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Published: 29 Feb 2016

Retail Design Expo 2016: Preview

Retail Design Expo, 9-10 March 2016, Olympia London

The second edition of the Retail Design Expo returns next month for what promises to be a blockbuster session of insights, innovation and inspiration focused on visual merchandising (VM) and store design. Here are Stylus’ pre-show recommendations:   

  • Inside The Brand Insights: For those keen for a vista inside specific brand strategies, see Ugg: Creative Strategy and Evolution of the Famous Boot Brand – led by Anders Bergstrom, Ugg’s director of strategy development, and Kate Shepherd, director of strategy and insights at its partner design agency Checkland Kindleysides. See also Merchandise Display at Space NK by Paul Wilkins, head of visual and store design for the brand. Selfridges’ Windows: Making VM by Magic also promises to deliver some invaluable brand tactics. 
  • Disruptive Engagement: For perspectives on reimagining traditional sectors and formats for modern audiences, check out Simon Dixon, founder of automotive dealership Rockar Hyundai, talking on the topic of Car Buying Reinvented. See also How Shell is Transforming ‘On the Go’ Convenience Retailing, led by Craig Phillipson of retail consultancy Shopworks.

    Additionally, look to The Art of Cross-Pollination – Lessons Across Retail Sectors for Innovation in Customer Experience Design, led by Pete Champion, director of international brand experience specialists I-AM Associates. See also A Fresh Perspective on Food and How to Retail It, helmed by Sarah Page, creative director of experiential specialists Household, and DJ McAllen, director of store development for Irish food wholesaler, Musgrave Group. 
Odeabank by I-AM Design
The Good Kitchen by Household Design
SIZE Flagship by Checkland Kindleysides
  • Travel Retail: Catering to a generation of consumers regularly in-transit, travel retail is becoming an increasingly lucrative brand touchpoint. Chris Annetts, commercial director of passenger experience at London’s Heathrow airport, will examine how one of the world’s busiest transport hubs is using digital technology, new collaborations and the power of big data to drive revenue in this area. 

    From airport retail experiences to selling the holiday experience itself, Sunna van Kampen, trading marketing manager for Virgin Holidays, will reveal its brand journey to a fresh new look and sensibility. For more on this topic, see Virgin Holidays Renews Travel RetailInnovations in Airport Retailing and Commuter Commerce.
  • Sustainability: Venturing into the thorny but increasingly consumer-critical issue of eco-ethical brand practice, don’t miss The Importance of Sustainability to the Success of Brands. 

  • Omni-Smart, Media-Ready – Embracing the New Flagship: Stylus’ own global head of retail, Katie Baron, will be presenting a talk titled Retail Revolutions: Smart Stores & Active Flagships – a need-to-know overview of the emergent technologies, consumer behaviours and subsequent incoming trends helping to maximise the role of the store space in the digital era. Key themes include transformer shops, temples to adaptation, trans-stores – made for media, the appetite for insider access, and the evolution of the omni-space. 

See also Understanding the Importance of Mixed-Use Space for Future Retail, delivered by Jon Tollit, principal at global architects Gensler; The Millennials are Coming! Creating a Brand Experience for the New Generation, from branding agency Caulder Moore and fashion label Springfield; and Windows in the Digital Age, dissected by Stephen K Hall, creative director at SKH and formerly visual director of River Island.

Retail Design Expo 2016 runs from March 9-10 at London’s Olympia Centre. See here for Stylus’ full coverage of the 2015 event.  

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