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retail focus

JANUARY 2018 : £6.75 #95

January 2018/issue 95


L’Occitane : Atkinsons : Woolrich: Surface Design Show : Sports retail: Spotlight on Toronto : Rushden Lakes : Signs & Graphics : Q&A with Michael Artis, 20.20

The right note Atkinsons returns to Mayfair




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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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CONTENTS The right note


Heritage perfumer Atkinsons has returned to its roots in Mayfair with the opening of a new Maison in London’s Burlington Arcade.

36 Surface Design Show

53 Spotlight on: Toronto

41 Sports retail

& Around: 48 InRushden Lakes


26-34 Project Focus



L’Occitane, Regent Street : Atkinsons, Burlington Arcade : Woolrich, Milan


10-14 News 17-18 Window shopping


Lucy McLaren, senior strategist at Household, discusses physical spaces with community at the heart.

Inspiring window displays from around the globe.


Centre stage


Karl McKeever Vintage VM: It’s worth its weight, says Karl in his column this month.



In and Around... Rushden Lakes. A unique blend of retail, leisure and wildlife, nestled in Northamptonshire.

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

on: 67 Focus Signs & Graphcis

56-64 Products Products and services for the retail industry.


Q&A As 20.20 approaches 30 years, we chat to director Michael Artis about his career and thoughts on the future of retail.


welcome January ‘18 ‘Twenty years after opening its first boutique on London’s Regent Street, L’Occitane has returned to launch its first UK flagship store (pages 26-28). Designed by UXUS, community is an important part of the store. Not only an immersive, sensorial experience, the space also features areas to encourage shoppers to enjoy some ‘me-time’ — they can sit, try out hand treatments and eat macarons by pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Personalisation is also key in the form of a luxurious gifting area and product engraving. In this issue we also explore the new Maison from perfumer Atkinsons in Burlington Arcade (pages 30-31) and check out the latest Woolrich flagship in Milan (pages 33-34), the latter which has several areas designed to directly engage clients with the brand through innovative and personal experiences. It’s this dwell time and sense of personal experience that is so important in today’s store formats. The sports retail sector has experienced a rise in community-led, locally tailored spaces with customisation options aplenty. ‘Community sits at the heart of sportswear retailing, and we have seen over the last year how a focus on this has created unparalleled experiences that authentically connect with a brand’s audience,’ says Mike Tristram, strategic planner at Checkland Kindleysides. Read more on pages 41-43. Lucy McLaren, senior strategist at Household, also touches on the sense of community at the heart of physical spaces in her opinion on P47. Surface Design Show returns to London next month (pages 36-38). I definitely recommend a visit as the event provides a great source for exploring trends in surfaces and plenty of new and interesting finishes. The second night features the popular PechaKucha Evening — an informal and fun presentation of inspirational slides and always fun to watch. See you at the show!

Lyndsey Dennis Editor



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

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Retail Shopfitting and Display Summit Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted 5-6 February 2018 Register for the Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit and you’ll have the opportunity to meet innovative and budget-saving suppliers who will help with your projects for 2018 and beyond. This two-day event takes place at the Radisson Blu Hotel at London Stansted and is entirely free to attend for the 65 participating senior retail professionals. The format of the event is unlike any traditional expo or conference. You will be matched for a series of face-to-face meetings with suppliers who match your requirements — no hard sell and no time wasted. RSDSummit

Surface Design Show Business Design Centre, Islington, London 6-8 February 2018 The 2018 Surface Design Show will once again have a packed programme of events designed to inspire and engage featuring new ideas and firm favourites refreshed, including the Opening Night Live Debate and ever popular PechaKucha Evening — a fun presentation of inspirational slides. surfacethinking


Integrated Systems Europe RAI Amsterdam 6-9 February 2018

EuroCIS Messe Düsseldorf, Germany 27 February - 1 March 2018

Launched in 2004, ISE is the world’s largest tradeshow for the professional AV and electronic systems industry. ISE 2018 is expected to feature more than 1,200 exhibitors and 75,000+ attendees. The event is a joint venture of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) and the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA).

Taking place at Messe Düsseldorf, EuroCIS is a leading European trade fair for retail technology, bringing together more than 400 exhibitors. An increasing number of solutions for addressing shoppers in a personalised manner will be on show. Robotics and artificial intelligence are also themes on the rise at this year’s event.




NEWS Virgin Holidays opens experience store in Wales Virgin Holidays has implemented a multi-dimensional and immersive concept at its new v-room store at St David’s in Cardiff. As this is the first Virgin Holidays store in Wales, YourStudio, which designed the store, wanted to push store experience to the next level. The new space creates a relaxed and inspiring environment to get customers in that ‘holiday-ready’ mood. It includes a champagne and coffee bar, comfortable lounge areas and animated content to immerse shoppers in a range of destinations. The concept was delivered by Resolution Interiors. The Virgin Holidays rollercoaster invites customers to ‘jump on board’ and experience the exhilaration of travelling around the world through a number of signature destinations. Shoppers travel

through beautiful English countryside, the golden plains of African safari, diving in the Caribbean, outer space amongst the twinkling stars and faraway planets, finally finishing off in Las Vegas. The store environment has a calm, reassuring and premium material palette mixing soft-hues with touches of rose gold and metallics. Think more inviting and lively hotel lobby than travel agent. The v-room also includes a full size mock-up of a Virgin Atlantic cabin, including Premium Economy and Upper

Co-op to launch 100 new stores in 2018 Co-op has confirmed plans to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018, creating an estimated 1,600 jobs. The community retailer will invest more than £160 million in new stores and major makeovers for a further 150 of its outlets. More than 20 new stores are set to open in London, and up to 18 stores are planned


for Scotland including sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Forres (Highlands) and Kilmacolm (Renfewshire). Rhayader (Powys) and Bryncoch (Neath) will be the first of 10 new stores set to open in Wales. Other new stores are planned up for Blackpool, Bristol, Chesterfield, Crewe, Leicester, Manchester,

Class seats that customers can try before they buy, alongside a full snack bar with magazines. A family friendly area with kids ‘hang out’ space makes sure children have just as much fun in store as shoppers do. Designed to deliver the ultimate customer experience, the store provides space to connect, discover, relax and engage in comfort. The lounge area with wellbeing lighting encourages the move away from traditional sales desks, promoting a sense of welcoming informality.

Nottingham, Plymouth, Southampton and York among other towns and cities. The news follows twin announcements last month as the Co-op confirmed it had reached an agreement to become exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 stores across the Costcutter Supermarkets Group network from Spring 2018. While members of Nisa Retail also voted in favour of the Co-op’s offer to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist, a move which is conditional on Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approval. The new-look stores will see Co-op — which won the title of Convenience Retailer of the Year in the Retail Industry Awards — focus on offering a wide range of fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas and essentials, alongside increased ranges of own-brand and locally-sourced produce.


Vitra opens biggest showroom at Heal’s Vitra has opened its biggest UK dedicated consumer retail space at Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road, London. Situated on the first floor, the new area features an extensive Colour and Material Library, Lounge Chair Atelier and further Vitra collections including exclusive new designs. This is the largest dedicated Vitra space at any retailer. Heal’s is the first retailer to show Vitra’s

Lounge Chair Atelier, allowing viewers to discover the story behind this icon of modern design, from the choice of materials to the longevity and sustainability of the design. Heal’s will also showcase the widest range of the Vitra Colour and Material Library, thus allowing customers to have an in-depth consultation and truly understand the full potential of Vitra’s classic and contemporary products. Vitra’s Kado unit has been used to

house the accessories collections; Kado is a slimline structural system, enabling versatile and eye-catching merchandise displays. Vitra is a leading supplier of modular systems for retail and service interiors. The company develops and commercialises modular systems for successful store branding concepts worldwide - in close contact with architects, visual merchandisers and retail customers.

experience for our guests and the retail environment for our brand partners. Once the extension is complete Ashford Designer Outlet will become one of the UK’s flagship fashion, food and homeware destinations, with over 130 stores, restaurants and cafes,’ says Claude Hargreave, director of development at McArthurGlen.

This will be Ashford Designer Outlet’s first extension since opening in 2000. The existing 17,187 sq m centre, which has the world’s largest tented retail structure, was designed by the renowned architect Richard Rogers who is famous for the Lloyd’s building in London as well as The O2 Arena.

Ashford Designer Outlet announces expansion plans Work will commence later this month on the £90 million Phase II extension of Ashford Designer Outlet in Kent. The expansion forms part of the group’s 148,644 sq m active development pipeline coming through over the next three years across Europe and Canada. McLaren Construction has been appointed on the project. Scheduled to open in Autumn 2019, the 9,290 sq m extension will deliver up to 50 additional premium and luxury brands, a new food piazza, events space and redesigned children’s play area, as well as 725 new parking spaces. The expansion will also 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. ‘After four years of meticulous planning we’re incredibly excited to confirm that building works on the extension will commence this January. Over the next 18 months we will be investing £90 million into the centre to elevate the whole shopping



Meadowhall completes £60 million refurbishment Meadowhall in Sheffield has completed its £60 million refurbishment project. This marks the end of a two-year programme, during which £40 million was invested in store upgrades by more than 70 brands including existing and new additions to Meadowhall’s line-up. This combined investment of £100 million has already made a positive impact on performance, with footfall on Black Friday up eight per cent, making it the busiest on record. The prime Zone A rental tone has risen to more than £400, reflecting very strong demand for space with 30 new retailers signing in the last 18 months. ‘The transformation we have achieved at Meadowhall is a great example of how we have listened to our customers and responded to their needs to create space that works for shoppers and enables

retailers to thrive in an omni-channel world. It also demonstrates the value we place in working in partnership with the community to deliver significant, long-lasting benefits to the Sheffield City Region,’ says Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure and residential for British Land. Claire Barber, head of Meadowhall for British Land, adds: ‘Meadowhall is

a very different place as a result of our investment. It is lighter and brighter; the space is more modern and the offer is significantly enhanced so it is the first choice for shoppers across the region. Together with our longer term plans for the centre, Meadowhall has a great future as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK.’

