Part 1 of 3
By Sarah Murphy – DAS Senior Interior Designer.
At DAS Architects, furnishings and lighting are a crucial part of our designs. As technology and product offerings change, designers stay informed by attending trade shows and educational seminars. Recently our designers attended Global Shop, the annual visual merchandizing trade show in Las Vegas, as well as educational lighting events at A-Light, Birchwood Lighting, Ledra Brands, and Lightfair 2017.
Globalshop is largest retail design and visual merchandising conferences in the United States. In addition to previewing new products, Globalshop provides an important insight into retail trends, showcasing the industry’s response to an evolving marketplace.
A prevailing theme this year is the changing future of the brick and mortar store in the digital age. How can traditional retailers compete with the speed and selection of the online marketplace? Some presenters believe the answer lies in technology, infusing digital medium into traditional retail. User-friendly screens guide customers through departments, mobile apps function as personal shoppers, and smart mirrors showcase a myriad of wardrobe potential. While these advancements can pull customers in, an overload of technology can quickly become a gimmick. Technology, if used, should be integrated seamlessly into the buying experience.
Others believe the role of the retail store must shift in order to stay relevant. In a panel discussion entitled “What Clients Want”, the presenters argued that while digital shopping may offer greater convenience and selection, but it often fails to provide an experience. Traditional retailers must learn to adapt to changing trends by learning the importance of multi-functionality, by adopting the mantra of “and” in place of “or”. An example of this thinking is a pop-up shop, which functions as a retail environment and an event space, with the potential for many other uses. Combining functions allows retailers to create a multifaceted shopping environment for their customers that reinforcing their brand. Creating better experiences, using a combination of good design, digital media, and unique events will allow the brick and mortar store to compete with online retail.
Stay tuned for part 2 of 3 of DAS’s 2017 trade show update.