Shopfitting • 27.06.2019

Retail spaces are so yesterday. Long live brand experiences!

How can brick-and-mortar stores stay competitive? With continuing retail reinvention!

Man with glasses in blue suit smiles sideways into the camera....
Silvio Kirchmair
Source: umdasch

Shopfitting – it’s no longer about shelves, sales counters and cash registers. Silvio Kirchmair, CEO of umdasch The Store Makers, considers it a stage where brick-and-mortar retailers can and should showcase themselves – especially in the digital realm. After all, the online competition never rests.

He maintains that the perfect store takes a long time to develop but is set up very quickly.

What major shopping design trends do you see based on your current projects, Mr. Kirchmair?

Silvio Kirchmair: There are more and more concept stores that combine extravagant concepts and furniture to project a matching lifestyle. The trend in food retailing continues to emphasize a market ambiance. We are increasingly creating brand experiences versus traditional retail spaces.

Essentially, we see more investments in the strengths of brick-and-mortar retail in an effort to set it apart from online retail businesses – that means investing in the customer experience and consulting aspects of the business. This frees up more time for improved customer service, while employees become brand ambassadors. Shopfitting must provide a stage and create opportunities, with digital elements for example. Electronic shelf labels can simplify processes and expand capacities, allowing associates to focus their attention on customers and give a personalized customer experience.

At any rate, stores must reinvent themselves on a regular basis, which is a result of ever-shortening renovation cycles. Flexible and modular shopfitting solutions can optimize long-term investments in this setting.

How does a customer inquiry turn into a new store? How do you accompany and guide the customer on this journey?

At the start of a store’s well-planned transformation is an intensive planning phase. A project can only be successful with a consistent strategy. You also have to identify the store’s target market, the retail product mix and consider combined options (mixing restaurant and retail store concepts for example).

The classic store concept development, which includes retail space and furniture design, the implementation of corporate identity, as well as visual merchandising and the use of digital elements actually happens at the end of this process.

It's a long way, but it ultimately moves you to your goal. We always walk side-by-side with our customers. We take care of the installation very quickly – the most time is spent on optimal planning and project management.

Digital display in a supermarket
The sensible integration of digital elements offers customers and retailers added value, like this example at LET'S DOIT in Wels, Austria.
Source: umdasch
Silvio Kirchmair on store concept development: "A thorough situation analysis combined with an assessment of the competitive environment builds a strong foundation.”

You have recently grown your portfolio by acquiring the German digital signage specialist Gundlach Seen Media. Which competence do you expect to gain from this?

Umdasch Seen Media expands our digital signage competencies. To stay relevant in today’s fast-paced digital world, you must constantly evolve and grow. Companies cannot survive in the market just by selling hardware. The success of digital solutions providers depends on services such as programming interfaces and presentation content, combined with multi-year service and maintenance contracts. In a nutshell, that’s why we acquired umdasch Seen Media.

Last but not least, this also allowed us to obtain knowledge, talent and new customers in the process. This is especially remarkable in times when all companies struggle to find staff with the right skills. When it comes to the "Digital Retail" market segment, we are now among Europe's three largest providers, which gives us a competitive edge.

Side view of a refrigerated shelf in a supermarket
ESL.inclusive by umdasch is becoming increasingly popular: Electronic price labels, fully integrated into the shopfitting.
Source: umdasch

What unique development do you notice in the international shopfitting market?

There are different trends around the world. Global retail sales amount to $ 20,000 billion, with a tenth taking place online. Sales growth is predominantly attributed to online business. However, brick-and-mortar retail still continues to grow on a global scale.

Things are somewhat different in Europe. With an overall turnover of nearly 3,000 billion euros in retail, almost 400 billion euros apply to the online market. While the brick-and-mortar segment only shows gains of half a percent, the online volume maintains double-digit growth rates. On a global scale, retail spaces still grow about two percent annually, yet Europe already experiences a decline in numbers.

As a result, there is a focus on existing space optimization. We still see expansions worldwide. From an industry sector’s perspective, there is growth in the luxury goods market, food retailing, restaurant chains and household goods, while the fashion segment, banking, books, paper and music industries are experiencing a fairly clear downward trend.

As a European shopfitting business, it means we have to improve areas in terms of productivity. Declining retail footfall must be offset by an increased customer dwell time. We develop smaller formats for city center locations, while the percentage of shop-in-shop and pop-up concepts is increasing, as are store concepts that create an experience or retail spaces that optimize processes (think "Click & Collect" options).

All applications mark a strong increase in digital elements. 

You recently opened a new location in Dubai. What are umdasch’s plans for the future?