Kesslers acquires Carters Design in new growth strategy

FaceGym arrives at Selfridges Facial exercise and skincare brand, FaceGym has opened its first permanent concession at Selfridges on Oxford Street. Transporting customers into the industrial luxe world of FaceGym, FormRoom developed brand signifiers in bespoke gymnasium hoops — a homage to retro sports equipment — as contemporary, functioning LED lighting. The FormRoom team also designed a custom-built MAKE IT bar, complete with tapped glass serum vessels, where customers can blend their own unique oils with the help of the brand’s expert mixologists.


Champagne gold meshes fixed to the bar juxtapose the hardened concrete wall surfaces. Warm LED lighting provides a soft, luxurious glow within the bar and throughout the industrial yet feminine space. The new workout studio invites customers to experience FaceGym’s signature workouts by qualified trainers. Additionally, individual DIY stations have been created for customers to try out the brand’s products for themselves, offering a distintively faster-paced experience to that of retail stores.

Retail display specialist, Kesslers International is positioning itself to implement ambitious new growth strategies, which include acquisitions to increase its specialist services. Kesslers, which designs and manufactures point of purchase displays from its headquarters in London, was acquired by Elaghmore Private Equity Firm in September 2017. Elaghmore has now purchased the Intellectual Property Rights for the Carters Design business, which will be integrated into Kesslers. The Carters Design team will remain in Leicestershire but will become the Kesslers office in the Midlands. With a strong focus on the jewellery and watch sector, Carters Design produces POP displays for watch brands including Breitling, Sekonda and Accurist. Kesslers has also recently recruited account director Daniel Shields who brings a wealth of watch industry knowledge and contacts. Under revitalised management strategies, led by CEO Guy Stanton, Kesslers is launching a new 464 sq m innovation lab and showroom in February to showcase its latest work and demonstrate the technology in retail, including augmented and virtual reality, near field communication, radio frequency identification and IoT enabled displays.

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international news



Colette ex-employees to launch new store concept Colette in Paris closed its doors in December after trading for 20 years. Plans have emerged of a new store format opened by ex-employees of the retailer. These include head of tech/ watches, Sébastien Chapelle and sneaker department head, Marvin Dein.

Named ‘Nous’, which translates to ‘we’ in French, the new 150 sq m concept on Rue Cambon will focus on technology, books, and watches, as well as a fashion perspective based primarily on streetwear, sneakers, and eyewear.

Dyson opens experience store on Fifth Avenue The Flagship Dyson Demo store has opened its doors on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The space is designed to encourage people to pick up, test, and understand Dyson technology. Interactive demonstrations bring to life the science at the heart of its machines, and Dyson experts are available to explain products and provide recommendations that will best suit customers’ lifestyles. Hair styling stations featuring the Dyson Supersonic and a purification room represent some of the experiences that await guests at the new store. ‘In order for people to understand how our technology works, it is imperative they have the opportunity to test and experience our products. This space is designed with that in mind. There isn’t another place in the world that captures Dyson — our spirit and our machines — like the Dyson Demo. It’s quite exciting to be opening in New York City, bringing hair science and purified air to Fifth Avenue,’ says James Dyson, chief engineer and chairman at Dyson.


GUESS opens store in Milan’s CityLife district GUESS has opened a 234 sq m store in the new CityLife shopping centre, in the CityLife district of Milan. The new area is inspired by design, technology and sustainability. The new store welcomes shoppers to a stimulating and inspiring environment. The clean, white interior, high-tech lighting and contrasting materials create a contemporary atmosphere, while the

new store layout celebrates GUESS’ heritage and enhances the aesthetic of the products on display even further. Total looks are displayed according to specific themes to make the customer’s shopping experience easier, and the brand’s famous accessory collections are located right at the heart of the store, making them visible from every angle.













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BARTHELMESS.COM GENESIS ad for retail focus 01-18.indd 1

19.12.17 10:33

visual merchandising

Inspiring window displays from around the globe


Photography: Melvyn Vincent

Seeking to contradict traditional Christmas window schemes and stop shoppers in their tracks, Lululemon challenged Lucky Fox with designing and installing a modern and forward-thinking scheme for it’s Christmas campaign, Breathe it all in. The concept was intended to remind Lululemon guests to find a break amid the chaos leading up to Christmas and to breathe in the joy, connection and calm of the holiday season. An array of colours were used to represent calming and positive emotions in a palette of gradient colours. Lucky Fox built and installed reflective columns made from two-way mirrors with moving LED lights inset into them, filling the entire window space. The lights within the mirrors undulate and change colour to reflect the gradient campaign colours. Sensors applied to the glass using conductive ink triggered the mirrored posts to change colour and pattern when passers by placed their hands on the window.

Joseph Joseph wanted to inject a strong element of fun and humour into its Christmas windows over the festive period. Also thinking about the nostalgic feeling within the AW17 collections, the creative team set the mannequins (Atrezzo’s It Girls) against a background of an avalanche of red shimmer curtains in a full on ‘Glitter Binge’ at the brand’s Fulham Road store. Head of visual merchandising, Nathan Hicks and the Joseph visual team produced the creative concept, and worked alongside Harlequin on the creative production and installation.

Lock & Co. Hatters Lock & Co. Hatters, the oldest hat shop in London, teamed up with The Old Vic in December to design its windows. The scheme featured a Dickensian street scene made entirely from Lock hat boxes, complete with a miniature Lock shop, The Old Vic and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The special themed window coincided with the theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol which runs until 20 January, of which the retailer provided headwear for the male cast members.


visual merchandising


Photography: Melvyn Vincent

Continuing the theme of The Extraordinarium, the flagship Oasis store on Argyll Street featured two windows filled with magic in December. One featured a giant bust of a unicorn, hand-carved and painted and given an elaborate set of reins, along with the clock and lamp posts, frame and red velvet drapes. The other window had a staircase made from giant story books, miniature towers made from pages from the books and a crowned frog on a red silk pillow. The windows were designed in collaboration with Hello Flamingo. Stores across the UK received full sized unicorns, which were originally zebras from a previous Oasis scheme and hand-painted in-house by the Hello Flamingo team. The unicorns featured crystal embellished reins, also made in-house by Hello Flamingo. Other props include a giant illuminated functioning clock, illuminated lamp posts covered in text from old books, and a gold antique mirror housing an LED screen.



For Superdry’s winter campaign at its Regent Street store, ‘Premium Down’ and ‘Wind Cheater’ were focused on Superdry’s winter jacket apparel. For the Premium Down window, Stylo designed, produced and installed an LED backlit, floorstanding, clear acrylic sign that was filled with responsibly sourced real feathers. As well as this, the front of the window features more than 5kg of real feathers that are encased in a clear acrylic holder. The Wind Cheater window features two revolving mannequins next to illuminated lettering on a false wall built at Stylo HQ. AN LED rope has been intertwined with the mannequins, mounted on clear acrylic and hung from the ceiling.

Swarovski The windows for the collaboration of Swarovski x 1.2.3 in Paris were inspired by a journey to distant galaxies. The looks are staged by luminous rings and complete the cosmic installation in combination with crystallised accents. The window scheme was designed in collaboration with dfrost.

Ted Baker

Photography: Melvyn Vincent

At Selfridges on Oxford Street, the Ted Baker creative window team designed a window for the release of the Fox movie, The Greatest Showman. The circus themed display included an intricate metal backdrop, which was sprayed soft gold. Sumptuous red velvet drapes framed the window. Product sits on the seats of gold unicycles with animated neon lit wheels, which balance on a tightrope across the window. Round illuminated circus plinths showcased the bags. The windows were designed in collaboration with Hello Flamingo. See more window schemes at


design & build


+44 (0) 1273585768


CENTRE STAGE pop and display

Standout POP displays from around the WORLD

VASHI gpstudio helped VASHI launch its transition from pure online diamond jewellery customisation to a physical concept store in the heart of Piccadilly, London. In VASHI stores, the diamonds are not sheltered by glass; customers are invited to touch and select their own diamonds and settings on a monolithic work surface inspired by the many facets of a cut diamond. Customers can sit alongside their master jeweler (alchemist) while their heirloom is created in front of them in the main store or in an ultra-modern laboratory that is, in effect, a fully functioning jewellery factory. The architectural design underpins the brand ethos, ‘I Made This For You’ which always trumps ‘I bought this for you.’ Following the successful opening of the Piccadilly store, VASHI launched its first site in Westfield Village alongside world-class luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Gucci and Burberry.

WHSmiths ARNO was challenged by WHSmith to create a more personalised solution to attract consumers shopping for writing instruments in the retailer’s pen department. Using a mix of quality materials made to work with existing in-store displays, ARNO developed, manufactured and installed a new concept by categorising the pen department to stand out in store. The new colour scheme gives the area its own identity within a very busy multi-category store. The new concept differentiates the premium writing instruments from the standard pens, making it easier and faster to shop for consumers. Consultants are on hand to assist on premium pens where there is a retractable writing draw, which gives the opportunity for shoppers to trial the writing instruments. All the other products can easily be tried by consumers to strengthen the customer engagement. Storage and security has also been added to help in-store staff during busy opening hours.


pop and display

digital displays


Kesslers developed seasonal POP displays for a number of L’Oreal brands, including Giorgio Armani, Lancôme and Viktor and Rolf. For Viktor & Rolf Christmas, Kesslers took the iconic brand principles of Flowerbomb along with the ‘enchanted holidays’ theme, which was based around the magical interior of a beautiful mansion during Christmas time, providing accessory elements for the attractive pink frozen firs and candle lighting and also the key displays for the candle-inspired Coffret boxes and in-store theatre wrapping. The wrapping station was based on a bureau where the wrapping bows came to life and allowed beautiful gifts to be hand-wrapped by staff to create the perfect gift. These elements went to sites with the tree accessories and created an impactful, enchanting brand presence in the crowded Christmas marketplace. For sites these were illuminated to create an extra wow factor.

