Starting off Day 2 at GlobalShop, we took in a panel discussion on “The Reinvention of Retail Design in a Multichannel World,” presented by Dominick Ponti, Lord & Taylor; John Puterbaugh, Nellymoser Inc. and Scott Jeffrey, Interbrand Design Forum. The panelists agreed that expectations for a seamless experience continue to increase for this always-on customer, and that they don’t see in different channels—which is something Paco Underhill reiterated during his keynote session. Panelists walked through some of their work—Lord & Taylor, Au Bon Pain and White House Black Market—as well as giving kudos to forward-thinking retail brands like J.Crew. Creative store concepts like the Liquor Store, smart brand extensions including bridal and crewcuts, a lifestyle e-newsletter, weekend online outlet, personal shopper service, curated picks from Jenna and an international presence (without bricks-and-mortar) through a partnership with Net-A-Porter, all earn this retailer that title. Closing the session, the panel discussed best practices for a multichannel experience including: understanding your audience, consistency, frequency, creating a compelling call to action, delivering on expectations and placement.
Screwing up a new store is something no one wants to do. Hoping to help the audience avoid just that, John Wilkins from Miller Zell, took us through “10 Ways to Screw Up a New Store,” and identified ways to avoid them in the process. First off, John clarified what he meant by “screwing up.” Executing and rolling out bad design, failing to roll out good design, spending too much money, causing excessive disruption for shoppers and store associates and failing to optimize outcomes by missing the little, but very important, details. Here’s what he identified as potential pitfalls for screwing up:
1.) Speak in tongues to your customers.
2.) Introduce change without store associate involvement.
3.) Design with customers and associates in separate silos.
4.) Create a vision, then put it in a drawer.
5.) Speak in tongues to your own store associates.
6.) Design stuff that’s cool but hard to read.
7.) Believe you know the customer without walking in their shoes.
8.) Make roll-out plans but leave “Plan B” to chance.
9.) Consolidate everything at the store.
10.) Treat digital media as an afterthought or a magic bullet.
Next up, a recap of EuroShop 2011. Harry Cunningham, Saks Fifth Avenue; David Kepron, Callison; David Meyer, Target and Ken Nisch, JGA, presented “Show Stoppers: the Best of EuroShop.” They reported on major themes like bringing the outdoors in, design as a science/laboratory theme, whimsy and lots of scale. They shared the best of lighting, store fixtures and visual merchandising from the show and some cool things they saw while out and about in Dusseldorf, and each chose his favorite inspiration from the trip. Among their favorites were a chalkboard booth that made for interactivity, the Pratt + Paper & Ralph Pucci mannequins clad in paper and a really innovative refrigeration unit. They said QR codes were everywhere, and when asked about any color themes, the response was white, gray and the use of natural wood.
We wrapped up another day of educational sessions with a presentation “Designing at the Edge: Innovative Retail Environments at the Industrial Edges of Cities,” from Jay Valgora, Studio V Architecture. Jay showed us how they take creative design approaches, including commerce with art, retail with wholesale and industrial and creative green approaches to brownfield locations.
One of the projects featured at Anable Basin, minutes from Midtown, involved taking an underutilized plastics factory to create a new waterfront, mixed-use sustainable community with retail, restaurants and public parks. In an effort to build ties between artists and this urban designed community, they even created subsidized artist studios within the community. Jay stated that inspiration for this particular project took shape from Little Venice.
Another project featured, taking place in downtown Niagra Falls, involved turning a former rail yard at the Canadian National Railway, into a retail, conference and museum center. The idea was to refurbish and keep existing buildings and create a place where people could identify with the Canadian culture. One aspect of this development involved taking underutilized artifacts, like the railway bridge, and creating functional space.
Stay tuned for our final day of GlobalShop recap including some retail highlights from The Cosmopolitan.
Featured Image property of Chute Gerdeman