Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Buy why we buy, but only for the bricks, not the clicks
on 27 February 2011
An excellent book, both for retail experts, who need to go back to the basics, and for complete newbies, who need to start there. I'm somewhere in between and, for me, there were three great themes running through this book...
Firstly, it explains, with many great examples, how tiny things can make a huge difference. Of course, this idea is well known, as the butterfly effect, tipping point etc, but it's so beautifully visible in retail. They don't say "retail is detail" for nothing!
Secondly, it shows that, while most of these details are common sense, they are still being missed all the time, because you simply can't see them in the Board Room. You have to go on to the Shop Floor and see what's happening on the ground. That goes for all industries, but again, it's so visible in retail, and Paco has all the examples to prove it.
Lastly, Paco's book, which includes a lot on his personal life, shows that true dedication leads to true expertise, and there's just no beating true expertise! Yes, as a previous reviewer points out, he does use the whole book to advertise his company, but, in my opinion, there's no harm in demonstrating that you're good at what you do. How else will people know about it?
Having said that, I agree with other reviewers, that the last 4 chapters, about the Internet and global retailing, are a bit disappointing, after you've read the first 16. In the Internet chapter, Paco expresses some interesting opinions, but it lacks the scientific basis that gives the book its subtitle, and doesn't really answer the big question: how bricks and clicks will co-exist in the future. Perhaps Paco should write a sequel with someone, who knows clicks as well as he (Paco) knows bricks.
In the global retailing chapters, Paco becomes a travel writer, with some interesting anecdotes and examples of innovative retailers, but again, no scientific basis, and not a lot of structure. There is room for a sequel here, too, and this time, Paco could easily write it himself, together with all the esteemed colleagues from Milan, Sao Paolo, Tokyo etc. he goes to great lengths to praise.
Still, on balance, this is an excellent book, and in my view, the last 4 chapters don't spoil it, they just don't do it any favours. I'm looking forward to those sequels!