Design in 2016 – what will the retail sector look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2016, Household managing director Julie Oxberry looks at what will happen in retail design over the next 12 months.

Julie_Oxberry_2What will 2016 hold for retail?

“In 2016 we will be designing 360º retail experience for brands, as non-traditional retail brands as well as seasoned retailers look to physical retail as the place for tactile discovery to engage customers. This will mean incorporating enhanced theatrical service offers, multi-sensory interaction and more social sharing.

Digital will be increasingly intrinsic to the in-store experience, with digital communications contextualising products, providing layered information and responsive pricing.

We’ll also see a focus on super-charged convenience, with more retailers trialling ‘micro’ formats. These smaller formats will optimise every moment of the customer journey, from pre-ordering to fast track fulfilment, with self-pay options as standard.”

What was the stand out retail project of 2015?


“The redesign of Harvey Nichols at The Mailbox, Birmingham [by Virgile + Partners], with its ‘5 star hotel’ feel. The minimalistic interior and beautiful fixtures create a calm canvas that gives customers a chance to breathe, while accentuating the product.

The store also uses digital subtly and effectively to guide customers and focus on the shopping experience ­ without being intrusive.”

Discover more of 2015’s biggest retail projects:

• Harvey Nichols looks to redefine luxury with new store designs

• Sonos launches acoustically designed brand space 

• John Lewis’ £14m revamp of its Home department includes a giant interactive head

• IKEA trials new store formats to save customers a trip out of town

• Selfridges launches “gender neutral” retail concept

See all Design Week’s retail design stories at

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