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Visual Merchandiser offer a boutique style service where every one of our clients is treated with the utmost attention and respect. Our professional skillful team have a wealth of experience, giving us the ability to understand your bespoke requirements first time, without hesitation. We offer many services, all of which can support your visual goals and aspirations. We know what it means to stand back and smile!

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3Gatti created an optical illusion at SND in Chongqing, China where the ceiling appears to be weighed down by objects.

32 Gift shop design 35



Leader Diary

11-13 N  ews

14-16 W  indow shopping This season’s inspiring Christmas windows.

18 21

Top of the POPS Karl McKeever This month, our columnist says critical eyes will make a success of 2015 for retailers.


56 Opticians

VM Focus supplement

24-31 Project Focus


New Look : SND : Bugatti



How do we keep shoppers inspired, engaged and coming back for more? There must be a balance between hi-tech and hitouch, says Nigel Collett, CEO of rpa:group.

Focus on: Lighting



Tommy Aitchison, regional visual merchandising manager at Bentalls, talks about a typical day in his job, how he got into VM and this year’s Christmas window schemes.

62-65 Products Products and services for the retail industry.

Image: Shen Qiang

Features Regulars Highly strung


December ‘14 With Gemma on maternity leave, I’ve picked up the reigns as editor for the next year. It’s good to be back within such a dynamic and exciting industry! The Christmas windows are now in full swing, and we bring you a selection of imaginative schemes this winter. So much time and effort goes into these mind-blowing schemes. In Paris, Printemps used 3,500ltr of fake snow, 1,200 gift boxes, 3km of ribbon, 960km of strings holding the puppets and 6,500 sq m of background illustrations. Here in the UK, Selfridges used 197,000 baubles hung across balconies and ceilings, 1,005 Christmas trees and made 80 head dresses for mannequins. Flick to page 14 to see our Christmas windows round-up. Bloomingdale’s in New York has created an entirely interactive experience for customers and passers by, The high-tech windows include such features as games inspired by the retailer’s holiday Gift A Bow mascot powered by The Science Project and the opportunity to interact with the windows via social media. Take a look at our Christmas windows blog on the Retail Focus website. As someone who wears frames and contact lenses, I’m used to the trials and tribulations that come with eye care and the customer experience. No names mentioned, there are only two mirrors at my local opticians and you need to be edging towards the 6ft mark to be able to use one of them. Which just leaves one mirror to fight over with other customers that are also looking for their ideal frames. It’s refreshing to see that the design of optical stores is changing (excuse the pun). We explore some of the latest openings on page 56. This issue includes a supplement dedicated to visual merchandising. We bring you the key VM trends for the coming year, and investigate the role of illustration within the retail environment and what this type of collaboration can add to an interior and the customer experience. We’d like to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and prosperous 2015! Lyndsey Dennis Editor


Display Sales

Lyndsey Dennis e. t. +44 (0)7500 138 810

Lee Cullumbine e. t. +44 (0)845 680 7405 f. +44 (0)871 528 8000

Production & Web


Terry Clark e. t. +44 (0)845 680 7405

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Retail Shopfitting and Display Summit The Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted 9-10 February 2015 The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit is specifically organised for buyers, managers and directors who are directly responsible for the purchase of their retail organisation’s shopfitting products and services. The Summit’s proven format of pre-matched face-to-face meetings is beneficial by exclusively targeting only the most qualified buyers and bringing them together with suppliers who are pertinent to their needs. The event offers unparelled networking opportunities and a relaxed businesslike environment. Retail_Summit

Retail Shop at Spring Fair NEC, Birmingham 1-5 February 2015

Surface Design Show BDC, London 10-12 February 2015

EuroCIS Düsseldorf, Germany 24-26 February 2015

i2i Events Group will introduce the new Retail Shop brand to all of its shows, including Spring Fair International in February and sister event Autumn Fair International in September. Exhibitors will represent a multitude of products and services that are essential to successful multi-channel retailing.

The Surface Design Show gives architects and interior designers the opportunity to touch, see and discover the latest surface products for the built environment. Evening events will include a live debate, hosted by RIBA Journal, and a PechaKucha. Winners of the Surface Design Awards will also be announced during the show.

A leading European trade fair for retail technology, EuroCIS is a unique retailrelated IT think tank offering solutions, trends and visions for the retailing of the future. It brings 235 exhibitors from 22 countries together in Düsseldorf. Multi channel and IT-integration issues will be widely addressed at the 2015 show.





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New H&M flagship for Paris H&M has opened the doors to its new flagship in Paris at 77 Boulevard Saint Germain. This store features a one-of-a-kind interior concept in France and offers a wider choice of shoes for women and men. Spread over three floors, the store has a footprint of 2,500 sq m. This flagship is an opportunity for H&M to unveil a new interior concept with lighting effects, fresh materials and a special design created for the occasion. New features are numerous, including a bright LED screen above the entrance of the store, circular chandeliers and exposed bulbs that adorn the ceiling, and a glass wall installed at the escalators that lead to the second floor.

Jessops opens at The Oracle in Reading Jessops has launched its next generation flagship store in The Oracle, Hammerson’s regional shopping centre in Reading. Set over two levels with dramatic 6mhigh glass windows, the 255 sq m store includes a new state-of-the-art Fujifilm Frontier Mini Lab on the ground floor and an Academy Training Room on the mezzanine level, which will host a variety of photography courses for all skill levels. There’s also a consultation area as well as a wide range of cameras and accessories from the world’s leading brands. The store encapsulates the future of Jessops’ cutting edge equipment and experiences. The photography specialist worked in partnership with retail brand specialist, Liberation Creative Consultants to immerse customers into the world of photography. Jessops’ new flagship is the latest in a series of brands to open at The Oracle, including Jack Wills, Five Guys, Topshop’s upsized store, Smiggle, Kiko, Reebok Fithub and Hugo Boss.



In brief... Amazon is reported to have opened its first physical shop in time for Christmas. Located in Manhattan opposite the Empire State Building, the store is a revolutionary new step in the online retailer’s aim to be the one-stop-shop for shoppers. The location will act as a mini warehouse but also cater for same-day deliveries in the city, product exchanges and customers picking up orders they’ve placed online. Amazon may also use the store to showcase certain products. Wandsworth Council has approved VINCI St. Modwen’s plans for the landmark redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market. This major 10-year project will see the transformation of New Covent Garden Market into The Garden, the future of wholesale markets. This will include more than 500,000 sq ft of new state-of-the-art market facilities, a food quarter for London and The Garden Heart – a place to buy, make, sell, learn and share. The remaining land will be transformed into three high quality residential neighbourhoods comprising approximately 3,000 new homes, 135,000 sq ft of office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and new community facilities, including shops, cafés and restaurants.

SDEA to take over the International Shopfitting Organisation Shop and Display Equipment Association (SDEA) will take over the International Shopfitting Organisation (ISO) on 1 January 2015. After 58 years as an independent organisation, ISO will be incorporated into SDEA at its headquarters in the UK. It’s the first time since the 1970s that ISO has been based in Britain. Welcoming the decision, SDEA director Lawrence Cutler says: ‘The incorporation of ISO under the umbrella of the SDEA will add a new dimension to our offer to retail groups, many of which are expanding into mainland Europe. For existing SDEA members and incoming ISO members, there will be invaluable opportunities to develop additional cross border trade links.’


Hunter opens first global flagship The global flagship of Hunter has opened at 83 Regent Street, London with the design scheme undertaken by Checkland Kindleysides. Joe Evans, creative director at Checkland Kindleysides, explains the scheme: ‘The store is a journey designed to capture the senses and a spirit of adventure; it’s a playful and very Hunter take on the outdoors. It’s surreal, graphic and at times dreamlike. It’s a fantasy take on reality executed in a uniquely Hunter way.’ The design takes references from the British countryside, creating a new take on rural architecture and the outdoors, redefined in the spirit of Hunter. There are three floors that create three distinct experiences for

visitors, each one reflecting Hunter’s pioneering spirit as a brand that ‘takes the path that others dare not take’. Checkland Kindleysides treated the store entrance as the start of the journey where customers walk into a contemporary barn structure that carries through from the Regent Street windows to the inside. The staircase features a dramatic 5m-high LED screen, which entices customers upstairs. These screens will give Hunter the opportunity to deliver real-time broadcasts from events around the world. The screen displays regular weather updates from throughout the UK; each time accompanied by a coordinating soundscape that echoes throughout the store.

i2i Events Group launches Retail Shop Show organiser i2i Events Group will introduce the new Retail Shop brand at all of its shows in 2015, including Spring Fair International in February and its sister show Autumn Fair International in September. Exhibitors at Retail Shop will represent a multitude of products and services that are essential to successful multi-channel retailing, such as in-store and online solutions, logistics and fulfilment experts, marketing platforms, payment providers and specialists in packaging. A total of 33 companies have already signed up for the show,

including Alibaba, Wirecard, Lil Packaging and Brightpearl. Louise Young, director of i2i Events Group Retail Portfolio, says: ‘The dramatic evolution of consumer spending patterns and shopping behaviour has created a truly multi-channel retail environment. The launch of Retail Shop at Spring Fair International 2015 will be an essential resource for our customers on both the supply and retail sides who are seeking to stay abreast of evolving technology and consumer behaviour, enabling them to capitalise on the e-commerce market and huge growth in mobile shopping.’


In brief... Westfield’s Broadway shopping centre in Bradford completed its topping out ceremony on 13 November, 2014. Covering 570,000 sq ft of floor space, the Broadway will feature 70 retail units. Alongside anchor retailers Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, a number of leading national retailers have signed up, including Topshop, JD Sports, New Look, River Island and Next. Land Securities has signed a dynamic host of new brands to its Gunwharf Quays retail outlet in Portsmouth. Retailers include Mint Velvet, Asics, Coast, Watch Station, The North Face, Musto, Pret a Manger and Pearl Izumi.

Hackett opens Old Broad Street store Quintessentially British men’s outfitter, Hackett London has opened the doors to its new City of London store at 55 Old Broad Street. Spanning 150 sq m, the retail selling space is divided into five different rooms and joined by panelled Georgian archways. The design concept will continue to incorporate Hackett’s signature Georgian influences as well as introducing new sleek and modern elements such as granite and limestone flooring and floor to ceiling panels that divide the Casual and Mayfair collections. The retailer chose British furniture designer James Harrison to provide pieces for the store. His contemporary handmade light wooden polished chairs sit alongside and complement the more traditional pieces within the store. A selection of the late Brian Blow’s artwork, a British artist renowned for his 1950s/60s graphic prints, are used in the store in amongst an eclectic mix of artist sketches, period prints and campaign photography.

The Central London retail market shows no signs of slowing, with a raft of new domestic and international retailers recently taking space and more expected to do so in the coming months. Rents are still under pressure in both prime and secondary locations, with competition for prime spaces leading to strong demand for locations previously considered peripheral. An example is Mayfair, with emerging streets such as Conduit Street, Dover Street and Brooke Street seeing marked improvements to tenant mix, which has resulted in significant rental growth. Regent Street and Bond Street continue to generate high levels of footfall and Oxford Street saw one of the largest deals recently, with Dubai retailer Toy Store taking a 27,000 sq ft flagship store in the West One Shopping Centre, reportedly setting a new rental tone.

