Since its inception in 1966, Euroshop has become the world’s leading trade fair for the retail industry. 110 000 people from around the world convene every three years to learn about the latest trends, technology and opportunities in retail – the art of selling. The event plays host to over 2000 exhibitors from 60 countries. Among them are some of the most trend-setting brands in visual merchandising, shop-fitting, retail technology and construction. That’s what captured the interest of Mega-Lite Director, Roman Keller, who attended this year’s Euroshop event at Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Germany.

We were eager to learn more about the innovations that are driving retail on an international scale and to provide a snapshot of what Euroshop 2017 had to offer.

Retail Design/Shop-Fitting Trends 2017

Three predominant retail trends emerged this year, namely the ‘continuing digitalisation in retail, tailor-made omnichannel solutions and emotionalization of the shopping experience in the store.’

Digital technology will become an inseparable part of in-store design. We will begin to see the proliferation of mediums that allow for the digital enhancement of the shopping experience. These kinds of innovations include the scanning of a code via mobile that will allow customers to get more information about a product, to watch a related video or to access special promotions and discounts. Holographic greeters and displays will soon become the norm rather than the exception at the stores of top retailers. Augmented reality fitting rooms where customers can fit on garments without removing their own clothing, for example, will become a drawcard for stores who have access to this technology. With consumers becoming more tech-savvy, the digitalisaiton of retail is an inevitable and necessary move towards a more immersive retail experience.

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Legacy IT systems will soon be completely replaced by integrated systems that handle inventory, customer relationship management and ordering in more efficient ways. From small to large retailers, omnichannel solutions will be in high demand. Offline and online sales will be handled using the same platform. Shopify, Shopatron and eBay Enterprise are pioneers in this arena but the future will see stiff competition in this sector to develop the most efficient solution.

Retail stores of the future will employ the use of visual storytelling to creative immersive experiences for shoppers. Forward-thinking retailers will begin to leverage the human component of shopping – the emotions involved, the importance of effective communication, brand engagement and long-term loyalty. The social component will become more important in store design than ever before. From floor to ceiling, store design will look at factors like intuitive human movement, colour psychology, identification and the latest trends. Retail will become more about the experience – the means will amplify the ends (so to speak), and this will be accomplished through smart design that imbues the store with the intricacies of the human condition.

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Lighting and the Retail Stores of the Future

Lighting was a prominent sector within the visual merchandising and shop-fitting aspects of Euroshop. A number of trends emerged in relation to colour, shape and design but according to Mega-Lite MD, Roman Keller, “brands are focusing on light control and the creation of an inviting and comfortable instore environment that uses the right effects and colour renditions to mimic the natural spaces we normally find ourselves in.” The inclination is therefore towards creating an indoor environment that merges intuitively and easily with the outdoor environment.

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LED technology emerged as the solution of choice for store design, and retail is investing heavily in it. The ability of LED technology to serve as accent and mood lighting as well as its longevity, meets the needs of retailers to create immersive spaces but also to save money and precious resources. Studies continue to prove that lighting technology, when utilised correctly can have profound effects on consumer emotions and retailers are waking up to the importance of these findings when creating their instore settings. Three aspects of retail lighting emerged at Euroshop as being central to the shopping experience: smart, emotional and flexible. LED technology ticks all these boxes.

Economic Value and Environmental Sustainability

When making decisions around visual merchandising and shop-fitting, the two main concerns of today’s retailers are economic value and environmental sustainability. The topics of discussion as well as the content showcased at Euroshop made this insight crystal clear.

“Retail, worldwide, is looking for trendy, quality products that meet global standards and minimize environmental impact. At the same time the economic downturn requires an economical approach to deliver value add products,” says Keller.

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Store lighting is in fact one of the simplest ways in which retailers can work towards reducing their carbon footprint. Other factors in sustainability that emerged during Euroshop 2017 were refrigeration and air-conditioning systems as well as heat recovery and building technology. Retailers the world over are realising their role in slowing down the depletion of the world’s natural resources and combating environmental destruction on all levels through energy conservation.

See you at Euroshop 2020

After what was a well-rounded and exceptionally informative experience at Euroshop 2017, we look forward to the next event, which will be taking place from in Düsseldorf 16 to 20 February 2020.

Until then, Mega-Lite will use the learnings to improve its technology and expand its product offering to reflect the emerging technology and the need for South African retailers to follow the global trend of conservation where it matters most.

Featured Image Credit: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann.

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