Make heritage turn a profit

Changing consumer trends are forcing department stores to rethink their strategy, with the aim of improving the retail experience, says SarahBalmond

Alannah Weston

Selfridges creative director Alannah Weston, who took over from Tide-Frater in May last year, says, ‘It’s important we continue to innovate, constantly seeking out designers and architects who are inspired by the complex challenges of the retail environment.’

Weston believes the shopping experience is changing: ‘Personal well-being is important, light, rest areas and easy access to sustenance are all going to become part of our customers’ expectations. It is important to balance constant stimulation with a sense of calm and space to pause.’

The design work for luxury department stores with a strong heritage is seemingly endless in scope, but just how brave the briefs will be remains to be seen.

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