How important is design in retail

Experts answer: These are the 6 trends in retail design

In the age of digitization, stationary shops are assuming a new role: the experience is becoming the focus of its right to exist. What effects does this have on the design of the new stores? What will the stores of the future have to be able to do to entice customers from their sofas to go shopping in the city? We asked the most renowned retail architects and shopfitters from German-speaking countries about the major trends in store design.

Photo: Umdasch: Hudson’s Bay in Amsterdam

Trend 1: More focus on the sensual experience

The biggest difference between the online and offline shopping experience is the sensual experience. In the future, brick-and-mortar retail must place ever greater emphasis on this. Jutta Blocher from the architecture and interior design office Blocher Partners in Stuttgart: “The most important trend is that the haptic experience is gaining in importance with the increase in digitization. Because the room is the only place where we can experience a product with all of our senses. This is the only place where we can actually experience it, because a brand appeals to all of the senses thanks to its multi-sensor technology. ”In recent years, Blocher Partners has implemented lighthouse projects for Sport Schuster, Mode Reischmann, Modehaus Henschel and Kastner & Öhler.

Trend 2: Linger instead of buy

Shopping should be fun and that means that the transaction becomes a minor matter. In the future a distinction will be made between shopping and buying. The decisive factor will be that the customer is satisfied and comes back again. Maik Drewitz from shopfitting specialist Umdasch The Store Makers from Austria: “As shopfitters, we can help ensure that customers who come to the stores stay longer in the store through more experience, through a 'different' structure, better product presentation and personal support stay and ultimately become more tied to the retailer. The basic concept of shopping will not change that much. The presentation at the point of sale and the involvement of the customer in this, but yes. You have to offer customers more incentives to come to a store and stay there longer, for example through stronger links with gastronomy. ”Umdasch realized pioneering stores for Hudson's Bay, Nike, Versace, Patrizia Pepe, Appelrath & Cüpper, among others and Sport Bründl.

Photo: Schwitzke & Partner: Intersport Den-Haag

Trend 3: More flexibility in the design of the areas

The days of static shops are over. Tomorrow's customers neither want to see the same product range for months, nor the same store. Tina Jokisch from Schwitzke & Partner in Düsseldorf: “In the future, stationary retail spaces must above all offer more focus, inspiration and experience with all the senses. On the one hand, through flexible use of the areas that let the floor plan live and repeatedly offer surprising arrangements or impulses. But also through a mixture of the core range and thematically complementary articles that come from other industries and create an inspiring theme world. ”Schwitzke & Partner has been realizing trend-setting retail projects for fashion and lifestyle customers for many years. The most recent projects include the redesign of the Manufactum department store in Vienna, the new Douglas Pro concept and the new Intersport stores.

Photo: Gruschwitz: Hirmer Munich

Trend 4: It doesn't work without digitization

In order to be able to offer customers more experience, retailers will no longer be able to do without digital elements in the store. More precisely, it is about "a connection between analog and haptic experiences - cleverly combined with data-collecting, informing, making available and logistically supporting digitization," explains Wolfgang Gruschwitz. Gruschwitz from Munich has implemented retail projects for example with Hirmer, Uniqlo, FC Bayern and Superdry in recent years and has also specialized in the integration of digital retail.

"It is important to create added value compared to the Internet in stationary retail," adds Professor Holger Moths from Prof. Moths Architects, who developed the award-winning Globetrotter houses years ago and set another milestone in 2018 with the L&T Sporthaus in Osnabrück . “If, in addition to trying it out in the store, I can also digitally configure my product individually, such as bicycles, glasses, items of clothing and shoes, that is a clear advantage. Click & Collect is already a way of combining online and offline. But the field is still expandable.

Photo: Prof. Moths Architects: L&T Osnabrück

Trend 5: Try instead of study

Nobody knows exactly what stores will have to look like in the future to continue to be successful. Specifically, that means: You have to try more! Wolfgang Gruschwitz from the digital retail specialist in Munich is convinced that the connection between offline and online will also mean trying out new concepts and rethinking old ones: “It's time to install test shops - not just as 3D printing and event-driven, but analog and tangible. Lululemon has already shown the way with its in-house activities around the topic of yoga, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and you can definitely achieve more synergy effects if you focus more on the customer with all his needs and show corresponding solutions. “More trying things out is also the motto for customers: the shops become workshops where customers can design their own products.

Trend 6: The human factor is becoming more important

What role does the sales force play in these sophisticated design temples? With the focus on the experience of shops, people are moving more than ever in the foreground. Tina Jokisch from Schwitzke & Partner: “The human factor in the form of competent, service-oriented employees is underestimated by many retailers! Without good staff, who inspire the visitor and leave a good feeling, the most beautiful shop is only worth half as much. "

Photo: Joachim Grothus for Blocher Partners: Henschel Heidelberg