Socialites Socialites approached The Yard Creative to help them change the UK public perception of vaping whilst helping them become the first choice for malls across the Europe. From the outset the team was keen that the physical retail experience should not follow other vaping and e-cigarette examples by looking or feeling like a technology store. Instead, the interior design of the kiosk aspired to communicate the pharmaceutical connections of the brand, framing products within a contemporary twist on the traditional apothecary style retail experience. It combines a mix of natural materials and botanical elements to suggest a medicinal authority and trustworthiness whilst also signalling a healthy living lifestyle. The kiosk has opened in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, followed by a further two in The Centre:MK.



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Karl McKeever

Vintage VM: It’s worth its weight The start of every new year invariably offers a time for reflection, introspection and re-evaluation, and January 2018 will be no exception. But while many resolutions are often shortlived, increasingly, as a society, we are seeking new ways to achieve a more permanent solution when it comes to reducing consumption levels, in all aspects of our lives. Recycling more, eating less, cutting down on social media and reducing spending. Thankfully, despite some predicting we are close to some kind of retail apocalypse, it appears we are not ready to shop less – just differently. You may immediately think I’m referring to the on-going tussle between online and physical retail: I’m not. In recent years, there has been a noticeable growth in thrift and vintage store concepts, driven by demand from the Generation Z and Millennials. While upcycling and recycling are far from new watchwords, the trend for buying ‘seconds’ continues apace. The difference is that, increasingly, the vintage sector is shaking off the ‘shabby’ and ‘scruffy’ label, with more and more sophisticated vintage concepts to be found. For me, German retailer Pick N Weight is one of the best examples around. It is by no means unique — there are a plethora of vintage stores in every city these days. The retailer itself isn’t new either, in fact, it’s been around since 1989, with stores in Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne and Munich. But when I visited its Cologne store over the festive break, I was struck once again by its commanding presence and distinctive offering to shoppers. Its product range can only be described as eclectic, covering everything from disco to military to drag, a heady choice for the discerning vintage shopper. Not here a vintage store that resembles a jumble sale, either. Make no mistake: this is a true store, with products grouped into categories and sub categories — easy to browse and enjoyable to shop, in spite of the volume of product. And believe me, there is volume. But the key and most unique feature of Pick N Weight’s concept is that the price that shoppers pay for the products they buy is determined by their weight. Meaning those looking for lightweight fabric items can discover some real bargains. This type of concept isn’t new, nor is it reserved for the vintage Karl McKeever is founder and managing director of visual merchandising and brand delivery consultancy Visual Thinking.

Email Karl at karlmckeever

market. Vegan restaurant Titbits is a stylish self-service diner and takeaway which charges for its homemade food by weight. With restaurants in London, Basel and Zurich — by no means places associated with thrift — it is proof if needed that this type of concept has legs. Is there demand for this type of concept in fashion retail? I can categorically, definitively answer this with a resounding YES. The store was bursting at the seams, not just with its product but with eager shoppers seeking to discover their ‘one of a kind’ great buy. Nasty Gal, which recently opened in London’s Carnaby Street, is another fine example of redefining the standard approach to vintage. A brand with a colourful past, it was bought out from bankruptcy last year by BooHoo. Established in 2006, it started life fairly traditionally, buying and selling old clothes, but developed its own, original label range in 2012. Its latest London store focuses very much on these ranges, while playing heavily on the vintage aesthetic. Compared with Pick N Weight, it’s significantly light on product volume — offering a much more pared-back selection evocative of Urban Outfitters. But overall, it’s a hugely clever concept. Shoppers feel they are buying vintage, supported by the store’s deliberately mismatched theme and vintage propping. These two stores have one important thing in common: the sense of discovery that is integral to a successful retail environment. It’s the feeling of excitement in finding a must-have, uniquely individual piece. And interestingly, both retailers deliver bags of that seemingly illusive experiential magic, with zero added technology. You could say it’s emotional intelligence rather than the headline-hogging artificial kind. Both Pick N Weight and Nasty Gal reinforce the fact that there is a serious commercial opportunity for retailers to capitalise in this sector. They also offer some good examples of retail best practice. It’s no longer about jumble-sale piles of scrambled product. Visual merchandising is clearly thought out and well executed. What’s more, they are casual and unpretentious when compared with some of their mainstream counterparts. Most importantly, these stores are increasingly where shoppers are flocking. Many conventional retailers look dowdy by comparison, even with the weight of technology behind them. As we move further into the new year, no doubt many will be hoping they can resurrect past glories and, like the products to be found in Pick N Weight, re-discover their enduring appeal to once again become an indispensable part of shoppers’ lives.


project focus

L'OCCITANE REGENT STREET, LONDON Design: UXUS Opening date: December 2017 Store size: 599 sq m Twenty years after opening its first boutique on London's Regent Street, L'Occitane has returned to launch its first UK flagship store. The French beauty and skincare brand has moved to a 599 sq m space at 74-76 Regent Street, a beautifully curved Grade II listed building famously designed by architect John Nash. Designed by UXUS, customers are invited to go on a multi-sensory journey through the store to experience the beautiful textures, fragrances and sounds of Provence. UXUS created an immersive experience that offers customers a luxurious and sensorial exploration of L'Occitane's full range of natural beauty products, all inspired by the south of France art de vivre and Provencal beauty secrets. UXUS' vision for the space is an enchanting retail experience with education and trial at the core, sharing the L'Occitane beauty of life philosophy with the curious customer. Corey Combrinck, project director, FutureBrand UXUS, says the design agency's key objectives were to celebrate sensorial experiences and product storytelling; shift perceptions around the expertise of L’Occitane staff; create a Provençal journey that attracts, surprises and engages; establish a scalable ‘Northern Star’ brand experience; captivate customer and media attention, and transform visitors into brand ambassadors. 'The experience concept was centred around Botanic Enrichment', says Combrick. 'A captivating, luxurious experience around botanical benefits, products and knowledge that enrich your life.' Jamie Taylor, retail, wholesale and property director at L'Occitane UK, says: 'The store's design is our first to centre around a desire for “memory creation through inspirational storytelling”. This guiding principle has resulted in a store packed full of unique sensorial experiences and enhanced personalisation and customisation opportunities so that every shopping trip is truly unique.' Upon entering the store, guests are greeted by copper pillars displaying key botanical ingredients in the form of the Scented Garden. Here they fully immerse


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themselves in a world of fine fragrance by L'Occitane, exploring each of the scents created to mirror the beauty of the ingredients from Provence. The materials used help create a contemporary, Provencal atmosphere, weaving authentic, domestic cues with vibrant botanicl gestures. Refined gold detailing reflects and radiates light. Provence inspired dining tables are home to abundant product displays and integrated trials. Fluted glass windows create a sense of movement. Ingredience columns surround the sunshine fountain, inviting uninhibited self-guided browsing and discovery. The store features a scented garden fragrance wall. 'An immersive wild garden

reveals L’Occitane’s entire fragrance family. Fragrances are organised by ingredient collection, clearly communicated by large-scale botanic lightboxes for intuitive navigation,' adds Combrick. 'Signature copper testers entice easy, single-gesture fragrance trial. Each ingredient collection features a cross-merchandised product display of scents. Linen strips are offered to

guests as “friendship fragrance bracelets” to take away their favourite scents.' Taylor continues: 'The store provides a truly multi-sensory shopping experience as customers are taken on a journey that will surprise, engage and entice their senses. Alongside the textures and fragrances of L’Occitane products sits a delectable café by the world famous pastry chef Pierre

'Memory creation through inspirational storytelling.'


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Hermé. For the first time in the UK, Pierre Hermé and L’Occitane have collaborated to give customers the opportunity to tap into all five senses whilst enjoying the beautiful view of Regent Street.' An important part of the brand's heritage is gifting. The store offers a luxurious area for guests to explore personalisation with an abundance of choices for all occasions. From customprinted or colour-picked ribbon to wax seals and fresh bontanicals, the Gifting Workshop is designed to be an experience to remember. The flagship store also offers product engraving on more than 20 products in the Customisation Cabinet area. Personalisation is a running theme throughout the store with L’Occitane artisans at the customer’s disposal. 'The Personal Beauty Concierge provides guests with in-depth skincare consultations and the Hand Care Bar offering relaxing hand and arm treatments. As well as a beautiful space for shopping, we believe we’ve created the perfect location to indulge in that all important me-time,' says Taylor. Up on the first floor is the L'Occitane Lounge where guests are invited to relax and observe the hustle and bustle of Regent Street, with tea, coffee and Pierre Hermé cakes and macarons. The Moments of Delight Bar is the social heart of the flagship experience. It is designed to enrich the skin and indulge the mind, offering custom hand treatments and macarons. A complimentary handcare service menu prompts deeper interaction with artisans and products. Signature handcare rituals create an iconic experience. At the heart of the first floor is the Beauty Discovery Bar where customers can enjoy an Express Skincare Ritual performed by an experience L'Occitane artisan.


They are invited to delight in the sensorial textures of L'Occitane to discover their perfect skincare routine and tips along the way. The store also offers a personal beauty concierge service where guests can enjoy a range of complimentary express facials in a semi-private area. Again, this provides

opportunities for deeper engagement with artisans. The Regent Street flagship opening follows the Yorkdale Toronto and Concept Store 86 Champs in Paris, both of which also launched in December.

'Customers are taken on a journey that will surprise, engage and entice their senses.'