We want to grow our presence in the Middle East. The market there continues to be dynamic, especially in Saudi Arabia. We also service the Dubai Duty Free stores. We are one of the leading providers in the world in this niche market.  Our own development division creates innovative concepts for the duty-free sector, which includes airports and cruise ships. Right now, shopping centers are still a hot topic in the Middle East. Apart from catering to the luxury segment, we also want to give small and medium-sized enterprises a stage.

Interview: Mareike Scholze, iXtenso – Magazine for Retailers

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Nike House of Innovation Shanghai: pop-up store of the year...
02.04.2020   #design #shop design

Nike House of Innovation Shanghai: pop-up store of the year

Jury prize award at Frame Awards 2020

The Frame Awards 2020 has received almost 1,076 submissions from hundreds of design studios from over 51 countries across the globe. The jury panel for the spatial award retail category consists of internationally renowned directors from top brands. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New accents in interior design
17.02.2020   #lighting systems #shop building

New accents in interior design

Just one of the innovations: LightBeton® Retro

When we at Richter akustik & design present ourselves at national or international trade fairs, it is worthwhile for the experts to take a closer look.And now it’s time again. From the 16. to 20. of February at EuroShop 2020 in the CCD ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Store design concept: “A bouquet for Shibuya”...
24.03.2020   #design #shop design

Store design concept: “A bouquet for Shibuya”

Frame Awards 2020 – Wellness inside and outside of the body

L’OCCITANE Bouquet de Provence is a renovation project of their flagship store located at Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest places in Tokyo. For their first-ever collaboration with Pierre Hermé in Japan, the store was transformed ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail library in Vancouver
01.02.2020   #design #shop design

Retail library in Vancouver

Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel partners with renowned art book publisher TASCHEN

Fairmont Pacific Rim announces the unveiling of the TASCHEN Library, located on the hotel’s second level. This artistic collaboration is one of only two retail locations in Canada completely dedicated to TASCHEN. The new library at Fairmont ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Not just stow it, present it, please!
18.02.2020   #shopfitting #electronic shelf labels (ESL)

Not just stow it, present it, please!

Shelves and their possibilities at EuroShop 2020

Shelves are no longer just shelves. Form, colour and also function can vary. At EuroShop 2020, we will see what is possible with merchandise compartments today and that the good old shelf is not obsolete despite digitization! ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Flooring for retail spaces: durable, sustainable and smart...
11.03.2020   #brick and mortar retail #shopfitting

Flooring for retail spaces: durable, sustainable and smart

Why design isn’t everything

The secret is out: The iXtenso editorial team loves flooring. After years of putting up with old carpet, our office hallway has now turned into a real eye-catcher.This made us wonder: Apart from a modern and customized design, what other ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Winners of the Frame Awards 2020
05.03.2020   #design #shop design

Winners of the Frame Awards 2020

Categories for outstanding designs include stores and window displays

On Thursday 20 February 2020, the winners of the Frame Awards 2020 were announced. During the Frame Awards day festival program on 19 & 20 February, the nominees defended their work publicly during the live judging sessions before the category ...

Thumbnail-Photo: APG releases retail and healthcare solution
01.04.2020   #coronavirus #pos systems accessories

APG releases retail and healthcare solution

For reducing the spread of COVID-19 at the point of sale

APG Cash Drawer, a global manufacturer of cash management solutions announces the release of the Guardiant™ Countertop Shield for retail, grocery, convenience, gas stations, pharmacy and medical clinics. The Guardiant™ Countertop Shield ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Vans opens its first community-driven retail store in LA...
12.02.2020   #brick and mortar retail #brand management

Vans opens its first community-driven retail store in LA

Including gallery, lounge, workshop and event space

Vans opens its first community-driven retail and event space in Downtown Los Angeles. The 11,500 square feet space pays homage to Los Angeles' deep skateboarding roots and thriving art community over two floors featuring work from a number of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Where store design meets way of life
31.03.2020   #brick and mortar retail #shopfitting

Where store design meets way of life

Brava Fabrics concept store reflects the Barcelona spirit

With its endless streets full of fashion boutiques and chain stores, Barcelona is a mecca for shopaholics. As they venture off the beaten track into the city’s side streets, travelers will discover hidden local brands. Brava Fabrics, a ...

Supplier

Burkhardt Leitner Modular Spaces GmbH
Olgastrasse 138
70180 Stuttgart
Richter akustik & design GmbH & Co. KG
Richter akustik & design GmbH & Co. KG
St.-Annener-Straße 117
49326 Melle
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
visuals united ag
visuals united ag
An der Gümpgesbrücke 26
41564 Kaarst bei Düsseldorf