Design in 2019 – what will retail design look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2019, CADA design interiors team leader Caroline Hamlett, looks at what will happen in retail design over the next 12 months.

What do you think 2019 will hold for retail design?

Retail in 2019 is going to bring up loads of exciting challenges and possibilities for designers. Firstly, established high street retailers are going to need to evolve their offers to meet the rapidly changing expectations of modern consumers, who are ever-increasingly looking for brand showroom and experiential physical retail experiences that acknowledge online is where more and more people buy products. Ultimately, the research shows that younger audiences are not abandoning physical retail, but are actually in favour of it.

Meanwhile, challenger brands are having a clear run at things, offering an omni-channel approach right from the start and creating interiors concepts that more traditional retailers might be too afraid to pursue. This means a more integrated approach to design is absolutely becoming essential for success in retail.

Coal Drops Yard

What was your favourite retail design project in 2018 and why?

Coal Drops Yard is a masterclass in modern retailing, with new and exciting things to see and do, alongside a regular programme of events that are educating as much as they are entertaining. This development is a great example of retail’s new purpose: the various boutiques, workshops, restaurants and bars that make up Coal Drops Yard aren’t just places to buy things, they’re tangible brand experiences.

As a food-led design studio, Coal Drops Yard is a prime example of what retail could be, somewhere for people to gather, eat, drink, be entertained and perhaps learn something along the way.

Hide Comments (2)Show Comments (2)
  • ann eastman January 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    On the day we checked it out, the units all closed at 3pm on a Saturday!
    They seemed boring, nothing special and over-priced. The only exception was Tom Dixon Design, which is really innovative, exciting and generally excellent.
    When it rains, water pours of the stairs onto anyone beneath them, and large puddles form in the centre of the space. That’s a really serious, basic design fault in a country producing a generous quantity of rain…
    The usual triumph of form over function.

  • John Goldsmith January 15, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Firstly, I would like to ask “how and why” CADA Design has been chosen to discuss the future of Retail. Unfortunately CADA’s work – with its stale and over tasted layouts- follows the future and it does not shape it.

    Secondly, where on Earth someone can find inspiration and aspiration inside the Coal Drops Yard? Three words come in my mind to describe the above project::

    1. Boring,
    2. Dull, and
    3. Nothingness with lots of mud.

    Last I am confident enough that the Future of Retail will not be shaped from the already ephemeral technological applications of tomorrow’s , but from …


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