• Home
  • News
  • Retail
  • Back to retail: 9 store design trends for fashion retail

Back to retail: 9 store design trends for fashion retail

By Ole Spötter


Scroll down to read more


Gucci x Adidas pop-up at Alsterhaus in Hamburg | Photo: Piet Niemann for Gucci

What do customers expect from store visits after the pandemic? Even before, sustainability and community building were important needs of the clientele, knows Marie Ernst from Schwitzke & Partner. In addition, values such as identity, authenticity and locality are now becoming increasingly important, explains the managing director of the Düsseldorf-based architecture firm. She presented how these trends are implemented in shopfitting at the BTE congress “Fashion Emotion 4.0” on 20th September.


Surprises have excited people since childhood and this is how brands can also attract them to their physical space. In retail, untypical sales areas that do not necessarily fit the image of a brand at first glance can provide the surprise effect, and products that are only available in this form locally.

One example is a Hermes pop-up space designed in the shape of a laundromat - a concept that is somewhat atypical for a French luxury brand, says Ernst. There, customers can drop off their Hermes scarves and have them re-dyed, as well as purchase vintage scarves.

The pop-up spaces in London’s luxury department store Selfridges are also always a surprise. There, the brand Casablanca transformed the ‘Corner Shop’ sales area into an airport.

Photo: Casablanca - Selfridges

Local - regional

Operating locally and directly addressing the local community is a concept used by US sports retailer Nike. In Seoul, the company has opened a store in a district where the art and fashion scene is flourishing. With individual elements such as modular walls and a green wall for digital content, the store can be used for different occasions and as a space for the local scene.

Nike Style store in Seoul. Photo: Nike

Adidas is also designing more and more locations on a local level. This can be a flagship store that responds to the respective community or, like the store in Chengdu, China, to the local history. It is located in a centuries-old building. The sporting goods retailer combines modern design elements with original features of the historic building and thus creates a connection between the region and the brand identity.

Adidas Originals flagship store Chengdu Taikooli | Photo: Adidas


But Nike also brings the topic of sustainability into the physical space in a special way. In Belgrade, the sports brand has built a basketball court made from 20,000 recycled shoes. In addition, Nike also acts with the community here and promotes local sports activities.

Second life

Instead of giving their products a completely new use, more and more brands, especially from the outdoor sector, are offering a repair service that they integrate into their store. Patagonia is one of the pioneers. But Hamburg-based outdoor specialist Globetrotter also offers such a service in its flagship store.

Photo: Globetrotter


However, the expansion of the product range can also be implemented in other services, as cosmetics retailer Douglas shows with its new concept. In the flagship store Douglas Pro in Hamburg, cosmetic treatments such as manicures and beauty treatments are offered in addition to the well-known beauty range. The bag label Freitag is getting a little sportier, offering free bicycle rentals in addition to its products in its Amsterdam store.

Freitag store in Amsterdam. Photo: Freitag


But customers can also be invited to linger. In this case, the store becomes a restaurant or café at the same time, with a special ambience that goes beyond a simple cafeteria with coffee and cake. Lifestyle brand Rialto Living offers such a hybrid concept in Palma on Mallorca. Ralph Lauren integrates an entire restaurant into its flagship store in Milan, with a menu inspired by the founder's favourite dishes.

Photo: Ralph Lauren Corporation


Digitalisation also remains an important topic that is constantly being developed and goes beyond simple touchpoints. This includes the Burberry flagship store in Shenzhen. The store is divided into ten different rooms, which customers can discover with the social media app Wechat like in a jump and run game, says Ernst. They collect points, which they can use to unlock additional benefits while their smartphone displays and presents information about the products.

Burberry flagship store in Shenzhen. Photo: Burberry


On the other hand, there is a very personal and individual store concept that is specially tailored to a brand’s DNA. In the stores of Düsseldorf streetwear brand LFDY, the personality of the founder Lorenz Amend flows into each store, explains the Schwitzke head. In addition, each store is tailored to the respective city and no two are alike, continues Ernst, whose company worked on the Amsterdam location.

LFDY store in Amsterdam | Photo: LFDY


Collaborations are no longer a novelty when it comes to collections. However, brands Adidas and Gucci show that collaboration can also be implemented beyond clothing. For their joint collection, Gucci designer Alessandro Michele drew inspiration from the ‘70s not only for the pieces but also for the stores, and created his own sales areas for them, such as at the pop-up at Alsterhaus in Hamburg.

Gucci x Adidas pop-up at Alsterhaus in Hamburg | Photo: Piet Niemann für Gucci

So there are many possibilities for brick and mortar fashion stores. However, it is important that the concept also fits the company and is authentic, sums up Ernst.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.de. Edited and translated by Simone Preuss.