This month, our Creative Director, and Innovare Design’s Founder, Lloyd Blakey, sat down with the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), to discuss the business of designing for retail jewellers, the future of retail, and why Innovare Design are members of the NAJ. Enjoy!
Q What does your business do?
Successful retail spaces are about more than shop windows, walls and fixtures - they are about creating spaces that delight and connect with customers. So, this is what we do. We're a team of brand and interior architects specialising in designing unique branded retail environments that not only engage consumers but also deliver commercial results. We have a wealth of experience from working across the retail sector.
Q When and why was your business founded?
I started Innovare Design in 2006 after working as the Creative Director for several major retail design groups. I'm passionate about retail design and wanted to build an independent design consultancy to give clients a much bigger voice in the design process. Many of our clients stay with us for years because they value our collaborative, hands-on approach and wide-ranging experience in interior design and brand development.
Q Have you launched any new services in the past year?
Obviously, 'new retail' was a buzzword well before the pandemic hit, but since stores re-opened, unlocking the potential of a physical brand space has become more critical than ever. We've been helping clients to significantly elevate the store experience for their customers and to 'blend' their new digital activities in-store too. The growth of digital has given the consumer much more choice but made the retail journey more complicated for retailers to manage. The latest priority is, therefore, to explore ways to blend the new 'phygital' (physical/digital) experience for their customers. It's an important transition that retailers must address, whether large or small, but we recommend viewing it as a marathon and not a sprint.
Q Why do you enjoy working for the jewellery retail sector?
Jewellery and watch retailers understand the value of great customer service and the fact that their customers are at the heart of their success. That understanding is not always understood by general retail and is why many have collapsed in recent years. It's therefore an absolute privilege for us to build on such solid business foundations. Together with our skillset in brand building and experiential retail design, it has helped transform the fortunes of our clients. We are members of the DBA (Design Business Association) so what matters to us is realising great results through effective design investment.
Q Why are you an NAJ member?
Our membership allows us to keep abreast of trade issues and developments that may affect our clients’ businesses and our response to their project briefs. Events like the annual NAJ Summit offer an opportunity for us to network with the sector and to support the membership more widely - as we did this summer through our presentation on 'Brand Building'.
Q Tell us something about you or your business that would surprise NAJ Followers?
We have a couple of keen cyclists in the team. This summer I cycled 185km from Kent to Brighton and around the Isle of White, while our Head of Graphics & Branding took part in the ‘Chase the Sun' cycle challenge which covered 275km from East to West Italy, starting at sunrise and ending at sun set!
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