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retail focus

FEBRUARY 2018 : £6.75 #96

February 2018/issue 96


Fendi : Tiffany & Co : Joseph : The Retail Exchange Podcast : Sustainable design : GlobalShop : CES : EuroCIS : NRF’s Big Show : In & Around Store Street : Q&A with Ian McGarrigle, World Retail Congress

BACK in time

Inside Fendi’s new London abode




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CONTENTS Back in time


Designed by Dimore Studio, Fendi’s new store on Sloane Street features a curated mix of vintage furniture, collectible contemporary design and art pieces.

39 Sustainable design

Big Show 56 NRF’s review

50 CES review

42 GlobalShop preview 53 EuroCIS preview 7 8


26-34 Project Focus

68 Focus on: Flooring 58-66 Products

Fendi : Tiffany & Co : Joseph



10-14 News 17-18 Window shopping Inspiring window displays from around the globe.


Centre stage


Karl McKeever Masculinity is truly under an uncomfortable spotlight. And the reality is, this is no different in retail, says Karl.

Opinion Now is the time to ensure that your AI retail strategy is both transformative and ethical, says Tim Noakes, editorial director at The Future Laboratory.


In and Around... Store Street. A vibrant street bringing diversity and community retail to Bloomsbury.

The podcast for the retail industry Listen on Download and listen later, wherever you are

Products and services for the retail industry.


Q&A Ian McGarrigle, founder and chairman of the World Retail Congress, discusses challenges and what lies ahead during 2018.

the loNg-term effects

F Ca er

When you think of cancer, you may not think of it as a long-term condition. However 65% of cancer survivors say they’ve had to deal with long-term side effects during and after treatment. These long-term effects – such as persistent hair loss, depression, fatigue, nausea and loss of confidence – can impact their everyday lives, including at work. Each year, almost 120,000 people of working age are diagnosed with cancer in the UK, and with survival rates improving and people retiring later, this figure is set to rise. 85% of people in work when they were diagnosed with cancer say that continuing work is important to them. However, 47% of people had to give work up or change roles, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the right support and advice is available early on to prevent staff falling out of work. However despite the need for this support, line managers are often ill equipped to offer the right level of information to help manage employees affected by cancer. Organisations urgently need to develop a health and wellbeing at work strategy that recognises the needs of rising numbers of employees with long-term conditions. This is why Macmillan has developed Macmillan at Work, which offers workplace training, consultancy and resources to help HR and line managers support people affected by cancer.

a positive impact not only on wellbeing and helping to preserve livelihoods of those with long-term conditions, but also benefits organisations in retaining knowledgeable staff, as well as fostering a positive work culture and loyal workforce. The building blocks of a good health and wellbeing at work strategy include policy, training and support programmes that raise awareness and address the needs of employees, and ensuring that relevant staff (such as line managers and HR) are equipped to support colleagues affected by cancer.

To find out about the expert training, guidance and resources Macmillan provides, visit You can also email the team at or call 020 7840 4725.

Evidence shows health support in the workplace can help prevent people falling out of work due to ill health. Remaining in work can have Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). MAC15903_2017

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welcome February ‘18 The National Retail Federation’s Big Show in January certainly lived up to its name. A record amount of attendees flooded through the doors in search of the next big thing — more than 36,000 from 95 countries to be exact. A focus on local, human, and convenience prevailed. ‘Starbucks sees its digital channels as an extension of our human baristas,’ said Shawn Sweeney, vice president of digital at Starbucks. ‘Just because more and more of our guests order and pay for their coffee through our app, it doesn’t change the fact that humans still have an inherent need for connection, and always will.’ Jennifer Bailey, vice president, internet services at Apple, said at the show: ‘Physical store experiences are critical to our businesses. Bricks & mortar stores are where we have our most important, engaging experiences, face to face.’ Walmart will be implementing artificial intelligence and automation technologies, but CEO Doug McMillan said the company ‘supports people first.’ Tom Custer, vice president, FRCH Design Worldwide, shares his thoughts on NRF’s Big Show on P56. In the latest edition of The Retail Exchange podcast we discuss technology that is promising to change how we shop in store, as well as the choices retailers will have to make, the importance of getting it right, and why there are still many lessons to be learned along the way. The panel discusses what retailers must do to avoid the pitfalls of adopting technology for technology’s sake and ensure developments stay focused on meeting shopper needs. Read highlights from the recording on P36-37, and download the full episode at, as well as the full interview with Ian McGarrigle, founder and chairman of the World Retail Congress (P74). Our three project focuses this issue include the new Fendi store on Sloane Street, Tiffany & Co’s home & accessories department and Blue Box Cafe in New York, and Joseph’s latest flagship opening in Miami.

Lyndsey Dennis Editor



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GlobalShop McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago 27-29 March 2018 For 25-plus years, GlobalShop has served as the nation’s largest retail design trade show. The event combines retail design, merchandising, shopper-facing technology and marketing all under one roof. The show offers face-to-face networking opportunities with 10,000+ retail industry professionals; pavilions addressing your individual buying needs; fresh ideas and innovative solutions to optimise your store design; and insightful educational sessions led by thought leaders in the industry. In 2017 GlobalShop launched the first ever Experience Journey, which will return for 2018 following the theme of Inspired Retail. GlobalShopShow

VM & Display Show Business Design Centre, London 18-19 April 2018 The VM & Display Show has announced new features for 2018. The Retail Focus Forum will offer visitors insight on the latest trends in visual merchandising and design from industry experts. and the Display Team Challenge which will see some of the UK’s biggest retailers compete to be crowned Display Team of the Year. VMDisplayShow

Sign & Digital UK NEC, Birmingham 24-26 April 2018

Retail Design Expo Olympia, London 2-3 May 2018

Discover the latest innovations in signage, print, display, décor and design at Sign & Digital UK 2018. Showcasing the latest in all types of signage, wide format printing and print finishing equipment through to innovative materials, inks and display systems. Visit the Sign Trade Services Pavilion for day-to-day sign making items and the popular Signmakers Workshop.

Discover retail design, marketing, branding, visual merchandising, architecture and shopfitting at Retail Design Expo in May. The show also includes an extensive free conference programme and is co-located alongside Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) and Retail Digital Signage Expo (RDSE).






NEWS Cadbury opens immersive Creme Egg Camp To celebrate the return of Cadbury Creme Egg Hunting Season, Cadbury has unveiled the Creme Egg Camp — an immersive haven for all Cadbury Creme Egg lovers. The camp is open for five weeks in Old Street, London, serving up a range of Creme Egg inspired treats amongst an impressive display of Creme Egg hunting paraphernalia. One hundred per cent of proceeds generated will be donated to the Prince’s Trust Charity. On arrival, ‘campers’ will soon discover there is more to the secret woodland hideaway than meets the eye — a narrow

path leads them into a goo-tastic forest complete with mysterious tree house, to help them get a better view of all the Cadbury Creme Egg delights hidden inside the space. The hot spot of the Creme Egg Camp is the Campfire Kitchen, where Cadbury

Zara opens click-and-collect store at Westfield Stratford Westfield Stratford has welcomed a new Zara click-andcollect store. Open until May, the temporary concept store has been launched while the brand’s flagship at the shopping centre is being refurbished and extended. The flagship store will double in size to 4,500 sq m when it re-opens in May, and will feature a radical new store concept with technology at its heart, designed to transform the customer shopping experience. Pablo Isla, the chairman and CEO of Zara owner Inditex, stressed the relevance of both concepts, saying that they mark ‘another milestone in our strategy of integrating our stores with the online world, which defines our identity as a business.’ The pop-up will help customers with online orders, returns and exchanges. It offers a select choice of women’s and men’s clothing for online purchase directly in store, along with the rest of the brand’s extensive fashion range. Store staff are on hand with mobile devices to assist customers, and payments are made easier thanks to a card terminal system operated via bluetooth. The store also boasts a product recommendation system based on information screens embedded into mirrors. Once customers scan an item using RFID technology, the system can bring up, in the right size, multiple choices for coordinating and combining the item they are trying on with other garments and accessories.


Creme Egg dishes are made for campers to enjoy. Cadbury also opened a three-day Glass And A Half pop-up newsagents in Soho last month where shoppers could pay with bits and bobs from their pockets, just like the girl on the brand’s TV advert.

intu Trafford Centre welcomes Mercedes-Benz Vans pop-up

Mercedes-Benz Vans has opened a pop-up store at intu Trafford Centre. This new venture is part of the vehicle manufacturer’s aim to target the high proportion of affluent shoppers visiting the centre. Open until 18 March, the Mercedes-Benz Vans pop-up showcases the latest range of premium vans including the new X-Class — the first pick-up truck from a high-end car retailer. Customers can explore different models through an interactive touchscreen and have the chance to experience the thrill of the waves through a virtual reality surf simulator. All models from the range can also be test driven in the carpark at intu Trafford Centre. ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans is the latest vehicle manufacturer to embrace the pop-up store phenomenon, giving customers a more immersive experience where they can explore the range of models on offer. Adding something different to the retail mix at intu Trafford Centre ensures our customers receive a compelling experience, making them feel happier than when they walked through the door and ultimately helping all our retailers to flourish,’ says Roger Binks, customer experience director for intu.


River Island opens first standalone childrenswear store River Island has opened the doors to its first standalone store dedicated to childrenswear, located at intu Braehead near Glasgow. The 278 sq m River Island Kids store is the first of a national rollout, and is one of the brand’s strong performing regional stores. River Island’s Kids & Mini collection for children up to 12 years old will be sold in the new location. ‘River Island came to us last year on plans for the first River Island Kids in the UK and we’ve been working with them closely to launch this exciting new store at intu Braehead,’ explains Kate Grant, regional managing director at intu. ‘intu Braehead is the perfect location to introduce this new concept to British shoppers for the first time thanks to its high annual footfall and expansive leisure offer, which creates compelling experiences for thousands of families every year.’

Tunsgate Quarter in Guildford announces opening date Tunsgate Quarter, a 7,432 sq m retail and leisure development being rebuilt and reconfigured in Guildford, will officially open on Thursday 15 March 2018. OKA, The White Company, Bobbi Brown, Loaf, Cath Kidston and Lululemon will all open at launch, joining the existing T.M. Lewin on the High Street. The Ivy Castle View, with an alfresco dining terrace and view of Guildford Castle and the Surrey Hills, will soon follow in mid-spring. Nespresso will also open a boutique concept store in May, offering in-store coffee masterclasses and an interactive experience. Other brands are moving to larger flagships at the scheme, with The White Company doubling the size of its store in Guildford to 464 sq m and Bobbi Brown will open its first standalone shop in the town. Tunsgate Quarter has been designed to complement the independent retailers adjacent to the scheme. Through better configured circulation routes, customers will move more easily around the area to the benefit of other local stores and cafes. The redesign has been developed in collaboration with Lyons + Sleeman + Hoare architects.

Three new food halls to open across London Part of the former BHS building on Oxford Street in London is set to become the UK’s largest food hall. Headed up by CEO Andy Lewis-Pratt, Market Halls is a group of UK-based, communityminded property investors and restaurateurs, with the aim of redefining the British concept of food halls and turning unloved public spaces with special architectural or historic interest, public again. Three major central London launches have been secured for this year — Market Hall Fulham, Market Hall Victoria and Market Hall West End. The latter’s opening will coincide with the planned pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. Simon Anderson, an entrepreneur and the restaurateur behind London’s Pitt Cue Co., will join Lewis-Pratt as director of restaurants and operations. Whilst every Market Hall will be unique, each will be curated to showcase the best food and drink an area has to offer, in permanent and covered locations. Each Market Hall will feel connected to its area, from the general aesthetic of the building to the choice of traders. Each venue will be designed to integrate with the local community through events programmes and schools outreach. The sites will be as environmentally sound as possible, with plates, bowls, glasses and cutley replacing the disposable tableware that have become synonymous with street food.



