People often ask me, where do you get your inspiration? How do you keep coming up with new, fresh ideas? When you’re passionate about what you do, you live new ideas every day, whether it’s being out and about or being online. But a show like Euroshop in Dusseldorf is a bit special. 18 halls of everything to do with building a retail environment from design, new concepts, technology, materials and more. A show like this really fuels new ideas. So, with cameras and notebooks at the ready, we were off.
On the first day of our trip we focused on retail design, where complete environments were built to give an overall vision for a store. Here, clever shelving, displays, ceiling treatments, lighting, signage etc. all work together for a seamless and consistent store ambience. Theatrical displays – as always – were used to highlight offers, such as the bike with refrigerated front or the eggs display (see above). In store theatre is something we are familiar with, but as it is constantly changing, it’s refreshing to see new ideas that will excite and delight customers.
Day 1 gave us an overview of all the store elements working together so on day 2, we planned to delve into the detail. This involved looking at material, new technologies, lighting and signage and how we can use these within our own store design.
We could’ve spent a week looking at different finishes alone, such is the sea of materials available at Euroshop. As designers, it’s reassuring that these materials are readily accessible so when it comes to our creative ideas for projects, we’re mindful of what can be achieved more effectively without breaking the bank for our clients. Some highlights were old wooden beams and panels restored from barns in Germany, ‘live’ green walls, and a full range of materials (copper, stone, brass) supplied in rolls that are very realistic yet cost effective and light for transport.
As part of the show, companies were presenting their vision of the store of the future and showcasing the technology to support these concepts. Some were a little further into the future but others are very accessible now particularly in regards customer interaction with product and the store environment to enhance the overall retail experience. Some examples were: trying on clothes digitally in store via an interactive mirror refines the customer choice before going to the fitting rooms; using playful interactive touch screen games on refrigeration to interact with kids to choose healthy drinks.
In addition to interactive technology there was also an abundance of new signage and digital display variations, production methods and simple mechanical technologies that support our design thinking.
This was also a prominent feature to Euroshop and it’s was great to see the different options that can be used in feature lighting as well as overall store lighting. The advances in lighting systems are moving so fast from an energy saving point of view but also in design. Systems are now readily available where the light in the store can be adjusted to suit the mood you want to create and different times of day all via a manager’s smartphone. All this actively affects the mindset of your customer and how they subconsciously experience retail spaces.
After 35 km of walking and countless cups of coffee, 2 days at Euroshop left us a bit tired but full of inspiration. We’ve gained a wealth of information that will enhance our creative thinking, allowing us to continue to bringing effective solutions to our clients and futureproof our designs. Roll on Euroshop 2020!