What do you think 2020 will hold for retail design?
As shoppers are becoming more and more aware of how their consumption patterns effect the planet, and with new government-backed targets on plastic reduction, retailers will continue to trial new forms of sustainability within their offerings. They will start to adopt more circular approaches, meaning the entire life cycle of a product is better accounted for and communicated directly to consumers, from manufacture to distribution to sitting on shelf to shipping to being disposed of properly.
As consumers are starting to demand sustainable alternatives, retailers will experiment with new product and interior materials that are better for the planet. We’ll start to see forms of convenience packaging that are more guilt-free and more self-serve. We’ll start to see some inventive business models emerge that capture, inspire or drive more ethical shopping behaviors. Retailers will start to tell us more about their own operations overall so consumers can make more informed decisions about which brands to trust and products to buy. Social media and digital will play a huge part in all of this retail awareness and interaction.
What was your favourite retail design project in 2019 and why?
The Waitrose Unpacked trial clearly stands out as a brave effort to test consumers’ dedication to sustainability and willingness to change their own shopping habits. It was a sell-out success. They sold eleven weeks’ worth of product in the first week and have commenced with rolling it out to other sites. We’ve seen this type of display in Planet Organic and independent health food retail, but this was a totally new concept for mainstream grocery retail.