Times are tough on the UK high street. Big-name retailers are going to the wall, shops are filling up with tumbleweeds … and they’re saying those hoofprints in the local precinct were left by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s the end of days, right?
Well, maybe it isn’t all doom and gloom. There’s no doubt the retail world is experiencing tremendous change, but nothing stands still forever. So where can we find the silver lining in this particular cloud?
Recently in the Financial Times, Brent Hoberman – co-founder of Lastminute.com – had this to say about the future of retail:
It will be brighter in all senses of the word – smarter staff, glittering shops and bigger profits. Goods will be cheaper, rents will be lower, aesthetics will be beautiful.
‘Aesthetics will be beautiful.’ Now that’s a vision we can get behind. We’re passionate about the role good design has to play in the ongoing evolution of the retail environment. If the attention span of the average shopper really is as short as they say it is (less than one second as they breeze past a typical piece of in-store merchandising) then we’ve really got to work hard to catch their eye. Good displays just aren’t good enough. They’ve got to be fabulous.
But fabulous design is more than just skin-deep. It’s about delivering functionality and ensuring return on investment. In retail, it’s about understanding the complete shopper journey from sofa to store and back again. It’s about doing things for a reason. The good news is it’s about making things look beautiful too.
What exactly does the future hold? We don’t know. But we can’t wait to find out. And if we can help the future retail environment shine just that little bit brighter, then we’ll have done our jobs properly.