We had a great couple of days at the Retail Design Expo last week. Not only were we keen to show our extensive collection of retail minded light fittings and share our in depth knowledge of the lighting field, but we wanted to learn too - from the users and designers of retail spaces, what is working well?
It was clear from the many talks we attended, given by experts in their field, that there is a keen agenda to save the high street. The winners against the battle with online are the ones daring to be different. The message was to be bold, brave and create an experience for the customer. Stores that have invested in creating a differentiating physical experience for their customers are those which online is not able to compete with.
A further thought goes to staff. Its always important within the design process to listen to the client and understand how the space, be it retail, workplace or leisure will be used. It is important within a retail space to consider not only the customer, but also the staff on the floor daily. The back of store layouts, stockroom locations, layouts, safety and and light levels are increasingly (pleasingly) being considered to ensure staff well being and safety. We are in an age where the retail environment is not just considered for the customer but also designed to create a positive working atmosphere for employees too.
We will be hosting a number of discussions on a range of lighting and design topics over the coming months at our Manchester showroom, so please do get involved if you can.