GlobalShop: An Industry Allegiance of Inspired Retail Design

GlobalShop: An Industry Allegiance of Inspired Retail Design

GlobalShop: An Industry Allegiance of Inspired Retail Design 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

As the industry’s largest annual retail design industry trade show, GlobalShop has combined insights and innovation in store design, visual merchandising, retail technology, and shopper marketing for the last 25 years. This year’s conference theme “Inspired Retail” came full circle in three jam-packed days in Chicago. With almost 10,000 people in attendance, there was a renewed sense of optimism and a desire to forge change like never before. While its one thing to present an attitude of confidence in an error of headline doom and gloom, it was on the showroom floor where we felt exhibitors walked the walk. Expanding typical products and services beyond niche capabilities we found ourselves aligned with those who demonstrated simplicity in a full-service offer. Here’s a look at a few highlights that hit the mark and themes that emerged.

Now Trending

Printed Fabric
Printed Fabric

A Material Front: What you think you see might not actually be. High-resolution graphics and stretch fabrics are teasing the eye for what’s reality. This material serves as a dimensional alternative to digital displays with an equal level of vibrancy especially when combined with LED technology.


A 3D Model: While the world of visual merchandising is ever evolving with the emergence of new displays and techniques, mannequins are not prepared to step aside just yet. 3D printing mannequins and forms are taking a true authentic shape with an immense amount of detail and character that can be customized on-demand just for you.


Beyond Neon: It’s hard to believe that neon has been around for decades given its most recent glowing resurgence. Finding a purpose for flexible design beyond just light, this element is not only bright but also artful.

Hexagon Display
Hexagon Pattern

A Hexing Pattern: There are two sides to every material story, or six-sided in the case of the hexagon. This honeycomb-like pattern had us all flocking to it likes bees to a hive. From wall coverings to tile it’s an admirable shape structure.


Video as Architecture: We’ll be the first to say that video is nothing new in terms of design, but the intent and implementation has changed. What once served the priority purpose of information is now delivered as an atmosphere aesthetic.

Laser Printing
Laser Printing

A Laser Look: Computer milling has progressed into precision artistry. From highly detailed, geometric shapes creating a cultural aesthetic to clean, natural lines demonstrating contemporary design, laser technology is adding new possibilities to accent existing decor, or create eye-catching focal points.

Words to Be Heard

What wasn’t showcased on the showroom floor was heard aloud in educational sessions from industry veterans, designer influencers, and emerging brands.


In our hyper-connected, real-time world navigating an ever-changing retail environment has its challenges. Alison Gough, senior analyst for Stylus, “Liquid Retail” took us through a few ways in which we can stay agile in a world of fluid motion. Probably the most prominent and progressive example she highlighted was through what she described as dexterous and dynamic store design. Located in LA’s Arts District, high-fashion apparel retailer, Frankie uses interlocking moveable staircase displays to change the 2,000 square-foot retail floor into an event space for social meet-ups, fashion catwalks, or whatever else they might dream up on a moments notice.

Acknowledging the diminishing boundaries between retail and technology, AI was an audience concern with many feeling its invasive nature into consumer lives. Alison countered the concern by suggesting that if it’s done well, it’ll be done on the backend. If it’s consumer-facing, the customer needs to know it’s a life enhancement. For example, you’re walking down the street and you take a picture of someone’s pants because you want to buy them and you’re presented with options to shop or similar styles on mobile. AI needs to be associated with a positive element in order to be embraced by consumers.


As President and Design Director of Stein LLC, for the last 28 years, Sanford Stein has become a distinguished trend forecaster, speaker, and writer, as well as a trusted advisor to some of the country’s leading brands. Leading a session focused on Brand Stand 2.0, Sandford explored the world of temporary retail design and pop-up experiences. Establishing a purpose to pop-up, he expressed his position that it should be to do something new, not to recreate the store in a smaller environment. This belief lead to further dialogue about how to distinguish the good, like short-term marketplace Appear Here, from the bad, like Macy’s pop-up inspired by the film Peter Rabbit. Avoiding the latter attempt of temporary retail he described the formula for success 1.) Pairs well with social 2.) Creates buzz 3.) Meets the FOMO (fear of missing out) litmus test 4.) Impermanent, but reusable.


Alliiance Principal, Bruce Albinson, and President & CEO of toy retailer, Creative Kidstuff, Roberta Bonoff took the stage to discuss how to “Improve the Flatline with Smart Design,” a seemingly timely topic in a newsfeed full of statements about the death of retail. The duo discussed how they’ve been able to design a store experience that keeps customers coming back for more with 4 fundamentals: 1.) Make each store unique 2.) Continue to offer new in-store experiences 3.) Build loyalty through changeability 4.) Successfully bring several on-line venues into brick and mortar environments.

GlobalShop is always an energizing experience for our team, but it’s what you do with the knowledge that makes an impact. Connect with us to explore how we’re implementing these ideas and forging ahead with the future of store design.

Design that connects people to the world’s greatest brands.

Get in Touch


501 West Schrock Rd, Suite 201
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Keep Up.

© Chute Gerdeman

Our website uses cookies in order to optimize the experience. By continuing you agree to our use of cookies.
Privacy Policy
Skip to content