It may work out differently than that but experiential retail is already here, and it’s hard to imagine it going away. As consumers, we all love a great shopping experience. We love to try products out, place ourselves into fantastical scenarios and to justify our purchases to ourselves by “proving” them in their optimum habitats. Retail designers are doing great work, and not a week goes by without another new store being opened to the world with fresh ideas and new experiences.
But in satiating our desire for the “new”, and always finding out what’s next, there comes a high price to pay.
Ive written before that retail design should be recognised as a discipline in its own right, and commented that people are often bemused by the idea of someone that actually designs your shopping environment. Well, here’s another consideration. Almost all stores have no concept of recyclability or reusability designed in. They are designed and built to serve their lease term and then finish their life as landfill, or fuel for the incinerator.
This isn’t good enough, and being wilfully ignorant to the impact of retail isn’t good enough either. We see circular design feature in so many industries and sectors, but why not in retail? We know going into these projects that they have a shelf life, and its finite – so why not plan for it? Why not consider how to recycle or reuse every item that goes in to making an environment, rather than turning a blind eye to it once its been installed?