Bill’s rolls out new restaurant concept

H&M Group to launch off-price Afound stores H&M Group has announced plans to launch Afound, a ‘style and deal-hunting paradise’ selling discounted fashion and lifestyle products, with both external and H&M Group’s own brands. Afound will present a carefully selected, season-less range from Swedish and international brands in a variety of price segments both online and in physical stores, starting in Sweden. The brand will also launch unique, limited edition product releases from a range of brands, all at attractive prices.

Plans announced for Market Walk extension in Chorley

Bill’s Restaurants is rolling out three new concept sites to test drive an evolved experience and menu. The sites, located at St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden, Westfield and St. Albans, have been refurbished and their menus reimagined to further strengthen the eclectic British style created by the restaurant’s founder, Bill Collison. The restaurants will offer menus adapted to local customers and feature many dishes not currently available across the Bill’s estate. The interiors feature an eclectic mix of furniture items, accessories, lighting and furnishing fabrics in bright, bold colours. In the evenings, all three restaurants will feature seated bar areas and bar menus. St. Albans was the first site to re-open at the end of January and will be followed by St Martin’s Courtyard and Westfield this month.

NELSON and FRCH Design Worldwide merge Global architecture and design firm, NELSON has merged operations with retail and hospitality architecture and design firm, FRCH Design Worldwide to create one of the largest in the country with a focus on consumer experiences where people work, shop, dine, play, stay, live and heal. The merging of the expertise of these two organisations will allow NELSON and FRCH to holistically service a diverse client base consisting of both long-standing relationships with Fortune 500 category leaders in multiple market segments and boutique clients. The merging of the two firms will bring a new level of diversity to the combined organisation, spanning industries from their traditional strongholds in corporate interiors, retail and hospitality to growing healthcare, industrial, mixed-use, government and multi-family residential practices.


A £16 million investment into Market Walk shopping centre in Chorley has been given the green light. The major town redevelopment will see a new shopping area featuring a cinema, restaurants and retailers opening in late 2019. ‘We were really keen to see this development go ahead as it will set our town centre up for the future,’ says councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council. ‘It is a sign of the confidence people have in investing in Chorley that we can now progress the scheme, which is one of three major developments in our town centre sitting alongside a 65-bed retirement village and world-class youth zone. ‘We already have Reel Cinemas anchoring the Market Walk extension and terms have been agreed with a number of other occupiers and the main build will start in the summer.’ The council is partnering with Eric Wright Construction on the build and Pick Everard is the main project management partner.

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international news


NEWS Amazon Go opens to the public After trialling the store with employees, Amazon has opened its Amazon Go checkout-free store to the public in Seattle. The ‘Just Walk Out Shopping’ experience allows shoppers to simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products they want, and go. No lines, no checkout. The checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning. Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from, or returned to, the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When customers are finished shopping, they can just leave the store. Shortly after, Amazon sends them a receipt and charges their Amazon account. For those of you wondering, there are assistants present in store and in the kitchen to prep ingredients, making the ready-to-eat food, stock shelves and help customers.

Under the Sky installation takes up residency at Le Bon Marché Leandro Erlich is the next artist to embark upon a voyage into the heart of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. The Argentinian artist invites visitors to take a different look at what surrounds them, to change their point of view. Entitled Under the Sky, the installation is designed to change people’s perception of the Parisian department store. In the store windows, light, fluffy shapes are suspended, floating like real clouds. Inside the store, the racing of the nimbus and cumulus continues up by the central glass roof. The famous escalator of Le Bon Marché has been transformed, leading customers to the zone where dream and reality merge.

Printemps opens new gourmet address in Paris Parisian department store, Printemps has opened a new gourmet offering: Printemps du Goût. The seventh and eighth floors of Printemps de l’Homme, the brand’s men’s store at 65 Boulevard Haussmann, have been transformed to offer the best of French gastronomy. A nod to its history, the 1,700 sq m space held the open kitchens of the staff canteen at the beginning of the last century. Fine foods and iconic products are located on the seventh floor, while the market place and its fresh products are located on the eighth floor. Tastings, workshops and opportunities to meet producers, artisans, winemakers and chefs from France and Navarre will be organised regularly. Behind the concept was the Printemps Architecture Department, which worked to implement it together with architect, Antonio Virgo. Amongst other things, the design includes the mosaics that have been so dear to Printemps since the beginning, which have also forged the identity of Parisian food businesses.


Seeing is believing Discover retail design solutions at RDE 2018 Meet the full range of design solutions providers including lighting, surfaces, P-O-P, visual merchandising, design agencies, fixtures and fittings, furniture, display equipment, packaging, insights consultancies and shopfitters. Attend the outstanding FREE conference programme featuring star-studded speakers in retail design, marketing, branding, shopper and VM sessions. In 2018 we’re expecting over 18,000 retail professionals to attend. Will you be one of them?



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visual merchandising

Inspiring window displays from around the globe


Photography: Melvyn Vincent

adidas Originals adidas Originals in Fouberts Place, Carnaby currently has a window scheme in place designed to refresh the iconic adicolor apparel range. Inspired by the playful and bright campaign imagery, StudioXAG installed a bold and kinetic takeover of the store. In the windows, an oversized hairdryer blasts a female mannequin, whilst a giant chameleon surprises a male mannequin. Photography: Melvyn Vincent

Photography: Melvyn Vincent

The ‘Bring It On’ window scheme at Debenhams is all about a positive and empowering start to the new year. The retailer has also populated the windows with empowering words like Love and Fashion, all of which flow from the giant pink megaphone. Lights and pulsing sound waves are mixed in with giant cut-outs that form the windows. This scheme is very much about what Debenhams stands for, and this becomes the perfect setting to the retailer’s products. The scheme is loosely influenced by the Now Gallery’s exhibition by Camille Walala and also Debenhams’ products. The windows were installed in collaboration with Stylo.

Fendi Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2018 Resort collection has been inspired by the tenue colours of the blossoming flower festival, and has been interpreted in Fendi’s windows worldwide. Delicacy is combined with the urban appeal. Strong graphic contrasts with soft feminine flavour and pearls mingle with voluptuous and cutting-edge fabrics, all of which recall the elegance of Henna tattoos. The window is the echo of this modernity and elegance made by hands. L’Atelier Five was commissioned to produce three special windows: the Sloane Street new store launch (read more on P26-27), Paris Avenue Montaigne and Bond Street. The team crafted life-sized hand sculptures of each pose of hand, each one 3D scanned and machine milled in giant form, then carefully hand finished by the skilled production team. To make each hand extra special, each one was meticulously hand painted with a unique floral design by one of the fine artists.


visual merchandising

Harrods Focusing on the concept of infinite beauty, Harrods’ Brompton Road windows were transformed into portals of product in January. Repetition is key in any beauty routine and these windows are no exception. Brand logos and hero products repeat through an etched pane, using two-way mirrors and strips of LEDs to create an infinity effect. Framed with a celestial star print, each mirror is made up of only three layers but appears to take you well into the depths of Harrods’ infamous shopping halls. The windows were designed and produced in collaboration with Millington Associates.

Liberty The Colour Collectors have arrived at Liberty, London. The window displays have been inspired by the Bowerbird, brightening up the cold season. Created from timber and found/recycled objects, the swirling nests are watched over by giant graphic birds. The windows are laden with technicolour treasures, edited by the Liberty Bowerbirds. Think makeup bag brights, stone-studded jewellery and vibrant pop colour interiors.

Lululemon Lululemon has unveiled a series of windows at its Regent Street store to promote the brand’s #18in18 activation — 18 goals to achieve in 2018. Fun characters by illustrator Holly St Clair fill the windows and various goals were added to the mannequins, the campaign’s ‘goal squad’. Holly St Clair even appears as an artist in residence in the window each Saturday throughout the scheme to fill the window with illustrated goals suggested by shoppers. The monochrome scheme is echoed in store as well with illustrated vinyl appearing on the floor and product fixtures. The scheme was also rolled out to the retailer’s UK and European stores. Lucky Fox was briefed by Lululemon to design, produce and install the concept for the Regent Street store.

Miss Sixty Miss Sixty has unveiled a beautiful floral window display to celebrate the arrival of its Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Installed in Miss Sixty stores internationally, the scheme is made up of hundreds of spring coloured flowers, tumbling from floating urns, floating mini birdcages filled with flowers, and a vintage swing with floral arrangements. The window props were produced in-house at the Hello Flamingo workshop. A polystyrene former created the base for the cascade of flowers. Carved by the team, it held it’s own weight with the urn attached. The hundreds of flowers were hand applied to give the impression of them spilling out of the urn.

See more window schemes at

18 #CRA2018


CENTRE STAGE pop and display

Standout POP displays from around the WORLD

Master & Dynamic Following a successful pop-up in the technology department of Harrods last year, audio specialist Master & Dynamic has opened a permanent concession at the Knightsbridge department store. The new space is located adjacent to the main technology room. Creative design agency, JustSo took inspiration from the materials and palette used within the brand’s products, focusing on concretes, polished chrome metals and stone surfaces. The team paired this with mirrors and sleek black cabinetry to bring together the concept. A seating area and charging station for clients allows for guests to engage with the concession and products. JustSo took this concept from design through to installation, as it did with the pop-up space in 2017. The team’s overall goal was to encapsulate the essence of the materials used in Master & Dynamic’s products.

George at Asda Fastrak has rolled out a collaboration with Amelia Knight, working on a point of sale unit for a new range of George cosmetics. Whilst developing a new cosmetics line for George at Asda, the team at Amelia Knight required an impactful method of displaying the cosmetics that represented the brands high-end feel and position the products on a level playing field with other more established beauty brands. ‘They allowed us to start the project with a blank canvas where we were challenged to design and build a solution that would not just catch the eye in a busy marketplace, but give the user a seamless shopping journey and position the range as a premium product to engage Asda’s shoppers to browse and buy,’ says John Barrett, managing director of Fastrak. The solution brought together plastic fabrications and metalwork into a display that drove a clear premium message, using lighting to both draw in the customer and display product in the best possible way.


pop and display

digital displays

CENTRE STAGE adidas Originals The latest window and in-store scheme at adidas Originals in Fouberts Place, Carnaby is designed to refresh the iconic adicolor apparel range. Inside the store, rainbow hued product is displayed upon glossy white and technicolour hanging rails, featuring corresponding neon tube lighting. The scheme was designed in collaboration with StudioXAG. Read more about the windows on page 17.

Bucherer To celebrate the exclusive launch of Bucherer to the UK, L’Atelier Five was commissioned to design a celebratory cabinet activation, highlighting the Bucherer limited collection called the ‘Blue Editions’. The concept was based around the rollercoaster, with each carriage being a bespoke design to hold a unique watch. Within the production L’Atelier Five created a sense of movement with LED lighting racing around the track.



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Karl McKeever

Men: an endangered retail species? Masculinity in crisis. Toxic masculinity. Increasingly, the rhetoric surrounding men is shifting, and none too subtly. The all-powerful, alpha male subtext is no longer dominant. Instead, commentators everywhere — both male and female, across the whole media spectrum — are changing the focus, asking new questions and demanding different, and better answers. This new tone is spanning politics, TV, Hollywood and journalism. In the US, Trump, Allen, Weinstein and Spacey are continuing to leave a lasting — and negative — legacy. Closer to home, equal pay rows at the BBC and the fall-out from the President’s Club headlines have turned established concepts on their head. While some men have been rightly tamed and shamed, the wider male population may be forgiven for feeling vulnerable and scared to comment or speak out for fear of being shot down. Masculinity is under an uncomfortable spotlight, and no different in retail. While the march to entice the female pound continues, the truth is that male shoppers are poorly served by most high street retailers. Many ‘traditional’ men’s stores are becoming more female focused, with brands such as Halfords, B&Q and Richer Sounds increasingly seeking to attract more female shoppers. Meanwhile, men must be content with the rather tired concession made by womenswear retailers of a comfy seat outside the changing rooms. Today, men’s clothing is frequently an apparent afterthought, a ‘tag on’ to womenswear in brands such as River Island and H&M. As a result, men literally have nowhere to go unless they want highly formal wear, jeans, dedicated sportswear — or to resign themselves to shopping at M&S, George, Tu and F&F. Across the pond, it’s much the same story, although there are a few more specific retailers for men, such as Men’s Warehouse and Johnstone & Murphy. So why are men being so fundamentally neglected? Especially given — in an ironic truth of unequal pay — that men often have higher levels of disposable income. There is money to be made. Why don’t retailers want to make it? In the current environment, retailers are struggling to increase sales and profit, so tapping into a lucrative market like this would make perfect strategic sense. Is it a case of equality gone too far in the other direction, ‘political correctness gone mad’ and the need to avoid Karl McKeever is founder and managing director of visual merchandising and brand delivery consultancy Visual Thinking.

