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Retail design effectiveness

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

It’s been an exciting few months for some of our clients who’ve had various awards bestowed upon them. This is obviously gratifying for our clients as well as for us. And it’s great to see everyone’s hard work paying off, especially bearing in mind the current challenges facing the retail sector.

With the perfect storm of rising overheads, changing consumer habits and Brexit, the entire retail sector is confronting dynamic change that cannot be ignored.

So whilst we celebrate our clients’ successes, our work together never stops to help them deliver the best possible retail experiences for their customers. Sometimes this requires a major investment such as redeveloping a flagship store. Sometimes it’s about taking advantage of pop-up opportunities. Often it’s about ideas for in-store developments to modernise the customer journey and improve service areas or click and collect zones. And always, it’s about designing a clearer expression of a retailer’s brand story.

Whatever the challenge, investing in retail design is not a decision that retailers take lightly. But they also know that standing still just isn’t an option today. However, as members of the Design Business Association, we know from first hand experience the difference that strategic retail design can bring to a business and the confidence this can bring to a design investment decision.

“In a rapidly changing and increasingly demanding marketplace, design is a critical source of competitive advantage.” The Design Business Association (DBA)

This quote from the DBA reflects the nature of the work we designers do to evidence design as a positive economic force for the businesses we work with.

At a recent DBA event we came together with other designer members to hear the results from the DBA’s Annual Survey. The Survey is a great resource, which helps us compare insights and data to benchmark the effectiveness of our own design businesses.

As well as sharing excellence and best practice, the DBA also encourages its members to measure the success and impact of our design delivery through various ‘design effectiveness’ metrics.

Judging by the recent spate of awards for our clients, you might say we are in pretty good health in terms of our design effectiveness. But it’s not just about awards, we also know from our clients that their retail design investment is paying off for them commercially.

So if you are about to invest in a retail design project, how will you measure its success?

You will be following numerous metrics already. Use some of these in your target setting and you’ll have a clear comparison of the ‘before and after’ impact of your design investment:

· Turnover/profitability before and after redesign or against non-redesigned stores

· Sales/profit per square feet compared with targets and market trends

· Staff productivity improvements

· Increased spend per customer

· Customer dwell time/satisfaction

· New target customer groups reach

And don’t forget any influencing factors such as:

· New advertising/marketing/PR activity

· Location factors

· Merchandise changes

· New competitor activity

· Market changes

Good luck with your next retail design investment. We look forward to hearing about your own breakthrough results following a design effectiveness project.

You can read about our work for these award-winning clients by following the links below:

Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand Distinction, Michelin Guide 2020

Winner of Retail Jewellers Inspiring Independents 2018 & 2019

Winner of Best New Store/Store Refurbishment of the Year, Professional Jeweller Awards 2019

Winner of Mono-Brand Retailer of the Year, UK Jewellery Awards 2019


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