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Global Shopfitting & Design – Changing the Face of Retail

After another tumultuous year in which global events continued to disrupt trade, the shopfitting, design, lighting and technology sectors pressed and moved forward with their innovative ideas and unique, new-to-market designs. Over the next few pages RLI takes a closer look at stores from all corners of the world that highlight these new trends and offer standout examples of world-class shop design.

The EuroShop 2023 event that takes place from 26 February – 2 March will put global retail under the microscope and highlight once again just how important the roles of shopfitting, design, lighting and technology are in modern retail.

The pandemic may have led more people to shop online, but it has also put into sharp focus just much people did and still do enjoy the physical aspect of shopping. Customers today crave the physical experience and sensation of walking into a store and they want to be thrilled, entertained and amazed at what they are witnessing.

Shopfitting, Design, Lighting and Technology Around the World

Global Shopfitting & Design - Changing the Face of Retail 1
Dreams Lifestyle Store, Los Angeles, US
Designer: Adi Goodrich

Spatial designer and artist Adi Goodrich has filled the Dreams lifestyle store in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village with colourful surrealist details, including a lobster phone and a “glowing” blue rock. Goodrich created the store together with her creative partner and Dreams’ owner, Monica Navarro, with whom she’d previously worked on the Wine + Eggs grocery store in the same neighbourhood. The Dreams interior was informed by daydreams and the surrealist aspect of dreams, with in-store accessories such as a lobster phone that nods to artist Salvador Dalí’s 1938 artwork. Dreams will sell homeware and clothing by both local artists and bigger brands, and was divided into various departments such as home, apothecary, books, children, apparel, and accessories.

Joseph Altuzarra has unveiled a new 1,200sq ft store at 959 Madison Avenue, joining its other boutique at 2 Main Street in East Hampton, New York. Designed by Matthew Fisher in collaboration with Altuzarra, the Madison Avenue store embodies a clean gallery feel with warm organic touches, including a custom wood window display, custom organic floating wood shelving and wrought iron racks. The store features an art collection, including two sculptural pieces in Naxos Green marble designed by Fisher to create an earthy yet contemporary feel. “Console 1” in Naxos Green was commissioned for the new space and serves as the centrepiece table with its carved oversize top surface that cantilevers over two column-like legs.

Amiri, the Los Angeles, California-based luxury brand, continues its retail expansion. The company has opened a new location in Atlanta, Georgia, which spans 4,000sq ft. Located in the Phipps Plaza luxury shopping mall, the one-level shop features both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, alongside the new kidswear line, and the brand’s accessories. It marks the company’s fifth US unit and seventh worldwide. Designed by Mike Amiri, CEO and Creative Director, in partnership with Paris design studio NOCOD, architectural design firm Two One Two Design, Amiri Atlanta continues to bring the brand’s immersive world to its strong community.

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Bala SoHo Store, New York, US
Designer: Ringo Studio

Brooklyn-based Ringo Studio has created a pastel “playground” as the first retail space for fitness brand Bala in New York City, which includes scaled-up versions of its products. Founded by Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, who appeared on reality TV show Shark Tank, Bala sells weights, bands and other fitness equipment in a range of candy colours. Ringo Studio founder Madelynn Ringo, the former retail designer for cosmetics brand Glossier, cold-called the duo and asked them to keep her in mind when they opened their first physical retail space. So when the opportunity arose to take over a 1,300sq ft space at 99 Spring Street in SoHo, Ringo was brought on to translate the brand’s aesthetic into interior design.

Meanwhile, Thom Browne has officially opened his first San Francisco flagship in Jackson Square. Situated inside the revered Yeon Building, which is rumoured to have housed the first French consulate in San Francisco, the brand’s Bay Area outpost marks its latest collaboration with architect Flavio Albanese of ASA Studioalbanese, who spearheaded the store’s design. Across 1,250sq ft, the space champions the designer’s recognisable mid-century modern style with rows of fluorescent tube lighting, white Calcutta and Carrara marble floors and banker grey Bardiglio and Carrara marble walls. The space is decorated with minimalist furniture from American and French designers alike. Among them, Jacques Adnet offered seating and lamps, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings crafted the store’s desk, Knoll did the office chairs, McCobb created benches, Mathie Mategot supplied the coffee tables and Maison Jansen was behind the display etagere. The imprint’s classic men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, tailoring and accessories take over two retail areas. Dressing rooms are situated just off the main floor, alongside distinct vignettes for Thom Browne eyewear and Vetyver fragrances.

Chinese studio FOG Architecture has added curved walls, mirrored surfaces and faux stone to the interiors of aromatherapy brand ToSummer’s flagship store in Beijing. Located in Beijing’s Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping village, FOG Architecture designed the 170sq m ToSummer store in such a way so that mirrored the atmosphere of a cave. The entrance to the store is marked by a large faux-stone wall and a mirrored screen, which leads visitors into the store. The studio explained that the large mirrored screen was designed to draw passers-by into the store while referencing screens typically used in homes and domestic spaces. Natural-toned, undulating walls envelop the interior of the store and are illuminated by strip lighting set within the ceiling. The interior was divided and zoned into a collection of small sections each with its own functions, housing retail space, exhibition space and installation areas.

