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10 Retail Design Trends for 2014

clothesStores, brands and retailers are always on the lookout for creative ways they can boost footfall, increase dwell time and leverage sales. It’s no secret that the look and feel of a store can transform a retail space. Here are 10 retail design trends to look out for in 2014

  1. Pantone’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid.Trends in graphic and retail design can be strikingly similar to those seen on the catwalks, and this year is no different. Pantone Colour Institute named ‘Radiant Orchid’ their colour of the year. Softer hues are more inviting, gentle and open.The use of pastels in retail displays and features will help store designers give this impression and create a shop space that people want to visit. Like any color palette though, designers need to consider how this will fit in with the overall branding of a store.
  2. Experiential retail design.The world of online commerce has its draws, but it can never provide the tangible experience of shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store. A key retail design trend for 2014 will be the continued growth of experiential executions.Designers will be increasingly thinking ‘outside the box’ in order to deliver multi-channel, interactive activations. Whether it is a space much like the Burberry Beauty Box in London that allows customers to virtually try on every shade of nail varnish in the store; retail will become all the more diverse and experience-driven this year.
  3. Simplistic design. Flat design is set to be a huge trend in web and mobile design, thanks to the clean interface on iOS7. In a fashion, this design trend will cross over into the world of retail. Simple can often be extremely effective, especially in today’s busy stores.Keeping the space within a store easy to navigate and simple – rather than trying to overcomplicate the shopping experience – will certainly be a popular trend in retail this year. Everything from POS and merchandising displays to store branding will benefit from the simplistic design touch.
  4. Retail goes eu natural. It looks like 2014 retail design will go back to basics, with a move towards eco-friendly and natural materials being used for store fixtures. Designers will select organic materials like wood to create an ethereal and exciting brands space. Whether in small accents or large doses, these natural materials can really add a sense of style and class to a space.Glass – clear or coloured, transparent or translucent – will also feature heavily. Not only does this allow customers to see a full range of products, but it will also change the feel of a space. Depending on how they’re used, natural materials can feel vintage and rustic; or they can make a space seem brooding and exclusive – much like Hollister for instance.
  5. Colour burstsIt’s not just Pantone’s colour of the year that will be a key retail design trend this year. We predict that this year designers will generally be more daring with the colour choices they make. Bold accents will help make spaces stand out; especially against a monochromatic backdrop.Customers respond differently to different colours and certain shades can evoke certain feelings and responses. Bright colours will help catch the customers’ eye and draw them to key product lines. Colour blocking and clashing is big in fashion; it will also be big in terms of retail design.
  6. Creative use of lightingThe economic climate has meant that some stores aren’t able to afford a complete store refit. But by switching up the lighting in store, designers can quickly and effectively breathe new life into a space without spending a small fortune.Retail designers can literally shed new light on their merchandise, guide customers around store, and generally create a warm and inviting space by changing the light fixtures. Designers can encompass two trends in one by using coloured lighting to really enhance their stores.
  7. Sporadic retailRetail has increasingly left the shop floor and moved to new locations, something which will continue to grow in 2014. The next design trend we predict is a move towards more sporadic retail – pop-up shops and spaces in unusual places – with a focus on keeping things creative and innovative.Pop-ups have been a growing trend in recent years and will continue to be popular in 2014. They allow designers the freedom to be as creative as they like as there are pretty much no rules with this kind of execution.
  8. The rebirth of the bricks-and-mortar2013 was a tough year for high street retailers, but the future looks brighter for the next 12 months and beyond. As retailers begin to refocus their efforts on bricks-and-mortar retail, design trends will follow. Not only will physical retail become increasingly tangible, it will become nostalgic; helping shoppers to reminisce about the ‘hay day of the high street’.Things will change though. Click-and-collect services will be heroed in store, and merchandising will go high-tech. The design of these rebirthed stores will focus on customer experience, and will push the boundaries and move the goalposts.
  9. More 3D printing3D printing may only be in the early stages, but there is huge scope for it to be used in retail design. The eye-catching creations stand out from conventional merchandising and allow retailers and design teams to be as creative as they like. Whether it is elements of a display that are 3D printed or a whole activation; this is one trend that will grow and grow this year.
  10. Customisation and personalisationCustomers are increasingly craving a custom and personal level of service from brands and retailers. There have already been advancements of this by supermarket Tesco; the brand is using face-tracking technology to analyse the demographic of people in the queue to show them targeted advertising. This is a trend that will move into the intrinsic design of a store, and continue to push boundaries.

Retail design is exciting and fast moving; things never stay the same for long and brands need to constantly change to keep customers engaged. What is for certain is that 2013 was a big year for retail – and 2014 will be even bigger.

Clare Evans is the Marketing Executive at Green Room Retail, a leading retail design agency in the UK. Their insights-driven retail concepts help their global clientele attract customers and leverage sales through creative design. Visit their website to find out more:

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