Email Karl at karlmckeever

discrimination accusations? Should retailers and men be ashamed of offering or wanting this type of experience? Why not offer ‘hangout’ spaces where men can hang out in tribes and do ‘men’s stuff’ to win the male pound? Exclusive, private and masculine with no women allowed. Or more realistically, should there be a balanced middle ground? One that is glaringly absent at the moment. There’s a whole industry out there devoted to the ‘metropolitan’ man, with designer stores and fancy trappings, swanky new floors in Harrods and Harvey Nichols catering for the savvy, moisturised and bronzed guys. Beard salons, barbers, whisky bars, craft breweries and private members’ clubs are all rife – but their appeal is limited. Online retailers follow a similar path. For a fat monthly fee, the enlightened online man can enjoy styling, grooming, butler and concierge services. Here, like a remote dating app or your Graze Box, you tap in your preferences and a neatly packed ‘new you’ will be sent out for you to slip into in the comfort of your home. But what is there for the average, middle-aged man/dad? For those looking for a new jacket or some different shoes, these offerings are nothing short of overkill. It’s an era of discontent for these male shoppers who retailers are seemingly happy to ignore. When will these men stand up and say: ‘Why aren’t we being served?’ Personally, I think sooner rather than later. A few years ago, Moss Bros introduced a men-only mainstream lifestyle chain called Code. Modelled on the ‘next for men’ concept which was often in standalone stores, it struck a more ‘men’s only’ environment for shoppers. Would this business have fared better in this more fashion conscious and fashion confident time for men? For me, there is undoubtedly money to be made for retailers and brands that can get the right mix. The ever-insightful John Lewis has already introduced personal shoppers for men. Experience, service and product — it’s not such a difficult concept. Next has recently announced plans to integrate a car showroom and barber’s shop inside its Manchester Arndale store — a bold and intriguing step. The world of the all-powerful male is well and truly over. We’re welcoming in a new era of equality, and masculinity in crisis would perhaps be better phrased as masculinity in flux. Being reimagined and rebooted. But only the most foolhardy retailer will ignore the value of the stalwart and steady male pound. What do men want? Perhaps more tellingly, what don’t they want? It’s time for retailers to create their own rhetoric, stepping out of the shadows of fear and becoming a beacon for other industries to emulate. One of integrity and equality... for all.


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SLOANE STREET, LONDON Design: Dimore Studio Opening date: December 2017 Store size: 437 sq m Fendi has opened a new store on Sloane Steet in London, with a design by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran of Milan-based interior design firm, Dimore Studio. Spread over two floors, the store features a highly curated mix of vintage furniture, collectible contemporary design and art pieces The feel across the space is designed to emulate a chic and elegant apartment, with linear and soft edges throughout and a strong emphasis on comfort and sophistication. The mood has a homelike feel, complete with homely and familiar furnishings, yet living in contemporary time. Curved entrances on the ground floor welcome guests into the space. Plush kilim bespoke carpeted floors are edged with an onyx marble trim, reminiscent of exotic African travel, whilst a vast chandelier made of hundreds of plexi prisms in the tones of light pink, designed by Dimore Studio for Fendi, hangs above. This space is dedicated to Fendi women’s accessories and bags, which are displayed on thick, bronze plexi glass and backed by lead paneling, covered with a unique parchment effect. Mirrored and stainless steel finishes are juxtaposed with brass, continuing the Sixties sentiment, whilst the walls are carpeted, giving a cosy, warm feel. The central area embodies the Art Deco and Sixties aspect not simply by the furnishings but also the carefully curated furniture. A freestanding mirror by Alain Delon sits snugly to the edge of the room, whilst around the corner in the cashier booth a trio of Seventies Pierre Cardin wooden chairs sit alongside an elegant vintage desk lamp. The walls of this area feature oriental black wooden panels with lacquered golden geometric lines. The stairs to the first floor are strongly graphic and designed to have a cocoon feel, with double height mohair and velvet wall linings. On the outer bannister, an eye-catching, geometric Dimore Studio design featuring wedge shaped metals promotes the Art Deco feel, whilst deep amber carpet lies underfoot. Beneath the stairs, a collection of futuristic totems, designed by Mario Sabot, display pieces


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in a museum-style manner. The counters throughout both the men’s and women’s areas are all bespoke designs by Dimore Studio, not used in any other Fendi store. The first floor is divided into two parts, with a more geometric approach. Each area presents the men’s and women’s collections with a strong Italian palazzo mood, channeling a sophisticated salon vibe with a series of rooms. The spaces portray a distinctly feminine or masculine mood, initially defined by the corridor between the two areas; one side features powder pink plaster and the other in the same black wood paneling as the ground floor cashier area. Pink plaster walls and a hi-shine ceiling convey a sense of femininity, and a luminaire by Carlo Scarpa descends from the roof. The piece features a series of concentric squares, giving the impression of a ziggurat ascending beyond the ceiling. Beneath it, a welcoming curved sofa sits alongside two ancient Chinese bamboo armchairs from the 1800s, whilst pieces are displayed opposite on a vintage Artona series dining table by Afra e Tobia Scarpa. Ready-to-wear and fur pieces hang on the walls, backlit by a window framed by luxurious silk-fringed curtains. The women's footwear space portrays a soft light from an impressive central chandelier — a rare Model 5212 brass and Murano glass light, again by Carlo Scarpa. Shoes are displayed like cherished museum items in separate Perspex and brass booths, whilst a plush white carpet with onyx edges heightens the salon mood. This floor also features a made to order bag and fur area and private changing room spaces that complement the ladies RTW area, with a VIP space which can be closed off by mirrored Vienna straw screens. Each changing room is a soft, warm space, lit by an Estrella wall lamp from Hans Agne Jakobsson and both having distinct and unique elements; one features lacquer hand-painted panels with an ornate Chinese landscape inspiration, whilst the other is a totally mirrored silver cube. A Graphic Four Corners coffee table by Nanda Vigo sits in the VIP area — just one of many talking points within the space. As expected, the men’s area has a more masculine vibe, with deeper, mocha coloured walls. The concept is more of a gentleman’s club with refined, armoire-style details. A large, rotating cupboard with

interior lacquer and cork shelving sits in the centre of the space and is used to display the collections in an intimate fashion. The space is peppered with historical pieces, chosen specifically because they reflect the era and design ethos for the space. An oak, PS16 Franco Albini rocking chaise is juxtaposed with a tempered glass, French modernist gueridon, giving a nod to Thirties glamour. A Mod.597 table lamp by

Gianfranco Frattini sits near a Luigi Caccia Dominioni’s 70’s armchair — another piece perfectly complementing the menswear collections, which are displayed in tubular units of dark green and cork. Smaller accessories are displayed inside specially-designed counters created out of radica. Sophisticated silk linings complete each unit; the perfect complement to the luxe Fendi menswear pieces.


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Photography courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK Design: Inhouse Opening date: November 2017 Store size: Undisclosed Founded in New York in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has unveiled a new home and accessories department on the fourth floor, including the Blue Box Cafe. Now, shoppers really can have breakfast at Tiffany’s, just like Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) did in the 1961 film. The artfully composed floor houses the retailer’s new luxury home and accessories collection of elevated everyday objects, as well as a baby boutique, sterling silver hollowware, a selection of vintage books curated by Assouline and a Tiffany fragrance laboratory. ‘Both the cafe and redesign of the home and accessories floor reflect a modern luxury experience,’ says Reed Krakoff, chief artistic offer at Tiffany & Co. ‘The space is experimental and experiential — a window into the new Tiffany.’ The newly renovated fourth floor marks Krakoff’s first project for the company since taking on the position of chief artistic officer in January. The iconic Tiffany blue colour is infused throughout the interior and most notably at the forefront of the design of the Blue Box Cafe. Serving up American classics, the simple menu will change and evolve through the seasons. The striking interior décor features industrial details that evoke Tiffany’s


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craftmanship and heritage. Playful and unexpected touches sit harmoniously alongside elegant finishes like herringbone marble and amazonite stone, reflecting the new home and accessories collection’s emphasis on everyday luxury. A striking feature of the space is a feature of three light chains hanging in the stairwell leading to the fourth floor, created by Paris-based design duo, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. The dramatic lighting feature is surrounded by hand-drawn ampersands, a design motif of the latest home and accessories collection. A portrait of Charles Lewis Tiffany was commissioned and rendered with 8,000 painted screws, offering a contemporary take on the founder of the luxury house.

‘The space is experimental and experiential – a window into the new Tiffany.’ 30

Photo Credit: SLVHCS ‘Project Legacy’, New Orleans, USA © Sean Airhart/NBBJ GENESIS ad for retail focus 01-18.indd 1

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Photography by Justin Namon

Design: Sybarite Opening date: February 2018 Store size: 285 sq m

Luxury fashion label Joseph has opened a new signature store in Miami’s Design District, designed by London-based architects Sybarite. Spread across 285 sq m, this is the brand’s largest store in the world and offers womenswear, menswear and accessories collections. Sybarite’s design combines Joseph’s aesthetic language with the cultural identity of historic Miami. Throughout the store are Joseph’s signature design details: strong geometric lines and a play on opposites — black and white, masculine and feminine. This signature style is evident in the black line that draws the eye around the store, like a brush stroke taking the customer on a curated journey throughout the space, framing the clothes and providing a strong geometry in contrast to the clothes that sit on white shelves or hang from white rails. The signature black line also travels into the ceiling cutouts, which create grand geometric gestures through the lighting trenches. Large, stretched Barrisol LED lighting areas lift the space to heighten the sensory experience and create a warm

ambient light that is complemented by cooler spotlights, the combination of which creates an atmospheric and attractive light scenario for the clothes and the customer. In addition to the Joseph signature style, each store always incorporates a cultural reference and sensitivity to its location, be it

in Singapore, London or Miami. For the Miami store, Sybarite was inspired by the city’s iconic architecture from the Forties and Fifties; grand gestures such as circular balconies, spiral staircases, and curved balcony railings. These architectural references inspired the


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team to design the giant black corkscrew staircase which provides a central feature, juxtaposing the existing industrial steelwork framing of the store and complemented by polished concrete floors. This is the first time a curved element has been incorporated into a Joseph store design. At first glance, the corkscrew staircase is uniformly black but as you enter the staircase and start to ascend it, you discover beautiful white polished marble treads — another play on materials and opposites. On reaching the first floor, which is home to menswear and accessories, the staircase becomes more transparent with a smoked black glass balustrade. Overall, the Miami store concept creates a dramatic gallery space, with the clothes on show and the bold staircase forming an architectural sculpture in its own right. The gallery concept is further supported by a series of plinths sitting on an inlayed brass chessboard made from various materials such as OSB, brass and black Corian. The plinths are designed to showcase accessories such as bags and shoes and act as a teaser for the store concept but without dominating the visual sight lines of the rest of the space. At the end of the store on the ground floor, the till point is formed from a huge piece of Italian green marble called Onice Smeraldo. This is also a signature style within the Joseph concept, with each Joseph store using a different marble from around the world, creating monolithic gestures to evoke a naturalness, a hard beauty and depth to it but within this very geometric landscape. In contrast to the store’s palette of core materials of marble, concrete, brass and Corian, Sybarite used rich shearlings, velvet upholstery and luxurious carpet in the fitting rooms and seating areas on both the ground and first floors. The textures, architecture and palette, although contrasting in nature, provide a binding foundation for the uniformity of Joseph’s ever-evolving sartorial language. ‘Joseph really understand their customer and we understand our client, having now worked with them on over 50 stores. Our designs for Joseph are based on opposites and the unexpected to provide a complete brand experience for the customer,’ says Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite.