May Design Series unveils new creative concept for 2015 May Design Series has unveiled a new creative concept for 2015, as well as a new website. In addition to providing the latest news of the event, which takes place between 17-19 May, 2015 at ExCel London, the website also has a dedicated area imparting business insights that will feature best-selling product features, industry interviews and more. The website also hosts a dedicated hub for New Design Britain, the initiative that seeks to bring emerging graduate designers to the forefront of the commercial design industry. Visit the website at and follow the show @maydesignseries.


visual merchandising

Window John Lewis and Peter Jones The John Lewis and Peter Jones windows feature a colony of model penguins inspired by the 2014 Christmas ad campaign. The penguins can be seen interacting with key home, fashion and technology products. The concept and design was completed by Chameleon Visual.

shopping Inspiring window displays from around the globe

Printemps Printemps’ windows tell the story of a magical and enchanting journey. A little boy leaves London to celebrates Christmas in Paris. The boy comes to life in the windows, surrounded by friends, toy soldiers and musicians. For the first time, the windows feature an interactive element for visitors. Photography: ©Printemps

Harvey Nichols The mannequins of Harvey Nichols’ Enchanted Forest transform into majestic woodland creatures, while autumnal beams of light reflect from metallic trunks, which grow from the forest floor. Tendrils break free from the confinement of the windows, shoot through the glass and reach 12ft high above the windows, transforming the building’s facade into a magical forest canopy. Photography: Stuart Wilson, Getty Images for Harvey Nichols

Selfridges Selfridges celebrated the art of storytelling by nominating what it believes to be the 25 most enchanting stories ever told. They’ve been selected to be at least one generation old, the oldest being Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault that’s more than 300 years old. The most recent to make the cut is Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, first published in 1978.


Fortnum & Mason This year’s Fortnum & Mason windows are based on the Frost Fayres of centuries ago when a frozen River Thames would host incredible markets and carnivals.

visual merchandising



Schuh One Big Company created the 2014 Christmas campaign for Schuh, and at the heart of it is the Oxford Street store. The design agency created a window scheme and in-store collateral centred around Christmas crackers and the gifts and jokes contained within them. The Oxford Street window features a vibrantly coloured, flashing neon bang exploding from a giant cracker. Design by PLANarama.

Fenwick collaborated with Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in advance of the musical’s official premiere at the Dominican Theatre in November. The windows represent a classic Christmas card scene and invite all Londoners to celebrate the important things in life this festive season: love, family, fun and friendship. Credit: Angie Denness, visual merchandising manager, Fenwick. Photography: Dave Jensen from PA

Harrods As part of Harrods’ The Land of Make Believe, mice run throughout the windows, ready to help collect the toys for Father Christmas. Dressed in red and green, the mice are mischievous – cue abseiling displays, games of hide and seek and trombone playing. Harrods has also created a winter wonderland of silver birch trees, ice blue skies, snow drifts and oversized toys brought to life by renowned designers such as Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Zuhair Murad.

Debenhams Blacks VM worked with the Debenhams creative team, taking inspiration from the current Found It advertising campaign to create this ambitious illuminated, rotating and playful scheme. It runs across the windows and throughout the store interior. The concept was conceived using an eclectic mix of neon bows and stars, sparkling lit glitter fabric and rotating present stack turntables in sprayed MDF. Blacks VM collaborated with Plan to create the mirror Turbolite fairground inspired window borders and with Mushroom Lighting on the colourful LED lighting window installation. Mannequins from Rare Basic.

Galeries Lafayette Galeries Lafayette has chosen some monstrously funny windows this year. Gustave and his gang have taken over the animated window displays of Boulevard Haussmann.


visual merchandising

Liberty The London emporium and its windows invite customers to sail the festive seas besieged with sparkle and treasure and find inspiration for extraordinary gifts. The concept takes inspiration from the origin of the nautical timber used to construct the store in the 1920s.

Evans The current flagship Christmas window scheme at Marble Arch was produced and installed by Blacks VM in conjunction with the Evans creative team and Solus Lighting. The illuminated backdrop of giant willowy LED lit Christmas trees add tiny bursts of light to the dark mirrored acrylic backdrop and floor. The simple coloured palette of smoked acrylic and white lighting creates a moody and stylish environment for the mannequins to stand out.

Topshop Blacks VM collaborated with the Topshop in-house creative team to produce the towering backdrop of gold slatted wood panels, making full use of the double height space the flagship stores offer. Each face of the backdrops and the wooden crate plinths used to display the army of mannequins, was hand finished in patinated gold laminate to create a textured effect on the surfaces. The main focus of the scheme was hundreds of suspended gold/filament lightbulbs, set at different heights descending from the top of the window.

Warehouse Ice shards and broken crystals formed the inspiration for this sharp monochromatic Christmas scheme created by Blacks VM for Warehouse. Multifaceted shapes made from smoked and mirror faceted panels were produced and used as mannequin plinths, whilst taller illuminated shards stood out sharply creating a dramatic backdrop to the window.

Oasis Harlequin cooked up a treat for the Oasis Christmas windows. Handbags are perched in saucepans and high heels under the grill. Mannequins are wrapped up in fairy lights, the Christmas tree has toppled over and a mischievous dog wears reindeer antlers.


See more Christmas 2014 window installations on the blog:








Retail concepts. Window designs. Instore environments. Prototyping. Prop sourcing. Global production. Logistics. Distribution. Installation.

Retail focus.indd 1 +44(0)20 7253 6238 Harlequin Design (London) Ltd. 4th Floor 26/27 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DS

16/12/2014 15:28


p o t POPS e h t f o

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Client: Aramis and Designer Fragrances, Estee Lauder Group

Display Title: Christmas promotion

Sector: Fragrances

Locations: Boots and Debenhams stores, nationwide

The brief: MAD was tasked to design sites for a Christmas promotion featuring three brands – DKNY, Michael Kors and Aramis – with their respective visuals and logos under a single theme. The three designer brands were brought together by a shimmering silver wallpaper background, and a New-York skyline cut out of mirror acrylic to emphasise the heritage of DKNY, the main focus brand.

The result: MAD designed, made and installed event sites to 15 Boots and Debenhams stores across the country, and gondola ends to another 19 Debenhams stores in a second phase. Most small sites featured a back wall and display table, while larger sites were fully customised with pillar cladded and a TV playing the advertising like in Frasers, Glasgow or in Boots, Manchester. Some other stores like Boots in Gateshead had full shelving bays and pillars cladded to the glittery theme. The strong theme has great impact in store, making a strong statement for the brands.


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The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit will provide you with a platform to enhance your company and share the long-term vision of the retail shopfitting business by setting tomorrow’s standards today, and to prepare for future developments, innovations and technology. Network with fellow experts within this industry, listen to case studies, meet and discuss ideas with retail shopfitting service providers, hear personal experiences and find solutions to issues facing this ever changing industry.

For further information or to book your place contact: Delegate: Paige Aitken Supplier: Courtney Brown 01992 374100 @Retail_Summit

Media Partner

9th - 10th February 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted

Q&A column

Karl McKeever 2014 has collectively been a strong year of renewed optimism for many retailers, which I’m delighted to report. There are new warning signs in the global economy of course, but I think that’s more about the new reality as opposed to a fresh foreboding for retailers. From our experiences in the UK and around the world, a lot of retailers shook off the ‘caution shackles’ that typified the recession, and sought to make the most of the renewed optimism and access to finance on the high street. Whilst this is pleasing to see, I would like to challenge retailers to do even more next year and push out of their comfort zones to further inspire their teams – and crucially their customers in 2015. I think it’s time for a lot of retailers on the high street to take an introspective, holistic view of their business and challenge their own conventions. Where are the new sales for profitable growth going to come from? Who are the core customers now? How will brands make these customers stay loyal by knowing what good will look like for them in the future? For me, this is not just about accepting that what has worked or not worked in the past will be the same for the future. There are many levels on which these considerations will come into play for retail. For example, it could be that this will be the year that grocery retailers will give up on the belief that there needs to be a Tesco, Sainsbury’s or now Morrisons on every street corner. Research has shown that whilst someone may brand themselves as a Tesco shopper, in reality they may still spend a good percentage of their shopping budgets with local independents and even shop with value retailers for staple goods – in spite of their near proximity to say a Tesco Express. Who would have thought that this would start to become an emerging trend given the likes of the Fakenham situation? Similarly, the expansive numbers of out-of-town fashion and homewares stores – do we need them? Will the lack of demand for so many, some might say mediocre, stores force the hand of the retailers to instead provide fewer, better outlets? Think John Lewis with its flexible format, smaller footprint stores in cities such as Exeter, which maximise the opportunity for omni-channel shopping, or its latest ‘click and commute’ edited retail presence at St

Pancras International. So, that’s what we may be thinking about on the macro level, but what should retailers be examining on the micro in store level? For me, this would be their brand delivery and all it encompasses, from visual merchandising and store operations to retail training and development. This should also include objective benchmarking of the competition, and an assessment of retailers’ own customer service, standards of retail and VM methods. This is one of the many things that consultancies like Visual Thinking do for clients around the world, but that process can only begin when retailers accept there’s a need to do it themselves – just like any personal resolution to do things differently and unleash a new, improved version of self. It requires retailers to dispel myths and take a cold hard look at the business from the outside in; to make things as good as they can be for the brand. This is more than secret shopping, this is retail truth – unearthed from qualitative and quantitative research of what’s really happening in-store, in order to make positive changes and finetune the quality, effectiveness and consistency of brand delivery and the customer experience. We could be forgiven for thinking that innovation and inspiration in 2014 was mainly the property of those relatively fresh to the market with their new concepts in shopping – think Blurb and to a lesser extent Scribbler and the craft element of their offerings, making the customer the creator. But there’s nothing stopping anyone changing the way we shop, in a conventional high street store. Remember Nike Town’s football academy and more recently H&M’s social media video walls that made catwalk stars of us all?! Let’s also see 2015 become a year where the VM teams are put in the spotlight more. Have these internal teams that are responsible for innovation and delighting customers become valued and resourced again. I think that whilst things are improving with the upturn, there’s still some recognition to give. In the same way that the VM teams themselves innovate in the store space, could leadership teams do more to excite in the way that they develop their people? If retailers are willing to critique their offers this year, next year and on into the future, I’m convinced that we’ll see more beginning to unravel the challenges of adapting their in-store offer to compete with the tide of internet stores and changing consumer behaviour. In many ways, despite the push for retailers to constantly bring us the next and new, perhaps more internal reflection and a little less future gazing could be the key to unlocking some of the most strategically important and lasting changes in fortunes for retailers throughout 2015, and beyond.

Karl McKeever is creative director of visual merchandising and brand delivery consultancy Visual Thinking.

Email Karl at

Critical eyes will make a success of 2015 for retailers


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project focus

New Look Oxford flagship Street, London Design: In house Opening date: November 2014 Store size: 2,415 sq m The New Look flagship on London’s Oxford Street has been revamped with a new design and a firm focus on product. ‘The brief was to deliver an experience that truly represented the best of the New Look brand – fashionable, on trend, spirited and engaging – whilst still remaining accessible to our broad customer base,’ explains Andy Turnbull, group creative principal at New Look. Spread over four floors, each department is captured within its own space and concept. To gain square footage, the retailer has re-designed the floor layout to increase maximum sales space to house all the collections – womenswear, menswear, accessories, footwear, beauty and Teen 915. The concept of the makeover is to put product first, merchandised and displayed beautifully with ease of shopping


project focus

in mind. A sleek and clean layout enforces this concept, and mannequins play a large part in visual design. In fact, there are more mannequins used in this store than any other New Look site. ‘At its heart, the store design is based on the core values of the New Look brand, helping our customers look good, feel great and have fun,’ continues Turnbull. ‘But it’s distinguishably different in its physical execution from our current design principles and aesthetic. This was deliberate; we understood the need to create the most engaging experience and presentation of our product for our customers, in order to re-enforce our unique take on fast fashion at affordable prices.’ He believes the variety, accessibility and sociable aspects of the experience set New Look apart from its competitor set. The aim was to create a destination New Look customer experience through a shopper journey that consisted of: • F  ascia engagement through head-turning window and front-of-store presentation. • Creating strong destination departments and merchandising treatments to express the product offer. • Using its branding and tone of voice to ‘thread and stitch’ the experience. • Creating a premium ambience with the materials and finishes; shopfitting, lighting and flooring. • Establishing variety throughout the product presentation. • Utilising technology to add depth to the presentation and a multi-sensory dimension. • Presenting customer service confidently. • Maximising the shell space, structure and textures to help define the aesthetic of a unique store experience. ‘The appeal for our customers is to surprise and delight; our naturally sociable and non-judgemental nature – and the product offer that supports this – allows us to create a very customer focussed fashion environment.’ There are digital screens on all floors, which display current content including campaign imagery and brand videos. The largest screen is in the window facing out onto Oxford Street. A particular highlight of this store is the personal aspect within the Teen 915 area. There’s a selfie chair with lots of fun props alongside ipadequins, which feature an iPad head that will show the faces of the current campaign models. ‘We believe this adds depth to the experience – it allows us to promote our seasonal video, social and digital campaigns that add engagement to the product presentation. As a medium, it’s inherently flexible and we have invested in the technology to allows us to update and control centrally, which allows us to tune the display to suit the trend or branding requirements.’


