This supplement provides a snapshot of current trends in the sector. It looks at how retail is leveraging design to retain customer interest and respond to shifts in the market – be it economic storms, changing consumer tastes or increasing emphasis on all things Green.
One significant trend is consumers’ enthusiastic move on-line. A recent survey suggests that virtual purchases will grow by a massive 32 per cent this year, while off-line will manage just 1.2 per cent. Not that the high street is short of ideas. Real-world retailers are responding imaginatively, with new design initiatives and value-added services.
The design activity of independent retailers and supermarkets is also examined, as is the booming Asian market, where retailers are becoming discerning buyers of design services. All this provides challenges for designers – but also creative scope.