‘Our designs for Joseph are based on opposites and the unexpected.’


Applelec’s lighting showroom will be open throughout the VM & Display Show. Come and visit us on the upper balcony of the venue, we’d love to show you around.

MEET THE TEAM ON STAND H39 Suite 324, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH

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HITTING REFRESH IN STORE The latest episode of The Retail Exchange podcast discusses technology in store, and what it can and can’t bring to the customer experience.

Text: Lyndsey Dennis


Ben Bland Host

Melanie Pittham creative innovation director, The BIO Agency

It’s hard to imagine retail stores without technology. In the latest Retail Exchange podcast episode, we discuss the futuristic technology that is promising to change how people shop in store. The choices retailers will have to make, the importance of getting it right, and why there are still many lessons to be learned along the way. The panel discusses what retailers must do to avoid the pitfalls of adopting technology for technology’s sake and ensure developments stay focused on meeting shopper needs.

Which part of the in-store retail experience do you think technology is most important in? ‘I think we have to focus on the customer first. There is a real need or requirement to understand the customer, and I think personalisation around that customer is the next big trend that’s going to make a difference for retail. Knowing the customer, when and where they’ve come from and looking back in the history to know whether they’ve come from online, whether they’ve come from physical; I think the merging of those physical and digital areas around personalisation is my next innovation,’ says Tim Manning, co-founder of Swarm. ‘I agree. I think it’s not really about technology driving innovation, it’s about customer needs and expectations changing that means we need to innovate to meet them and also, not only must technology be accessible and fit for purpose, but it also needs to demonstrate a positive impact on the business through an experience that makes customers happy,’ says Melanie Pittham, creative innovation director at The BIO Agency. ‘I think just to echo Mel and Tim’s point, we view technology very much as an enabler not the solution, so I think what we’re


Pete Trainor author, co-founder and director, US, Ai

Tim Manning co-founder and director, Swarm

seeing over the last couple of years is people generating vast quantities of data from many, many channels now. I think the big innovation is going to be how retailers start to process and deal with that data that’s generated in and on the channel environment,’ adds Pete Trainor, author, co-founder and director of US AI.

‘Personalisation around the customer is the next big trend that’s going to make a difference for retail.’


Examples of retailers introducing technology or trying something different ‘A retailer who’s starting to make that data work for them is Starbucks. Now I can shop away from the store but my coffee can be labelled and neatly there in three minutes, whenever I’m ready, I can collect my points, I never have to carry a loyalty card. How many coffee loyalty cards have you disposed of over the years? And you’ve got one tick on that loyalty card. Starbucks don’t have that! They tell me when I’ve got my coffee; they tell me to come back to their store. The call to action is an email to me — come and respond,’ says Manning. ‘I think’s physical store is a really great example of using different types of technology that compliment each other and also have a valuable use case for the customer — augmented reality being just one of them; customers can go in store and use tablets to shop the NFC-chipped products that give access to information and enable scrapbooking of products around the store that they can take home and actually see what those products look like in their own homes,’ says Pittham. ‘I think it’s a really welcoming use of digital that actively engages customers in a way that helps them with the decision-making process.’ Manning adds: ‘I think augmented reality is specifically a natural fit with customers because the benefit is really simple for them. It helps the user to understand the aspects they’re having issues visualising for themselves. What does it look like on me, what does it look like in my home, how do I use it, what does it do — all of those aspects are solved with that kind of technology in those use cases, but it’s got to be fit for context. ‘ 7 Manning mentions L7 in China: ‘You give your shopping list over, I’m not sure how it’s communicated but it’s communicated to

the trolley, and the trolley then walks around the store in the most appropriate way to pick up all of those items and you follow your trolley, and every time an item is placed in your trolley, it’s ticked off your shopping list.’ ‘Do people even need to be there then?’ asks Pittham.

Technology v humans ‘Having the sales associate enter into the fray at the right moment stage left, and deliver the appropriate line combined with technology, becomes this all powerful and consuming thing. Technology should be able to engender a feeling of empowerment for the sales associate and help the sales associate in that moment, and too often it’s almost the sales associate understanding how does this technology work,’ says Manning. ‘Technology is never going to replace a sales assistant who has an eye for matching a piece of clothing to your figure or what you’re currently wearing at the time and all that good stuff; technology will only ever take away some of those linear, quite boring things that actually people would probably prefer not to do — the checkout,’ says Trainor. ‘I think what technology has the opportunity to do is give those human beings on the retail floor back time to do what’s important, which is make a connection to another human being.’

Download the full podcast and listen to other episodes at The Retail Exchange website:


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sustainable design

GREEN LIGHT Sustainable materials and design are no longer considered the inferior choice, they can enhance the in-store experience, finds Retail Focus. Following House of Fraser’s sustainable store concept at Rushden Lakes, IKEA is the next retailer in line to up its green stakes. IKEA has begun work on a 32,000 sq m sustainable space in Greenwich, which will have key features to help Londoners live a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation, IKEA Greenwich will incorporate multiple green technologies including photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment (reducing water consumption by 50 per cent) and renewable materials for construction. Wood will be used as a natural façade and the interior will feature plenty of natural light throughout. There will also be a 1,200 sq m roof terrace, which will be open to the public with capacity for 500, as well as a 240 sq m roof pavilion and biodiversity garden. Alongside investment in sustainable construction and green technologies, a number of solutions will be incorporated to help customers live a more sustainable life at home. These include the IKEA furniture take-back scheme, as well as a dedicated 80 sq m space to help support customers to re-use, recycle and re-imagine products that they already own. The council is working closely with IKEA and Transport for London to encourage shoppers to use sustainable transport when they visit the new store. ‘Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at IKEA. Not only will IKEA Greenwich be our most sustainable store in the country, we are also very excited that the new store will demonstrate our commitment to circular economy,’ says Hege Saebjornsen, IKEA sustainability manager for the UK and IE.

Text: Lyndsey Dennis

Sustainable schemes are much more common place in visual merchandising and display too, as Stylo has experienced. ‘In the past, especially with temporary displays, cost was often the defining factor. Sadly, that often meant producing schemes using less eco-friendly material, however that’s starting to change. More and more, we are asked to source materials that are better for the environment. We are also increasingly being approached by our suppliers who want to show us advances in what they offer,’ says David Abbott, brand director at Stylo. For its Bring It On campaign, Debenhams worked alongside Stylo on its flagship windows. The brief specified that all elements had to be made from recycled materials or material that could be recycled at the end of the scheme. This included acrylic, printable substrates and even vinyl, all of which Stylo sourced to fit the eco-friendly description. Debenhams also took advantage of the company’s ‘Dismantle’ service where Stylo removes the displays and ensures they are disposed of correctly. Some may fear quality is compromised when using sustainable materials, but not so for Abbott. ‘Although certain materials can have slightly weaker tolerances or come in smaller sheet sizes, sustainability shouldn’t compromise quality. Recently we’ve been having a lot of fun testing the limitations of these materials or even creating displays which fully appreciate their raw form.’ Main: The Ashford Designer Village extension will include Europe’s largest living wall structure, and many of the stores will be clad in tens of thousands of plants, all stacked vertically.


sustainable design

Below: Living wall at Smeg UK at St James’s Market in London. Bottom left: Nature plays a key role throughout West Elm on Tottenham Court Road. Bottom right: For Debenhams’ Bring It On campaign by Stylo, all elements had to be made from recycled material or material which could be recycled at the end of the scheme. the store, the interior features a 49 sq m living wall around the main staircase that is draped in 3,226 fresh potted plants to help increase people’s exposure to living plants while re-establishing the public’s connection to nature. Anthropologie on Regent Street has been sporting a green oasis for years, and just round the corner at St James’s Market, Smeg’s flagship has a wall adorned with foliage. In Summer 2017, Covent Garden announced a sustainable initiative which has seen a ‘living park’ designed by Biotecture adorn the building façade on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. More than 8,000 plants and 21 different species were planted with multiple purposes — to refine the quality of the air, increase the area’s biodiversity, capture pollution and offer the beauty of a vertical park.

McArthurGlen has unveiled details of the Ashford Designer Outlet expansion in Kent. The £90 million, Phase II extension will include the installation of Europe’s largest living wall structure and many of the stores in the new phase will be clad in tens of thousands of plants, all stacked vertically. ‘Sustainability should be built into the solution, where each decision maker in the process makes a conscientious effort to use more eco-friendly alternatives and take the necessary steps to deliver it in a more sustainable way. The end result is an exceptional in-store experience that rivals even the most luxurious of retail environments, but with the added benefit of having a sustainability story to tell, which in itself, is a massive emotional draw for consumers,’ believes Campbell. ‘For us, the real signifier of success is when a customer is unable to distinguish the in-store experience from one where non-sustainable materials have been used.’

Photography: Melvyn Vincent

He believes the industry should all be aiming to produce the same standard using materials that are better for the environment. ‘A lot of our clients who request sustainable materials have done so for a long time and don’t compromise on aesthetics because they use them. If anything, sustainable material should be enhancing our in-store experience and it’s great to be working with so many brands who want to learn more and see how much they can create using them.’ Shoppers today like more transparency from brands. ‘Consumers are becoming more interested and invested in where their money is going. They care about how their products are made and they want to know that the store in which they buy them from does too — that’s where sustainable design comes in,’ says Simon Campbell, managing director of Portview Fit-Out. ‘Retailers are increasingly mindful of the impact they may have on the environment and are turning to shopfitters to help them embed their sustainability principles into the very bricks and mortar of their stores, from the choice of materials they use to the suppliers they source them from. Portview Fit-Out has worked alongside Lush, a champion in sustainability. ‘As a serious campaigner for environmental stewardship, Lush delivers exactly what it promises by weaving their ecological ideologies into the very fabric of their stores,’ says Campbell. ‘This was evident when fitting-out the brand’s Penny Lane store in Lancaster, which was done under strict SKA sustainability guidelines. The retail design itself uses recycled materials such as reclaimed FSC certified timbers, brick, and tiles, in addition to eco-friendly paint, to complement the explosion of colour from the cosmetics on display.’ In keeping with the company’s ‘naked’ policy, many products are sold without any packaging to stimulate the senses and encourage customers to explore and interact with the products more as they can pick them up and smell them. A large portion of the furniture was sourced from local suppliers and British manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions and retain the authenticity of the brand’s British heritage. Needless to say, sustainability was the main driver behind every decision in the design and fit-out process. Another client that stands out for Campbell is US-based home and interior retailer, West Elm, whose store is located on London’s Tottenham Court Road. With nature playing a key theme throughout


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GlobalShop 2018:

Inspired Retail Text: Gemma Balmford

Learn, network, explore, and develop at next month’s Stateside retail design and shopper marketing event.

GlobalShop — the US-based trade show for shopper-facing retail design, technology and in-store marketing — returns to McCormick Place in Chicago in March with the theme ‘Inspired Retail’. Taking place over three days, the event will host more than 500 exhibitors addressing everything from lighting, flooring and display fixtures to sound systems, digital signage and props. In fact, the show is conveniently divided into six market-focused pavilions: visual merchandising, store design and operations, store fixturing, lighting, digital retail technology and At-Retail. Following a successful launch in 2017, GlobalShop will see the return of the Experience Journey, with Ambius, The Trade Group and AAMSCO among the list of confirmed participants looking to inspire visitors with their ‘out-of-the-box’ stand experiences. Ambius will create a virtual reality experience that exhibits the power and promise of ambient scenting, while The Trade Group will produce a fully branded pop-up shop structure offering some of Chicago’s finest chocolates. A highlight for 2018 is the ‘Windows of the Magnificent Mile’ programme, in which 15-20 retailer members of The Magnificent Mile Association will create window displays using materials provided by GlobalShop exhibitors. ‘The Magnificent Mile is a unique destination and we are proud to partner with GlobalShop to feature our flagship retail experience on a national level,’ says the association’s president/CEO, John Chikow. ‘Windows of the Magnificent Mile provides visitors a rare look at the latest and greatest in retail merchandising and technology, which is an important nod to the world-class conventions we host in Chicago year-round.’ The windows will be unveiled along The Magnificent Mile on the first day of the show and will remain in place throughout April. Retailers taking part in the programme include Bulgari, Saks Fifth Avenue, Charming Charlie and Fannie May Chocolates. A comprehensive seminar programme will also run alongside the show, with a keynote session this year from lifestyle brand, Kendra Scott and WWD. Topics of discussion across the three days will include insight into Generation Z, a look at virtual reality’s


potential in experiential retail, and the rise and fall of malls in America. Howard Sullivan and Tom Philipson of UK-based design firm, YourStudio will also give a presentation on what it is to have a great retail experience with intuitive, immersive technology that is relevant to the brand’s demographic. For more information and to register for GlobalShop 2018, visit the website:

One show, six pavilions • Visual merchandising • Store design & operations • Store fixturing • Lighting • Digital retail technology • At-retail

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Conference Sessions Sponsored by Madden

Experience Journey Following its successful launch in 2017, the Experience Journey returns with the theme Inspired Retail. Confirmed participants include Ambius, The Trade Group and AAMSCO.