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BURLINGTON ARCADE, LONDON Design: Christopher Jenner Opening date: November 2017 Store size: 120 sq m Founded in 1799, heritage perfumer Atkinsons has returned to its roots in Mayfair with the opening of a new Maison in London’s Burlington Arcade. The flagship sits in striking distance of 24 Old Bond Street, the iconic address where the company first took up residence in 1832. With customers including Napoleon, King George IV and Queen Victoria, James Atkinsons’ original Mayfair emporium created an indelible mark on the tastes of London’s high society. Designer Christopher Jenner took on the responsibility fo breathing new life into the brand’s new home. Jenner was briefed to reignite Atkinsons’ relationship with a contemporary cast of Mayfair heroes, heroines and dandies. Spanning three floors, Atkinsons’ Maison features a barber shop on the lower ground level, offering a range of grooming treatments for men and women, while perfumes and fragrances are available to buy on the ground floor. The striking contemporary design elevates the olfactory narrative of the brand through a perfume bar crafted in Rio Nero marble and brass, illustrating the collection in material effect and reviving the feeling of discovery that captivated the original customers of 24 Old Bond Street. The


bar invites visitors to indulge themselves in the subtle nuances of scent and find the perfect one for their personality. The collection displayed on the bar are recipes from the past, which includes a scent created for Queen Victoria on her wedding day and the perfume worn by Beau Brummell, the original English dandy. The first floor salon continues an intimate traditional of personal consultation. Shoppers are invited to discover their own affinities with scent within a bespoke sanctuary of hand-crafted furniture. The company’s archives are also on

display, where shoppers are invited to look at old perfume labels used on the bottles of notable Atkinsons clients, including Napoleon and Sarah Bernhardt, as well as view the original perfume bottles and account books. ‘The modern notions of lifestyle and taste were invented by the Georgians who clamoured for novelty yet were meticulous about restraint. That tension is the essence of design, so our aim for the new Atkinson Maison has not been to integrate history but simply embody it for today,’ says Jenner.

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Photography: Michael Franke


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WOOLRICH CORSA VENEZIA, MILAN Design: Wonderwall Opening date: November 2017 Store size: 700 sq m

U.S. clothing company Woolrich has opened a flagship on Corsa Venezia in Milan. The 700 sq m boutique was designed by Japanese studio Wonderwall under the guidance of Masamichi Katayaka in order to offer customers a fully engaging experience. ‘Our starting point was the idea of distinguishing the in-person shopping experience compared to online, offering the best possible offline interaction all the while keeping the web integrated,’ says Andre Canè, global creative director of Woolrich International. The retailer’s nearly 200 years of history come together with a contemporary take on apparel in keeping with the company’s focus on coats. The Original Woolrich Arctic Parka, developed in 1972 for pipeline workers in Alaska and now a true icon for the brand, holds a very special place in harmony with the rest of the collection. The Lounge Area boasts a museum display narrating Woolrich’s history through items and relics. Adjacent to this are the coffee corner and charging station. Furniture mixes vintage touches with clean contemporary lines to represent the two souls of Woolrich: the city and the great outdoors. Along the way there are several areas designed to directly engage customers with the brand through innovative and personal experiences, in addition to the lounge area and complimentary wi-fi.


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‘The ultimate difference between online and offline lies within the people.’

The Custom Area features a skilled seamstress who helps shoppers wanting to customise their Woolrich items. Inside the Extreme Weather Experience Room, the walls are insulated and technology allows the store to maintain a cold temperature through an energy saving program. The temperature goes down to -20 degrees in the winter and up to +5 degrees in the summer to create a real test of Woolrich outerwear in the severe weather conditions for which it is designed. Towards the end of the store, the Green Area is flooded with natural light that pours through the glass ceiling. Curated by Green Fingers, a Japanese gardening company founded by Satoshi Kamawoto, the space offers a selection of greenery and marks its first European location following Tokyo and New York. ‘The end objective goes far beyond a mere selling experience,’ adds Canè. ‘The Milan flagship store on Corso Venezia is about welcoming our guests, making them feel as it they were in a lounge where they are at ease and can enjoy services and experiences while listening to our story. Everybody on our team has been carefully trained and selected. Our clients can ask questions, explore and interact with our highly knowledgeable staff, because the ultimate difference between online and offline lies within the people.’


Flash to preview go here

SDS 2018:

Text: Lyndsey Dennis


COME ALIVE Launched in 2005, Surface Design Show returns to London’s Business Design Centre in February, showcasing the newest and best surfaces that the design industry has to offer.

For more than 10 years Surface Design Show has been the place where design industry people immerse themselves in the latest materials for the built environment, gain new insights and network with like-minded designers, architects and suppliers. Connecting innovative and exciting materials with an audience of architects, specifiers and designers, Surface Design Show is the only event in the UK that focuses solely on interior and exterior surfaces. From hand-crafted surfaces to the latest technological advances in architectural lighting, in 2017 more than 170 exhibitors highlighted the very best in surface design. Surface Design Show 2018 will once again have a packed programme of events all designed to inspire and engage, including brand new ideas and firm favourites refreshed. The show opens on Tuesday 6 February with the Opening Night Live Debate, chaired by Peter Murray, chairman & co-founder of NLA. The following evening sees the ever popular PechaKucha Evening — an informal and fun presentation of inspirational slides, hosted once again by Phil Coffey, director of Coffey Architects. Speakers will include Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president, chair of HTA Design; Louise Wyman, head of strategic land, Homes &


Communities Agency; David Lunts, executive director, Housing and Land, Greater London Authority; and Zohra Chiheb, project architect, Levitt Bernstein. Debuted in 2016, Surface Spotlight Live will return, providing an exciting opportunity for architects and designers to see the best of advanced materials in two highlighted industry sectors; 2018 will focus on Residential and Transport. Trend and colour expert Sally Angharad will curate the area and present materials that make a significant contribution to both areas. Light is a vital partner to surface design, changing interior and exterior surfaces dramatically. Now in its fifth year, Light School, presented by Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, will help attendees discover the best of new lighting design and learn about the important partnership between surface and light. Light School ensures that the audience leaves the show having learnt something that will change the way they see light. Taking place on Thursday afternoon, the Surface Design Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding examples of progressive design and the use of innovative surfaces in projects both in the UK and internationally. Divided into interior and exterior categories, there are 13 awards across seven different categories, and each project is judged on a range of criteria including the type of surface, the use of materials and aesthetic design.






New London Architecture and RIBA will host the Opening Night Live Debate, bringing together housing experts with young architects to discuss what London needs in order to attract and retain the younger population. The debate will be chaired by Peter Murray, chairman & co-founder of NLA, alongside Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president, chair of HTA Design; Louise Wyman, head of strategic land, Homes & Communities Agency; David Lunts, executive director, Housing and Land, Greater London Authority; and Zohra Chiheb, project architect, Levitt Bernstein.

Gain insight into the most exciting design trends and innovations within architecture from the series of talks and debates held on the Main Stage. Highlights include:

PECHAKUCHA EVENING Back by popular demand, Phil Coffey, director of Coffey Architects, will chair the 2018 PechaKucha Evening, an exciting and inspiring presentation format with presenters showing 20 images, each for 20 seconds. PechaKucha draws its name from the Japanese term for the sound of ‘chit chat’, and provides a lively, informal and fun format enjoyed by a huge audience. In keeping with the style of PechaKucha, attendees are provided with a free beer or wine as they relax to watch the action.

SURFACE DESIGN AWARDS On the third day of the show, Thursday 8 February, the Surface Design Awards will take place. The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding examples of progressive design and the use of innovative surfaces in projects both in the UK and internationally. Divided into interior and exterior categories there are 13 awards across seven different categories, each project is judged on a range of criteria including the type of surface, the use of materials and aesthetic design.

SURFACE SPOTLIGHT LIVE Surface Spotlight Live 2018 will provide an opportunity for architects and designers to see the best of advanced materials curated by leading experts. Surface Spotlight consists of a monthly Spotlight Newsletter, Surface Spotlight Live at SDS18 and presentations on the Main Stage. Three leading design organisations — trend expert Sally Angharad; MIX Magazine and Colour Hive; and Treniq in collaboration with SCIN gallery — will each be curating their own display area highlighting the innovations, trends and colours that will influence the market over the next year. Located in the centre of Surface Design Show, Surface Spotlight Live will be a focus for inspiring materials.

When and where Business Design Centre, London Tuesday 6 February

6pm - 9pm (Preview Evening) Wednesday 7 February

11am - 9pm (PechaKucha Evening 6pm - 9pm) Thursday 8 February

11am – 5pm (Surface Design Awards Presentation 12pm-2pm) surfacethinking #SDS18


Wednesday 7 February 2.45pm-3.30pm - Materials and what happens as they age Annabelle Filer, owner of SCIN, and Dr Ben Bridgens at Newcastle University 16.45pm-5.30pm - Surface & Material Insights Melissa McCafferty, brand ambassador at Houzz

Thursday 8 February 12.45pm-1.30pm - The Business of Running a Design Consultancy Charles Leon, president of the British Institute of Interior Design 1.45pm-2.30pm - Four key colour stories for Spring Summer 2019: Disrupt, Drift, Hush and Worth Hannah Malein, colour & trend consultant manager at Colour Hive

LIGHT SCHOOL Light School, presented by Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, is the home of architectural lighting and allows architects and designers to touch, compare and learn about innovative lighting and technology products. Co-located with the Surface Design Show, Light School sets out to educate architects and designers in the importance of lighting with a comprehensive review of innovation and interesting technology for the design of both the interior and exterior of buildings. Light School is about touching and learning; bringing together leading manufacturers and suppliers face to face with the architects and designers looking to specify their products. The Light Talks programme is curated by lighting consultancy Light Collective and sponsored by LED Linear, and features 16 presentations throughout the show. Sometimes controversial, always educational and always sold out, Light Talks is the focal point for architects and designers to listen and learn.

STONE GALLERY Launched in 2016, Stone Gallery is the ideal event for architects and designers to meet and specify natural stone. Co-located with Surface Design Show and Light School, Stone Gallery is officially supported by Stone Federation GB whose Education Hub forms a focal point for the event. Introduced in 2017, the Stone Hub stage hosts a series of presentations bringing the A&D sector to listen and learn from the leading designers in the sector.

insight Piece

show review


RETURNS FOR SDS2018 James Latham returns to London’s Surface Design Show in February, where once again it will be showcasing one of the biggest and most varied collections of interior and exterior surface solutions in the UK. This year Lathams will be featuring a number of exciting new products and range additions for 2018 and as well as its usual impactful, eye-catching stand on the ground level (208) it will also be utilising its permanent Product Specification Showroom which is located on the Gallery level of the Business Design Centre at Suite 301. The showroom, which made an immediate impact among the architect and design community when it opened in Summer 2016, has just undergone a major re-furbishment allowing James Latham to feature an even bigger range of its panel and timber products. The suite also hosts a regular program of events including new product presentations and launches, RIBA accredited CPD seminars, networking events and training.

