Modern twist on an old school favourite

It's Australia Day so I thought I'd share my Tuck Shop find with you. It's the latest venture from the St Ali label, designed by Hecker Guthrie, and can be found in the foyer of 500 Bourke St (home to the NAB, EARL Canteen, Movida Aqui etc). With the moniker, Tuck Shop, naturally you expect to find good old fashioned Anzac bikkies and lamingtons on the menu. I am very happy to report I did not spot a crate of warm milk here - just  good coffee.  All involved get a gold star for doing their homework on this one. (FYI  back in the 'olden days' we got free milk at primary school that, as a general rule, was left to sit in the sun and by morning play time it was warm and totally hideous).

Tuck Shop Food Melbourne

Home grown

One of my pet hates is imported garlic (it's usually dry/woody/fairly flavourless and clocks up a guzillion food miles by the time it is schlepped here from Shanghai and other foreign shores). I refuse to buy it. I can never find local garlic when I stay with my sister in Brissy (this Christmas I arrived with my own supply + some fab smoked salt, lime infused olive oil... I think the bro-in-law thinks I'm slightly kooky). Imagine my joy when the delightful Julia Lea passed on this flyer from her friends in Tassy who post their hand picked harvest all around the country. What a fab foodie present to send to those without access to the good stuff (a half kilo is on its way to Brissy in the immediate future).

Eye candy

Walking down Bourke Street a few weeks ago I spied, with my little eye, a fun new find. A white box has been cleverly transformed into a room by "simply" drawing it (+ the choice of light fitting fits the illustration story perfectly). The Candy Room is the first retail venture for the owners (wholesalers of the sugar free brand, Sweet Enough). If you're hankering for a Hershey bar or lusting after a lemon drop then you need to head to this little spot. You can find it on Bourke  just near Queen.

Love the thinking

Whilst doing some research on installation artists for a current project I stumbled across this stunning cityscape. It took artist Peter Root 40 hours to break stacks of staples into varying sizes (from full stacks of about 12cm high right down to single staples). Titled Ephemicropolis, the installation used 100,000 staples and covered a floor area of approx 6m x 3m. I think he nailed it big time!

Design Peter Root Other

Take a trip to Woolies – it’s worth it!

BFF has been "complaining" that I haven't been blogging for the past few weeks ... with family in Brisbane I have been totally distracted by the devastating floods. Today I popped into Woolworths to make my donation. Woolies is supporting The Salvation Army Flood Appeal, which will provide direct aid to flood affected communities and will match, dollar for dollar, donations made at any Woolworths supermarket, BIG W or Dick Smith store until next Thursday, 20 January. Today my donation effectively doubled (I like that). My other BFF and her family (hubby, 3 kids, dog, nanna, 2 brothers) live in Charlton, Victoria - they are submerged, stranded and in shock. Dig deep POD bods.


Reflections on 2010

A great article by Matthew Steven's in yesterday's The Australian newspaper precises the trading predicaments of Colorado and Rebel Sport and succinctly sums up the state of retail play here in Oz. I thought I"d kick start the New Blog Year by sharing part of the article with you in case you missed it.

"... What we have now, though, is something new, because even the biggest of the majors are being hurt by what seems to be a sustained shift in the way consumers are spending.

A number of factors seem to be at play, but the net result is that the consumer seems to have been empowered by the concert of post-crisis price deflation, the continuing embrace of the internet and e-commerce, and the step-changes in technology and fulfilment logistics that support online consumerism. We have moved suddenly into the era of the permanent sale. To lure customers shellshocked by the global crisis and the rising costs of the essentials of life (mortgage interest rates and utilities prices, for example, have stripped the average household budget of flexibility), retailers have been forced to compete vigorously on price. The result is that shoppers now expect the same for less.

... The most interesting aspect of the Colorado result is not that its margins were under pressure, so much as that it had been victim of "declining . . . market size". This observation flows through, I think, to the debate that began just before Christmas over the shift in spending patterns driven by the internet ... JPMorgan says Australian retailers continue to put their sales eggs in the bricks-and-mortar basket and lag their international contemporaries in their engagement with the online economy ... estimates the online share of retail sales in Australia in the 3-5 per cent range. E-commerce penetration in the US and Britain, on the other hand, is running at nearly 8 per cent ... online retail internationally is taking share from established retailers because the "shopping experience" has improved fundamentally. Increased broadband penetration has extended their reach and allowed use of better technology through which to market their wares, have people pay for them and then deliver them securely and quickly.

But, JPMorgan concludes: "The current response of major Australian retailers to the web is bricks-and-mortar centric, seeking to drive traffic in-store rather than being channel-agnostic." Via The Australian.

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