Design in 2018 – what will retail design look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2018, Love executive creative director Dave Palmer looks at what will happen in retail design over the next 12 months.

What do you think 2018 will hold for retail design?

Hybrid retail spaces are becoming more prominent across the globe as technological and societal changes redefine how we engage with retail. I predict we’ll continue to see a place to shop being a place to socialise, eat and work as well. Secondly, food remains a millennial fascination and I predict it will continue to play a big role in driving visual merchandising. For example, the Museum of Ice Cream has been described as an “Instagram playground”, making an appearance on Beyoncé’s page among others. Mindfulness and wellness will also continue to be commonplace buzzwords in retail design. Immersive installations and layered colour and light combinations can provide therapeutic spaces that affect shoppers’ behaviour and moods. As the need for experiential design continues to be important in retail, brands must consider that engaging with customers needs to be more than just fun, it also needs to provide relevant and diverse emotional experiences.

What was your favourite retail design project in 2017?

Gentlemonster is our studio favourite. We’re not sure how they fund it, but the pace of store refresh this Korean eyewear brand adopts is setting new benchmarks for retail experience. Apparently, its Shanghai store has a ground floor refresh every 25 days, driven presumably by the smartphone generation’s insatiable appetite for Instagrammable news.

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