Kendra Scott: Inspiring Brand Loyalty, One Store at a Time

Evan Clark, WWD and Tom Nolan, Kendra Scott Learn how the fast-growing lifestyle brand creates retail experiences centred on family, fashion, and philanthropy. Gain insight into the unique culture, staffing, store design, and customer service as well as community engagement and branding that propel the billion-dollar brand. Liquid Retail

Alison Gough, Stylus

Windows of the Magnificent Mile GlobalShop has partnered with The Magnificent Mile Association on the ‘Windows of The Magnificent Mile’ programme. Window displays from 15-20 retailer members will be unveiled on the first morning of GlobalShop and will feature materials provided by exhibitors at the show. All participating retailers will display a branded decal on their store window.

Retail is in a brave new world of 24-hour, hyper-connected, real-time culture, where individualisation is expected, ‘intangible benefits’ rule the roost, and the boundaries between retail and life’s other core services are blurring by the minute. This session will help you navigate a retail world that is constantly in motion. Why the Future of Retail Design will be Physical

Julian Boxenbaum, Eight Inc. The integration of physical and digital will become a more seamless experience for users in the near future. Technology will no longer be the focus of our interaction. We will no longer be searching for information online through individual search engines; instead, information will be provided within the flow of a conversation or physical engagement. Environments will become truly responsive, argues Boxenbaum. Home Decor’s Fast Fashion

Alissa Ahlman, At Home Group Inc.

IIDA Product Design Competition Open to exhibitors at GlobalShop 2018, the competition honours manufacturers and designers for advancements in innovation, function, and aesthetics in product design for the retail industry. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 27 March. Shop! Awards The awards recognise excellence in retail design and are judged on design, originality in the use of space and materials, and quality of concept execution. Winners of the 2018 Shop! Awards will be announced on Wednesday 28 March at an evening ceremony, hosted by comedian Cash Levy.

At Home’s chief merchandising officer Alissa Ahlman will discuss how she has brought ‘fast fashion’ into the home décor space in order to stay ahead of ever-changing consumer demands. Ahlman will explain how she keeps merchandise relevant and revered, how the lifecycle of furniture has dramatically changed over the last two years, and how she anticipates the ways in which each new trend will seamlessly evolve into the next. For the full conference programme and to register, visit


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Product picks MyVue Smart Mirror Designed for retail dressing rooms, the mirror uses an interactive touch screen, embedded RFID technology, and colour tuning capability to provide the retailer insight on shopper behaviour while offering the shopper product recommendations. The MyVue Smart Mirror will be on display on the AAMSCO stand as part of the Experience Journey. Oversized Metal Shades ANP Lighting’s Oversized Metal Shades are constructed from heavy duty spun aluminium and are designed to add visual impact to shops, restaurants, hotels and offices. They are available in a choice of 33 colour finishes. LED Light Panel ONE Luxx Light Technology will showcase the edge-lit panel, which uses laser-dotting technology to give a brighter, more evenly lit viewing experience, alongside its LED snap and SEG frames. Infused Guided by the concept that ‘more is more’, the colourful flooring collection from Mannington is a love letter to Mexico City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and New York. The five cities’ patterns are connected through line quality and shared colourways. The line was created to be mixed and remixed.

When and where McCormick Place, Chicago, US 27-29 March 2018

10:00-17:00 DAILY (10:00-14:00 LAST DAY) globalshopshow


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TRENDS OF THE TRENDS Now is the time to ensure that your AI retail strategy is both transformative and ethical, says Tim Noakes, editorial director at The Future Laboratory.

It has long been a tradition for trend forecasters to publish their predictions as one year rolls into the next. However, with so many conflicting trend reports now being published, how can retailers get a balanced, centralised overview of the overlapping themes that will shape the year ahead? The Future Laboratory’s solution was to feed 23 major trend forecasting predictions (including the company’s own Future Forecast) into a customised AI neural network and analyse the clusters of shared information. From this, its foresight team produced the Trends of the Trends report, a definitive overview of behaviours and innovations that will dominate 2018. Fittingly, one of the most revelatory areas was the role of AI and automation. As the rise of machine learning creates new job roles offering high-paying salaries, this will be the year in which automation accelerates and a human premium will force global businesses and brands to question the effect — and cost — of AI on productivity, workplace camaraderie and human wellbeing. This is already being explored by AI company DeepMind’s Ethics & Society (DMES) unit, which examines the impact of AI on society. The burgeoning debate around trust in algorithms will fuel a dialogue between brands and consumers in 2018. With blockchain technology becoming a bastion of trust in sectors as varied as antiques, diamond mining and food production, brands are exploring how it can be used to engender trust. Kodak’s blockchain-supported platform KodakOne and KodakCoin cryptocurrency enables photographers to take greater control in image rights management. The Future Laboratory’s analysis also showed that trust and ethics will be particularly pertinent in 2018’s AI frontier

as global superpowers such as China and the US compete to lead AI development. As we speed towards a new decade, consumers’ concerns about AI will come to the fore, including fears around its potential to become a god-like entity, its use in conflict zones and how it might be used to maintain social control. As it becomes more powerful, how will AI be used to mastermind, dictate and direct global wars, and who will be responsible for its errors? Now is the time to ensure that your AI retail strategy is both transformative and ethical. Technology will unlock previously guarded markets. Digital access will bring a new meaning to globalisation in 2018 as retail giants such as Alibaba provide gateways to Asia for western brands. With around 900 million people harnessing international connections on social media and consumers predicted to spend £720 billion ($1 trillion, €817 billion) on cross-border e-commerce by 2020, the burgeoning cross-border bandwidth is helping brands to build a global presence. For example, big data systems such as Alibaba’s Uni Marketing system, which analyses the browsing habits of its 450m users, hyper-personalises everything from special offers to landing pages and recommendations. Global device domination will also reach record levels in 2018, when there will be more than 8.3 billion connected devices than humans on earth — 8.3 billion according to Gartner. With supercomputers and connectivity at our fingertips, before our eyes and accessible by voice, information will be increasingly cordless and accessible, and our surroundings sentient, as demonstrated by the advent of Amazon Go and inclusive technologies such as Google’s Pixel Buds, which are capable of translating languages in

real time. With this increasing intuitivism, voice commands on mobile and home devices will emerge as the new predictive text, heightening activity outsourcing for the human brain. This will drive questions around the impact of voice recognition on human memory and the brain’s ability to recall information as it becomes increasingly reliant on instant searches and natural language processing systems. It’s more important than ever for retailers to navigate through all the digital noise if they want to prosper in 2018 and beyond. Machine learning is just one part of the equation — owners need to have a suite of tools at their disposal and a plan on how to implement them across their chains. Start exploring how to integrate AI at a scale that you’re comfortable with and build from there. But don’t deliberate too long. Time is ticking and machines never sleep. So start putting them to work.

The Future Laboratory’s Trend Briefing in March will look deeper at how retailers can harness new innovations to future proof their businesses.


store street


Text: Lyndsey Dennis

Over the past 10 years, Store Street has changed beyond recognition, from a run-down retail parade with a number of vacant units to a fully occupied, vibrant street bringing diversity and community retail to Bloomsbury. Amongst the leafy streets of Bloomsbury, a culturally and historically distinctive part of London, lies Store Street. It is home to some of the area’s best coffee shops, restaurants and independent stores. Bloomsbury is full of rich history, elegant period buildings and many attractive garden squares, and is well-known for its literary, cultural, artistic and education draw. Store Street reflects the qualities of the surrounding area and has been transformed over the past few years through a significant improvement by The Bedford Estates. The Estate’s retail focus is on attracting a quality mix of independent retail and dining to its properties, providing a neighbourhood high street full of independent retailers, including Store St Espresso, leading textile specialist Russell & Chapple and The Life Goddess Deli specialising in Greek delicacies. Situated near to Tottenham Court Road and The University of London’s main campus, it has a broad appeal, catering to residents, local workers and tourists alike. ‘We have attracted an eclectic array of tenants to Store Street, all independently owned and generally with a very small number of other outlets. The operators are chosen for the vibrancy they bring to the street, the service they can deliver to our community and, in each case, avoid direct competition with the other operators in our portfolio,’ says Simon Elmer, steward of The London Estate at Bedford Estates.


The street has recently welcomed KOOX, a new health food concept created in collaboration with top chefs from a 3* Michelin restaurant. KOOX will introduce unique products never seen before in the London take-away market, freshly made, seasonal and for the health conscious. ‘The goal is to make top chef creations accessible to eat-in or take-away for busy Londoners, our residents and our student population. It is a very exciting concept which we are enormously pleased to have attracted,’ says Elmer. Whilst the company doesn’t want to drastically change the street, it will evolve the area as units become available. ‘We will also look to best represent the location and provide a wide variety of tenants including food & beverage and retail. We want customers — whether they live in, work in or are visiting Bloomsbury — to enjoy an appealing choice, giving them plenty of reasons to return and experience Store Street again and again,’ adds Elmer. Where the opportunity arises, The Bedford Estates will certainly look to introduce new independent concepts, both retail and food & beverage. Whilst these opportunities do not present themselves often, the team is always talking to its retailers about their businesses and the success they achieve on Store Street to ensure their occupation works as much for them as it does for the property company.


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CES 2018 Geoff Wilson, brand strategy director at Household Design, headed to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month to discover what technologies to watch out for in the retail sector.

