MARKETING – SHOP DESIGN
Text: Ms. Anita Broser Im ag e: Umdasch
Max Wöss (Head of Brand Strategy at ShopConsult by
Umdasch), Alfred Leitl (Head of Brand Design at Shop-
Consult by Umdasch) and Günther Berger (International
Sales Manager at Umdasch Shop-Concept, US focus)
on the latest trends in shop fitting.
ACROSS: What are the new forms of
brand and product presentation?
Berger: There is a trend toward authenticity,
which means that brands are
trying to appear honest and authentic.
Customers are increasingly critical of
brands – what do they stand for, where
do the products come from, and how
are they made. Another issue is how
high a store's CO2 emissions are. These
things are becoming important in the U.S.
ACROSS: How is sustainability expressed
in shop design?
Berger: By using authentic materials,
recycled instead of plastic or artificially
produced materials with PVC.
Leitl: It is also common to see natural
elements returning to finishes – surfaces
that are oiled or sometimes untreated
instead of high-gloss. This creates some
small connection to nature for the
ACROSS: Can this trend be seen in all
Berger: It definitely works in all the
industries, although industries with lifestyle
character surely have an easier
time with it. For instance, Urban
Outfitters make their concept very
visible to customers.
ACROSS: Are things also moving more
toward minimalism than opulent
Berger: They don't rule each other out.
I can make opulent decoration with
simple, authentic materials, for example
by using old objects or antiques. The
approach depends heavily on the concept
and the brand. There is no trend
toward simplicity or opulence.
ACROSS: How does Europe compare to
North America in this regard?
Berger: Europe is surely still a bit
behind in this matter. The Americans
68 03 | 2010
03 | 2010
MARKETING – SHOP DESIGN
Text: Ms. Anita Broser Im ag e: Umdasch
say that the concepts that were modern here or still
store as though you were entering a club; you have to
blocks are optimally aligned with each other.
several brands in one shop. In the U.S. brands are
are – the very clinical, white high-gloss concepts – are
pass the doorman. It is a real ceremony. The question
Mounting a screen somewhere is not enough. Visual
created for certain customers. Brand stores are getting
dreadfully boring. Brands cannot be distinguished
is what is the concept behind it.
merchandising, light, scent, sound, and acoustics –
stronger, and traditional retailers are decreasing. It is
from one another. Perhaps this is a trend that an
Leitl: If it fits with the concept, open entrances are
all these things have to
not easy to develop a pro-
architect started one day in order to visualize his own
just as appropriate as closed ones. It always depends
harmonize with each
file when the competitors
design vocabulary, but not necessarily for a brand. I
on the brand and the brand message.
other in order to commu-
are professional brands. It
am pretty sure that this will also lose relevance here.
nicate a message that the
is important that custom-
ACROSS: What is the story with multimedia
customer will understand
ers perceive the brand
ACROSS: Does the design of the shop actually
quickly. If the customer
with the right emotion.
Berger: I think this hype is already over, because
feels overwhelmed, he
The brand has to be
Leitl: That depends on where the shop is located.
customers feel overwhelmed. For many people, shop-
shuts down and walks
authentic. Anything that
Often there is a greater architectural concept and
ping is associated with stress, not just enjoyment.
out. Blindly surrendering
is overdone or inco her-
the stores have to fit into this. Sometimes there is a
Multimedia services increase stress. This is why archi-
to new technology is not
ent falls flat with the
strong resistance against stores going solo. In shop-
tecture and design are becoming more important
the right way either. It is
ping centers this concept is getting narrower, and
compared to multimedia tools. For example, in the
necessary to find the right
wöss: Being in line with
the mall area is getting more important. It's a different
U.S. Polo Ralph Lauren is trying out interactive dis-
balance and always keep
the target audience is
scene on shopping streets. There the regulations
play windows. When the store is closed you can still
the customer in focus. I
definitely the key to this.
mostly come from the building code.
shop in the virtual store through the interactive dis-
think one highlight per new
There are neuromarketing
play window and click through the offers available in
shop concept works well.
approaches that transcend
ACROSS: Then how can I draw customers into
the store. But this is separate from the shop expe-
Overdone effects scare off the
socio-demographic criteria and
rience itself. As part of the iD Studios, Nike lets you
primarily consider customers'
Berger: It is important that every brand, every store
design your own shoe with a computer in its shops.
personality traits. I can choose the
operator thinks about how to communicate its own
This multimedia offer works very well and is certainly
ACROSS: Are themed or staged envi-
appropriate theme with regard to the
message to the outside world. It doesn't matter
a trend, but only combined with the possibility to
ronments at the PoS an issue?
personality traits of the customers I want
whether it is through an open entrance, a display
individualize and personalize. Customers want to buy
wöss: It is an issue and is growing in signifi-
to reach. An example of this is that 50+ concepts
window, entrance lighting – there is a variety of tools.
cance. Shopping is entertainment. Key words like
with the 50+ stamp are surely doomed to fail. You
In the U.S. there are brands like Abercrombie & Fitch
wöss: I think multimedia will definitely continue to
experience and convenience are playing a greater
can't stigmatize, and if you do, you have to subtly
that consciously close their entrance. You enter the
be important. The great challenge here is digital
role. Retailers not only compete against each other,
in corporate elements that are useful for this group.
signage (see p.62) and how to present content at the
but also against different kinds of entertainment.
