Retail furniture, leave nothing to chance. But there are trends
What is retail design
The eye wants its part, i.e. in a shop a customer must be able to find the merchandise he or she wants without difficulty, amidst all the other merchandise, and be guided in his or her shopping experience. What counts in a shop is not only the quality of what is sold (although of course it is basic, because without that it is difficult to retain customers) but also how it is presented and how it is furnished. It is no coincidence that there is a discipline dedicated precisely to this concept: retail furniture or retail design, with professionals in the field.
The figure of the retail designer has taken hold over the years, with evolutions that have seen more and more professionalisation in different fields, including design. In particular, retail furniture became important in history when, from shops with attached workshops, we started to move towards supermarkets with more types of merchandise to highlight, with the help of visual merchandising. Often shop fitting projects are turnkey projects, where a designer takes care of a contract service, i.e. creates the entire interior design for the customer, for example a jewellery store.
Retail furniture must be designed according to the target customers
If, when talking about a house, the taste of the person who will inhabit it is the most important element to start from, when dealing with a shop it is essential to respect certain rules. The customer must be attracted in the right way, starting with the target group of the person you wish to purchase. You cannot compare the retail furniture (a term that literally means retail) of a shop that targets young people and that of one that wants to attract women of a certain age, for example, let alone completely different types such as a clothes shop and a technology shop.
The role of technology
But retail furniture, while remaining different sector by sector, also knows trends, like every branch of design itself. First and foremost, shops have to compete not only with other physical shops but also with the online, they often have a web presence themselves. Technology could therefore only enter into the furnishing of a shop. In fact, people have become accustomed to buying online and even physical shops now often feature technological elements that aid the shopping experience, from smartphone-guides to online checkouts, and interactive elements such as totems, screens or digital signage.
Minimalism and atmosphere, the trends of recent years
Shops in recent years are becoming increasingly minimalist. There is a preference for a linear and simple display of goods, where there are no superfluous elements. The customer must concentrate immediately and only on the merchandise. For example, for clothing single or double racks are favoured, while for sectors such as perfumery, body care and others the green light is given to simple shelves and minimal shelving, where there is nothing more than merchandise. It is important to display what is sold in an orderly and rational manner, also leaving empty spaces: fewer items are better but they can tell a story, which leads the customer to purchase.
On the other hand, in order to differentiate the shopping experience in a physical shop from that in an ecommerce shop, Retail furniture also pay a lot of attention to atmosphere. Colours reminiscent of nature, from the blue of the water to the green of trees, as well as light colours such as classic white but also terracotta and beige, which evoke a homely atmosphere, are favoured. The customer must feel safe, relaxed and welcome.
Retail furniture also pay attention to sustainability
And speaking of nature, as in every sector, attention is paid to sustainability, for example with the massive use of wood, a sustainable and recyclable material par excellence, in shops. They try to be more and more environmentally friendly, with environmentally friendly and low-impact materials.
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