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Brief Published: 2 May 2017

Retail Design Expo 2017: Preview

Retail Design Expo

Leading brands, retail strategists, designers, architects and shop-fitting manufacturers are set to gather at the third, bumper edition of Retail Design Expo on May 8-9 – promising a hot spring of insights, innovation and inspiration focused on store design and visual merchandising. With more than 80 experts set to discuss industry trends and success stories, here’s a preview of our most hotly anticipated topics and speakers. 

  • Format Insights: Several British design agencies will be sharing valuable design strategy insights, fresh from numerous recent projects. Greenroom will present key details from its ‘soft-sell’ store concept for Spanish automotive brand Seat; M Worldwide will discuss its neighbourhood-tailored branch designs for Lloyds Bank; and architectural practice Edge will present its premium concept for coffee shop chain Costa. Additionally, look out for 20.20’s showcase of the technology it deployed in crafting UK retailer Maplin’s new ‘smart’ store concept.
  • Beyond Retail – Learnings from Trans-Sector Commerce: The seeping of commerce into traditionally non-retail categories will be discussed by Ruth Shapiro, director of stores at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Shapiro’s pledged to shed light on the notion of ‘cultural commerce’ in the museum sector. Similarly, London-based branding and interior design agency Studio48’s work for Middle Eastern ‘casual fast’ dining chain Comptoir Libanais will provide insights into how to successfully establish a hybrid retail/dining experience.
  • Retail’s Future Trendscapes: Katie Baron, head of Retail for Stylus will delve into the retail strategies most able to impressively respond to four key consumer mindsets. Expect a focus on the ‘transformation economy’, reinventing on-demand, brand blending, and insights into a new generation of ‘chameleon consumers’. The panels – Future of Retail Design and The Store of the Future – promise equally exciting forays into future-facing strategy. See also Future of the Store Revisited: 2016.
  • Emotional Retailing for the Experience Economy: Nathan Watts, creative director of British agency Fitch, will examine how and why retailers must plug more deeply into consumers’ emotions to create longer-lasting traction.
  • Customer Centricity: While not a new topic, many speakers plan to return to customer centricity with fresh thinking. Sonal Vaja, senior store designer for the Post Office, will reveal how it’s using customer insights to inform its retail design and communications. Meanwhile, British design agency I-AM promises to highlight how American ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is ‘meeting’ consumers by localising its brand experiences across multiple touchpoints. Talking tech, UK research consultancy Grounded will be homing in on its work with Australian paint manufacturer Dulux – using eye-tracking technology to better understand its consumers’ behaviours and consequently inform its retail space.

Look out for our full coverage of the event, which takes place at London’s Olympia Centre, publishing on May 17.