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project focus

SND Chongqing, China Design: 3Gatti Architecture Opening date: October 2014 Store size: 180 sq m

The SND fashion store in Chongqing, China appears to have a ceiling that’s weighed down by objects. A triumph of architectural beauty, the scheme is made up of more than 10,000 elements made from a very thin white translucent fibreglass. ‘When I started this retail project there was a simple and appealing idea of hanging everything from the ceiling – thus moving out of the way of the furniture and items to be sold so that all the floor space could be free for customers to circulate,’ explains Francesco Gatti, director of 3Gatti Architecture. ‘Using a software that simulates the physics of real materials, we imagined an elastic ceiling that was pulled down by the weight of these various objects.’ The next step was to think about the technical equipment necessary for the store such as lighting, speakers, sprinklers, cameras, AC and ventilation, so it was natural to think of this ceiling as a permeable surface. ‘This was the origin of the ethereal white ceiling; an ephemeral support for ephemeral objects,’ continues Gatti. 3Gatti provided the factory with a file of more than 10,000 different shapes of stripes to hang on the ceiling, and thank


project focus goodness each piece was not handcrafted by the Chinese workers but was precision cut by machines in a super short time. ‘We used a very thin white translucent fiberglass material because of its fire resistance and the good way it reacted to light reflection thus creating a ceiling landscape that would be a spectacular source of light, beauty and emptiness; perfect for every fashion victim,’ explains Gatti. Although the store is not very big, the extension of the ceiling landscape is apparently endless thanks to mirror walls that disorient the visitors walking around these ethereal ceiling cavities. ‘This heavenly ceiling is surely the protagonist of the space; we chose recycled timber as a dark background for the floor and walls to make the ceiling emerge from the general environment. Finally, we designed simple cubical volumes covered with soft grey felt as the only furniture that the shop could use as sofas, a cash desk and product displays.’ The store façade is left transparent, simply showing the striped section of the ceiling volume, thus creating a sculptural attraction for the visitors to the Chongqing World Financial Center.


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Bugatti Brompton Road, London Design: In house Opening date: November 2014 Store size: 501 sq m


Bugatti has opened the doors to its very first lifestyle boutique on Brompton Road in London’s Knightsbridge. Following the successful launch of its lifestyle collection in Milan last year, this is the next major step in the French car manufacturer’s brand extension strategy. Up to 30 additional exclusive Bugatti boutiques are due to be opened in key international financial and fashion hubs over the next five years. London was the brand’s first choice when deciding on a location for the boutique. ‘The city is a key market for the Veyron, and is also one of the most important international centres of fashion, design and art, which makes it an ideal location in which to showcase our luxury lifestyle brand. We go where our customers are,’ said Dürheimer. At 24-26 Brompton Road, the boutique and its collection reflect the identity of Bugatti. In keeping with the brand’s motto of Art, Forme, Technique, the store conveys the brand’s exceptional technical performance and the exclusive luxury of the brand. Massimiliano Ferrari, CEO of Bugatti International, who’s in charge of the Brand Lifestyle division, says: ‘A Bugatti is a design masterpiece and a unique work of automotive engineering. A

project focus

Bugatti is synonymous with great tradition and cutting-edge modernity. This is also the image we want our boutiques to convey.’ This is achieved through the use of typical Bugatti design features and materials. The three metre aluminium arch features the Bugatti logo and is an eye-catching feature, even from a distance. It was modelled on the most distinctive design feature of all the sports cars – the famous horseshoe-shaped radiator grille. This motif is continued into the shop window display, where the Bugatti signature bag, which echoes the horseshoe grille outline, takes pride of place. The interior of the boutique is divided into two areas. The EB – Ettore Bugatti Collection is displayed in the luxury/lifestyle area, which is fitted with an elegant dark wooden floor and brown leather wall panelling, both of which exude warmth and elegance.

The Bugatti – Performance Luxury Collection is presented in the sports/performance area, which is in sharp contrast with the first area as it features distinctive white marble flooring and light grey leather wall panelling. Other materials used throughout the store design include aluminium, wood, glass and carbon, all of which can also be found in the Veyron. The designers have taken and interpreted typical elements of Bugatti’s design DNA in the furnishings. For example, the rear wall of the large shelving units features a riveted seam inspired by the fin of the legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic. This historic design feature, which was also incorporated into the modern Bugatti Veyron, is also recreated in the structure of the wall shelving. The design of the free-standing carbon and aluminium shelves was modelled on the rear wing mechanics of the Veyron, an example of the very finest engineering. The delicate line in Bugatti Blue adds a final visual flourish to the shelving. The large carbon sales table in the centre of the showroom is another impressive design feature. Its curved shape was inspired by the signature of Ettore Bugatti, a shape that remains a striking design feature of many Bugatti models to this day. The next boutique openings are planned for the coming year in Tokyo, Dubai and Doha. Other stores are set to follow in Paris and Milan. Bugatti plans to open its first stores in the USA from 2016 onwards.


gift shops

GIVE AND With such a variety of items on display, organisation in gift shops is crucial in order to satisfy customers and help them find what they need quickly and easily. For gift shops within museums, galleries and visitor attractions, they need to be integrated within the space and compliment their surroundings, and displays need to house giftware without taking the focus away from what’s on offer. Lumsden has created six shops for the British Museum. For the Exhibitions Shop in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery in the new extension, Lumsden created a stylish interior with a striking monochrome scheme. It was important that the shop had a strong visual personality of its own, aligned closely to the architecture of the new building and the more premium product mix. The shop sits between the entrance of the new exhibition space and the museum’s Egyptian Sculpture gallery and experiences extremely high footfall. The airy double height 188 sq m space is dominated with floor to ceiling columns that Lumsden has integrated into the design. The formal scheme – with a bespoke tiered merchandising system of display tables with integral storage grouped around the columns – is made from oak and metal. ‘It was important that we aligned the shop to the architecture and monochrome interior of the new building without it feeling clinical,’ explains Callum Lumsden, founder and creative director at Lumsden Design. “We used natural oiled oak and black and white lacquered timber throughout the store, which added warmth and texture to the scheme in a subtle, contemporary way.’ For the wall bays, a series of bespoke freestanding wall cabinets were designed, all made out of the black and white oak combined with flexible glass shelving. Callum says gift shops have received bad wrap in the past. When it comes to gift shops in a museum, gallery or visitor attraction, he says they should be integral to the experience; an extension of the cultural capital in the destination and the retail offer wide and diverse – a collection of wares that can’t be found anywhere else on the high street or online. ‘Visitors will range from tourists foraging for memorabilia to school kids with pocket money; knowledge seekers wanting credible reference material or art lovers looking for something original. Shops


gift shops

D TAKE in the cultural sector do not have a typical or defined target market,’ says Callum. ‘The best of these shops are designed to reflect the cultural brand they represent. They need to be curated environments of delight and discovery and full of surprises. That’s what makes them different and that’s why the best examples are so financially successful. They should reflect the architecture and the ethos of the institution they represent and provide the visitors who shop there with a special memory of their destination experience.’ The gift shop at the Dog’s Trust rehoming centre in Denton echoes the concept of integration. Following the village theme that runs throughout the centre, the gift shop has been designed by Fitch like a village shop with a cheerful and bright interior. The centre is a day out for people of all ages and also an experience from which visitors will want to take home a souvenir. In contrast to the recognisable characters of existing Dogs Trust centres, which are usually timber buildings in rural settings, Fitch used warm timbers through fixtures and props to tie the modern building in with the brand. A yellow road guides visitors around the space, helping to define the shop and other areas such as the village green (where initial consultations happen) and the village hall (where dog training takes place). The One Off took on the task of redesigning the Sainsbury’s Wing Store in the National Gallery. The concept was designed to engage a broad customer base while encouraging repeat visits to the store. With one of the UK’s largest gallery postcard collections and each painting available to purchase in print, all product remains easy to locate with clear customer navigation and effortless product selection incorporated perfectly into this design. ‘The store design has achieved a rich and refined feel while remaining in touch and complimentary to the gallery. Adding curves and open spaces through light and shade, the customer journey is free to flow through the whole store and meet the ambitions of the business plan,’ explains a spokesperson from The One Off. Over at the Saatchi Gallery Store on Chelsea’s Kings Road, Design4Retail created a stylish, modular retail environment that complements not overpowers the

Gift shops in museums, galleries and visitor attractions should be integral to the experience.

products on display. The retail space is open and bright and has two cash desks situated at either end. These in turn also help distinguish between the premium and main retail product categories. A modular white flexible shelving system was chosen to display a range of products in the main retail area, which blends into the backdrop of the gallery. The system is entirely flexible with moveable category headers that navigate the consumer to their desired product choice. ‘The premium area is a space dedicated to exhibiting higher value products from featured designers or sponsors. The space was given its chic identity with a deep grey carpet and glass shelving suspended on stylish stainless steel uprights,’ explains Chris Baker, creative director at Design4Retail. ‘The shelving system is again modular and changeable, however, allows for a branded imagery to be located behind the products into LED illuminated panels to give each collection its own separate identity while backlighting the product beautifully.’ The entire space can be adapted to suit future product ranges and even features a small seating area to enhance the serene ambience, allowing the consumer the opportunity to comfortably take it all in. Gift shops in museums and galleries house such an array of giftware, often not found on the high street, meaning flexibility is key when it comes to layout and displays, to accommodate collectable products as and when exhibitions are updated.

Facing page frop top: Curves and open spaces at Sainsbury’s Wing Store in the National Gallery; the open and bright gift shop at the Saatchi Gallery; the Dog’s Trust gift shop is designed like a village store. This page frop top: Products are easy to locate at the Sainsbury’s Wing Store in the National Gallery; Monochrome scheme at the British Museum’s Exhibitions Shop.


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Autumn/Winter 2014

l l i h c Big News Illustration Trends for 2015

s e n o J r e t Pe d n a s i w John Leas campaign Christm


Blue Studio, Unit 8A, The Piper Building, Peterborough Road, London, SW6 3EF T: 020 7394 2813 E: W:

Welcome The use of bespoke illustrations in a retail environment can help brands tap into their creative sides. In this supplement we take a look at some recent installations, including Harry Malt’s Christmas window illustrations for Mulberry, which engage with customers through uniquely British humour. As Harry says, ‘I believe that the public relate favourably to illustrated material; it’s instilled in our psyche from a very early age.’ We hear from a panel of visual merchandising and display specialists regarding their trend forecasts for 2015. We’ve seen the use of lush green foliage in displays and schemes this year, and this is set to continue into 2015. One event that is sure to cause creative ripples through the VM world next year is the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A. ‘It’s set to be an inspirational event, and it will be interesting to see how it filters through into our industry.’ says Jason Traves, co-founder and head of creative at Lucky Fox. Retailers will continue to step up their game to reinvest in the physical shopping experience as e-commerce and online shopping continues to rise. Lyndsey Dennis Editor

42 What’s in store?




45 Big chill

Picture perfect

39 News The latest news from the visual merchandising and display industry.

42 What’s in store?

Predictions for the coming year

Editor Lyndsey Dennis e. t. +44 (0)7500 138 810

45 Big chill The John Lewis and Peter Jones interactive Christmas campaign.

Production & Web Terry Clark e. t. +44 (0)845 680 7405

Display Sales Lee Cullumbine e. t. +44 (0)845 680 7405

47Picture perfect 47  Cover image: Monty the Penguin at John Lewis and Peter Jones Creative and production by Chameleon Visual Photography: Melvyn Vincent

Illustrations within the retail environment and what they bring to the customer experience.