Designed by Schemata Architects, the Kolon Sport Sotsot Rebirth shop in Cheju, South Korea is a sequel to the “Invisible Development” project in Tapdong, Jeju. It has been a year and a half since the completion of creamm, and the development area has slightly expanded again. This time, it was the tenant building located across the street south of the ARARIO Museum. It was a conventional three-storey reinforced concrete rigid-frame building divided into equal spans, with four tenants in a row. The plan from Schemata Architects was to connect to the neighbouring A, B, and C sections on the third floor above, and make an opening that allows easy access to the street on the south side. In addition to rearranging the framework of the building, they designed a concept store for Kolon Sport on the first and second floors within the designated section. The store is called Sotsot Rebirth, an apparel brand based on the concept of sustainability which sells unique items made from recycled materials.

A spherical gateway and otherworldly light reflected through glass prisms feature in this skincare store in Hangzhou, China, which local interiors studio Lialawlab has designed around the theme of retro-futurism. Created for independent skincare brand Formoral, the concept store is laid out across a 120sq m retail unit in the city’s GDA Plaza shopping mall. The studio created the Formoral store as a desaturated space with large structures, columns and counters finished in highly textured, grey paint. In the foyer, a sculptural service desk welcomes customers in from the shopping mall while opposite, a large spherical structure that Lialawlab refers to as a “rising planet” serves as a gateway into the private spaces of the store. Two cabin doors along the tunnel lead to Formoral’s eight functional zones including product displays, spaces for skin testing, events and demonstration as well as an office and break room for employees.

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Dior Pop-up Store
Tokyo, Japan

Since Kim Jones took the creative reigns of Dior’s men’s collection in 2018, the brand has not only raised its profile, but sales have also skyrocketed. Known for his subcultural insight and connections with edgy industry icons, the style of Jones resonates well with a savvy young demographic. Jones tapped designer Eli Russell Linnetz of cult brand ERL to design the collection, and it’s one that’s full of references of the latter’s Los Angeles homebase. The pop-up store was situated on so-called Cat Street, a boutique-infested pedestrian zone smack in the middle of the Harajuku shopping district. The ephemeral space was adorned by specially tweaked façades with glittering blue entrance gates that beckon from afar and hinted at what was to be found inside. Indoors, the electric blue shade continued as a backdrop, and as a nod to ERL’s quilting, the walls featured a tweaked version of Dior’s signature Cannage motif. Vintage cars and colourful neon signs were used as props and were interspersed with displays and clothing racks laden with coveted pieces from the collection.

The Incu retail empire, a popular refuge for a young and discerning demographic Down Under, continues to evolve, and the latest store to open is entirely dedicated to women’s footwear and accessories. Situated at The Galeries, a multi-storey shopping centre in the Town Hall neighbourhood of Sydney, the premises previously housed the retailer’s women’s store and see a revamped interior design by local design practices Akin Atelier and MarieToul. Although the store configuration has been largely retained, specific elements have been redesigned to further elevate the shopping experience and to better showcase the selection of brands. Custom cabinetry display new products, enabling a 360-degree view of all the coveted offerings. Additionally, the retail concept aims to create a personalised experience for the local market, and one that’s truly unique and reminiscent of the Australian lifestyle. The new Incu store carries a tightly curated range of merchandise, including footwear and accessories by Acne Studios, Coperni and Marni, homewares of Baina and Maison Balzac, beauty products by from Lesse and 19-69, and jewellery pieces from Sophie Bille Brahe and Tom Wood.

New York-based streetwear brand KITH and Snarkitecture have continued their long-standing collaboration to present the brand’s first European flagship in Paris. The project marks the second international location following its Tokyo opening. KITH Founder Ronnie Fieg works closely with the playful design studio, founded in part by Daniel Arsham, to introduce the brand’s sixth flagship — the largest to date at 16,000sq ft. Offering a holistic lifestyle experience, the space includes KITH retail, KITH treats, and a KITH for sadelle’s restaurant. Snarkitecture realised its KITH Paris flagship as a hybridisation of its fresh and monochromatic design language, together with native elements of its French home. As with all KITH stores the interior was marked by a sculptural array of plaster cast sneakers. In this case, a fixture of cast air max 1’s wraps the barrel-vaulted ceiling of the carrara marble-tiled entryway. The entryway opens to a grand double-height courtyard, with an accessories lounge and KITH treats, the brand’s cereal and ice cream bar, punctuating the opposite ends of the surrounding colonnade.

Basketball brand Jordan has opened a new retail experience in Milan. The Jordan World of Flight is using locally oriented spatial interventions to strengthen and expand its relationship with local sports and fashion fans. Jordan World of Flight Milan has opened its doors, introducing a new retail concept to the Jordan brand. The 363sq m shop seeks to build a deeper connection with its community, spotlighting the history of basketball and Jordan’s relationship with the sport. The design is inspired by the area’s connection to basketball culture, with work from local artists and creators integrated throughout. Milan-based artist Stefano Summo created murals that tell the story of local basketball courts and teams. Photographer Tom D Morgan’s work Environments, showcasing sports communities across Europe, is also on display.

