they’d be the two biggest different things I’d say.”

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