NEW CATALOGUE OUT NOW The new Urban Vintage catalogue from Andy Thornton is out now. 56 pages of industrial-style retail display and visual merchandising products, contract furniture, decorative lighting and tin tiles. Send for your copy. Call: 01422 376000 Email: Online:

AT-A1RetailFocus-UV-Cat.indd 1

01/10/2014 09:29


DZD stimulates the eyes and ears at John Lewis This Christmas concept by DZD for John Lewis on Oxford Street, London caught our eye. The company worked with the John Lewis VM team with a brief to create a multitude of triangles in a varied selection of materials, colours and textures. Each string of triangle trees contains a mix of gold, silver, copper and bronze made of foil, card and tin, suspended from the existing metal framework. This allows for maximum movement within the store environment, which was something that Sarah Smillie, VM designer at John Lewis, had visualised, along with a pretty tinkling noise as the triangles make contact, providing not only a visual treat but one for the ears too.

Photographer: Melvyn Vincent

VM & Display show celebrates 25 years

Reindeers descend on Paris This year, La Grande Epicerie de Paris and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche celebrate a traditional and festive Christmas, with plenty of interaction for children. Mailboxes are located in front of shop windows so children can post their letters to Santa. The shop windows are livened up by the rue de Sèvres stage – the workshops of Santa where reindeers organise all the letters. Children who included an email address on their letters will receive an answer acknowledging receipt of their mail and offering them a surprise animated Christmas movie to view.

proportion>london announces CAPSULE In tribute to power dressing modern icons, proportion>london presents its CAPSULE collection, a dexterously designed VM kit, comprising classic bust form shapes coupled with slimmed merchandising torsos, rails, fixtures and tabletop accessory presenters. The collection features a soft lozenge shape motif, luxury materials and detailing. Along with proportion’s vast library of bust form shapes, the slimmed merchandising form was created to alleviate the boredom of endless suit filled stores, by punctuating the rail space with an easy-dress body option. An ingenious hanging fixture further extends the versatility, bringing ceiling and wall mounts within reach. To give an element of charm, three new detailed finials have been created, cast from vintage decanter tops.

Whether you’re a retailer, designer, in the leisure and entertainment industry or in fact use visual merchandising to promote your products or services in any way, this show is a must visit for everyone involved. The next show takes place on 21-23 April 2015 at its regular home, the Business Design Centre in Islington. ‘Visual merchandising and display demands its own platform as it’s such an important part within retail and it has proved the case with the show celebrating its 25th birthday,’ says organiser Andrew Colclough. ‘With buyers’ time at a premium they need to be able to see the whole of the industry under one roof. Other contributing factors are that the show enables small but important companies the opportunity of exhibiting alongside the well established companies.’ The event covers everything within visual merchandising and display, including mannequins, print, Christmas decorations, display services, props, design, graphics, bust forms, turnkey service, POP, lighting, fabrics and everything in between. Visit the website at to find out more about the 25th VM & Display Show and to register for your pass.





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CNL mannequins

THE SWAN COLLECTION as seen at the Retail Design Collective - New York

e: t: 01438 318634 - 724065

09/12/2014 16:10


VM 2015: , WHAT S IN STORE? Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Jason Traves

Recycling and collaboration Samar Younes global visual director, Coach ‘2015 trends will be heavily influenced by a global consumer craving for a very personal experience of craftsmanship, technology and design. Community will drive brand experiences and foster a strong culture of innovation. Major upcoming trends are: • D  isruptive innovation driven by technology in unexpected ways with off the grid styling, creating fantastical craftsmanship that’s part science and part make believe. • Disruptive innovation driven by technology in unexpected ways with off the grid styling, creating fantastical craftsmanship that’s part science and part make believe. • Collaborations driven by cross cultural and global influences and connection with artists and artisans interpreted in a modern way. • Active dynamic structures driven by a continued focus on a healthy lifestyle where sports meets art.’


co-founder and head of creative, Lucky Fox ‘In 2014 we saw nature appear quite frequently, with lots of lush green foliage, trees and plants either in natural form or abstract. There has also been a Californian west coast feel coming through, with bleached out colours, cacti and succulents. Until now this has been big in domestic interiors but we’ve started to see this filter through into windows and in-store VM, and we expect to see much more of this trend in 2015. Mid-century inspired design and furniture continues to be very popular, so we see this continuing into 2015 too. With the rise in e-commerce and online shopping, brands and retailers are realising that they need to reinvest in the physical shopping experience to keep the brand profile strong on the high street as well as online. We’ve seen retailers such as Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S and Jigsaw repositioning and raising the bar with their windows and in-store VM and shopping experience, and we expect other retailers to follow suit in 2015. One event that is sure to cause creative ripples through the VM world next year is the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A. It’s set to be an inspirational event, and it will be interesting to see how it filters through into our industry.’

Keeping one step ahead of the competition is crucial, and visual merchandising can help achieve this, creating a memorable and enjoyable shopping experience for customers. What trends can we expect for 2015? A mix of industry professionals share their VM and display trend predictions for the coming year.


Investment in effective lighting Paul Symes head of visual presentation, Fortnum & Mason

Brand consistency Experimentation and and clarity Adam Tregaskis collaboration Sasha Rozario head of creative, Blacks VM

‘I don’t think we’re going to see any major technological innovations in visual presentation in 2015, however it’s reassuring to have seen more stores in 2014 making an effort. Taking product presentation to a level beyond throwing a few random items together with some dodgy looking point of sale, frequently offering the customer a token discount. Some of the smaller independent shops this Christmas have looked amazing, with clever innovative window displays backed up by logical, easy-to-navigate in-store visual merchandising. Hopefully the trend of doing it right will encourage some of the larger stores to follow suit. Customers want, and should expect, a fabulous customer experience, no matter where they shop. As retailers it’s important that we should think like a customer. I do hope that more stores will consider using effective lighting systems; there have been some major improvements in this area in the past few years and I hope that it continues. Good lighting can really enhance product presentation; I noticed when we launched Fortnum & Mason in Dubai earlier in the year, how effective the lighting systems were in the stores – something that we took on board with our latest store in Heathrow Terminal 5. Purchasing online is great and convenient, but I’m also a great believer in the physical ‘sport’ of shopping; touching items, picking them up, something that online purchasing can’t instantly offer. We have to ensure that our stores, shops and products are beautifully presented, with excellent lighting, and backed up with outstanding attentive service.’

‘We’re living in an era of visual saturation where the retail landscape is constantly evolving; as a nation we’re craving simplicity and less noise. Creative teams are escaping the confines of the everyday office environment, to embark on travel trips that offer the possibilities to explore global trends as a source of new inspiration for their store design concept ideas. Experiencing new cities, trends and cultures first hand will offer an insightful portal to a new form of simple expression and innovation when designing window concepts. We will witness the cross pollination of clean and honest palettes mixed with innovative experimental materials and finishes. Material labs and workshops will provide the opportunity for brands to experiment with previously undiscovered ideas, materials and processes. The exploration of new perspectives will also create more opportunity for direct collaborations between retail creative teams and external designers/illustrators and artists. This in turn will inject a fresh diversity into the store design process and will be a driving force in the creation of ideas for which challenge the principles of past thought processes and possibilities which are relative to the current creative climate. Innovative British artists and designers, such as Heatherwick and Barber Osgerby, will continue to inspire diverse and radical shifts towards creating window displays that offer a trajectory into new forms of exploration in store design.’

head of retail, The Market Creative ‘True seamless retailing across all channels has never been so important to provide an enhanced shopper experience, and this will only increase as we move through 2015. This isn’t just about omnichannel presence, but ensuring the brand experience is consistent too. Every message should accurately deliver and amplify the brand proposition and reinforce core values, regardless of whether a shopper is online, in store or checking you out on social media. This doesn’t mean saying the same thing at every stage; each part of a shopper’s journey to make a purchase should have a role to play. Messages should be meaningful and appropriate while at the same time reflecting the brand. Too often we see a shopper journey that begins coherently, with the brand values present across the touch points – recognising and leveraging opportunities at each stage – but then a lack of consistency and clarity through different channels makes the journey disjointed. This means that, from car park to till, the brand should treat its shoppers appropriately at every point – whether that’s product engagement to educate and interact, creating a social community to increase frequency of visits or simply expediency via click and collect. Technology will play a key role in how this develops over the next 12 months. With iBeacons and other methods of identifying and tracking shoppers becoming more prominent, the same personalised retail experience common online will become more widespread in-store too with salutations, cross-selling and relevant offers.’


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Peter Jones and John Lewis

BIG CHILL Peter Jones and John Lewis have created a truly interactive experience in-store this Christmas. The Peter Jones and John Lewis campaign evokes the magic of make believe at Christmas through a child’s eyes. The advert tells the tale of an unlikely friendship between a little boy called Sam and Monty his penguin friend. Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, explains: ‘At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas. We hope this uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones.’ This message has been amplified beyond the TV campaign inside stores through an in-store space called Monty’s Den at the retailer’s flagship shops at Oxford Street and Peter Jones as well as the 41 John Lewis shops across the UK. In partnership with Samsung, Monty’s Den uses a series of technology firsts to harness the power of children’s imaginations. During this campaign, children can create their very own Monty Christmas card on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. At Monty’s Magical Toy Machine, children can bring their favourite toys in store where they will be scanned using innovative photogrammetry technology, before appearing on screen as a moving, life-like 3D image. This interactive digital replica then magically dances for the child, creating a truly memorable retail experience. There’s also a photo opportunity for parents to snap their little ones dancing with their toys. ‘Each year we look for new ways to amplify our Christmas campaign, and creating Monty’s Magical Toy Machine with Microsoft is one of our most exciting ideas yet,’ enthuses Inglis. Owen Sagness, general manager of Microsoft Advertising & Online, says: ‘We’re always looking for new ways to use technology and media to enhance people’s lives. This is no ordinary

Monty’s Christmas has been created by advertising agency Adam&Eve/DDB and the Channel 4 teaser campaign by 4Creative and MPC. Christmas windows creative and production by Chameleon Visual.

advertising campaign. By bringing a bit of the magic of Christmas to life, we’re really hoping to give John Lewis customers a very different, very special experience this year. I love seeing the look on people’s faces, young or old, when they see the toys brought to life by Monty’s Magical Toy Machine.’ At Monty’s Den, visitors can find Monty’s Goggles. Using Google Cardboard, customers can step into Monty and Sam’s world. The app version of the Monty’s Christmas storybook is transformed into a 360 degree virtual world, narrated by Dermot O’Leary, making the retailer one of the first brands in the world to use Google Cardboard within a marketing campaign. The Iceberg Station gives children and their families the opportunity to learn more about the endangered Adélie Penguin. Educational content is available, as well as the opportunity to find out about WWF’s Adopt a Penguin programme that John Lewis is supporting. Monty is ready and waiting to smile for customers and their cameras in his very own den. Chameleon Visual created the Peter Jones and John Lewis windows hosting Monty in all sorts of scenarios, making use of the top 100 John Lewis Christmas gifts. The creative consultancy, which delivered last year’s hugely popular Christmas windows, collaborated with Wool And The Gang who knitted bespoke jumpers, hats and scarves for the penguins. Emma Davidge, creative director at Chameleon Visual, says: ‘We were put in a room with 100 gifts, 50 of which were John Lewis’s top gifts; 100 things for every generation and we had think how they could all work together. We chose to have Monty doing human things in a human world.’ The design team created different scenarios for Monty and his friends, such as a laundry room for showcasing pants and socks, and a baking scene for weighing scales and a whisk. Peter Jones has different products in its windows to the ones at John Lewis.



