What is the future of retail design? Department stores and fashion shops have become ever more sophisticated with stylish over-designed interiors that emphasise luxury and quality. Would the future perhaps be the opposite – edgy derelict interiors that act as a rough counterbalance to the sophistication, innovation and quality of the designs on show.
At the back of Selfridge’s department store in Oxford Street, London, Tom Dixon has taken over the old Selfridge’s Hotel as his new retail emporium, supported by brands such as Sony. So, on Oxford Street we have prestigious perfume houses and Apple watches in luxurious surroundings; at the rear we have Tom Dixon’s exclusive designs, along with other firms in derelict surroundings to which younger shoppers relate.
Following the trend, Berlin has come to London with a pop-up shop in an empty retail outlet in Shoreditch, where the focus is not on the smart interior but on the innovation, design and technology of the products and food and drink item on display as Berlin’s design industries come to London.
In reality, we probably need both the luxurious emporium and the edgy design shop, both of which emphasise that the retail experience is much deeper than just the products – it is the life-enhancing (perhaps changing) experience that will result.