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Spaceworks' Lizzi Whaley on the year that was in retail design

  • Design
  • December 21, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Spaceworks' Lizzi Whaley on the year that was in retail design

Who stood out in retail store design in 2016?

The new Aesop store in Newmarket is incredible.  True to brand but has its own identity and when you walk in, you’re swept away to another world.


Also, not strictly retail but the M11 studio is INCREDIBLE. The design is actually piece of art and so well considered.

What were some common design mistakes made you spotted in stores in New Zealand?

Forgetting about the end customer and functionality. It’s all very well making a space look pretty but if it’s not selling product because the flow isn’t right or merchandising at the wrong level, the design will be a flop.  Design needs to be strategic and clever. Remember, good design is good business.

What was the best store design innovation that emerged in 2016?

Not sure if this counts as design but Ace the world’s first duty free click and collect robot is so cool! This creates an experience and also makes the shopping experience easier.

What technology or feature of a store in retail do you think will have disappeared in five years’ time?

Big clunky POS desks will be gone.  Places where staff members can hide behind just won’t work.

What issues or ideas should retailers be thinking about going into 2016?

We will be looking at how the retail store design works more seamlessly with the website experience.  This must have a fluid story and functionality between the two because they are so interconnected.  To draw customers in and to increase dwell time, the store must create an experience and make it easy on the customer in every way.

Are there any predictions you want to make about the future of retail store design? 

We will be seeing more pop ups in New Zealand and the pop ups will literally blow us away with their design.  It’s going to be a really exciting time for retail because I truly believe it’s retail’s time in the sun and innovative and strategic design should be at the forefront of anyone’s plan should they be thinking about opening a store next year.



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