Pacific’s Evadne Janeke: ‘We want to give our agencies the tools to navigate the retail landscape’

Pacific is kicking off 2018 with ‘Re-Tale: A New Story’ – an event to help agencies better navigate a quickly evolving retail landscape and service their retail clients. Evadne Janeke, Head of Strategic Planning, tells Magazine Networks what it’s all about.

While there was concern leading up to the holiday period, most Australian retailers had a solid Christmas period with many reporting the launch of Amazon did little to negatively impact sales. But as we head into 2018, retail brands are facing competition from an increasing number of areas and Pacific is looking to help.

On February 21, the publisher will host ‘Re-Tale: A New Story’, a bespoke event for agency partners working with retail or FMCG brands. Evadne Janeke, Head of Strategic Planning at Pacific Magazines, is driving the initiative. She says: “It’s an event to share market trends and insights as well as providing agencies the opportunity to hear from our leading retailers. Entering 2018, there has been a lot of buzz about the retail industry. We are providing a platform, forum, and the experts to discuss this topic and to help give our agencies the informed insights to navigate the year ahead, from a strategy and planning perspective.”

Hosted by Wendy Moore, General Manager of Food and Homes, the event will see the unveiling of a research piece that looks into the trends impacting retail. It will feature futurist Dr. Ross Honeywill, Executive Director at The Centre for Social Economics, as well as marketing experts from L’Oreal and Officeworks, Stylerunner’s CEO and co-founder of The Daily Edited.

After Amazon

Following the hype around Amazon’s launch last year, the Re-Tale event will spend time discussing the challenges and opportunities arising from the changing retail space. Janeke says: “People were concerned about new global brands entering the Australian retail market so we’ll be looking at what we have seen, what we haven’t seen, what we might see, the trends emerging overseas and those taking hold in the local market.”

Evadne Janeke

Evadne Janeke

Retail commentators note that we haven’t seen the full effect of Amazon on our shores just yet with the offering set to ramp up further this year. Still, Janeke believes it’s going to be some time before retailers have a handle on the e-commerce giant’s impact on their category. She says: “It’s really category dependent. Some people are already very used to purchasing online in certain categories and not so much in others. Time will tell if there is a significant shift across the board.”

The polarisation of retail

One of the key trends which will be explored at the event is the polarisation of physical retail. Janeke says: “You’ve got retailers having to evolve store formats to respond to different customer mindsets. If you look at it on a spectrum, you’ve got a high-end shopping efficiency at one end, and then retailtainment at the other. People want different things depending on what they are shopping for and their current mindset.”

‘Retailtainment’, as the name suggests, is the merging of retail and entertainment and Janeke says it is best seen in stores that offer an experience that goes beyond purchase. “Consumers can experience things, learn something or have an enjoyable day in that shopping centre or store,” she says.

At the other end of the spectrum is shoppers who know exactly what they want. They get in, purchase and get out. Janeke says far from ignoring these shoppers, brands can accommodate them by making the most of technology such as at the point of sale.

In terms of working both ends of the spectrum, Officeworks is a brand that’s successfully mastered the range. Janeke says: “They are renowned for a high level of customer service. You can always talk to someone who can best advise your shopping need, your kids can be entertained with art and craft activities, you can make use of their in-house graphic designers. You can literally spend hours in that store on the weekend, or you can just go in and purchase what you want and get out. They’ve really transformed the way consumers are purchasing office supplies and technology products in the Australian market.”

This is a trend that marketers and agency executives need to be familiar with, Janeke says, as it greatly impacts the way they communicate their client’s offerings. She says, “It’s about navigating this shift in-market and what the knock-on effect from consumers will be.”

Retailtainment meets magazines

When it comes to brands playing in the retailtainment space, Janeke says magazines are best placed to communicate these offerings.

“When you’re reading a magazine, you’ve got the sensory experience of holding and turning pages. It’s both tactile and visual and that influences how deeply immersed you are in the content you’re consuming. That’s really similar to the in-store experience of retailtainment. Customers are seeking a deeper experience. They’re enjoying their time, they’re not rushed. That’s quite a similar experience to how you behave with a magazine. It’s not as transactional,” she says.

While magazines are in the ideal place to promote this new approach to retail, Janeke herself is the perfect candidate to help agency teams turn this information into actionable insights for their clients. She spent a number of years agency-side, most recently at OMD, before she moved to the publisher side, firstly at News Corp then at Pacific where she has been for the past year.

Janeke says: “I’m very happy being on the publisher side and certainly being with a company that’s moving toward a really focused and exciting future.