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The future of retail

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

The future of retail is a subject that it is, of course, very close to our hearts as retail designers. So with July 2016 having been a crazy, jam-packed month on the news front – both here in the UK and internationally – I decided that a post on the future of retail would be a nice forward-looking and optimistic theme for these uncertain and challenging times.

One of the major factors that will influence the future of retail is the next generation of designers. This month we attended INSCAPE 2016, the NTU (Nottingham Trent University) exhibition of major project work by final year Interior Architecture and Design students. Jasmine, our 2015 intern, was among more than 50 students exhibiting a range of distinctive solutions for the creative re-use of post war buildings.

We were inspired by the diversity of interpretation. The students clearly demonstrated their strong craftsmanship, research skills and in-depth knowledge of the buildings. It was fascinating to see that some of the retail design examples, focussed on rebuilding community, challenging what is possible.

Of course, no one can precisely predict what the future of retail will look like and how it will impact on retail store design? Omni-channel retail is the seamless experience customers really want but many retailers still struggle to deliver this. But importantly, retailers must remember that consumers don’t care about ‘channels’ – they care about ‘experience’.

This month the Retail Gazette and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported on the fact that high street footfall has reached its lowest point in 2 years, blaming Brexit and a wet start to Summer. However, BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson was quick to comment ‘that providing a great in-store experience is key to driving up footfall’ and this is where we, as retail designers, can help.

Your store design must entice shoppers inside and ensure they have a great in-store experience. And while experience retail design is nothing new, the challenge today is to find innovative ways to add value to the in-store customer journey.

Take a look at what we have managed to achieve for some of our clients.

Talking about our work with Lola’s Cupcakes, Managing Director Asher Budwig said “The results speak for themselves. Innovare have transformed the space and the environment at Selfridges and we witnessed an amazing response from our customers with an overnight uplift in sales of well over 30%”.

With David Clulow Opticians, who we’ve been working with for 10 years, we most recently designed a new generation store at Cheapside in London. Here we worked hard to improve the customer experience and deliver the commercial success that the client demanded. Richard Peck, Managing Director, says that “Innovare Design always achieve great creative results for us. They have been a part of our design team since 2007 and still deliver the same enthusiasm and commitment they had on day one.”

We work with retailers all over the world and design for a wide range of retail environments. For JR/Duty Free, sales rose by 35% at their new Brisbane Airport Duty Free store. While here in the UK we have some fantastic clients in the Jewellery sector, including Hugh Rice Jewellers, who have been receiving brilliant feedback on their new stores, both from customers as well as the jewellery and watch brands they represent.

So, as you can see, we have a solid track record helping our clients realise their retail ambitions. If you need to future proof your retail store design then give us a call – we are always happy to talk.


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