Something's Fishy

We’re always intrigued by the appearance of the new in our immediate urban fabric – not just because we hope it adds to our sense of enjoyment and participation but because of what we can learn about the bigger picture beyond our little ecosystem.

A fish butchery has arrived in our hood – not a fish monger, not a fish + chip shop – but a fish butchery.

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Apparently, it is the first fish butchery in Sydney, and the aim is to do for fish what a butcher does for meat; engage, provide expert advice, educate, remove barriers to consumption, prepare and add value, slice, dice, fillet and smoke to order the best and most sustainably sourced fish available (nose to tail of course) and in a beautifully curated space; in other words, create an experience around “fish” that dedicated and specialist meat butchers have been doing for yonks.

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Did we mention the reputable chef who stands on centre stage filleting and plating exceptional fish cuts? Fish-mongering has been repositioned and it is quite an experience. 

Retail 2.0 is all about experience these days, battling the digital marketplace by offering something unique, interactive and multi-dimensional – but it is worth looking a little closer at what this small but brilliant business – let’s go ahead and call it a brand - is doing.

  • Firstly, it is totally re-framing an older, established category (“fish”);
  • Secondly, it acknowledges the physical retail context around it as historically being one of transactional commerce, but it builds upon this context by adding education, experience and even curation to the mix;
  • Thirdly, it welcomes people into a total world – including a nod to the digital world with an entry display “for instagramming” and a stage for showcasing the chef’s knife skills
  • Finally, it is focused (via said education, experience, re-framing, nods to traditional meat butchery, curation) on removing barriers to purchase in the category.
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There’s a sense that immediate, transactional purchase may not be the end game of this particular brand. Perhaps, rather, the game is geared towards driving people to the co-owned restaurant a few doors down the street; perhaps the intention is to generate a return visit in the coming weeks for some perfectly filleted Spencer Gulf herring (head and tail included or course) along with some very clear cooking instructions; perhaps it’s to buy a t-shirt; or perhaps it’s about coming back on Sunday evening for some exemplary fish and chips with the family (although there is nowhere to eat on premise as of yet – another reason to visit the restaurant a few doors up). In other words, Fish Butchery isn’t just about a singular experience but delivers brand touchpoints which are not always immediately tangible.

Who ever thought we’d be gawking a fish parts - guts, heads, tails and all the bits in between and viewing them in a whole new light? Got to love an innovator.