Bespoke illustrations can help brands tap into their creative sides. Illustrations bring a sense of handmade and thoughtfulness to a retail scheme, helping brands to engage with the customer and stand out from competition. Kerry Lemon has racked up an impressive portfolio of clients, including Liberty, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason. She was asked to create a scheme for Harvey Nichols’ London flagship during London Fashion Week. This was then taken to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival before arriving in Bristol. ‘I was commissioned to create a scheme inspired by British wildlife with a slight sinister edge, achieved by the monochrome pallet and the scale of the animals next to the mannequins,’ explains Lemon. ‘I used cut rather than printed vinyl, and for the London scheme I spent three days in-store creating hand painted details to both the windows and backdrops.’ She’s just completed a huge 25m x 12m illustrated window scheme for Coutts at 440 Strand in London, which launched on 1st December. ‘I relish the challenge of these big projects and couldn’t wait to see it installed! ‘Lots of stores use cheap stock vector illustrations or blown up photos from their look books, but commissioned illustration offers bespoke artwork. This allows brands to demonstrate their creativity and tap into the trend for the handmade, unique and artist-led. It allows clients to really stand apart from their competitors and create a buzz for the space, particularly when paired with a live art element and social media

campaign,’ believes Lemon. Mulberry’s 2014 Christmas windows were designed by Chameleon in collaboration with illustrator Harry Malt. The ‘best gift under the tree’ concept features various sized illustrated stockings and a Christmas present saying ‘Think inside the box!’ There’s also a bear holding a Mulberry handbag and the banner ‘Giving is receiving’ along the top of the front windows. The double doors to the store feature a quirky sausage dog wearing a party hat. ‘The brief was to produce something original, visually engaging and to arrest people’s interest with some uniquely British humour,’ explains Harry. Many things inspire

Harry in his work. ‘I get inspiration from aspects of day to day life, trying to be a sentient member of society and sometimes

ear wigging the conversations of strangers.’ He believes illustration can add a new dimension to a retail environment. ‘It can break up the cold lines and glossy veneer of modern customer retail environments. I believe that the public relate favourably to illustrated material; it’s instilled in our psyche from a very early age.’ Annie Rickard Straus agrees, saying: ‘Illustration and lettering can bring so much 



life into the retail environment. A breath of fresh air from the perfectly manicured, an injection of personality, humour and class.’ Annie was recently commissioned by M&C Saatchi to work in a doodly style for the 2014 Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland student campaign, which featured in the windows. ‘Illustration can be the final touch in a window, making an eye catching display, or indeed be a focal point of an entire display. It can be used to promote a brand or message in a way that feels less corporate, more considered and in its nature, unique. ‘Illustration for retailers is also wonderfully transferable. Work can cut across online platforms, point of sale, print and more, bringing a strong continuous identity to a specific range or project. I can only see illustration and lettering becoming more and more popular within the sector, as retailers strive to bring narrative into their displays and generate interest through association, with a visible increase in accreditation of illustrated projects,’ feels Rickard Straus. She also created illustrations for the Marks & Spencer company archive, taking inspiration from the retailer’s history, one of her favourite areas being the confectionery. ‘This is one of my favourite illustrations I worked on with the M&S archive. Rifling


through the sweets and chocolate packaging was a real eye opener. I’m used to having a bar of chocolate and mindlessly throwing away the wrapper. The packaging at the archive, so carefully preserved, preciously folded in to cellophane sleeves, then logged and numbered, gives them a whole new gravitas.’ Lovisa Burfitt is no stranger to illustrating retail environments. The H&M store illustrator has just completed a commission for the new H&M flagship in Paris. Other stores that have been given a touch of Lovisa’s magic include Liberty, Sephora, Harrods, Selfridges, Lindex, Guerlain and Nordstrom. The brief for Paris H&M was something along the lines of fun, fashion, unpretentious and playful. ‘I followed this, drawing for men, women, kids and teens and I had lots of fun and creative freedom,’ enthuses Lovisa. ‘I made an archive of 140 drawings, and each and every flagship store has its unique design using my drawings in different ways.’ Illustrations help retailers engage with customers on a more personal and often humorous basis, and being bespoke will make them stand out from competition.

Kerry Lemon’s British wildlife installation for Harvey Nichols Harry Malt’s illustrations for Mulberry’s Christmas windows campaign H&M illustration by Lovisa Burfitt M&S commission by Annie Rickard Straus

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VM + DISPLAY Andy Thornton Andy Thornon supplied this vintage 1930s haberdashery display counter to Modemakers in Bornem near Rotterdam. The fully glazed counter features a solid brass framework, oak plinth and a bank of oak pull-out drawers. The piece is extremely functional whilst looking really well alongside the industrial style shop fittings, display shelving, tables and carts in the rest of the store. Andy Thornton stocks an extensive range of antique and vintage shop fittings and offers a good selection of counters, cabinets and back fittings rescued from jewellery, haberdashery, grocery and chemist shops. T. +44 (0)1422 376 000 E. Twitter: andythorntonltd

Applelec Applelec will be exhibiting LED Light Sheet and Aura Linear profiles at the VM and Display Show on stand D9. Made in the UK to any bespoke shape or size, LED Light Sheet can be integrated in retail, display and exhibition systems, interior and architectural design or used to illuminate decorative surfaces and finishes. The product has previously been selected by Mulberry, Jimmy Choo and GAP. Applelec’s made-to-measure LED linear profiles, Aura Linear, will also be on show. The sleek profiles are ideal for architectural LED installations.

T. +44 (0)1274 774 477 E. Twitter: ApplelecLight

arken P-O-P International arken’s wide range of illuminated displays includes the Purelite LED light box line, now the company’s best-seller. It has a contemporary aluminium frame (shown here in powder coated black), making it ideal for a wide selection of outlets, from fashion retailers to cinemas and nightclubs. Purelite is very low maintenance, cheap to run and uses 60 per cent less energy than traditional tube light boxes. T. +44 (0)1638 565 656 E.

Ultima Displays Ultima Displays is embarking on a major investment in a range of great new products for 2015. One of the main trends of late and which will continue into next year is fabric displays. Ultima offers a wide range of items that support textile fabric media, which it prints and finishes to a high quality in-house. The company’s latest line called Formulate comes in a variety of designs, with a whole extended family of Formulate shapes coming in 2015. Formulate is a simple yet extremely effective portable display system based on lightweight tubular aluminium frames that click together with a push fit button. A printed fabric graphic sock is then stretched over the frame work and zipped up for a super snug fit. These displays are ideal for use in retail areas, exhibitions and conferences. T. +44 (0)1536 272 250 E. Twitter: Ultima_Displays


Retail Focus Oct 14_Layout 1 03/10/2014 10:51 Page 1


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VM + DISPLAY ONELAN ONELAN has enhanced its digital signage range and now offers audience measurement integration powered by Quividi. It delivers a rich set of data to understand how passers by engage with digital signage content. Reporting covers, for example, the number of opportunities to see, the number of real viewers, attention time and dwell time. This data can then be analysed by gender and age class. It provides a real-time video analytics solution that helps media owners, retailers and brands to finely count and qualify their audiences. VidiCentre automatically builds an informative graphical dashboard accessible via a simple web browser to reveal trends and correlations. The audience measurement solution uses the latest face and body detection technique and runs on ONELAN’s 24/7 Net-Top-Box. T. +44 (0)1491 411 400 E. Twitter: onelan_ds

proportion>london proportion>london introduces THEORY, an elemental collection of female fashion mannequins designed to enhance the retail environment with striking repetitive groups, whilst maintaining the subtlest presence. Conceived by proportion’s informed design team who take their reference from street style, catwalk, art installation and lifestyle, THEORY is formed around two key symmetrical poses with multi head and arm options, building into a workable kit of huge practicality. T. +44 (0)20 7251 6943 E. Twitter: Proportion

Visplay Forget about boring tables when it comes to creating mid-floor merchandise displays. The new structural system Kado 15 from Visplay offers flexible, modular configurations - even for wall displays! The base elements can be combined in any manner, and extended or modified to suit your needs. The company will be exhibiting for the first time in the UK in 2015, at the new Retail Design Expo, which takes place from 10-11 March at Olympia London. T. +44 (0)207 288 9570 E.

Perspex Inplas Fabrications helped Australian hair care company Eleven Australia make a great impression at its first ever UK trade show. Launching its brand into a new region, the stand had to make an impact. Eleven Australia loved the stunning scheme designed by The Halo Group, with the expert guidance of Inplas, using the whole Perspex Cast Acrylic Fluorescent range to create a dazzling display of colour that visitors could not fail to notice. Perspex Fluorescent not only offers the pallet of vibrant colours renowned from Perspex acrylic, but its fluorescent edge uses natural light to create dramatic edge illuminations - ideal for retail displays looking to create a buzz. Ninety Perspex cubes were individually hand-crafted by Inplas, laser-cut and hand-polished for maximum impact. T. +44 (0)1932 356 900 E.


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16.10.14 15:47



FRAME Are opticians moving away from the bright, clinical spaces we’re used to? Retail Focus find out... Opticians have been known to be quite clinical environments, which can put customers on edge. The key is to make customers feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible, allowing them to spend time browsing for their ultimate pair of specs. One design feature of most new optical outlets is the use of warmer lighting schemes and materials rather than the bright, clinical spaces that previously graced the high street. ‘Glasses are a necessary purchase, but that doesn’t mean shopping for them has to be joyless,’ believes Donna Williams, head of strategy at design consultancy 20.20. ‘Traditionally, opticians have been sterile, cold and functional environments, but retailers such as Kite and Warby Parker are changing the landscape for the better.’ 20.20 believes there are two emerging approaches to optician design: 1. Thinking like a service provider – Prioritising an open and consultative experience over a high-pressure sales one. Leveraging authority and expertise to create a better customer experience, editing choice, highlighting meaningful innovation and delivering personal recommendations to build trust and lasting relationships. 2. Thinking like a fashion destination – A barrier-free shopping experience with inspiring and impactful VM to encourage style exploration and discovery. Using interesting materials and design storytelling to make shopping for glasses fun again. After all, this is not a mundane purchase; this is the start of something special – this is the new you. Kite’s Westfield Stratford store, designed by Fourmation, ditches the sterile for style. The experience takes a much more fashion and lifestyle approach to retail.


Embracing digital technology, customers can take pictures of themselves and share on social media using the bespoke kiosks. The central area has a communal table to try out frames, create a look and talk with advisors. Raw materials such as wood and steel are used throughout for displays. Exactly one year after launching online, Cubitts has opened its first retail store at 37 Marshall Street, Soho. The workshop has been designed as the antithesis of a clinical optician, flying the flag for the historical sense of craftsmanship. It makes use of the latest technology and software, including a window display that allows passers-by outside to virtually try on a frame through custom built augmented reality software. A combination of reclaimed British furniture, natural materials and subtle lighting have been used to create a warm and inviting ambience. At the heart of the store is a 150-year-old workbench, sandblasted and restored to its former glory. Frames are displayed in vintage medical cabinets, which have been stripped back, polished and repurposed. ‘Versatile surfaces allow us to make adjustments, repairs and ultimately craft our own frames on site. We wanted to reuse and repurpose beautifully made vintage objects, including Victorian medical cabinets, workbenches and pendant lights salvaged from a Japanese cargo ship,’ explains Tom Broughton, founder of Cubitts. Wood features heavily in the overall design of this opticians. ‘Wood is a workshop friendly material, evocative of times gone by,’ says Tom. ‘It ties in well with our emphasis on enduring style rather than fast fashion, and ages beautifully if loved. In common with much of the store, we’ve tried to reuse materials where possible, including old English scaffolding boards and floorboards from Lewis Cubitt’s Granary building in King’s Cross, London.’



