Recent Thoughts // Retail Design Trends

We're currently working with a great western Canadian retail brand on the relaunch of their entire image and in-store shopping experience.  We'll be sure to share more as the interior design develops but in the meantime we thought we would list some of the discussions that we're having as many point towards greater macro trends that are occurring in retail design internationally:

1. It is imperative that the in-store shopping experience is substantially more stimulating and rewarding than the online equivalent. How can the interior design of the built environment support this and what are the new ratios of product to brand/lifestyle/interaction elements in a space?

2. Has technology (virtual assistants, virtual reality, 3D printing) matured enough that its use in retail design is seamless or does it feel forced? Maybe customers prefer their in-store shopping experience to be an escape from tech rather than an immersion in it?

3. We're certainly seeing more interactive customization/DYI areas. Is this a passing trend or will this type of hands-on interaction remain? Maybe it relates to the research on brand attachment that indicates Gen-Y and Millennium shoppers want to build deeper relationships with the brands they identify with?

4. For many growing retail brands there are advantages to marketing themselves as local but there are also advantages to marketing themselves as large players in their market. How can an interior design strategy balance these two potential extremes?

We welcome your thoughts and hope this inspires your research on retail design