Chris Sutton, Managing Director of James Latham commented, “The Surface Design Show focuses on the latest trends and developments in surface solutions, connecting these materials with an audience of architects, specifiers and designers so it is the perfect platform for us. And with lots of exciting new products and range additions on the stand for 2018, as well as our impressive new look showroom, we’re predicting an extremely busy and successful show.” As well as Latham’s highly experienced and knowledgeable team of product specialists, during the show, its A&D specification team - who are permanently based in the showroom - will be on hand to discuss the company’s extensive range of products, providing expert advice to architects and designers and helping them to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in surface solutions. This year, James Latham will be showing the latest range additions from supply partners including; Abet Laminati, Garnica, Egger, Kronospan, XyloCleaf, Valchromat,

Accoya, LG HI-MACS, KYDEX and UPM ProFi composite decking plus an exclusive new product launch will be announced with veneer supplier Decospan. The Surface Design Show 2018 takes place at The Business Design Centre 52, Upper Street, Islington, London, 6th-8th February 2018

Products on show will include Egger (pictured below), HI-MACS® (above right) and HI-MACS Structura® (right).



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sports stores


Text: Lyndsey Dennis

As interest in athleisure continues to grow, more brands are creating community-led, locally tailored spaces with customisation options aplenty. ‘Today we serve our athletes in a changing world; one that’s faster and more personal,’ said Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, last year when the retailer announced plans to reorganise its operations, shifting from selling at 33,000 retailers to focusing on just 40 retail partners. ‘This new structure aligns all of our teams towards our ultimate goal — to deliver innovation, at speed, through more direct connections.’ Nike is moving closer to the consumer, creating a local business on a global scale. rpa:group has been working with a number of sports retailers to develop their spaces, including Foot Locker, which is one of Nike’s 40 retail partners. The agency developed the Foot Locker Sidestep New Concept for the existing ‘grown-up’ Foot Locker sister brand. This started with pop-ups in the Netherlands to test market response and developed across Europe. Other concepts include the Foot Locker Runners Point, developed for its technical running lifestyle sister brand. This incorporated gait analysis and interactives for technical shoe selection. The stores incorporated community spaces and local relevance, integrating the running app with local mapping etc. rpa:group also worked with Adidas on its NBHD (Neighborhood)

Main: Technogym’s first ever interactive UK concept space at Harrods. Below: ellesse is getting closer to the consumer with its debut London store in Seven Dials.

Concept, where it develop and applied localisation and customisation to the high level concept across a number of international flagships, including London, Shanghai, Moscow, New York, Seoul and Tokyo. rpa:group visited each country’s location, designing the store to include a customised experience and incorporate local artists and craftspeople. The agency also developed the Adidas NEO concept with the Adidas in-house head of global concept, creating young and more vibrant interiors, and rolled out the Adidas Homecourt concept internationally. James Breaks, associate director at rpa:group, identifies several key considerations currently driving today’s sports stores: •

 torytelling - Through omni-channel, creating and maintaining S brand stories that can be disseminated through social media and resonate more immediately with a wider audience.

L ocal relevance — creating convincing digital and physical touchpoints.

 trategic manipulation of exclusive product ranges across S house of brands, i.e. customers have to proactively seek out range variants, latest models and special editions.

Exponentially growing ‘Sneakerhead’ culture.

 larification of brand values and market position. The big three C currently jostling for position, Adidas closing the gap on Nike.

 nduring need for physical product and brand touch-points, E and showrooming. Creating a stage.


Flash sports to gostores here

Commitment to community spaces has been an important part of sports stores for some time. Whether its Nike’s running clubs, yoga classes at Lululemon, Sweaty Betty workout sessions or Rapha’s clubhouse and cafe, spaces for customers to dwell, engage with likeminded fitness enthusiasts and explore a brand further are being rolled out. ‘Community spaces are only one element that, if done genuinely with commitment, can generate brand loyalty and secure brand attachment. Clearly, there is no use in creating a space if no one uses it,’ says Breaks. ‘The dedication of the space needs to reflect core brand values, even though it may not be used as intended. It needs to be adaptable and allowed to evolve to find its own unique place within the customer experience. It needs to curate and evolve its own use and ‘reputation’, allowing it to have genuine purpose. ‘Lululemon scopes potential physical stores via community pop-ups and classes. By establishing a community presence, there is a natural expectation to include community space in the permanent space - though ROE/ROI is longer term, Lululemon has only recently started making profit over here.’ Alternatives to community space exist. Break says larger brands can loss-lead on net retail square meterage and product density, designating it to community spaces, but smaller independents can use the power of online communities to curate ‘space’ and events that achieve similar brand attachment. Closing of physical spaces can be just as successful and reflective of brand values. For example, outdoor lifestyle brand REI closed its doors (and website) on Black Friday, encouraging its staff to go out and enjoy the wilderness and post their experiences on the brand’s Instagram account — surprising, yet entirely brand consistent and building goodwill with staff, and vicariously with customers. adidas Originals opened a store in Shoreditch in October, providing a destination for local creatives to meet, network and bring their ideas to life, connecting directly with the local community. Designed by Checkland Kindleysides together with the adidas Consumer Experience team, the store will showcase and distribute handpicked drops, limited edition products and select apparel seasonally whilst also acting as an incubator of local subculture, showcasing projects from London creators via a permanent activation wall installed in the store. ‘The time has come to set a new benchmark for retail in the sportswear industry, and no other brand is placed like adidas Originals to do so. We [adidas] will redefine what a brand store can be, with a space truly created for the sneaker head. A space that invites them to create with us. A space that reveals something new and yet honors the past — a fitting location for the product that attracts sneakerheads to the brand, generation after generation — a store like no one but adidas Originals could create,’ stated the brief for Shoreditch. ‘Generally speaking, sports stores have evolved from promoting the benefits of an active lifestyle in a bid to sell products, to actually helping to facilitate an active lifestyle for their customers. We have seen retailers breaking down barriers, being more inclusive and making it more convenient for people to fit fitness it into their everyday lives through initiatives such as in-store classes, changing rooms for athletic commuters, sports nutrition and recovery products, as well as integrating more holistic health services in-store,’ says Mike Tristram, strategic planner at Checkland Kindleysides.


F Top: Foot Locker at Zlote Tarasy in Warsaw by rpa:group. Top right: Liverpool ONE is one of JD Sports’ largest stores in the world. Above: The café area at Sweaty Betty on Carnaby Street features a huge communal table and hanging chairs to encourage customers to sit and enjoy the space. Below: adidas Originals in Shoreditch redefines what a brand store can be.

sports stores

FIT FOR PURPOSE ‘Global sports brands continue to tap into the different sporting communities — with targeted women’s, running, climbing, and football formats etc, as well as athleisure brands also finding meaningful ways to tap into these opportunities, integrating initiatives such as in-store skate parks or wellness and meditation studios,’ says Tristram. ‘Fitness is inherently personal, however, it is becoming much more inclusive and community focused, especially in the women’s market. As wellbeing continues to incorporate greater emotional and mental health nuances, we predict a shift from personal wellbeing to a prevailing consciousness for the welfare of the collective,’ continues Tristram. Another brand manufacturer getting closer to the consumer is ellesse, which opened its debut London store in Seven Dials in December. Located at 39 Neal Street, the 92 sq m store stocks the brand’s latest men’s and women’s clothing collections as well as accessories. ellesse has been working with several influencers, including British R&B singer Anne-Marier who is the face of its Heritage line, to attract more attention from its target audience. ‘This is the first store outside of Asia Pacific and represents a true statement of intent from the brand. We aim to immerse all visitors in the fascinating history of ellesse whilst also showcasing our exclusive and latest collections,’ says Marc Greene, brand director at ellesse. JD Sports has upsized its store at Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow, nearly doubling in size. Designed by the in-house team, the JD Sports store features the brand’s latest concept with a complete range of trainers, sports and fashion wear from big-name brands such as Nike, adidas, and The North Face. JD Sports’ enhanced offer also complements the addition of PureGym, which is due to open adjacent to Silverburn’s 14-screen Cineworld this year.

The brand has also opened a store at Liverpool ONE. Featuring a striking, double height glazed corner illuminated by the bold yellow and black JD Sports branding, it is one of the brand’s largest stores in the world and stocks the retailer’s full range of products. Designed by Brinkworth, the interior concept is designed to embody the JD Sports brand, from the extraordinary glazed frontage to the interior design. The store features bespoke, transparent LED screens situated on the first floor balcony that allow live content to be played in-store but also clear vision onto the high street. In addition, it houses a dedicated JD football zone and bespoke footwear chute that is the centrepiece to the footwear department. All of these features are unique to Liverpool ONE. In London, Technogym launched its first ever interactive UK concept space at Harrods in London in Autumn 2017. Following the launch of Technogym’s Milan flagship earlier this year, the new Harrods space has been designed to showcase key product lines in an interactive, luxurious setting. The new space is designed not only to cater for an increasing demand for the best shoppable fitness and wellness products and services, but also to provide visitors with an interactive experience in store. The space is aimed at enthusiasts of all levels who enjoy practicing sports in a commercial gym or at home, with the interior representing a wellness oasis in the heart of Harrods, combining aesthetic with function in a design unique to the Technogym brand. Technogym uses the space to display the newest and most advanced products on the market. Brand experts are on hand at all times to guide consumers through creating their dream home wellness space based on their needs and requirements. ‘Community sits at the heart of sportswear retailing, and we have seen over the last year how a focus on this has created unparalleled experiences that authentically connect with a brand’s audience,’ concludes Tristram.


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Sense of place Lucy McLaren, senior strategist at Household, discusses physical spaces with community at the heart.