He feels the design of opticians is evolving slowly. ‘While retail has improved hugely over the last two years, the optician experience has stayed pretty much the same. Over-lit clinical environments, few places to dwell, smoke and mirrors of the unhelpful variety. Our workshop has been designed to be the antithesis.’ Innovare Design’s new store concept in Cheapside for Luxottica UK’s David Clulow brand, plays homage to London’s urban loft style architecture. One window offers clear views into the store so passers by and visitors can see the product range within, while the other window features a large digital screen introducing the latest brand promotions to passers by. There’s plenty of space for customers to browse the carefully lit wall displays in the bright and airy interior. Within the mid-floor display there’s a pre-test consultation area where customers can relax while discussing there needs. By locating this centrally, staff have easy access to the full product range on offer. The ‘barrier’ of a physical cash desk has been removed so that staff can service the store freely and engage more naturally with customers. The cash till is neatly integrated into the wall system. Frames are carefully displayed on low iron clear glass shelves to maximum impact. A mirror band runs around all walls, accompanied by full length mirrors that allow the customer, wherever they are in the store, to view the full effect. Two luxury mid-floor towers showcase premium brands, and the shelf below the mirror band also provides a focal point for promotional product displays and static visual merchandise materials. Digital displays feature in the two consultation areas and above the cash till. Particular emphasis has been placed on the impact of lighting on the success of the store. Technology is integrated right from the shop front and throughout the store. Staff use tablets to show what customers look like in their chosen frames, and measure for lenses via M’Eye Touch technology. They can also show customers a wider choice of frames appropriate to specific prescriptions. ‘Whilst budget and mid-market chains of opticians appeal more to those interested in value for money, they still need to reassure consumers about their professionalism, which is where the clinical, lab concepts stemmed from. With growing

competition at this level, the differentiators have predominantly been focused on price, offers and speed of service – but these don’t engender customer loyalty,’ believes Lloyd Blakey, creative director at Innovare Design. ‘Independent opticians have got it right for years – putting their customers at the centre of the experience and reinforcing relationships through personal service.’ John Lewis has moved into the world of opticians, with the opening of its Westfield Stratford store in October in partnership with Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company. The new venture focuses on building long-standing relationships between optician and patient and offers customers the very best in eye healthcare. The design places heavy focus on the use of wood, with a central curved desk and individual oblong consultation tables. Frames are displayed side by side on illuminated shelves with plenty of mirror space for customers to use. It seems new opticians stores are thinking more about the comfort of their customers, creating a calm, relaxed environment for which to have an eye text and choose the correct eyewear. Customer experience and comfort is key.

Opposite page: Frame display at Cubitts, From top: Cubitts flies the flag for craftsmanship; Kite ditches the sterile for style; John Lewis opened its first opticians this year at Westfield Stratford; David Clulow has plenty of space to browse; wood and glass are combined for the display cases at Cubitts; communal table at Kite.





RK •





Concept mannequin range by Universal Display incorporating technology from Iconeme. Download the Iconeme App to experience the future of retail









•T Winners Brouchure 15.indd 1 17/09/2014 12:47



HI-TOUCH How do we keep shoppers inspired, engaged and coming back for more? There must be a balance between hi-tech and hi-touch, says Nigel Collett, CEO of rpa:group I’m constantly asked by clients to share my views about what future shopping environments will look like. Having worked across the board with clients ranging from M&S to Oscar De La Renta, and from Arcadia to Samsung, I’ve thought long and hard about where and how we will be shopping next year, in 10 years, or even in 20 years. Not surprisingly, I read everything there is to read on the subject and I talk to a wide variety of experts about their views. One thing that keeps cropping up, in almost all of the points of view that I hear, is that there must be a balance between hi-tech and hi-touch. In McCann Truth Central’s fascinating Truth About Shopping survey this year, some findings literally jumped right off the page and acted for me as predictors of how retailers should be thinking about their stores over the coming few years. Firstly, it was clear that a major question was presenting itself; how do you keep the art of shopping alive in the age of algorithms? It seems, from what we read in the latest research, that this can only be achieved if we focus on the art of shopping in order to balance the science of shopping. McCann’s research, conducted globally, revealed that a staggering 52 per cent of people say shopping has now become too impersonal, causing them to show concerns about reliance on algorithms to dictate purchases. Meanwhile, a huge 66 per cent of people are looking to be inspired when they shop, seeking the human and personal touch, increasingly becoming lost amidst a wave of algorithm-based personalisation. It’s clear from these insights that retailers should be directing their thinking to how they can blend technology and the physical retail experience to provide stores that answer everybody’s needs. There’s got to the something inspiring there to thrill the techies, and there has to be plenty to satisfy the more tactile shoppers. It would appear that the majority of people are happy with technology and ready to embrace the smart store of the future. Again, the figures back this up, with 71 per cent welcoming technology such as interactive walls, retinal scans and fingerprint recognition, whilst 70 per cent also say that mobiles may be a good tool for browsing but not for buying. However, a balance is clearly needed between hi-tech and hitouch as Andy Murray, SVP of creative at Walmart, recently pointed out. McCann’s survey shows that the majority of consumers are ‘inspired while shopping, rather than going shopping because they’re inspired.’ But this good news throws down a very challenging gauntlet to retailers and designers – how do we keep shoppers inspired, engaged and coming back for more? One amusing, but very practical, solution has already been actioned by Westfield Malls, with interests in 103 shopping centres

across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil. Encompassing around 23,000 retail outlets, they should certainly know a thing or two about retail destinations. The mall giant has started to build ‘man caves’ in its shopping complexes, where men can watch TV, play pool or have a drink, thereby freeing up wives and girlfriends to indulge in some guiltfree retail therapy, secure in the knowledge that their men are happy. Dubbed by a New York newspaper as ‘a parking spot for husbands’, the man cave concept has not surprisingly proved a big hit, illustrating that perhaps, if you try hard enough, you might just be able to please all of the people, all of the time. 59

2014 in retrospect

THE CLASS OF 2014 As this year draws to a close, we look back at some of the innovative store concepts launched this year

Warehouse, Oxford Street, London

Jigsaw, Duke Street, London Dalziel & Pow developed Jigsaw’s new Duke Street Emporium, which opened in April. Located close to Oxford Street in a converted Queen Anne building, the store features a multibrand shop-in-shop from The Shop at Bluebird (the group’s fashion and lifestyle boutique on King’s Road), as well as a full representation of Jigsaw’s women’s, men’s and junior ranges and a cafe operated by Fernandez and Wells, alongside art installations created by emerging artists.

Watches of Switzerland, Regent Street, London Designed by Callison, Watches of Switzerland opened what is thought to be Europe’s largest showroom devoted to luxury watches in July. The three-storey ‘Landmark’ emporium features the Calibre Room on the lower level, housing the largest watch selection in the store. Light and bright, the space juxtaposes calacatta marble flooring with stainless steel and walnut fixtures. A ribbon of interactive, glass touch-screen panels enable customers to learn more about the products on display while a large time wheel highlights the longevity and brand heritage of Watches of Switzerland.


Opened in February, the first Warehouse flagship allows the retailer to showcase the brand on a UK and world stage. Designed in partnership with Brown Studio, the 232 sq m store is spread across two levels and builds on the concept and tradition of Warehouse as an urban loft gallery space. The design draws inspiration from the converted warehouses of New York’s Meat Packing district and Soho, with the fabric of the building exposed with materials such as real brick, wood flooring and plaster treatments.

Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London Opened in June, Foyles moved two doors up the road to the former Saint Martins College of Art and Design building for its new flagship. The 3,437 sq m flexible retail space is spread across eight alternating foot-plates over four floors and houses more than 200,000 different titles on an amazing four miles of shelves. It also houses a 200-seater auditorium, a purpose-built gallery and a cafe run by Leafi. The open, light and flexible space can be adapted and subdivided by the bookshelves to create spaces of different character.

2014 in retrospect Harrods Shoe Heaven, Knightsbridge Spanning almost 3,900 sq m, this luxury retail space on the fifth floor of the London department store opened in August and houses more than 100,000 pairs of shoes from some of the world’s finest footwear brands. Designed by David Collins Studio, the space has a five-star hotel quality to it, with marbled floor corridors, velvet banquet lounge seating, plush carpet, private shopping suites and art deco features. The department is one of the biggest projects undertaken by Harrods to date and incorporates 17 bespoke boutiques.

Timberland, Regent Street, London 3.1 Phillip Lim, Great Jones Street, New York Following the launch of his first standalone UK boutique in London in 2013, Phillip Lim opened his flagship store in Manhattan’s NoHo district in September, which houses the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection of womenswear, menswear and accessories. Developed in collaboration with Campaign, the space takes inspiration from the concept of ‘studio luxury’, creatively combining high-end materials such as marble, onyx, Corian and green mink with everyday elements such as MDF, ply and plasterboard.

Open in August, Timberland received a new store design from Dalziel & Pow. Timberland wanted to re-imagine its global flagship, taking a more fashion-led, visually merchandised approach as opposed to a traditional outdoor lifestyle store. The brief was to express the brand’s New England heritage and create opportunities for customers to experience Timberland through in-store customisation and live events.

Issey Miyake, Brook Street, London Opened in October, the new Issey Miyake London flagship store in Mayfair was formerly a bank. The space has been stripped back to its original structure and transformed into a visually enticing exploration of old and new elements. Created in collaboration with Japanese artist and designer, Tokujin Yoshioka and fitted out by Portview, the space occupies the two lower levels of the 1950s building and incorporates contrasting finishes to form a fascinating open structure that heightens visual interest and appeal.



FLOORING + SURFACES Sika Sika has provided a robust and impressive flooring solution for a hair and beauty wholesaler in Greater Manchester. Alan Howard Hair and Beauty Supplies in Stockport required easy-to-maintain and aesthetically pleasing flooring for its 750 sq m trade supply warehouse. Specialist installer, Quest Industrial Flooring turned to Sika to provide the ideal solution, which began with Sikafloor 161 - an economic, twopart low viscosity epoxy resin primer for the concrete substrate, offering easy application and short wait times. Sika Comfortfloor in pure white T. +44 (0)800 112 3863 E. Twitter: SikaLimited

Karndean The original conveyor belt sushi bar restaurant, YO! Sushi, has specified the UK’s market leader in luxury vinyl flooring Karndean Designflooring in place of real wood at various locations throughout the country. Its new restaurant on Kensington High Street features Karndean’s Da Vinci Australian Walnut in all walkways and individual restaurant booths. The deep chocolatey tones and ebony lowlights of Australian Walnut successfully create a rich backdrop in key areas. Not only is Karndean harder wearing than wood and doesn’t suffer from expansion and contraction, but it’s also easy to maintain and retains its appearance beautifully. T. +44 (0)845 605 5880 E. Twitter: KarndeanComm

Pergo Laminate flooring from Pergo has been specified for Heal’s department store, providing style and performance. As part of the internal relocation of the Ligne Roset furniture brand from first to second-floor, London-based shopfitting specialist Bluegroup Retail worked in conjunction with Ligne Roset on the specification. it was decided that Pergo’s Living Expression Drift Oak planks should be used throughout the second-floor to help create a more welcoming and open feel to the whole department. Pergo’s unique approach to laminate flooring means that 84 designs can be selected in one of three different quality levels, helping to meet the demands of various specifications. T. +44 (0)844 8118 288 E. Twitter: PergoProUK


Armourcoat Armourcoat has refreshed its modular surface solutions website, presenting stunning effects and design ideas for retail interiors. The ArmourFX website – – features case studies, finish options, a web-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) project delivery system, together with hundreds of standard and custom design ideas. The website has also been designed to work across all viewing platforms, from smart phones to tablets, so is ideal for on-site inspiration. T. +44 (0) 1732 460 668 E. Twitter: Armourcoat


TECHNOLOGY Posiflex Posiflex offers an android-based version of its highly popular XT POS touch screen terminal services. XT-2614E has all the features and capabilities of a traditional POS. It allows the store owner to smoothly run daily operation, and provides many years of dependable operation at a low total cost of ownership. With a true-flat, PCAP touch screen supporting 10 point multi-touch, its slim body, curved base stand and bezel-free touch screen turn this new POS solution into an attractive solution. T. +49 (0)2102 714650 E.

