Retail design proces

The functioning of a holistic retail design process.

A schematic representation

To gain more insight into how design agencies tackle a retail design project, a couple of years ago we interviewed different agencies in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We asked about their working methods, the tools they use and the different components they research as part of their daily practices.
We then developed 'The Retail Design Process Model' using the results of the discussions which gave an overview of this complex process. For the sake of readability, the model was set up in a linear way, although in reality the process is more organic (and interactive).

This version of the model is what we have been sharing here for the past few years. The current climate (consumers looking for relevant experiences, and the issues caused by the pandemic) now requires a thorough analysis and reworking of the model.

As part of a new research we have conducted an explorative study to identify what constitutes a 'valuable in-store experience'. This was done through an initial literature review covering both academic and practice-based sources. As the literature on the topic remains scarce, the knowledge collected from this step was complemented with a field study where retailers, retail designers and customers were asked their view on the topic. The combined conclusions led to the identification of the key elements which constitute a 'valuable in-store experience'. In order to design for this, retail designers (and retailers) should ideally consider these elements together prior to developing the store concept, thus at the analysis phase of the design process.

The previous version of the 'Retail Design Process Model' was therefore critically reviewed and updated to integrate the key identified elements in the analysis phase.

Would you like to see the updated model? Get it here!