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Retailers should consider graphic makeovers for stores – WRC
May '09
Store designers have urged retailers to revise, remix, reinvent and reuse in order to make the most of what they have to save money during the downturn. This was the advice given by a panel of store designers at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona.

Lewis Allen, director of environment at London-based Portland Design said that retailers should consider graphic rather than structural makeovers for their stores as in the current climate it permits greater flexibility and avoids the danger of a format being locked into a particular look.

Fellow panellists at the session all offered money saving ideas that would help to improve the appearance of stores without the need for massive outlay capital. James Tippman, chief executive of US design consultancy FRCH, suggested that retailers and designers should be looking at the stores they already have and consider how they might be changed rather than trying to completely remodel the interiors.

Denny Gerdeman, chief executive and co-founder of US design consultancy Chute Gerdeman, suggested that even mannequins could be refreshed. “Paint them a different colour and you have a whole new look,” he said, capturing the sense of new from old that was a recurring theme during the session.

All the panellists offered money saving ideas, ranging from improved layouts and in-store displays with greater frequency. The panellists also agreed that the way in which store design is conducted will have undergone a permanent change once the recession has run its course.

The World Retail Congress has welcomed more than 2,000 retail leaders since its launch in 2007, and has quickly established itself as one of the most important events in the retail calendar. This year, the discussions promise to be the most challenging yet, as retailers address a wide range of business critical issues, such as driving growth in international markets, the science behind innovation, the people agenda, e-commerce, the changing consumer and maximising business efficiencies.

The programme has been set in extensive consultation with the industry and the Congress Advisory Board, which includes some of the era's most inspirational retailers, ranging from O Boticario to Myer, Mango, Harvey Nichols, Tesco, and Gap.

The World Retail Congress is organised by Emap Ltd in association with key sponsor, Deloitte.

World Retail Congress

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