Retailization: Brand survival in the Age of Retailer Power

The front cover of this authoritative, yet muddled book, co-written by Lars Thomassen, Keith Lincoln and Anthony Aconis, features a gruesome-looking blood transfusion pack, and is meant to represent the survival of brands in an industry dominated by retailers. However, you could easily mistake it for the spilt blood of brands, crushed by the pressures of the modern retail world, and this kind of rushed thinking frequently undermines what is otherwise a powerful text.

Odd statements crop up: "Their very survival depends on their ability to survive" or "It is not us or them. It is us", and despite declaring its main purpose to be action-oriented, we have to wait until page 65 (out of 195) before any advice is proffered.

Nevertheless, when it comes, the advice is good. The authors have undertaken what they claim is "the most extensive global analysis of the world of retail" and argue that the four forces that squeeze today's brands - retailer power, shopper demands, private label and the media - can be 'unsqueezed' by analysing seven key areas: the arena, the competitors, the shoppers, product conception, retail impact, communication and organisational enhancement.

Published by Kogan Page.


Jim Mason and Peter Singer explore the processes of food production and suggest that consumers can and should make ethical choices based on the vast amount of information now available.

Published by Arrow Books, 7 September 2006.


Bill Buford went to interview top New York chef Mario Batali, but ended up on a journey from kitchen slave to Italian butcher, giving him a glimpse of the visceral life of the culinary world.

Published by Jonathan Cape, 13 July 2006.

Consuming Passions

Judith Flanders tells how industry transformed primitive 18th century Britain into the lavish Victorian era, when people discovered leisure time and the multibuy offer was invented.

Published by Harper Collins, 21 August 2006.