Coinciding with the arrival of the eagerly awaited S/S 2023 Men’s Collection, the Louis Vuitton pop-up store at de Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam has been fully revamped. The ground floor space sees a playful setting dipped in an alluring purple hue, featuring larger-than-life puzzle pieces which form the walls and roof of the ephemeral space. Almost all surfaces are adorned with Monogram flowers and some puzzle pieces have neon light sides, boosting the playfulness and creating depth in the design. Additionally, lively mannequins and modular furniture pieces guide shoppers through the pop-up store. Fusing the symbols of childhood with Louis Vuitton’s extensive savoir-faire , the S/S 2023 Men’s Collection includes apparel that’s rooted in the 1990s dress code of the skater community, in addition to accessories and footwear, all infused with matching childhood iconography and characteristics, such as origami paper planes, Play-Doh colours, and cartoon prints.

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London, UK

Fashion brand Balenciaga last year transformed its Mount Street store in London, creating a maximalist look to launch its Le Cagole collection by blanketing the interior in bright pink faux fur. To celebrate its popular Le Cagole bag, which references Balenciaga’s maximalist It Bags of the past, and launch the line’s collection of accessories and shoes, the entire interior of the store has been covered in fur. The brand removed its accessories, ready-to-wear collections and permanent shelving from the store and installed temporary, metal fixtures – taken from the brand’s previous projects and installations – throughout. Balenciaga wrapped these temporary fixtures and displays in a fluffy, bright pink faux fur chosen for its maximalist look to tie with the Le Cagole bag identity. The Le Cagole, which Vogue has dubbed the “new it-bag”, was designed by Balenciaga’s Creative Director Demna, who reinvented one of the house’s most iconic bags – the Balenciaga Motorcycle bag.

Eleventy expanded its international presence by opening a first London store in 2022. The men’s and women’s label’s store is located inside the Berkeley hotel in the luxury district of Knightsbridge. It features five extensive shop windows overlooking the street and a shop window and entrance also inside the hotel. The store’s interiors are characterised by natural materials with fine-grain surfaces such as travertine, textured plaster and oak wood, enhanced by contrasting steel details. Eleventy was founded in Italy by Paolo Zuntini and Marco Baldassarri in 2007. The label’s goal is to reach the €100M revenue mark in 2026.

CHER’17 Store
Kyiv, Ukraine

Despite the extreme circumstances that have made global headlines, the retail landscape in Kyiv is seeing small signs of recovery and growth. The recent opening of the flagship store of CHER’17 is indicative of the Ukrainian capital’s resilience and drive to maintain a sense of normalcy, albeit in the retail sector. The women’s fashion brand, founded by fashion entrepreneurs Tetyana Parfilieva and Ivan Kryshtal, has raised its profile with a flagship store and showroom in downtown Kyiv. The brand has secured a 254sq m unit on the ground floor of a monumental, late 19th-century building in the Pankyvshchyna area of town, and features an interior design by local interior design studio Temproject. Given the fact that the founders are well-connected influencers and bloggers, the design of the store concept is inspired by the ongoing digitalisation trend in both the fashion industry and retail. The settings are awash with metal surfaces and mirrors, and the latter element has been applied to optically blur the traditional physical boundaries while also infuse the premises with volume.

Middle East
Saudi Arabia’s historic oud importer, Al Majed For Oud aspires to enhance its position in the Middle East and designers Havelock One has been tasked with the turnkey fit-out scope in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh. Al Majed For Oud adopted a new design concept for their retail outlets. The concept glorifies their six decades of trading history and creates an ambience that can enhance the shopping experience for their customers. Havelock One Interiors’ retail manufacturing team was able to translate the look and feel of the brand’s new store concept designed by Zebra Projects FZE, taking into consideration the specific tastes needed by the brand.

Qatar owned Printemps Group has opened a new Printemps department store in Doha. Printemps Doha is spreads over 40,000sq m on three floors, and showcases 600 brands, of which 200 are exclusive to Printemps. It is the group’s second-largest branch after the boulevard Haussmann flagship in Paris. Printemps Doha is a hub for fashion, beauty and lifestyle labels located at the heart of the brand-new Doha Oasis complex. Inspired by the sophisticated Haussmann architectural style, its interiors have been designed by Canadian studio Yabu Pushelberg, which also designed the La Samaritaine complex in Paris. Printemps Doha is described as a “next-generation” department store that offers an entirely new customer experience, featuring “ultra-personalised” products thanks to cutting-edge technology, an approach that echoes the department store’s virtual fashion brand that recently launched on Web 3 and called Digital Fashion by Printemps. In the privacy of the VIP lounge, customers are able to use 3D services and holograms to interact with on-site personal shoppers and the staff of the Printemps Haussmann branch in Paris. Printemps Doha has set up a talent incubator programme in partnership with M7 called The Collective, offering a three-month mentorship to local designers, who will then be able to showcase their creations within the complex.