We are a few years deep into the emergence of the experience economy, in which customers prioritise investment in an experience over products alone. Traditional retailers are being pushed more than ever to offer a differentiated experience that attracts customers across their threshold. Could building experiences with an evocative and emotive ‘sense of place’ be the best approach to combat dwindling footfall? Place-making is, of course, not new. It has long been heralded the goal of town planners to create spaces and places that enhance people’s wellbeing, reviving their towns through inward investment and cultural capital. But place-making is unleashing a fresh lease of life within retail spaces — whether that be hotels, high street retailers or supermarkets. Retailers are eager not to lose a customer looking for an experience that goes beyond function and purchase, and taking on a higher level role in creating experiences and services that enhance their customer’s life. This is ushering in a conversation shift from purpose-driven brands to purpose-driven spaces as, fundamentally, brand is about experience. This approach not only wins with customers, but delivers commercially too; the right combination of retail and leisure delivers +18 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), a significant opportunity for retailers to tap into consumers’ innate desire to belong to and be part of something much bigger. Retailers, then, need to become the new service hubs, bringing together like-minded partners to meet the lifestyle needs of their target audience with a diverse product mix, services and more. So what better way to achieve a true connection than to make customers feel like co-creators and co-owners of the retail

space they frequent? Some retailers are already clued up here. Apple, for example, is doing this by bringing like-minded people together with a constant stream of free activities beyond product sales through its ‘Town Square’ concept, and is grossing the highest sales per square foot in retail globally. In the same vein, Emily Weiss, the CEO and founder of one of the world’s fastest growing beauty brands, Glossier, artfully explains: ‘We would rather people come and actually stay, than people come, buy something and leave.’ Herein is where ‘retail culture’ enters the fold, a term which describes the places and spaces where people and brands come together on equal terms for co-ownership of a meaningful retail experience. It plays on the strengths of physical retail to complement, rather than compete with, online retail and draw back customers for more in whichever channel they choose. But retailers shouldn’t adopt a onesize-fits-all approach. It’s not as simple as placing a ball-pit in a bar or bolting a cosy lounge onto a grocery store; the ball-pit might suit Shoreditch more than Westminster. So retailers must understand more detail around what customers actually want or need in a given locale, then provide a tailor-made solution. Technology, for example, can inform the experience response, with tools now available to help uncover customers’ loves, needs, wants and frustrations to guide a relevant design response. Place-making is as much a philosophy as a design process, so the narrative, as well as context, needs to be right. Though the first port of call for drawing inspiration is often from the existing narrative of a locale, retailers should be free to challenge conventional narratives. Fashion brand, Jigsaw, did exactly this with its

‘heart immigration’ campaign. The brand challenged customers’ association with place by transforming the public spaces where it’s displayed, the Underground, with striking statements provoking introspection around what it means to be British in the context of immigration. Now, we’re seeing brands taking things one step further. Eataly’s $105m food fantasyland shows, for example, a brand trading a free experience in exchange for brand love, offering a 20-acre complex replete with farmyard fun, educational classes, 25 restaurants, and a 200-room hotel in the pipeline. The retail space is not focused on transactions, instead, focused on building a one-to-one relationship with customers that ultimately delivers long-term value. Or how about Amazon whose growing physical retail drive has been the story of 2017 amidst questions about physical retail’s future? But it’s going much further than bookshops and Whole Foods stores. It’s re-imagining what can constitute physical space with its Treasure Truck by taking the convenience of large-scale ecommerce and providing the excitement and spontaneity that inhabitants of cities like New York, Seattle and Portland thrive on. Contrary to hearsay, physical retail is far from dead — it’s merely in a state of transition and is being redefined in terms of what, where and why a brand space exists. Single-function spaces are losing their relevance, and brands are wising up to the power of place-making to create novel, valuable customer experiences. Watch this space.


rushden lakes

RUSHDEN LAKES Nestled in the Northamptonshire countryside, Rushden Lakes is a unique blend of retail, leisure and wildlife.

Developed by specialist retail developer LXB Retail Properties with architects HPW, and owned by The Crown Estate, Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire is set to redefine the UK retail landscape. The unique offer at Rushden Lakes sees big name fashion and boutique premium brands combined with lakeside dining and a range of leisure activities including canoeing, cycling, walking and bird watching, all in beautiful countryside surroundings. Phase one of the shopping and leisure development offers 21,367 sq m of retail situated adjacent to picturesque lakes and set in more than 200 acres of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) reserve, operated in partnership with The Wildlife Trust. It is also a designated RAMSAR site (the international convention on the use and protection of environmentally important wetlands) and is comparable in its importance to the Camargue in France, or the Zambezi Delta. The first phase of Rushden Lakes comprises 40-plus retailers, restaurants, cafés and leisure providers. House of Fraser opened its first store in more than 10 years at the site — the retailer’s first green retail store certified to the BREEAM sustainable building standard. Other retailers include a full range Marks & Spencer, Primark, New Look, JD Sports,H&M, Jigsaw, White Stuff, Joules and L’Occitane.


Text: Lyndsey Dennis

Retail neighbourhoods

In November, The Crown Estate confirmed the unconditional purchase of three further phases of Rushden Lakes from LXB Retail Properties. With this agreement, The Crown Estate has committed to an additional 19,974 sq m of space at the site. This will bring the total size of Rushden Lakes to more than 41,341 sq m. LXB is already on site with the future phases, with stores expected to start opening in 2019. Phase two will see the creation of a new leisure development, comprising 11 restaurants, a 14-screen multiplex Cineworld, and five leisure units including Rock Up, the climbing and adventure centre. In phases three and four an additional 6,038 sq m of retail space will be added across two developments, within which Wren Kitchens has confirmed a new 1,114 sq m store. ‘Rushden Lakes is the first destination of its kind. This innovative new centre has proven incredibly popular with shoppers and we are delighted to be furthering our investment. Future phases of Rushden Lakes will continue to transform customer and shopper expectations, and set the standard for other destinations to aspire to,’ says Hannah Milne, director of regional retail at The Crown Estate.


RSDS 2018:


The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit returns to London Stansted in February, offering tailored, face-to-face meetings with suppliers. The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit is specifically organised for senior professionals who are directly responsible for the shopfittings and display within their organisation, and those who provide the latest products and services within the sector. A highly focused event that brings together retail professionals and key industry solution providers, the Summit consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities across two days. The event organisers schedule personalised appointments between retail and visual buyers and suppliers to meet in their own dedicated booth. Each supplier will have a series of 25 minute meetings with key decision makers. In addition, visitors can also attend a series of insightful seminar sessions running across both days. Talks for 2018 include:

Making sustainable profit from new store concepts, design and re-fits

There are plentiful opportunities to network with fellow senior retail professionals to share challenges and triumphs, including a dinner on the first night. To register to attend, visit

Tom Radley, CEO of VM-unleashed Luxury in VM

When and where

of Fashion

Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

Personalisation: Changing the Retail Dynamics

Monday 5 February 2018

Richard Askam, founder of WNC

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Dr. Valerie Wilson Trower, lecturer at London College Is shopping in shops dead? Tom Nathan, general manager at Brent Cross


RSDSummit #RetailSummit


5th & 6th February 2018 – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted The Retail Shopfitting & Display Summit brings together all corners of the retail industry for two days of one-to-one business meetings and invaluable networking opportunities. The Summit puts you in front of senior Visual Merchandisers, Shopfitting and Retail Managers who: • Have specifically asked to meet with you • Would like to discuss your products and services • Are proactively sourcing new shopfitting and display service providers This event is much more focused than a traditional expo by offering corporate speed dating. No time wasted, and no hidden costs.

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TORONTO Canada’s cultural capital is currently one of the world’s most vibrant and transformational retail locations. Two years ago in a CBRE report, Toronto was named as the ‘hottest’ market for international expansion in the Americas. Since then, the city’s retail scene has continued to flourish, welcoming new developments and global flagships. H&M has opened its first flagship in Canada designed by Petroff Partnership Architects, located at the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street, also known as ‘Times Square North’. According to MacRumours, there are also whispers that Apple will open a flagship at The One, a massive 85-floor condominium designed by Foster + Partners with Core Architects, which is under construction at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street. The Well is a new mixed-use development, stretching down the western side of Spadina Avenue from Wellington to Front. An expansive retail environment will bring together international anchor stores and local boutiques as well as an array of food experiences perfect for the Toronto foodie. The upper level will be home to a diverse range of cuisines while the lower level will be dedicated to food shopping, discovery, learning and tasting. Toronto’s waterfront continues to see a retail transformation that has been ongoing for several years. Creating experiential places that people can enjoy will be key. Proposed developments between Yonge Street and Jarvis Street along the waterfront will house thousands more new residents in towers, and ample retail will be included to service those living and working in the area.

Main: Air Jordan Yonge Street features an underground kids-only concourse, an industrial-designed retail level and an upper athletic training facility complete with an interactive Michael Jordan agility test. Above: L’Occitane opened its first immersive digital flagship store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre before Christmas, designed by School House.



Karl McKeever, founder and managing director at Visual Thinking, is a regular visitor to Toronto and shares his thoughts... ‘Toronto is enjoying something of a surge in openings at present. L’Occitane, Woolrich, Restoration Hardware and iconic Canadian retailer Roots all unveiled new stores as 2017 came to a close. Not forgetting Dyson’s highly experiential new demo store. The rundown of other must-see stores elsewhere in the city includes Saje, Indigo, Roots, Kit & Ace, and Club Monaco. What’s great about Toronto is that you get the very best of Canadian retail concepts along with the best of the USA. The Europeans are gradually establishing a greater presence too. Toronto’s finest also offer retail environments with high quality and superior fit-out, meaning you don’t have to look far to find plenty of innovative concepts and imaginative features. The city is served by several smart corporate shopping malls, including Yorkdale, Sherwood Gardens and Eaton Centre. The latter features a visual treat in the form of the latest department store offering from Nordstrom. There are also many neighbourhoods with strong Indie retail, with the best to be found on Queen Street West. Here you can find a mix of spirited indie stores such as the new Bite, Reigning Champ, Organic Butcher, Cumbrae and the House of VR, sitting alongside flagships from major global brands such as Lululemon and G Star. And, wherever you shop, you’re assured high quality, style and service excellence. Canadians have a polite, friendly and courteous nature and their customer service style is personable and warm. For me, it all adds up to this: when it comes to retail best practice, Canada’s cultural capital is currently one of the world’s most vibrant and transformational retail locations.’


