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Retail sector predicting to dramatically change in 2019

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Over the last few months the research into Retail Design being published on social media platforms such as LinkedIn has surged. With practices in both Interior Design and Architecture investing more time into rejuvenating the High-Street, a requirement to know more about this ever changing area is key for improvement and regeneration.

Research done into why shoppers visit a Retail space includes the obvious (to get the task done)… but also to socialise, for entertainment and to either learn or for personal growth. Translating this in a schematic design will require the consideration for multiple concepts within one space; if shoppers go to socialise – how will a design integrate the Retail space with the Hospitality space, yet still attracting the shopper to storefronts? The balancing act between practical Retail concepts and aesthetically pleasing designs is seemingly becoming an increasing challenging task for Designers.

We need to attract people back to the High-Street! This is a phrase heard by many at the moment, and for good reason. It is a well-known fact that the number of people utilising the high-street shops has been falling and thankfully practices are making a concerted effort to turn this around. Coal Drops Yard is a perfect example – after hearing a talk by Thomas Heatherwick around his reasons behind the design/concepts, it made me notice just how many companies are attempting to invigorate the high-street and Retail industry.

Retailers such as Topshop are also taking things into their own hands – combining VR and a built in waterslide in the middle of their store is certainly a hearty attempt at enticing shoppers into stores. Virtual Reality – another aspect of technological design that is considered to be key in boosting footfall within Retail spaces. Being able to display a large amount of items, or offering the shopper the chance to actually ‘visualise’ an item within their home or company etc. will allow for a wider choice/greater utilisation of space therefore becoming more economically and spatially efficient.

Taking all these new perceptions and innovations into account, it is clear that the Retail sector is going to changing dramatically in 2019. We’ve all seen the excitement around ‘microhomes’ and ‘co-working spaces’ but I think with the standard traditions and rules around Retail design (previously making the development of the sector potentially a little slower) being altered and improved we will see major changes. With optimism, I would like to believe that flagship projects such as Coal Drops Yard are leading the way in rejuvenating the high-street. In addition, it will not only inspire more Designers to want to work in this area, but also encourage more shoppers to utilise these now beautifully designed spaces. 

I hope you have enjoyed this read and if you have any thoughts on this subject or questions relating to this topic please do not hesitate to contact me.


Lucy Phillips

Interior Design consultant at FRAME Recruitment

Office : 023 8202 5240