Futura Howley’s Toys has selected the Futura EPOS and retail management solution to improve core retail processes, including stock allocations between store and web, merchandise planning, customer data capture and reporting. By integrating their online and in-store business in a single retail system, Howleys Toys, which has stores in Weymouth and Dorchester, will benefit from increased management control, accurate stock management and better all-round visibility. T. +44 (0)1189 841 925 E. Twitter: Futura_retail

PEL Services PEL Services has completed the design, supply and installation of a music and public address system at Debenhams’ flagship Oxford Street store as part of its extensive £25 million refurbishment. The new Bose professional digital sound system features 650 ceiling speakers, making it one of the largest Bose ceiling speaker installations in the UK. The system has been zoned by PEL – two zones per floor, plus a dedicated zone for the Atrium escalator – to enable Debenhams to play different music and announcements in each area. With the store now providing a range of in-store events, the flexibility of the sound system was an essential component of the design. T. +44 (0)333 123 2100

Panasonic Panasonic has unveiled the JS-970 All In One modular point of sales workstation. Designed for flexible use and built to withstand harsh environments, the unit is ideal for the quick service restaurant, retail and hospitality sectors and replaces the mid-range Panasonic JS-925. Flexibility is built into the JS-970 with its versatile and modular design, enabling the system to be configured to meet the needs of the retail operation. Interchangeable touchscreens add the ability to customise for individual retailer requirements. It comes with a 15in XGA (1024 x 768) display for clear viewing and a resistive touchscreen capability. A 17in SXGA (1280 x 1024) resistive touchscreen and 15in capacitive touchscreen are also available as special project options. Screens can be tilted from 20 to 90 degree angles and swivel 15 degrees left and right, providing a more comfortable use. T. +39 3481569093 E. Twitter: PanasonicUK



lighting Display Lighting Jewellery lighting specialist Display Lighting has introduced the Quantum III Miniature compact LED spotlight, with three integral LEDs emitting a 45-degree beam. The fitting bathes displays in a powerful spotlight of illumination, and the 50mm diameter head is highly adjustable through 350 degrees. It has customisable LED colour temperature options: cool, neutral and warm white or a mixture of the three. T. +44 (0)161 207 3355 E. T: DisplayLighting

Atrium For Aquascutum’s new, exclusive menswear shop on London’s Jermyn Street, Atrium specified Flos Pure 01 Track Spot systems for the main retail spce, which offer strong accent lighting, ideal for retail stores. In the changing rooms, Flos Battery downlights have also been integrated into the environment to supply efficient and versatile lighting. Atrium wanted to create a different look from the brand’s inaugural store on Great Marlborough Street, offering a sleek space for men whilst inviting to female shoppers. T. +44 (0)20 7681 9933 E. Twitter: Atrium_ltd

Universal Fibre Optics Universal Fbire Optics’ versatile MetroLED lighting system is ideal for display case illumination. Whether you require spotlights that can be independently moved and tilted to highlight specific aspects of your display, linear lights that provide a complete wash of light or a combination of the two, the MetroLED system can be assembled to meet your exact requirements and reconfigured as often as required. 3000K, 4000K and 6500K colour temperatures are available and can be dimmed independently of one another thanks to the dual circuit power that the MetroLED system incorporates. T. +44 (0)1890 883 416 E. Twitter: universalfo

Luxonic Luxonic unveiled a number of new luminaires at LuxLive in November. Setting the scene is Luxonic’s Skylux pendant, a new decorative architectural fitting suspended from ceilings and presenting a horizontal disc of edge-lit acrylic powered by LEDs. T. +44 (0)1256 363 090 E. Twitter: _luxonic



LIGHTING Havells Sylvania Sylvania has introduced a new generation of high quality GU10 LED PureForm lamps, starting wth the introduction of the RefLED Superia ES50 375Lm. These lamps exceed the IEC standard and match the actual shape, size and profile of a halogen so that the replacement lamps fit in all luminaires. Compared to previous GU10 50W equivalent LED lamps, the new PureForm GU10 lamps offer an increased light output, longer life, lower operating power and a higher efficacy of up to 68Lm/W. The lamps also incorporate Coolfit technology for better thermal management, enabling them to be used in enclosed fixtures. T. +44 (0)870 606 2030 E: Twitter: @HavellsSylvania

Design LED Products Design LED products has launched the world’s thinnest shelf and backlighting solutions. As part of a new lighting portfolio aimed at shelf, back and signage lighting applications, the product line is based on its patented light guide technology and sets a new benchmark for compact size, light output and efficiency. The Shelf family is a cost effective 2mm-thin light tile or a high quality 6mm luminaire offering superb integration possibilities. The Backlighting and Signage range is an ultra-thin, mechanically flexible, efficient solution for backlighting applications. T. +44 (0)1506 592 310 E.

Reggiani Reggiani LED luminaires have been fitted in six retail outlets at the new Center Parcs village at Woburn Forest. The use of LEDs helps achieve a near carbon-neutral facility, while also reducing maintenance costs as a result of longer lamp life. Fittings used include 14W and 26W LED Bisio spotlights, 10W Low LED downlights, suspended track-mounted Rollios Jr 26W 90CRI with barn doors and 26W Sombra recessed luminaires. T. +44 (0)20 8236 3000 E. Twitter: @reggianilight

Commercial Lighting This high output track/surface-mounted spotlight from Commercial Lighting’s Sovereign range is specifically designed around the very latest high efficiency LED modules. It’s supplied with fully compatible integral driver for optimum performance and longevity and is the ideal replacement for 70W or 150W metal halide units. A wide range of accessories are available including barn doors, louvres, coloured filters and spreader lenses, and in a range of BS/RAL colours, making this unit ideal for any display application requiring high quality light with minimal energy consumption. T. +44 (0)1489 581 002 E. Twitter: @clslight



Lego by FITCH London

INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION IN RETAIL DESIGN, VISUAL MERCHANDISING AND BRANDING UNDER ONE ROOF…AT LAST! To be part of the exciting new leading event for the £5billion retail design and VM industry, crafted for you by the show’s Steering Group of leading industry figures call us TODAY. We have managed to take more space at London’s Olympia due to exceptional take up of space but this too is now becoming scarce so do not delay!

Contact Annie Swift, Nick Field or Rachel Scott on 020 8874 2728 or email to enquire about stand space or sponsorship opportunities for key attractions such as the VM and Windows Masterclass, The Student Retail Design Awards, The Student VM Awards, the Balcony Restaurant, The Designers Tea, Juice and Coffee Bar, and more besides!

focus on lighting

focuslighting on: Customised lighting solution from Zumtobel INTRO from Zumtobel has a modular design and the possibility of integrating a great variety of luminaire types. This means the system offers retailers an efficient lighting solution that can be fully customised to cater for various areas of a store, from shop windows, shelves and recesses to promotional spaces. The system is based on spotlight modules that can be aligned flexibly and can even be combined in various light colours or beam angles, depending on the lighting task.

Sainsbury’s is one of the latest retailers to integrate LED lighting systems into its stores, with M&S also announcing it will introduce LED lighting in all of its UK food halls over the next two years. The majority of the projects and products we’ve sourced for this month’s focus on lighting utilise LED technology to create some eye catching yet functional lighting schemes that also tick the boxes for energy saving. Philips helps Lexus grab attention in Moscow In Moscow, Philips Lighting has fitted out the first Lexus showroom to feature a connected ambient lighting system that combines LEDs with textile and dynamic content. The LexusRublevskiy showroom was renovated for the Russian premiere of the Toyota Lexus NX, with Philips’ luminous textiles creating a dynamic halo of light around the car to attract the attention of customers. By the end of 2014, Philips luminous textiles will be installed in all four of Lexus’ showrooms across the country.

Walk round the market Hoare Lea Lighting designed this concept for Market Walk, a new covered market in the Victoria Square development in Woking, Surrey. For shoppers, the majority of the visual connection is with the retail stalls at low level. Hoare Lea Lighting’s design allows the units to stand out at a humanscale, while illuminating the vertical columns and uplighting the ceiling. This creates an illuminated back drop to the internal market, making it feel bright and inviting. Central to the solution is the mood ceiling with colour-changing LEDs. This eye-catching installation adds interest and vitality with a flowing design that draws the eye through the space, helping to direct the pedestrian while creating an elegant, contemporary feature.  Picture credit: Redshift


focus on lighting Hanging proud at Harrods Formroom was commissioned by Harrods to create a show stopping feature to advertise and guide customers to the Shoe Heaven department on the fifth floor. Each of the four chandeliers is made from a bespoke steel frame that holds 80 wooden shoe moulds positioned in five equally spaced layers to create the chandelier shape. Each heeled shoe was painted in-house at Formroom’s production facilities in Brighton, and styled with white gloss with the tips sprayed using silver water-based paint that cleverly created a shadow like effect and added to the overall glamour of the lighting installation.

High efficiency from Soraa Soraa has upgraded the performance of its MR16 GU10 base 230V LED lamp with a highly efficient LED – the company’s third generation GaN on GaN LED. Featuring the company’s signature elements of full visible spectrum light, Soraa’s new GU10 LED lamps are the perfect lighting solution for retail, hospitality, high-end residential, and museum environments where superior light quality and smooth dimming are essential.

Concord keeps its cool At Hedonism Wines in London’s Mayfair, Speirs + Major specified Concord’s Beacon Muse spotlights to help create a dramatic and eye-catching lighting design that stands out by day and night. Alongside the aesthetic challenges, Speirs + Major and Universal Design Studio needed a lighting scheme that would create the correct ambient conditions and help maintain the temperature in the store at 16°C on lower ground floor and 17°C on ground floor. This is because wines and alcoholic beverages need to be stored carefully and protection from light exposure damage is essential. Beacon Muse, with its low heat and low UV LED source, as well as on-board dimming, stepped up to the challenge.


Walk the walk MJ Lighting has created an inventive lighting scheme for the Galeria Melissa store in Covent Garden using Applelec’s LED Light Sheet. Each of the brand’s shops revolutionises store design by creating a cultural space that’s a platform for exciting art installations whilst also selling Melissa merchandise. This store, the first to open in the UK, features a number of art installations inspired by light, movement and colour. As you enter the store you’re greeted with a kinetic art installation formed of 21 illuminated acrylic shoe boxes. In each box sits one of Melissa’s iconic plastic shoes illuminated by Applelec’s LED Light Sheet, which is built into the roof of the box. The shoe boxes hang from the ceiling and each moving independently through an integrated Rako solution to the store’s eclectic soundtrack.

R_Focus_RH_Wallwasher_Hacel.qxp_Layout 1 04/07/2014 11:46 Page 1

Wallwasher : LED

Dynamic yet Discreet The ultra slim LED Wallwasher, designed and manufactured in the UK by Hacel doesn’t just offer significant savings and exceptional energy efficiency. This is a revolutionary product showcasing inconspicuous, streamlined illumination. With a sleek, sculpted design and a maximum recessing depth of 37mm, the LED Wallwasher exudes harmonious, uniformed light intrinsic with wall display illumination. Minimalistic dimensions, Maximum impact.

w w w. h a c e l . c o. u k Download our comprehensive catalogue showcasing the full product range


Retail Supplier Directory, find the specialist retail products and services you are looking for from leading suppliers around the world. Retail Supplier Directory Visit the Retail Focus online directory at to discover a comprehensive list of the UK’s leading retail suppliers. Each listing contains indepth company information together with inspirational images, video footage and informative press material. You can also link through to company websites and connect with suppliers through Twitter and Facebook. The Retail Supplier Directory is divided into a number of categories, such as design agencies, point-of-purchase, lighting, props and surfaces, to make the site easy to navigate. To feature in the online directory, contact Terry Clark on 0845 6807405 or email



Aluminium Fittings

Bespoke Display

Bespoke Display

Design Consultancies

RGB Products Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry. Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service. T: 01273 582241 E: W: S.