Everything that is practical and useful for them,
PoS. The big challenge is using the multimedia
Shopping is no longer about meeting demand; it is
screens. Digital signage offers the advantage of pro-
entertainment, which is why it is increasingly
viding the customers with information relatively
important to think in terms of staged, themed
quickly that used to have to be printed. This works
environments. Polo Ralph Lauren does this very
with large chains where there is a multiplier effect
well. In some stores the brand creates a living room
and the screens are centrally controlled. Smaller retail -
atmosphere and even hires extras to liven up the
ers often have blank screens, because they don't know
what they should be communicating.
Leitl: I always compare the store to a puzzle.
It is extremely important that the building
ACROSS: You have named several examples from
the U.S. Do these approaches work in Europe as
Max Wöss, Head of Brand
Strategy at ShopConsult
Günther Berger (left), International Sales
Manager at Umdasch Shop Concept (US focus)
and Alfred Leitl (right), Head of Brand Design at
ShopConsult by Umdasch.
berger: All of this is possible in Europe; American
brands are successful here as well. This shows that the
concept also works here. Retail has different roots in
Europe. Here there are traditional dealers who sell
70 03 | 2010
03 | 2010
MARKETING – SHOP DESIGN
Text: Ms. Anita Broser Im ag e s: Umdasch
such as wider walkways or more places to sit, won't
be rejected by younger customers either.
ACROSS: Do shop concepts actually have an
berger: Yes. It used to be 7 years, then 5, then 3. In
general you can't nail it down in years, because good
brands reinvent themselves all the time and new
products are created. In a good branding concept
nothing is static. A good brand is constantly develop -
ing with the target customers and products.
leitl: The store fitter also has to come up with a
concept that can extend the expiration date. He is
called upon to develop flexible systems, so that the
The heart of the 200 sq m Moreboards store in the Kufstein
Galerien shopping center is a very authentic mix of materials.
Neither paint nor coatings were used, instead the furniture
and floor is made of untreated oak, racks are brushed steel
systems, and the shoe display wall is fiberglass, which is also
used to create boards. The entire store is set up with LED
lights. The personnel can control the color atmosphere of
individual walls and sections of the store directly through an
easy-to-use touch screen.
The German outdoor goods company, Globetrotter, demonstrates
how the multi channel strategy can be perfectly implemented. The
integration of impressive stores with print catalogues available at
every exit and the online shop that advertises the print catalogue
and prominently displays the stationary stores in detail is extremely
effective. The personnel are also consistently involved. The
international award winning flagship store is located in Cologne.
brand can continuously implement little modifications.
You have to create a stage for the customers upon
which ongoing changes can take place.
ACROSS: Are store-fitting concepts ever adapted
to a country?
Berger: It is more likely that there are differences in
the product line or services. In terms of design, it is
tremendously important for the brands to appear the
same in all countries. This way the brand is consistent
around the globe. If adjustments are made,
they are very subtle.
ACROSS: What are the biggest mistakes in store
wöss: The biggest mistake is not thinking about who
the shop is being made for in advance and how you
The multi label store, Swer,
in San Marino boasts trendy
fashion from leading brands.
Designer furniture not only
invites you to hang out in the
store, it is also for sale.
create a philosophy that is easy for the customers to
ACROSS: How much competition is there with
online sales, and how can stationary retail deal
wöss: You start to take a close look at multi channel
distribution. Stationary retail can't ignore this issue;
otherwise there will be problems. It's necessary to
want to be positioned on the market, but just plow-
create synergies between online trade and stationary
ing ahead. Then you discover that you do not appeal
retail and to think about how to cross-pollinate. A
to the right target group with your design and that
good example of that is Globetrotter in Cologne. The
you are not flexible with your design elements or
brand came from online trade and moved into
they are not modular. That means, if I open a second
stationary retail. There it can build trust and an
store, I have to start from zero again. Who is my
emotional connection, make the goods accessible to
target group, what is my USP, how do I want to
the custom ers, and offer added value.
position myself, and how can I translate that into a
design language – if I don't ask myself these questions,
ACROSS: But you can't do that with any shop...
mistakes might happen.
wöss: Definitely not. Globetrotter is not just any old
berger: It is important to send clear messages to the
shop. It is about optimally presenting brand contents
customers. The customers question brands and
and themes at the PoS without dying out in the
product lines. You have to have answers ready or
process. The brand has to remain attractive. ❖
72 03 | 2010
03 | 2010