Retail Design Expo steering panel identifies industry challenges

Creating sustainable relationships with customers, managing the in-store technology that is driving change, and dealing with cannibalisation of store sales by retailer’s own online operations, are some of the key challenges facing retailers, according to members of the Retail Design Expo steering panel.

The group meets regularly to discuss industry issues, to ensure that Retail Design Expo’s conference programme covers the right subjects – with the discussion held under Chatham House Rules. A number of new members have joined the panel this year.

Panel members were keen to discuss innovative ideas, including the concept of stores that focus so strongly on experiencing products they are not required to sell anything at all, with events and theatre used to entertain consumers.

Flagship stores and local relevance were also key issues for the panel, who also flagged up the importance of retail staff in delivering the new standards of in-store service and experience that customers expect.

But the panel cautioned that tactics used in flagship stores are difficult to translate to large estates, and hard to maintain even in single locations. “People must leave your store having undergone some sort of change within themselves,” said one senior retailer, who added that customers expect memorable and engaging experiences. “But you can’t keep doing that. The cost becomes huge.”

Retail Design Expo has launched a call for papers.

The Retail Design Expo steering panel 2018:

Alan Taylor, Former Head of Retail Design, B&Q
Andy Turnbull, Creative Director, The Honest Brand
Clare Otte, Visual Merchandising Director, Foot Locker
Jenny Lau – Fuller, Senior Retail Design Manager, Westfield
Jon Tollit, Principal, Gensler
Mike Roberts, Chief Creative Officer, Green Room Design
Caroline Casey-Norbury, Head of Concept and Innovation, Coop
Daphne Duttileux, Retail Design and VM Director, L’Oreal Luxe
Kevin Mc Arthur, Head of Design/Creative Director, Smith Toys
Chris Booth, Associate Creative Director, Lego Agency
Peter Kramers, Global Brand Planning and Operations Director, Clarks
Antony Behiels, Director, Shop and Display Equipment Association
Ian Johnston, Founder, Quinine
Lynda Relph-Knight, Design Consultant
Aoife Blicher, Head of VM, Magasin du Nord
Nick Paterson – Jones, Brand Director, Easy Coffee
Charles-Henri Duclos, Digital and Store Concept Coordinator, Decathlon