Axis design, develop, manufacture and install bespoke retail display solutions. We’ve worked with the biggest names on the high street, but approach every project in the same way, with the maximum thought for your brand, products and sales environment.

We provide a bespoke manufacturing service for Point of Purchase and Exhibition Display products. Using our CNC Router and other machinery, we can prototype and produce your merchandising displays and products.

H Squared Limited are display specialists in creating brand presence at the point of purchase. Through a holistic approach to the development of display... strategic led creative design and cost effective manufacture, supply and installation, H Squared are able to offer clients an experience to nurture an idea as well as the capability to realise and deliver these ideas.

T, 020 3260 3888 E. S.

T, 01403 783670 E. W.

T: 01530 814200 E: W: S:

Aluminium Fittings

Bespoke Display

MicroSlat is a strong versatile 25mm fine pitched aluminium slatwall system. With a bespoke range of components it can be used to build unique and interesting displays or add value to existing designs.

Original suppliers of display fabrics, textiles, PVC and polycarbonates for retail displays and exhibition stands since 1934 Backgrounds have been our background since backgrounds began and B Brown have more than 400 in stock.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

IGNITION is an independent creative company Our multi-disciplined team work together to deliver exceptional retail and commercial environments, global exhibitions and brands.

T. 01325 351 276 E. W. S.

T, 08705 340 340 E. W. S.

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

T, +44 (0) 1179 725168 E. W.

Aluminium Fittings

Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry. Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service. T: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

Balloons & Bunting

Bespoke Display

Bespoke Display

Bespoke Display

H Squared Limited are display specialists in creating brand presence at the point of purchase. Through a holistic approach to the development of display... strategic led creative design and cost effective manufacture, supply and installation, H Squared are able to offer clients an experience to nurture an idea as well as the capability to realise and deliver these ideas.

Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry.

T: 01530 814200 E: W: S:

T: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

Bespoke Display

Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service.

CNC Routing

Design Consultancies

Design Consultancies

We are TWO Visual, the retail agency specialising in visual merchandising. Led by brand directors Jeanette Cheetham and Brendan Gordon we provide everything retailers need to make their brands visually dynamic, whilst improving team and commercial performance.

T, +44 (0) 1858 414275 E. W. www. S.


RGB Products No.1 Advertising Balloon Service: • Printed Latex and Foil Balloons • Helium Gas delivery and collection • Flags, Bunting and Banners • Promotional Sashes and T-shirts • Multi-store distribution nationwide

KSF provides retail merchandising display solutions to retailers, brands and trade customers from CONCEPT to COMPLETION via our global supply chain (China/UK/East EU) to deliver LOWER total cost of ownership. YOU’VE TRIED THE REST; NOW PUT US TO THE TEST.

We provide a bespoke manufacturing service for Point of Purchase and Exhibition Display products. Using our CNC Router and other machinery, we can prototype and produce your merchandising displays and products.

arken are a UK design and manufacturing facility creating bespoke poster display solutions. As well as our bespoke offer, we provide off the shelf products such as poster frames, light boxes, poster hanging systems, pavement signs, forecourt signs, all available in a range of colours and sizes.

T, 01494 774376 E. W.

T: +44 (0)8450 944 699 E: W: S:

T, 01403 783670 E. W.

T: +44 (0)1638 565656 E: W:




Are you looking to increase your product sales, re-brand or launch a new product? If you’re not already talking to us, you should. Our group offer an unprecedented level of experience coupled with a comprehensive range of products and services. Our aim is to make your products sell and your service the best on the market.

T: +44(0)113 265 0093 E: W: S.


Internationally acclaimed, award winning unique magnetic wall system offers instant flexibility & creative choice to architects, interiors & store designers. Since launching the magnIQ system in 2006 the response has been quite phenomenal. To date the system has won 13 prestigious awards and is now internationally recognised justifying the many years Rare Basic spent on research and development. T +44 (0)20 8348 9888 E: W: S:

Display - Digital


Crystal Display Systems is already a leading UK designer, distributor and value added reseller of flat panel display solutions. We have a vast array of media players, interactive displays, videowalls and shelf edge displays. Our knowledge and expertise has also led to us being one of the European leaders in transparent LCD.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

T: +44 (0) 1634 292 025 E: W: S.

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative




Display - Digital

GDP designs, manufactures, delivers and installs world-class retail environments, store fixtures, displays and visual merchandising equipment. GDP is truly Global, through its activities in many parts of the world. We have supplied high-end displays and furniture to successful retail brands throughout Europe, North America, South Africa and South East Asia.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

We provide total end to end solutions encompassing all aspects of designing, implementing, managing and supporting multi-faceted marketing technology concepts and Digital Screen Media networks.

We create bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D and we know one size does not fit all. Our teams are always ready for the challenges, big or small.

T: +44 (0)1582 433 771 E: W: S.

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

T, +44 (0)845 481 8020 E. S.

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.



We are IPOS. A creative design agency whose extensive and impressive client list speaks volumes for the professional services we offer. We design, produce and install all aspects of our client’s POS. From instore graphics, window vinyls and 3D bespoke window displays to full multi location campaign roll outs.

We create bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D and we know one size does not fit all. Our teams are always ready for the challenges, big or small.

T: 0161 477 8501 E: W: S.

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.


Impulse POP specialises in Point of Purchase display systems for the Retail sector. We offer many years of experience in all aspects of retail design, with in house manufacture - including quick turnaround prototypes, or overseas manufacture, delivery, installation and retail merchandising.

T, 01767 682756 E. S.



Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry.


Offering an extensive range of EPOS hardware from world class suppliers such as Star Micronics, Honeywell and Posiflex, DED offer the complete EPOS hardware solution alongside a unique rewritable loyalty system.

T: 01797 320636 E: W: S:


Armourcoat is the world’s foremost supplier of polished plasters, sculptural effects and innovative surface finishes.

Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service. T: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E. W. S.


Graphica Display print, produce and install retail graphics including till point graphics, window graphics, LED lightboxes, cut & printed vinyl and much more. Nationwide & Euorpean delivery and installation.

T: 0845 3730073 E: S.


We create bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D and we know one size does not fit all. Our teams are always ready for the challenges, big or small.

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.


Interactive Displays


Crystal Display Systems is already a leading UK designer, distributor and value added reseller of flat panel display solutions. We have a vast array of media players, interactive displays, videowalls and shelf edge displays. Our knowledge and expertise has also led to us being one of the European leaders in transparent LCD.

Impulse POP specialises in Point of Purchase display systems for the Retail sector. We offer many years of experience in all aspects of retail design, with in house manufacture - including quick turnaround prototypes, or overseas manufacture, delivery, installation and retail merchandising.

T: +44 (0) 1634 292 025 E: W: S.


T, 01767 682756 E. S.


LED Solutions are a specialist LED lighting supplier who can offer you a wide variety of bespoke lighting solutions for the sign, shop fitting and display industries.

We are IPOS. A creative design agency whose extensive and impressive client list speaks volumes for the professional services we offer. We design, produce and install all aspects of our client’s POS. From instore graphics, window vinyls and 3D bespoke window displays to full multi location campaign roll outs.

T: 0116 262 5933 E: W: S. LEDSolutionsUK

T: 0161 477 8501 E: W: S.


We are creative-led manufacturers of highly innovative and effective point of purchase displays. We understand the importance of increasing sales and encouraging interaction at the point of purchase and specialise in creating retail display stands for a number of sectors including Consumer Electronics, Cosmetics, Health & Beauty, & Tobacco. T: +44 (0)1638 565656 E: W:


From small, lightweight point-of-sale display turntables for short term use, to larger turntables designed for durability and reliability over many years, Movetech UK has a turntable to meet your needs.

T: 01204 537680 E: S.

POP Install

100% provides services in the UK & Europe covering: • • • • • •

Display Installation POS Updates & Maintenance Store Audits Transport & Warehousing Project Management Online Reporting

T: +44 (0)161 929 9599 E: W: S. 100percentgroup

POP Install


MicroSlat is a strong versatile 25mm fine pitched aluminium slatwall system. With a bespoke range of components it can be used to build unique and interesting displays or add value to existing designs.

T. 01325 351 276 E. W. S.


We are the leading retail implementation agency with unrivalled expertise in Installation, Retail Audits, Merchandising and Field Marketing. If you think your campaigns might benefit from a complete service, you should talk to us.

Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry.

T: +44 (0) 1625 569 200 E: W: S:

T: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

POP Install

Our aim is simple: To provide GOLD STANDARD Installation and Merchandising of Display Equipment at competitive prices.

T: 0161 941 2239 E: W:

Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service.


With over 24 years experience and knowledge within the industry, we pride ourselves on offering a tailored service for retail solutions such as Mannequins, LED Lighting & magnIQ our patented magnetic wall system. We work with many different sectors, including; Designers, Stylists, Architects and Visual concept team buyers. T +44 (0)20 8348 9888 E: W: S:



Retail Consultancy

VM - Training & Tools

We specialise in Point of Sale (POS) and Point of Purchase (POP). We design, manufacture and fit retail fixtures and store displays and we’re good at it. For over 55 years Axiom has been designing and producing exciting and innovative retail displays for well known brands and retail groups.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

We are TWO Visual, the retail agency specialising in visual merchandising. Led by brand directors Jeanette Cheetham and Brendan Gordon we provide everything retailers need to make their brands visually dynamic, whilst improving team and commercial performance.

We are TWO Visual, the retail agency specialising in visual merchandising. Led by brand directors Jeanette Cheetham and Brendan Gordon we provide everything retailers need to make their brands visually dynamic, whilst improving team and commercial performance.

T: +44 (0)161 681 1371 E: W:

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

T, +44 (0) 1858 414275 E. W. www. S.

T, +44 (0) 1858 414275 E. W. www. S.



Tommy Aitchison is regional visual merchandising manager at Bentalls. Here, he talks to us about a typical day in his job, how he got into VM and this year’s Christmas windows.

RF. How long have you been regional visual merchandising manager at Bentalls? TA. I’ve been at Bentalls for eight years now; and to be honest the time has just gone so fast. RF. What does a typical day in your role involve? TA. A typical day would start with a floor walk with my assistant Natalie, plan the workload for the team and action any urgent emails. I usually have meetings with heads of/or buyers to discuss any forthcoming moves. I liaise with marketing to cover any events for the week ahead, and set up my joiner with any requirements for windows or interior projects. I work out any orders to be placed for future projects. RF. What made you decide on a career in VM? TA. Growing up I loved art and drama so naturally I ended up working in display. I actually went to college to study interior design but had an instant dislike to the tutor so changed course to display design instead. RF. What’s the most memorable scheme you’ve worked on? TA. We did a Play On Words scheme a few years ago, it was great fun. Mannequins talking to each other through bubble captions. It was a great way to showcase such a variety of merchandise. RF. Where do you get your inspiration from? TA. Everywhere! I do quite a bit of travel with my role including Paris, Germany and New York – always lots to see and take in. I also find inspiration in everyday things from music videos to magazines. Sometimes the products your working with can generate some ideas too.


RF. Can you tell us a bit about the Bentalls Christmas windows for this year? TA. We’ve changed all our mannequins into polar bears for this year. The idea came from the Paddington Bear movie due out this month. It’s polar bears engaging in our everyday run up to Christmas. RF. What other stores’ schemes do you admire? TA. I love Harvey Nichols’ Christmas windows this year, they’re really beautiful. I guess I’ll always have a soft spot for them having worked there before I started at Bentalls. RF. What trends do you predict for 2015? TA. I think Pop Art is going to be big for summer... very bright and fun.

Profile for Retail Focus

Retail Focus December 2014  

Retail Focus offers an insightful and timely mix of retail design news, projects, opinions, interviews and feature articles for those profe...

Retail Focus December 2014  

Retail Focus offers an insightful and timely mix of retail design news, projects, opinions, interviews and feature articles for those profe...