Monday, September 29, 2008

Banana display in Shanghai and Ráquira, Colombia

Bananas are one of the best selling item in Fruits & Vegetables in the world. It's the fourth most widely consumed food.  The price of the banana is very sensitive for customers and it's a strong builder of Price Image among retailers.  

In France, the cheapest price you can find in supermarkets is about 0,99 €/kg. 

I shot this photo in a street market in Shanghaï and liked very much the display. 

But my best ever banana display was found in Ráquira, Colombia. Ráquira is a small village located 3 hours from Bogota and (not so) welknown for his pottery and handicraft. It's so lost than eve Google maps can hardly find an itinerary from Bogota...

Bananas are presented in a unique and very artistic way ! Let me know if you have ever shot bananas in a market. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Calculators in Beijing and Las Vegas

I shot this photo in a Carrefour in Beijing and was particularly amazed by the range of choice and the quantity offered. Something strange for an occidental, no ?

Some months after, in Las Vegas, during International Consumer Electronic Show, Sharp  presented one of the ancestor of calculators, the EL-805. The model exhibited, amongst the top notch technology devices, was the first calculator ever, pocket sized with LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). It has been released in 1973. I liked very much the nice (and useful ?) strap that emphasizes the pocket size innovation...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Magic and Psychology... plus a strange coincidence

The practice of Magic boosts confidence and self discipline says Pr Richard Wiseman  (Hertfordshire University in UK) in a recent study. The study of Magic is strongly recommended for children from 8 years and scientific studies show that the study of Magic to be much more useful than classic classes. As any magicians know, Magic requires a lot of self discipline to learn the art of astonishing people. You also need to understand deeply how others people think and react. You need to develop a certain sensitivity to people's reaction and learn how to deceive them. At last, for young people, it's an excellent way to interact with their friends and relatives and help them to socialize.

As a cardmagic amateur (and almost daily pratician) I fully subscribe to these findings and support magic classes. Indeed, the French Lycée of Bogota, Colombia is offering Magic workshops for pupils from 8 to 10 years, courses given by the excellent Richard Sarmiento (best known as Mago Richard), one of the best Colombian magician and surely the best teacher and lover of Magic of Colombia. My daughter Madeleine had the opportunity to take the classes and was delighted by the experience.

The amazing coincidence came last friday when my beloved wife bought for the first time of her life the
Daily Mail, without any explicit reason. She discovered a short note about magic and called my attention. The incredible is that the article was about Richard Wiseman, the author of Quirkology, the book I was actually reading !!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nice display of a broom promo

I liked very much the display of this
broom promotion, photo shot in a Carrefour supercenter, in Buenos Aires Argentina.

Not very productive for human resources but the "m
ass" effect, undoubtedly, is very effective !

If you find interesting or nice displays of products, do not hesitate to send me your photos to be posted.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quote of the day in London subway

I was surprised, when I was in London some months ago to see this display in the St Pancras subway station.

A direct and simple way to interconnect with people, who stopped to read the thought of the day (perhaps also a get food for thought...). Direct and effective.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Red meat is more polluting than cars !

Some days ago I've posted a note "Should we eat strawberries in winter" with a conclusion that, regarding CO2 criteria, it's much better to avoid to eat red meat or dairy products than vegetables even if thought hey have traveled thousands of kilometers from the field to your plate.

As Cecilia noted in her comment to my post "red meat consumption is one of the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect... and not for their transport but rather by cattle's own digestion... methane is 12 times more polluting than CO2 !"  
The Nobel Prize, Dr Rajendra Pachauri,  chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, had the same comment - related in The Guardian - that red meat accounts for 1/5th of the total global  greenhouse gas emission. Cow's flatulence methane is said to be 23 times more polluting than car's dioxide carbon !

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pricing puzzle : Why do ice creams are sold the same price ?

Price discrimination is the norm in the modern retail. Promotions, sales, happy hour, coupons, loyalty cards, bulk prices, etc... all these techniques consider charging different prices to customers upon the quantity sold or the time they buy. 
The art of pricing is also the ability to define the higher possible price to maximize turnover without discouraging clients. This is key to any successful retailer. 

Contrary to that law, I've always been puzzled by this consideration : why do ice cream stores charge the same price for all flavors ? It seems to be the case in any store I could see in the world (as an amateur, I've seen a lot !). Even if chocolate or vanilla are much more popular than any other or even if some flavors (like vanilla or chocolate) cost much cheaper to produce than exotic ones (like "Nuit de Chine", a specialty of Martine Lambert made of Szechuan pepper and bitter chocolate), the pricing is based on the number of balls. 

In supermarkets, it's not the case and depending on your taste you can spend 3 £ for Tesco Chocolate & Hazelnut ice cream or 1,99 £ for the Chocolatino (both in 1 ltr). The ease of price calculation maybe one possible explanation, but it could be solved with 2 or 3 range of prices. If you have a possible explanation are welcomed to bring coments !

ps1 : My own ice creams ranking:
1) Berthillon, Paris. The only ice cream store shut during summer
2) Persicco, Buenos Aires. For his Dulce de leche / raspberry cone
3) Martine Lambert, Trouville. Any fruit sorbet is a splendor
4) Sergio Dondoli, San Gimignano. Elected world champion !!

ps2 : I shot the upper photo in Paipa, Colombia, the other one in Firenze, Tuscany last week. The Melone / Apricot was particulary gorgeous !

Monday, September 1, 2008

The raining promo in Bogota

Bogota is a wet city. On average, it's pouring rain 96 mm per year. You can compare this stat with average precipitation of New York (47mm), Paris (64mm) or Beijing (65mm). For weather base comparisons, look here

As salesmen can experiment everyday, rain is not favorable of good sales, unless for malls (and umbrella sales !).

The Biblos bookstore is one of my favourite bookstore in Bogota. Located in the Zona Rosa, it has an interesting assortment of books and get some international newspaper. To take oportunity of the rainy days, Biblos bookstore offers special discount of 5% on all books and 10% on coffee, meanwhile it's raining ! It rains so often in Bogota that this promo may be considered as every day low price...