Maine: Hunter opened its third global flagship store in November, in Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The 260 sq m store is the brand’s first store in North America and demonstrates it’s commitment to North America as one of the company’s largest markets. Above: Designed by FRCH Design Worldwide, Saks’ flagship at the Eaton Centre was inspired by the beauty and power of Toronto’s natural setting. Below: Smart and sophisticated interiors at Woolrich.

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SURFACE DESIGN SHow ColourGrain - Stand 334 ColourGrain responds to the increasing demand for both sustainable, decorative design materials and the beauty of visible woodgrain in an innovative new interior and exterior wood cladding. Using a variety of timbers that can be FSC-sourced, each hand-finished ColourGrain plank undergoes up to 10 different processes, including sandblasting and up to eight coats of water based, non-toxic exterior lacquer in more than 50 striking colours. T. +44 (0)1432 360 906 E: Twitter: colourgrain

DKT Artworks - Stand 258 DKT Artworks is a specialist in the design, production and installation of site-specific artworks and on-site specialist decoration. Launching at Surface Design Show is a new application, Metalled Glass. Traditional gilding methods combined with a redolent of oil on water are used to produce this ultra-contemporary effect, creating unique pieces with a truly individual bespoke finish. T. +44 (0)20 8682 8460 E: Twitter: dkt_artworks

Surface Styling - Stand 402 Imagine having a resource at your fingertips that could take the headache out of sourcing multiple surfaces for interior projects. That resource is Surface Styling, a unique specification platform that offers the latest design inspiration from over 40 leading surface material brands. Surface Styling brings cutting-edge material innovations to UK designers and specifiers with a portfolio of more than 12,000 product lines to choose from. Products on display at the Surface Design Show will showcase the versatility of the Avonite, Studio Collection and Hanex solid surface ranges, Malmo vinyl flooring and Parkhouse Digital, a new large format, bespoke digital printing service. The team will be on hand to provide advice and supply the right materials and cost engineering benefits drawing on an unparalleled portfolio of brands in laminates, solid surface, decorative panel, wall panelling, flooring and worktops, supported by a 24-48 hour sampling service. T. +44 (0)845 603 7811 E. Twitter: SurfaceStyling


Grestec Tiles - Stand 596 Grestec Tiles offers an extensive range of ceramic, glass and stone floor and wall tiles. Kreda concrete effect tiles infuse delicate tones with bold shapes. Cool chalky nuances and rhomboid shapes combine to allow endless, decorative compositions. Kreda is complete with 75mm x 300mm brick and a 200mm x 200mm format. T. +44 (0)345 130 2241 E: Twitter: grestec


Pixalux UK - Stand LS436 Pixalux UK will be exhibiting at the Surface Design Show for the first time in February in the special Light School area, on Stand LS436. On display will be the Pixalux LED panel taking the light panel to a totally new level. Visitors will be able to see the world’s first structural double panels which are ideal for all types of shelving, as well as a range of creative ideas of how to add texture and impact to an illuminated surface. T. +44 (0)845 299 6466 E: Twitter: pixaluxuk

Tile of Spain - Stand 304 A selection of Spain’s leading tile manufacturers will present bold and innovative ideas in an impressive showcase at the show. Tile of Spain, the voice of the Spanish tile industry, has brought together a selection of exemplary designs to showcase during its debut at the Surface Design Show. On display will be both ceramic and porcelain tiles in a range of looks. These include the trend for artisanal contemporary rugs as seen in Aparici’s fascinating ‘Carpet’ porcelain flooring and the trend for dramatic monochromes in the form of ‘Concept’ tiles from Cerámica Cas. T. + 34 964727200 Twitter: TileofSpain

BluePrint Ceramics - Stand 202 BluePrint Ceramics, a family run business based in Birmingham, will be returning to this year’s Surface Design Show. Making an impact through several thought-provoking ranges, the company’s collections are designed to push the boundaries in the world of ceramics. Playing with the idea of statement colours and bold graphics, the ranges aim to bring the ‘wow’ factor to design projects. The new Chroma-Colour range offers six colours and an exaggerated woodgrain graphic that brings endless design possibilities and adds a contemporary twist to design projects. T. +44 (0)121 268 3240 E. Twitter: blueprintceram

Armourcoat - Stand 102 Decorative specialist Armourcoat will present a stunning range of hand-applied polished plaster wall finishes and the latest additions to their luxury Signature Collection. The company will also be presenting the new Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System designed to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. An array of global projects for an impressive list of international blue chip clients in the residential, hospitality and boutique retail sectors have established Armourcoat as a leading supplier of high quality surface finishes. Armourcoat products are made from natural minerals including recycled Italian marble, contain low or zero VOCs, and have the added confidence of a full 10 year guarantee. T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E. Twitter: armourcoat



FLOORING Polyflor Heavy commercial Affinity255 PUR luxury vinyl tiles from Polyflor were recently chosen to complete the stylish interior design scheme at The LiquorLab, a new cocktail bar at the Southwater development in Telford, Shropshire. Affinity255 PUR luxury vinyl tiles in the Huckleberry Oak shade were installed in the lounge, seating and bar areas to create an inviting space. The luxury vinyl tiles were straight laid in the main seating area and laid in a herringbone pattern in the raised seating area. Huckleberry Oak features rich hues in a realistic wood effect design with intense grain detailing and authentic surface textures. T. +44 (0)161 767 1111 E: Twitter: Polyflorltd

Karndean Designflooring Luxury vinyl flooring from Karndean Designflooring is featured as part of the new look Sandersons Boutique department store at Fox Valley in North Sheffield. Looking to create a beautiful store that offers a premium retail experience, the team behind the project opted for Karndean Van Gogh Country Oak and Aged Redwood as part of the store’s luxury design concept. The completed look features the striking blend of silver and charcoal grey found in Aged Redwood and the gentle, cool, mid-brown of the traditional Country Oak. T. +44 (0)1386 820 104 E: Twitter: KarndeanComm

Polyflor 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 Mumbles Pier, Swansea. Local contractor Pro-Spec Interiors installed Polyflor flooring in front-of-house areas and behind the scenes at Copperfish. 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. The durable Affinity255 collection features an eclectic mix of 16 authentically reproduced wood plank designs in a wide plank format, incorporating both traditional styles and contemporary trends. T. +44 (0)161 767 1111 E. Twitter: Polyflorltd


Atrafloor Pantone’s choice for colour of the year is Ultra Violet. In celebration, Atrafloor has launched a galactic collection inspired by this official colour of 2018 and real-life ultraviolet photography by NASA. In this powerful purple hue, these designs echo Pantone’s recognition of the scientific progressions to date and come with their resemblance to real ultraviolet space photography, such as the pioneering UV photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy taken by NASA’s Swift satellite earlier this decade. T. +44 (0)151 305 7376 E.




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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

Zumtobel Zumtobel has provided lighting for five flagship stores of Swiss eyewear label VIU across Europe. The ONICO LED spotlight system has been used to illuminate shelves, while ARROWFLEX from Zumtobel’s sister brand, Thorn provides cove illumination above the shelves to make the stores seem brighter and more spacious. The PERLUCE fitting was used in the workshop areas and the rooms where eye tests are carried out. The diffuse luminaire body distributes the warm light evenly throughout the space, without having to sacrifice gentle ceiling illumination. T. +44 (0)1388 420 042 E: Twitter: Zumtobel_Light

Feilo Sylvania

Thorn Lighting

Sylvania has designed and installed an innovative lighting solution at POD’s Chiswell Street branch in London. By taking a fresh approach and combining the latest products with the ground-breaking SylSmart wireless control solution, Sylvania has significantly improved the in-store customer experience. Solutions used included track-mounted Concord Mini Continuum II LED linear luminaires, Concord Beacon XL Muse spotlights, Concord Beacon GOBO Projectors and Lumiance LED strip lighting, all of which were enabled by Sylvania’s groundbreaking wireless control system — SylSmart.

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. For retail applications, the quality of light is everything, so Tonic’s colour rendering index (CRI) of 90+ makes it an ideal choice. Tonic Gyro’s recessed gyro-mounting keeps ceilings uncluttered, while its interchangeable lenses offer a variety of beam shapes that provide lighting designers maximum flexibility. For both Tonic Gyro and Tonic Gimbal, beams ranging from a tight 15° to a very wide 60° are available, while light heads can rotate 355° and tilt 75° (only for Gyro/Gimbal 355° and tilt 30°).

T. +44 (0)800 440 2478 E: Twitter: FeiloSylvania

T. +44 (0)1388 420 042 E. Twitter: thornlighting



DESIGN DETAILS Knauf AMF Designed by Catherine White Interiors, the Vape Superstore in London E8 features a contemporary environment that creates a welcoming ambience for customers. Heradesign from Knauf AMF is installed as a large ceiling raft to enhance the modern interior and offer outstanding acoustic control. Heradesign is manufactured from sustainable wood-wool sourced from PEFC and FSC certified forests. Its naturally textured surface offers a comfortable feeling helping occupants feel in touch with nature. T. +44 (0)191 518 8600 E. Instagram: @knauf.amf.ceilingandwalldesign