With hindsight the clue is perhaps in the title — The Consumer Electronics Show. But while this suggests the show is geared towards gadgets, impressive innovation and smart tech to get the inner geek in all of us excited, we still might expect some glimpses into the tech enabled future of retail. Sadly though, CES 2018 didn’t really have much of this. That said, there was enough on show elsewhere to impress and inspire the imaginative to include platforms elsewhere into their brand experiences. There were clear themes to CES 2018 that any brand should pay attention to and retail brands in particular should be thinking how/if they should build into their customer experience. Virtual Assistants 2018 is very much the year of the virtual assistant battles. With the notable exception of Siri (Apple doesn’t do CES) they’re all here — including Bixby. The narrative around all of them, except Google, is that their assistant will become the brain that allows you convenient control of the tech in the connected home. This perhaps has a while to go before it gets to critical mass and everyone needs/wants one. Ultimately the connected home is a luxury that many will consider not worth the cost or effort. How hard is it to turn the lights off after all? A different narrative exists around Google’s Assistant — tellingly it’s the only example that doesn’t have an irritating name. Intended to be first and foremost an audible version of Google with added functionality of ordering/booking etc, etc. It easily makes sense, points to the future success of the virtual assistant and the way we’ll all come to think of them. It’s simply a transferal of what we’d do on a phone screen to doing through a speaker with voice not thumbs. If the shift is going to be from smartphone to smart speaker this really needs to be as easy as talking to a person. And this is the significance to retail and brand experience; unless the tech is seamless, can deliver human experience and benefit, it will be regarded by guests as a toy-like novelty. This may be some way off but the brand that finds the killer application for virtual assistants may well usher in a new paradigm in brand experience. Retail that recognises The big moments in the underwhelming retail tech section centre around gesture and facial recognition. This is reliable, well developed tech that isn’t that new in truth but perhaps represents the certainty that risk averse retail needs right now. As well as recognising previous customers and their preferences it allows tracking of customer behaviour as well as reading of desire. It also paves the way for a great deal more automation of stores. Virtual reality gone nuts Really big this year are full on VR gaming experiences. With Samsung seeming to lead the way, it’s become a very adult field with serious hardware involved beyond the headsets. It’s again a maturation and sophistication step forward for the technology and makes the wii type applications of a couple of years ago look


quaint, silly and old fashioned. This may lead the way to VR gaming ‘bars’ and other leisure experiences. Why go to a dry ski slope when a Samsung machine can have you test yourself against all the best mountains in the world without having to leave the comfort of Swindon? What makes VR awkward for retailers is that hardware at present — enclosed headsets — is isolating and solitary where shopping is in essence a social activity. AR not VR In retail at least. Whilst this isn’t particularly new tech, the applications are about real and lasting benefit rather than the AR mirrors that amuse for about five minutes. Again suggests a conservative risk averse retail sector but also the lack of application for isolating VR in what is essentially a social activity — shopping. Tech platforms crossing into brands Representing the maturing and acceptance of platforms created by the tech companies, lifestyle brands are now incorporating them into premium products. 808 speakers use Alexa in premium smart speaker systems. Fashion brands are licensing smart watch tech from Samsung et al. This suggests that Alexa etc may well become ‘ingredient’ brands like Intel or Android, which as a slight paradigm shift for us general public means we’ll be more accepting of the platforms in brand experiences. So, while no great retail specific innovations, there’s plenty for progressive brands to think about building into their experience. The question for the retail sector is, is CES just too far ahead of the mainstream customer on the high street to make the risk justifiable? And more pertinently, can they lose a cultural conservatism and embrace an entirely new retail concept that builds on some of these and makes immediate human sense to customers?

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EuroCIS 2018: Future technology at your fingertips The international trade fair provides the opportunity to see what’s new and next in retail technology. Text: Gemma Balmford

This February sees the return of EuroCIS at Messe Düsseldorf in Germany. Taking place over three days, from 27 February to 1 March, the exhibition for retail technology will cover everything from digital signage, article surveillance and POS hardware to payment systems and supply chain management, with a special focus on IoT, artificial intelligence and solutions in personalised customer targeting. Spanning two halls of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, EuroCIS is this year expected to attract more than 450 exhibitors from 26 countries and around 11,000 visitors. New for 2018 is the Start-Up Hub, a dedicated space for 10 burgeoning IT companies to showcase their retail technology solutions. Visitors to the area will have the opportunity to meet with the companies on their stands and learn more about the products and solutions in the special forum. The EuroCIS Forum and Omnichannel Forum will also return for the duration of the show with a broad range of topics, including robotics, augmented reality and mobile solutions. ‘In retail, technology is revolutionising all areas in ever shorter innovation cycles — digital information, conversational commerce, mobile payment, VR, Big Data, IoT, to name but a few,’ says a spokesperson for EuroCIS. ‘High-tech solutions will become the prerequisite for success and especially in physical retail because more and more in-depth communication with shoppers, across all channels, will be key for survival. It is these dynamic developments that make EuroCIS so indispensable for exhibitors and visitors alike.’ For more information and to register for EuroCIS 2018, visit the website:

Show features Start-Up Hub A new dedicated platform for 10 budding companies with innovative IT solutions. The start-ups can be found in Hall 9 and include Arivata GmbH, Beaconinside GmbH, Fision AG, and Infinia Retail e.K.

Guided Innovation Tours Global retail forecasting, trend analysis and market information company Planet Retail will provide guided tours in both English and German, with a focus on start-ups and companies with innovative product and process solutions. The tours are free-of-charge for retailers and take approximately 90 minutes. Retail Technology Awards Europe The 11th annual awards ceremony comprises four categories — Best Customer Experience, Best In-Store Solution, Best Enterprise Solution and Best Omnichannel Solution. The winners will be announced at an evening gala on Tuesday 27 February. POPAI Awards The awards recognise companies that have demonstrated creativity and innovation in the areas of POP advertising, merchandising, shopfitting and digitalisation. There are 15 categories in total and all submissions will be exhibited at EuroCIS.


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Seminar highlights EuroCIS Forum Exhibitors and their retail partners will present case studies in 15-minute time slots on topics such as self-checkout, big data and RFID. • Transforming Customer Experience with Humanoid Robots: Pepper Andrea Mestre, area sales manager, SoftBank Robotics Europe & Robot Pepper • How Data is Driving the Future of In-Store Innovation Tim Arits, COO, • Secure Self-Checkout for High Value Products Without Terminal Alexander Schneider, CEO & founder, rapitag • Retail is Dead - Long Live Retail Thanks to IoT Achim Himmelreich, director — digital transformation, Capgemini Omnichannel Forum Exhibitors and their retail partners will focus on questions related to success strategies, and challenges and opportunities of new technologies related to digital and traditional distribution channels. • From Lost Sale to Loyal Shopper Jean-Marc Thienpon, EVP/managing director, POS solutions, Adyen • Internet of Things — Retailing in a Changing World Sarah Winzen, key account manager, tarent solutions

When and where Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, Germany 27 February - 1 March 2018 10:00-18:00 daily

• Sensor Flooring in the Retail Sector: Analyse Consumer Behaviour Inside Stores and Lead a Customer-Focused Business Erwin Burth, chief marketing officer, Future-Shape Gmbh

54 EuroCIS


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show review

NRF’S BIG SHOW 2018 Tom Custer, vice president, FRCH Design Worldwide, shares his top five topics and insights from NRF’s Big Show 2018. The National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2018 had more than 36,000 attendees from 90 countries, and although the trade show showcased many new high-tech products, I thought I’d highlight five broader topics from attending various conference sessions, the Innovation Lab, as well as some of the industry’s leading product and service providers. 1. Stories of transformation It was great to hear James Curleigh, president of Levi’s, kick-off the show. Curleigh highlighted the great heritage and equities of the Levi’s brand, but his story was all about transformation. He shared how Levi’s not only leverages that heritage and equities, but is continuously evolving to strengthen the brand and grow. He shared the critical need to create a culture and a mindset of being open to change — always learning, experimenting, evolving and creating moments into momentum to build for the future. This was one of many stories of transformation I heard at the show 2. Innovation: What does that really mean? Innovation has become such a buzzword, but these are some of the attributes that make it real for me, and a way retailers could think about innovation from an activation perspective to make it real for them. It’s hard to change the culture of a large organisation, but the creation of a small team/space to implement new ideas is key to evolve, test and learn. • A start-up speed mentality: Ideas can get lost in bureaucratic channels and processes that are hard to shake off. That big idea that was relevant at the time isn’t relevant by the time all of the internal buy in gives their blessing. We live in a fast paced world that relies on brand expression, so work to animate your equity fast and furious to make a real dent in the marketplace. • Flexibility (test, take risks, fail, don’t be perfect): Consumers, or guests, desire authenticity and this means unbuttoning your top button. Take yourself seriously, but leave room to explore freely. • New innovations in supply chain: Experiences are more than ever tied to product availability and operational support and fit. Brands are using technology integration to meld a better customer experience with operational support and capacity. • Entrepreneurial spirit and mindset: Think of your brand when it began in its infancy – it was exciting, risk taking, and organic. Employ some agile thinking when implementing new initiatives and embracing outlier ideas. • It was great to hear how the likes of WalMart have created Store #8, an innovation incubator, and once start-ups like STORY are leading the way for others to learn how to innovate.


3. Personalisation & customisation MJD Interactive, a digital innovation agency, and FRCH presented ‘One Size Does Not Fit All’, which focused on the meaning behind brand purpose. One key element of our internal ideology relates to the value of personalisation and customisation. Retailers need to create products and services that appeal to the ever-changing consumer and their demand for personalisation. For example, American Girl’s new flagship at Rockefeller Plaza. Customers can personalise a doll with features that make it most meaningful to them. Other examples include the digital app developed for Stride Rite for kids and their parents, and the S’more experience at Hershey’s World Time Square. Although, not every interaction needs to be a transaction. Retailers who create experiences that bring value and create an emotional connection will also drive loyalty. Experiences related to a faster checkout, such as facial recognition/cashier-less checkout brings great value (time) to customers. 4. It’s not omnichannel, it’s seamless experience I really like how NRF organised the Retail 2020 Innovation Lab space to align with the customer journey. Innovative providers showcased their products and services to align with different stages of the journey — awareness, consideration, engagement, service and post purchase. It’s clear that customers are in control, meaning they consider and engage when and where they want. Brands that deliver a seamless experience transcending single channels to encompass the integration of ecommerce, in-store, and mobile will be the brands that become relevant and meaningful to customers. There are multiple channels available to consumers, so it’s enabling them to shop when and where they want to shop and make that experience seamless. 5. Stores of the future The physical store is not going away but it is changing, and it was great to hear some facts that reinforce this. According to IHL Data, there were 14,000 new stores that opened in 2017 and 10,000 store closures. That’s a positive net of 4,000 new stores this past year. We always hear about the brands that are closing and many of them are larger anchor stores, yet many smaller stores opened in 2017. Stores of the future will be smaller in format, curated, convenient and community based. Ecommerce will continue to grow, but the next level of disruption will be evolving technology innovation such as AR and VR platforms where consumers can ‘shop the store’, which will blur channel lines even further.


SURFACE design show Surface Styling Surface Styling offers a world of design inspiration from more than 40 prestigious surface material brands. Surface Styling draws on an unparalleled portfolio of more than 12,000 product lines from brands in laminates, solid surface, decorative panel, wall panelling, flooring and worktops, supported by a 24-48 hour sampling service. Showcasing how Surface Styling supports its customers, products on show at Surface Design Show demonstrated the versatility of Malmo vinyl flooring and the Avonite, Studio Collection, Stratum and Hanex solid surface ranges. T. +44 (0)845 603 7811 E: Twitter: SurfaceStyling

ColourGrain Surfaces Recently launched decorative timber cladding company ColourGrain Surfaces reported excellent interest in its 50-shade product portfolio at this year’s show, and has already booked a space at next year’s event. The company, which is the UK’s only retailer of ColourGrain painted wood cladding for building interiors and exteriors, was launched by owner Simon Davey in response to increasing demand for design-led yet sustainable commercial and residential cladding materials. ColourGrain wood cladding combines the tactile, durable beauty of visible woodgrain with bespoke colourways and strong environmental credentials. T. +44 (0)1432 360 906 E: Twitter: colourgrain

Armourcoat Armourocated presented its range of hand-applied polished plaster wall finishes at the show, as well as latest additions to its luxury Signature Collection. The company also lauched the new Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System designed to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. The latter offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can applied seamlessly over large expanses to both flat and curved surfaces. Comprising of a special mineral wool composite panel that is bonded onto the substrate and finished with a seamless layer, the Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System offers an elegant marble-based plaster finish while allowing sound energy to pass through the surface. The zero VOC system, which consists of 80 per cent recycled material, achieves class ‘0’ fire rating and a class ‘A’ Noise Reduction Coefficient rating. T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E. Twitter: armourcoat


Applelec Applelec demonstrated its new NeonLux neon-style lettering product, which can be used to create any graphic LED-lit shapes and imaginative designs from lettering to the outline of a cocktail glass or a lightning bolt. NeonLux features a highly polished application to replicate a true glass finish. T. +44 (0)1274 774 477 E. Twitter: Applelec


Daedalian Glass Studios Tesseract by Daedalian Glass Studios is created using hundreds of individual pieces of glass fused together. This unique design traps air between glass to create a controlled grid of bubbles within the glass that complement the iridescent surface finish. Shown here, the Tesseract design is being utilised to produce a pair of glass doors for a private residence in London. An alternative version of this design adds a silvered back face, ideal for use as a kitchen splashback or as wall art. T. +44 (0)1253 702 531 E: Twitter: DaedalianGlass

Innerspace Cheshire Innerspace presented real Icelandic moss from Freund to create eye-catching feature walls. The moss requires no watering, sunlight or maintenance and has the added benefit of great acoustic properties. The company also offers a whole host of other materials, including carpet tiles, brick, vinyl, hay, concrete, resin, rubber, grass and solid surfaces. T. +44 (0)1270 625 043 E. Twitter: InnerspaceRich

Grestec Kreda concrete effect tiles from Grestec infuse delicate tones with bold shapes. Cool chalky nuances and rhomboid shapes combine to allow endless decorative compositions. Kreda is available as 200mm x 200mm and 75mm x 300mm brick shape tiles which recall the look and feel of unplastered and repainted stone walls. Kreda is available in four concrete shades — white, silver, grey and dark — as well as an original colour mix made of diverse shades, from light dusty pink to sage green, which enable the creation of elegant chromatic geometries.

