Retailers are realizing that the biggest impact that digital can have on their business is in-store. Some of the most innovative and compelling stores make digital a core part of the physical experience. In terms of how retail is working at present, online retailers are turning to stores to help them grow their businesses and help service their customers. But these are very different stores, ones that look to replicate the online experience in the offline world.

It has been looked at now in the current day and age of retail that a contemporary retail store ‘is no longer just a space with product rails and shelves. The presence and domination of online and social media platforms have affected the interior designer’s role in delivering retail environments. As well as any design effort was undertaken from a retailer themselves, retailers who engage with us ask what can we add to make the retail experience or customer journey a better one so that people will return again and again. This is very much what continues to make the difference.

The future of retail design cannot be prescribed, but it is clear that a contemporary retail store is no longer just a space with product rails and shelves. It is a living and evolving space that breathes vitality and activity into its stores’ community and communicates beyond its walls. More than ever, a shop has to be interesting, inspiring, and unique and it has to be able to offer something of an experience to you as a shopper in that shop. Hollister, Aesop, and Lush are all in retail selling completely different items and their brand image in each case are highly unique however it is the setup of their stores that has made them highly unique.

Retail is being reshaped and redefined; as buying habits change, the role of shops and the shopping center as well see it as the place where goods are stocked, put on a show, sold, and taken away looks increasingly evolving. The cost of doing business on what’s left of the high street, coupled with a dwindling inclination among shoppers simply to shop, means that canny retailers are looking for ways to use precious space in a much more unique overall manner. With this, retailers are investing more in how they set up and create their stores. Like with any industry, things are moving rapidly and with this, retailers need to be more savvy and proactive in how they are able to cater to the needs of their clients, regardless of their size.

Retailers now think less in terms of markets and more about customer tribes and individuals, and retail itself is getting less generic and more focused on design. It is this that has seen the emergence and growth of the need for retail design agencies to help these brands create a more compelling overall shopper experience. This is so key as a means to ensure you can keep your customers coming back time and time again.