Armourcoat Designed by Double Retail, G-SHOCK in Carnaby Street, London features Armourcoat’s ArmourFX modular panel system. ArmourFX concrete effect panels are ideal for a deconstructed urban look for contemporary projects. The panels offer a wealth of design options to achieve a distinctive industrial style including distressed effects or recessed ‘shutter’ markings. They can be highly customised to suit the client, sent directly to site and installed in a few hours. T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E: Twitter: Armourcoat

dormakaba Security and door solutions provider dormakaba has launched exivo, a new cloud-based access control system. The latest addition to the range is a fully scalable, fee-based solution developed for small and medium sized businesses, including those with multi-site requirements. Simple to install and with an intuitive design, the system is flexible to meet changing needs. exivo provides a complete security and access control system, paid purely on a price per door basis. This cost effective solution ensures that buildings with a smaller amount of doors will pay less — something that software based smart access solutions can’t always provide. Each door can be fitted with a wireless digital cylinder lock or lever handle, which due to their dimensions can easily replace existing door hardware, or in circumstances where this is not desired a wireless component can be added. T. +44 (0)870 000 5625 E. Twitter: dormakaba_UKI


bbrown bbrown, part of the Muraspec Decorative Solutions Group, specialises in wallcoverings, fabrics and other decorative finishes for the interiors market. bbrown concentrates its efforts on the display market and continues to offer both stocked products from its standard collection as well as a sourcing service, which finds solutions for a variety of projects from the company’s network of regular suppliers who understand the time and delivery pressures as well as the budget restraints in the retail market. bbrown continues to research and offer relevant display materials and is always up for a challenge. T. +44 (0)3705 340 340 E. Twitter: luvbbrown


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

Anchor Magnets Attract is a multifunctional, double or single-sided magnetic display system, designed for use throughout a retail environment. The versatile nature of Attract allows it to be installed as a free-standing, wall-mounted or suspended unit. Attract contains an internal magnetic surface housed within an elegant, sleek frame. The magnetic surface works in conjunction with printed ferrous media such as digifilm, which is overlaid onto the magnetic surface. Displays to be quickly and easily changed or updated, and promotional messaging to be added instantly. T. +44 (0)114 244 1171 E. Twitter: AnchorMagnets

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


Applelec NeonLux from Applelec is a new, neon-style LED lettering product suitable for internal and external applications due to its high IP67 water ingress protection rating. The range is an extension of Applelec’s luxury illuminated letter range and features embedded LEDs in a choice of LED and acrylic colour options. A wide variety of font styles and imaginative designs can be created with NeonLux, which features intense illumination whilst being a far more energy efficient LED product to glass neon. T. +44 (0)1274 774 477 E. Twitter: Applelec

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”.


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signs & graphics

focus on SIGNS & GRAPHICS Signs and graphics within a retail environment not only reflect a brand’s image, they also serve a key roll in wayfinding, promotion and informing customers about a product. From lightboxes to external signage and illuminated letters, this month’s selection has all bases covered.

Making a splash In collaboration with The One Off, Stylo has created Speedo’s new ‘Biofuse’ window for its Covent Garden flagship. The One Off designed the concept and Stylo produced and installed all elements, including vinyl graphics, a layered acrylic illuminated head and podiums. The window also features a giant doublesided banner spanning 3.7m wide x 2.7m high.

Dazzle and shine Applelec’s luxury LED illuminated letters ensure branding dazzles, from standard and bespoke fonts to unique logo shapes or imaginative designs. Through clever fabrication, the letters can create an incredibly narrow stroke width of just 3mm by carefully shaping the sides of the letters, achieving a sleek and sophisticated finish for installations. Created in 30mm block acrylic, the range is embedded with thermally managed LEDs to deliver a robust and evenly lit letter that runs cool to the touch, making this range ideally suited to eye level installations. The letters can be created with a choice of lighting effects including face, halo or side illumination and are available in a range of LED options from cool to warm white colour temperatures, alongside a wide selection of RGB LEDs. Maximum IP67 protection rating also available, making them suitable for external applications.

Sporty number Ideal Signs has been working with the Adidas Group for some years and has been tasked with various shopfront and fascia sign concepts, as well as various seasonal and event campaign rollouts working alongside the marketing teams in the UK and Europe. The company’s latest project was for Liverpool One which consisted of two sets of built-up text internally illuminated with LEDs; one set installed internally and the other installed to the shopfront glazing. Working closely with the shopfitters, the project was completed over a two week period.


signs & graphics Smooth ride 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 developed and 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.

Feel the force Launched in Autumn 2017, the Stormforce Forester is the latest addition to the all-new Forecourt Sign range from Assigns. This design follows hot on the heels of the 2017 launch of the Stormforce 3000, a competitively priced forecourt sign that combines superior specification and build quality, and the value of Stormforce Essential, a budget priced forecourt sign. The third addition to the Assigns range is the new Stormforce Forester. With its 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.

Making an entrance Leach Impact recently supplied striking lightboxes for the John Smith’s Stadium reception at newly-promoted Premier League team, Huddersfield Town AFC. Six individual displays — including three bespoke curved structures — have now been designed, manufactured and installed, in partnership with integrated marketing agency Fantastic Media. The result is an ultra-bright welcome that visitors would expect from Premier League facilities. Complete with interchangeable fabric graphics, the lightboxes can be updated quickly and easily by the club’s own staff. This means Huddersfield Town can switch between its three brands — The Terriers (football club), The Giants (rugby club) and KDSL (events) — according to the focal message on any given day.



Discover the digital technology delivering innovative in-store experiences

» How can I maximise customer engagement with augmented reality? «

» Can my retail space match the innovation of e-commerce? «



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

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

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, 01494 774376 E. W.

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

T 01922 455523 E: W: S:

T: +44 (0)1638 565656 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


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

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

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

T +44 (0)20 8348 9888 E: W: S:

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.

Suppliers of innovative P.O.S display equipment and quality shopping baskets. In addition to our standard range of products we work with clients to create bespoke solutions to suit specific requirements.

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: +44 (0)1924 468940 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.



MICHAEL ARTIS 2018 will see strategic design consultancy 20.20 celebrate 30 years. Here, director Michael Artis reflects on his career and shares his thoughts on what the future of retail will look and feel like. RF.  What’s your background? MA. Like most teenagers, I had a weekend job working in shops. I worked at Asda, WHSmiths and an independent sports store. I particularly enjoyed the latter as I was inspired by seeing the entrepreneurial spirit behind it and the importance of getting the sale right. I kind of knew at that stage that I wanted to continue working in retail. I went to Bournemouth Uni to do a BA in Retail Management, at the time sponsored by M&S. After graduating with a first, I joined B&Q’s head office in Southampton. I was lucky enough to work under the then controller of merchandising, Simon House (now group head of merchandising concepts at Kingfisher PLC). Somehow I earned his belief and trust, and he gave me a lot of freedom to be involved in various projects and made a point of having the right managers who would continually push me out of my comfort zone. My five or so years there was an amazing grounding for which I will never be able to fully repay — I was extremely lucky. In 2006, I moved agency-side and joined 20.20 as a strategist where my ‘real’ practical experience from B&Q, plus my degree skill, could be tested across many sectors, clients and challenges. One of my first clients was Mecca Bingo, which obviously didn’t fit into the world of retail, but again could not have been more of a perfect start. I remember being sent to Scotland for three days on my own to see how Mecca could adapt following the introduction of the smoking ban. I instantly felt like that 15-year-old again, trying to sell trainers to grown-ups in the sports shop. RF. What drew you to 20.20? MA. The switch from client-side to consultancy intrigued me and I liked the fact that 20.20 recognised the benefits of me having first-hand experience of customer focused strategy. We had shared values in humility, collaboration and customer-first thinking — something a lot of people say, but still is too rarely seen. I also liked the fact that the client base is varied but the core focus remains the same — it’s all about the customer. You have to know the customer inside out. If you assume, you fail. It’s as simple as that. It was exactly the type of thing I loved doing at uni, and here I am given the opportunity to do it in real life, and be paid for it! RF.  Can you describe a typical day in your role as director? MA. Fast, uncharted, scary and wonderful. Basically, there’s no typical day. We’re a team of 24(ish) people and we’re all very much hands-on. There’s not really the luxury of delegation as such and that’s fine; we’re all involved and that’s how we all get better. It means we’re always spinning plates but the direct and involved approach means we’re constantly growing our people too. At 20.20, we back talent and it’s part of my job to work with our team to inspire confidence to climb, and not worry too much about the size of the mountain. It’s about creating an environment where everyone can say what they want and is given a chance to shine. Humility is hugely important to me, and when we get to the top, the views are amazing…and then we go again. Part of the role is a


balancing act too as I need to offer insight but not dominate. It’s important that the team is given space, so I’m looking for a healthy collaboration — that means being aware when to back off too. Our MD Jim Thompson is another great example of how to inspire, inform, stress test, but essentially allow the team of individuals involved to discover and decide what ‘the right’ action to take needs to be. The other vital side of the role is to ensure our clients are with us on the journey. The best results are achieved when clients explore and discover with us. At 20.20, we’re rubbish if you need to be told what the answer is, we are also pretty poor lapdogs. We need clients who want to be involved and bring their skill in the room too. We don’t forget, the client is the ultimate expert on themselves, so are crucial to the whole process. RF.  What are you working on at the moment? MA. Everything from helping a football club to redefine their match-day experience for fans, an electricals business understanding what omni-channel means for it’s HQ and store teams, through to developing a new approach to sell vodka. High street names such as Maplin and ODEON sit alongside emerging and global brands. The link: we work with all of these if they want to change and make the experience for the people they serve, better. RF.  What does the future of retail look and feel like to you? MA. A year ago, I would’ve said we’re starting to see the retail and leisure sectors merging. Now, the word is ‘merged’. Shops have changed into one of three things; they’re either support hubs (think convenience, click and collect, tech support etc), social spaces (the customer’s ‘third’ space) or status spaces (brand flagships). These are the things retailers and brands that need an experience are all embracing and, to put it bluntly, if you’re going to survive then you need to become one of those three things — or all of them combined. If they aren’t already, retailers need to be asking themselves ‘what do I want my shop to become?’ If we take the elements I just mentioned, Three Mobile is doing Support really well. The Social space concept is epitomised by Rapha and its club-house mentality for its cycling community, and the likes of Uniqlo New York and Lego continue to offer a great example of Status spaces. Remember, it’s about so much more than shop design though — it has to be effective. The future of retail is in the merging of these three elements. It’s about being progressive rather than doing it just for show; creating spaces where people feel they belong. It’s the type of thing Nike Town London did well back in the day.


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Photo Credit: SLVHCS ‘Project Legacy’, New Orleans, USA © Sean Airhart/NBBJ

Retail Focus January 2018  

The publication for the retail design industry.

Retail Focus January 2018  

The publication for the retail design industry.