Lithos Design

T. +44 (0)345 130 2241 E. Twitter: grestec

T. +39 (0)444 687301 E. Twitter: LithosDesign

Lithos Design is an Italian producer of coverings, wall partitions and natural stone flooring. In collaboration with designer Raffaello Galiotto, the company offers an extensive range of modular architectural solutions. The Opus collection has a number of variations, including Allegro, which has wonderful Terrazzo qualities, available in several types of marble with yellow, sky blue, red and white being the dominating colours.






VM & DISPLAY Barthelmess Barthelmess take a holistic, fully integrated approach to the implementation of visual marketing concepts; an approach characterised by intensity of feeling, attention to detail and clear, unmistakable positioning. Focused on its customer‘s unique needs, with expert knowledge of the procurement market, and a firm grip on the entire visual marketing supply chain, the company specialises in designing and delivering complex point of sale projects. Barthelmess provides customised, tailormade staging for your retail brand and store. Its own production facilities, worldwide sourcing offices and a network of competent service providers guarantee that the company’s project management is always solution oriented, professional, just in time and efficient. T. +44 (0)20 3603 7117 E.

Mynt Design Mynt Design collaborated with Nike to create a retail campaign takeover on the ground floor at Nike Town in London to promote the new Running Shield Pack. The ground floor was totally taken over by creating an immersive retail environment, including a dynamic lighting experience, mirroring rain and other weather conditions that the Shield range protects wearers from. Bespoke footwear tables and podiums were designed and constructed with 3D rain drops to further enhance product storytelling, whilst adding a tactile element to the concept. T. +44 (0)1664 423 110 E. Twitter: Mynt_Design

bbrown UK display materials brand, bbrown is launching two new ranges this Spring. With metallic surfaces and finishes in high demand, the Apollo range of metallic silk PVC comes in five colours with an antique metal effect providing a strong metallic sheen. The Glitter Jazz range introduces 19 new trend colours too. With glitter randomly stuck to the backing fabric, regardless of the location of the glitter fabric or the lighting source, it will always catch the light perfectly wherever your audience’s viewpoint is. Both products are ideal for impact in retail displays. Samples are available on request. T. +44 (0)3705 340 340 E. Twitter: luvbbrown

Andy Thornton The Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe is at the heart of a phased redevelopment of the town’s historic Holmes Mill. A wonderful showcase for the very best of Lancashire’s food and drink producers, it offers customers the opportunity to browse, taste and be inspired by its unique shopping experience. Key to the interior design of the food hall are vintage-style retail display units, such as these wooden display cabinets supplied by Andy Thornton. Based on old apothecary display units, the cabinets are ideal for displaying all sorts of products. Here the shelves are full with jams, chutneys and preserves, but they are also ideal for displaying fashion accessories or pharmaceutical products. Visit the website to see the full range. T. +44 (0)1422 376 000 E. Twitter: andythorntonltd



SIGNS & GRAPHICS Graphica Display Graphica Display specialises in the design, production and installation of retail and commercial interior graphics and signage. From roll-outs to promotional displays, branding to exhibition and event graphics, Graphica Display has the solution for you. Find out more about the company at its refreshed and exciting website: T. +44 (0)845 373 0073 E: Twitter: graphicatweet

Assigns Assigns’ Stormforce Forester features a rustic timber frame and water-filled base, with high quality coil springs for wind deflection. The Stormforce Forester is available as a double sided chalkboard or A1 poster display. With tough clear plastic front sheets, it provides a versatile solution to the customer-facing marketing requirements of the fast moving retail, restaurant and hospitality markets. T. +44 (0)1462 672 000 E. Twitter: Assigns

Kendu Designed and manufactured by Kendu, Flowbox is the latest innovation for in-store communication. A new generation of LED displays, Flowbox is tailor-made for the retail sector and combines quality printed tension fabric with motion effects and dynamic animation. Since launching in 2017, Flowbox has received multiple accolades including ‘Best Signage Graphics’ and ‘Best in Competition’ in the IIDA GlobalShop Product Design Competition, ‘Best Store Solution & Design’ at the Paris Retail Awards and ‘AIT Trend 2017’ finalist at EuroShop. Kendu is a European company with more than 16 years of experience in pioneering in-store visual communication solutions. T. +44 (0)20 3735 5258 E. Twitter: KenduInStore


John Anthony Signs John Anthony Signs has been involved in the SEAT showroom at Westfield White City. The company was appointed to help the designer and main contractor bring the retail design to reality but was involved in a lot more than just signage and graphics. The team manufactured large copper slatted walls, copper fins mounted over large lightboxes, back decorated glass walls, copper mirrors with illuminated text and cityscape, wall sections that incorporated roller shutters, housings for TV screens and much more. T. +44 (0)1268 777 333 E: contact@ Twitter: JASigns1


LIGHTING Crompton Lamps Stiletto is the latest designer track LED lighting system from Phoebe LED that resembles the shoe of the same name. Designed to help retailer’s glam it up to the max, Stiletto provides the perfect tool for designers to make a real fashion statement in retail applications. Phoebe LED has produced the Stiletto track fitting based on three key features — energy saving, colour temperature and precision control. The design has been created from high quality aluminium that permits greater heat management and has a universal adapter for 3-circuit track systems. T. +44 (0)1274 657 088 E: Twitter: LedPhoebe

Thorn Lighting The latest spotlights from Thorn Lighting — Tonic Gyro and Tonic Gimbal — expand the choice of mounting options for Tonic, whilst providing the same tubular appearance and great light quality as existing products in the range. The addition of the gyro and gimbal-mounted versions creates a comprehensive, consistent family of spotlights that makes it easier for designers and specifiers to create powerful, cost-effective lighting solutions for retail installations. T. +44 (0)1388 420 042 E: Twitter: thornlighting

ERCO The Fürholzen petrol and service station of the future has opened near Münich, featuring an inverse gabled roof illuminated by ERCO. Weiser.Lighting from Troisdorf was responsible for the lighting design, with special focus placed on uniformly illuminating the underside of the roof. In this way the characteristic feature of the petrol station is emphasised, is visually highlighted when viewed from the motorway and is also pleasantly eye-catching in the expansive landscape. In the petrol-filling area, the roof is illuminated by Lightscan facade luminaires. Quintessence recessed fittings were installed in the entrance area while Pantrac ceiling washlights were utilised inside. Photography: Moritz Hillebrand

T. +49 2351 551 100 E. Twitter: erco_lighting


Megaman Low energy lighting manufacturer, Megaman has launched the Gabio range of aluminium linear LED pendants. The patent pending louvre features a unique design, incorporating light cells within its junctions to allow a sophisticated and continuous optical distribution. Suitable for education, retail and commercial applications, the versatile Gabio provides customers with a lighting solution that can suit a variety of installation needs. T. +44 (0)1707 386 000 E: Twitter: MegamanUKLtd

insight piece

show review


Kendu In-Store Visual Solutions presents Flowbox, an international award-winning dynamic display for stores

Flowbox is the new generation of LED displays that combines a high-quality printed tension fabric system with motion effects and dynamic animation for engaging in-store displays. Exclusively designed and developed by Kendu In-Store Visual Solutions, Flowbox is the latest innovation for in-store visual communication specifically tailor-made for the retail sector. The dynamic display provides stores with endless creative VM options by creating an interplay between static display and motion effects using digital programming. Each of the LED lights can be individually programmed using advanced RGB LED technology in order to create different lighting effects including subtle tonal variations, continuous colour changes and even action-based animation. The chosen effects come programmed on an SD card that is inserted manually into the Flowbox meaning it is easy to update. Flowbox’s ability to create unique and dynamic atmospheres makes it the ideal visual communication tool for both inside the store and in shop windows.

Since its premiere showing at EuroShop in March 2017, Flowbox has received multiple awards and accolades in both the European and American markets including the IIDA GlobalShop Product Design Competition 2017 for ‘Best Signage Graphics’ and ‘Best in Competition’, Paris Retail Awards 2017 for ‘Best Store Solution & Design’, the inaugural Spanish APè Awards 2017 for the ‘Top 10 Best Digital Printing Applications’ and was a finalist at the ‘AIT Trend 2017’ at EuroShop. Retailers can now create an exciting, engaging in-store atmosphere with Flowbox, the award-winning dynamic display system.

E: T: + 44 (0)20 3735 5258 W:

Above: Printed tension fabric displays come to life with Flowbox, the dynamic display. Left: House of Fraser used Flowbox to create show-stopping window displays at their Oxford Street store in London to celebrate their 2017 Christmas campaign “Bring Merry Back”.



FLOORING Concreate Flooring Concreate Flooring returned to Surface Design Show earlier this month to showcase the latest developments in its concrete surfaces. The engineered ready-made floor and wall panels can be installed in just about any interior space and work alongside any material to create a compelling, modern architectural styling. Two new colours will be launched this year — Titanium Black and Metal Grey. T. +44 (0)1276 859 111 E: Twitter: ConcreateUK

nora flooring systems The basic principles of norament production — mixing, calendering, vulcanization — have not changed substantially in half a century. However, nora systems has made continual adjustments to improve efficiency and functionality. For example, a hollow fluted design along the edge means that the pastilles are much flatter than they used to be, therefore can be cleaned more easily. The types of rubber used have also changed and developed, and the colour selection has increased dramatically. New structured norament surface variations offer architects and builders a variety of design possibilities. T. +44 (0)1788 513 160 E: Twitter: noraflooring

BluePrint Ceramics BluePrint Ceramics showcased its new Poetry range at Surface Design Show. This collection has been influenced by Terrazzo. Subtle shades from grey through to white promote the concept of historic Italian craftsmanship through this beautiful stoneware range. Terrazzo is highly versatile due to its almost limitless material options and colours. T. +44 (0)121 268 3240 E. Twitter: blueprintceram

Arturo The new Arturo Colour Collection allows you to create your own flooring solution via the Arturo Style Compass, which provides designers with a host of styles, trends and options. Eight different interior styles are available, which closely follow global trends in art, culture and design. This allows you to easily determine your direction and choose the floor that suits you. T. +44 (0)1788 530 080 E: Twitter: UzinLtd


MAKE AN IMPRESSION With our super range of Flooring. Featuring high performing products that offer an unmatched level of performance, longevity and quality.

Call us now to find out more on 01985 218994 or visit Jaymart Rubber & Plastics Ltd.

Roman Way, Crusader Park, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 8SP

Mats and Floors


focus on Flooring

Whether its wood, ceramic or vinyl, flooring within the retail sector takes a great deal of abuse from the daily footfall of shoppers. Here we bring you a variety of bright, bold and hardwearing solutions that maintain their looks, enhance the interior of stores and provide the option for bespoke solutions... even fried eggs!

Egg-cellent choice This cheery sunny side up design is set to be one of 2018’s trends. Designed by Atrafloor, this playful flooring design features bold canary yellow, while the background can be matched to suit your desired colour scheme. All flooring by Atrafloor is made to order and available for commercial and home use.

Making a splash EGGER has expanded its range of laminate flooring with Aqua+ technology from 10 decors to 18. Featuring the latest ceramic and woodgrain decors, the collection provides a high quality, functional product with style. EGGER’s collection of 18 Aqua+ decors features the latest technology, providing a water resistant floor that is well suited to bathrooms, restaurants, kitchens and bars. Not only is it more cost effective than glued and grouted ceramic tiles, it is also the only laminate floor in the market that can be steam cleaned.

Going green Forbo Flooring Systems has revitalised its modular sustainable floor covering, Marmoleum, introducing new colours, structures and embossed designs to help specifiers create simple yet contemporary flooring schemes. Manufactured from 88 per cent natural raw materials, 76 per cent of which are rapidly renewable, and with a 58 per cent recycled content, Marmoleum Modular is the ideal collection for projects where sustainable design is at the top of the agenda. The natural raw materials, such as linseed oil and flaxseed, which are harvested from annual crops, has resulted in Marmoleum having a naturally low carbon footprint, as well as being phthalate free — contributing to a healthier indoor environment.


flooring Dancing queen Tuxedo Nightclub, a new premium bar and nightclub in the heart of Glasgow, has been fitted out with vibrant and bespoke luxury vinyl flooring by Karndean Designflooring. Located within Glasgow’s iconic Merchant City neighbourhood, the underground venue features Karndean’s Knight Tile Carrara Marble and Kaleidoscope Pennon in Opus Luna, Urbus and Ombra throughout the large bar and club area with deluxe booth seating, dance floors and VIP suites. Designed by Tuxedo’s in-house team and Kabe Design, Tuxedo is inspired by New York’s neo-speakeasy scene and includes a statement company logo inserted into the floor, cut from Karndean’s Knight Tile Carrara Marble and a gold block colour.

The right tools With iD Mixonomi, Tarkett has crafted a creative ‘material toolbox’ for architects and designers to enable them to use colours and shapes to create their own flooring compositions. This versatile collection, comprising 33 original colours and 10 interconnecting shapes, is particularly suited to the development of unique designs for retail or hotel interiors. Built upon the principle of combining colours and shapes, iD Mixonomi is an intuitive tool to enable the tailoring of flooring compositions; from timeless patterns to the most vibrant collages.

I do like to be beside the seaside Wood effect luxury vinyl tiles and hardwearing Polysafe safety flooring from Polyflor were chosen to create a nautical inspired interior design scheme for the brand new Copperfish bar, restaurant and takeaway in the seaside destination of Mumbles Pier in Swansea, Wales. Local contractor, Pro-Spec Interiors installed Polyflor flooring in front-of-house areas and behind the scenes at Copperfish, which serves traditional fish and chips in its takeaway as well as cocktails and burgers in the bar restaurant. Heavy commercial Affinity255 PUR luxury vinyl tiles in the rustic Cross Sawn Timber design were used for most of the restaurant floor area, with random planks of the Aspen Pine and Flamed Chestnut designs added in to create a unique reclaimed timber look.



DIREcTORIES 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

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.

Aluminium Fittings

Bespoke Display

Bespoke Display

Design Consultancies

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.

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 a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

T, 020 3260 3888 E. S.

Bespoke Display

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

Bespoke Display

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.

Design Consultancies

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.

Walker Bros (Elland) Ltd is an Engineering Manufacturing company specialising in sheet metalwork and plastic fabrication. We supply precision metal and plastic products, components and light fabrications to a broad range of industries and markets throughout the UK and Europe.

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: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

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

Audio Visual Integration

Anna Valley looks to help guide clients with their audio visual decision making by offering high end impartial advice and help manoeuvre them through the current “minefield” of different technology and services available to them. This process then enables them to have a clear vision of what they are actually striving to achieve within the budget available to them and then provides a full range of services in the delivery of that vision.

Bespoke Display

Hello Flamingo is a creative company for the retail and event sector, specialising in window displays, in store solution, POP ups, project management, design, manufacture and installation for bespoke projects at our fully equipped manufacturing workshop.

Brochure Holders

Design Consultancies

Brochure Holders International Limited is part of the global Taymar group recognised as a leading manufacturer of premium quality injection moulded leaflet holders and display solutions. Committed to on-going product development the Taymar group offers one of the world’s largest collections of ‘clear view’ wall, floor and counter standing brochure displays.

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)1473 229250 E: W:

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

T: +44 (0)208 941 1000 E: W:

T: 01273 585768 E: W: S.

Balloons & Bunting

Bespoke Display

Climate Control


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

JPMA is a worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality store fixtures and visual elements made of wood, metal and acrylic. We make everything all under the one roof and offer designs and finishes not available anywhere else in the industry.

Air Control & Development Ltd are Daikin, Mitsubishi and Toshiba accredited contractors, specialising in providing quality air conditioning, ventilation and overdoor heater installations, service & maintenance within the retail sector.

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 +44 777 444 5784 E: W:

T 01922 455523 E: W: S:

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

T, 01494 774376 E. W.




Focused on our customer’s unique needs, with expert knowledge of the procurement market, and a firm grip on the entire visual merchandising supply chain, we are specialists in designing and delivering complex point of sale projects.

T +49 (0) 911 97 13 389 E: W:


Display - DIGITAL


JPMA is a worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality store fixtures and visual elements made of wood, metal and acrylic. We make everything all under the one roof and offer designs and finishes not available anywhere else in the industry.

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 +44 777 444 5784 E: W:

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

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative



Display - DIGITAL


Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

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 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

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

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. S.


We are ICON. We create and deliver engaging brand and live experiences, particularly in the retail sector.

T: +44 (0) 20 7593 5200 E: W: S:




Providing Scotland’s signage, exhibition displays, digitally printed wallpapers, LED flex faces, light boxes and window graphics. Located in the centre of Scotland we are ideally situated to cover your requirements throughout Scotland. We can offer huge savings with an excellent, professional and prompt service

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.

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: 0131 337 1237 E: W: FB: Specialized-Signs

T: 01797 320636 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.

Woodwood Group –Tx Frame UK are a specialist in tension fabric display systems and LED light boxes. We are able to deliver the highest quality service with a friendly but professional approach to ensure you receive the spectacular results you deserve.

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

T, 01767 682756 E. S.

T, 01376 295 016 E. W.

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



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.

Rootstein Display Mannequins is a creative mannequin manufacturer and renovation specialist - delivering both ready-made and bespoke concepts for fashion retailers, globally.

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.

Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

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

T: +44 20 7381 1447 E: W: S. @rootstein_

T: 0161 477 8501 E: W: S.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. 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.

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

Literature Display

Brochure Holders International Limited is part of the global Taymar group recognised as a leading manufacturer of premium quality injection moulded leaflet holders and display solutions. Committed to on-going product development the Taymar group offers one of the world’s largest collections of ‘clear view’ wall, floor and counter standing brochure displays. T: +44 (0)1473 229250 E: W:


Air Control & Development Ltd are Daikin, Mitsubishi and Toshiba accredited contractors, specialising in providing quality air conditioning, ventilation and overdoor heater installations, service & maintenance within the retail sector.

T 01922 455523 E: W: S:


Harrison Products provide one the largest ranges of POS and Display componentry in the UK. We are able to supply off the shelf and customised products to suit your project. We pride ourselves on our industry leading service and super quick delivery options.

T: +44 (0)1451 830083 E: W


Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. S.


We are ICON. We create and deliver engaging brand and live experiences, particularly in the retail sector.

T: +44 (0) 20 7593 5200 E: W: S:


pop up


Hello Flamingo is a creative company for the retail and event sector, specialising in window displays, in store solution, POP ups, project management, design, manufacture and installation for bespoke projects at our fully equipped manufacturing workshop.

GENESIS MANNEQUINS design and produce high-class and trend-lead shop window mannequins, busts and displays for the international fashion industry. Additionally we offer style, trend and product consultation as well as a comprehensive after-sales service.

T: 01273 585768 E: W: S.

T: +49 (0) 5752 1803 0 E: W: S:

Retail Consultancy


We are a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

Rootstein Display Mannequins is a creative mannequin manufacturer and renovation specialist - delivering both ready-made and bespoke concepts for fashion retailers, globally.

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.

T: +44 20 7381 1447 E: W: S. @rootstein_


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.


We are a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.




MCGARRIGLE Ian McGarrigle, founder and chairman of World Retail Congress, joined Retail Exchange podcast host, Ben Bland at NRF’s Big Show in January to talk retail in 2018, the rise of online and challenges for the year ahead. BB.  Ian, what in your view, lies ahead for retail in 2018, and what can get really excited about? IM. I think the big issue, and has been for a while, is the enormous change and the transformation that retail has to undergo. It’s been building over the last two or three years where retailers have understood that their business model has to change. The rise of online — Amazon and AliBaba in Asia — has really focused minds and we’ve seen that tipping point in the last year or two where the online players are really starting to make a difference. We’ve seen it again this last Christmas, particularly in the UK and the States, where the online players continue to build market share, eating into traditional retail. If you’re going to survive, you can’t just do nothing, and we’ve certainly heard it from Doug McMillan, Walmart [at NRF’s Big Show in January], where he said, every associate in the business knows that the mantra is about change; everything has to be looked at. That’s an ongoing theme that we are going to see; the retailers that are serious about surviving and creating a new offer that consumers are going to want to buy from, it’s going to be about, in many cases, quite a radical change to how they look and operate to serve the customer. BB.  Do you think, across the board, retail is rising to the challenge of transforming and meeting the needs of customers in 2018? IM. It’s a really interesting question and you would like to think that, yes, they all would, but it does pull you up sharp; we did some research at the World Retail Congress last year and we asked senior retailers just that, about what needs to change in the industry and what are they doing about it. Everyone was really taken aback that yes, universally, everyone knows what needs to be done but I think the stat was 52 per cent hadn’t even started that journey. That is quite shocking! BB.  Where do you think the biggest challenge lies, especially for large organisations? IM. Y ou used the phrase ‘large organisation’, I think the clue is in that phrase. This is trying to sort of turn around an ocean-going liner; you can put the brakes on and it takes a long while for the boat to stop, but when operating a big, huge organisation with thousands of employees, that’s no easy thing to do. At the heart of a lot of the issues that retailers face, it’s managing that change and bringing people along right across the business and seeing them buy into the vision and hope that it’s the right vision that the business has to go, but of course, that’s just part of it. If you’re an established retailer with hundreds, maybe even thousands of stores, that’s no easy thing to assess and make tough decisions about closures which we are seeing a lot of; that’s a big structural change that retailers have to battle with.

BB.  What will the dominant themes for retail be in 2018? IM. O  bviously aside from change, it’s trying to find a new way of blending and recognising which technologies are going to make big change. Everyone recognises that technology is really important but I think you also get a sense that it’s a really tough thing for retailers to do. They’ve got finite resources – where do you place your bets, which technologies, which are changing so fast and are going to make the real difference? People talk about machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics — almost science fiction-like technologies that are here and now. The thing that we hear from technology companies is to try and persuade retailers; if they are scared of it, not to be scared of it but to embrace it because it can really help drive efficiency within the business. That’s just not about lowering numbers of people in the business, but it’s about how can you make the business more efficient to actually help your customers — make the customer experience more seamless, more enjoyable, faster in responding. For me, it’s almost rediscovering that emotional side of what retailing is. I see an underlying beginning of a theme; let’s think about what retail exists to be — it is about selling product to customers and persuading them; maybe they didn’t even know that they wanted it, but retail is that emotional connection. How can you rediscover those shopkeeping skills? It’s reinventing that physical space. Even if you’ve got less people in the store, those people that are should be absolutely brilliant, love to serve people, really understand the brand and the product. BB.  Do you think bricks and mortar stores are missing a trick by going after the technology and not making much more of the advantage they have over online ­— they have humans at the heart of the customer experience? IM. I think we’ve got to that point where established retailers are now almost frightened by the online players and try to emulate them as they chase the technology, and in many retailers you can see the cutbacks that have been made in store. People are talking a good game about ‘we need fewer stores and the stores we have will be flagships’, but we’re not really seeing evidence of that yet. The really good retailers have got great people in the business and it’s how do you make that really stick? When people walk into a store, they should be blown away with the experience from the humans, as you say, in the business that really bring to life a brand.

To listen to the full interview, visit



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Retail Focus February 2018  

The retail design publication.

Retail Focus February 2018  

The retail design publication.