This weeks retail design inspiration comes courtesy of Apple's new store aesthetic in Williamsburg, Nike's collaboration with Kith for their NYC pop up, and Komplementair's authentic retail design philosophy in Zurich.  


Retail Design Blog

Apple are reinventing their store format, and have used the new Williamsburg store as a testing ground for many of the new elements they’ve introduced singularly into other stores around NYC. Whilst we’re accustomed to what an Apple store looks like by now, this definitely doesn’t fit the mould we’re used to seeing. In particular, how Apple have retained the exposed brick finish on the interior of the store, and reduced the grey, aluminium-style facade present in most other stores.

“We are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs” Angela Ahrendts

"We have a deep commitment to the cities we work in, and are aware of the importance that architecture plays in the community” Jony Ive

These quotes, mixed with the latest San Francisco and Williamsburg store designs are proof of Apple’s intent surrounding authentic retail design, switching their focus from uniformity & perfection, to empathy with communities and the values each hold, creating more personalised experiences that are inherently designed to sell more effectively in the current climate.

 Although there are still design elements that haven’t changed, including the product display tables and recessed Apple watch displays, we particularly like how every element of the store has been considered - for example, the three graphic displays above which ordinarily would be recessed or surrounded in a metal frame, have been treated with the same wood finish as the surrounding display (something we know a bit about - read our post here for more on how to create wood finish graphic displays).

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Nike x Kith

Retail Design Blog

At first glance, Nike collaboration with Kith looks like shoe store design created many times over, using shoe boxes as the displays and shelving themselves. However when you get a close up of the store, that’s when you truly notice how special the pop up is.

Each ‘shoe box’ has been created using concrete, with the lid details and branding moulded into the boxes themselves. This gives the central display area more structure, also with the ability to mounted acrylic boxes on top of selected inner shoe displays.

The collaboration has also used neon to great effect, with it introduced in the window displays as well as on the back wall. Collaborations such as this provides establishments such as Nike the freedom to experiment with store design, even changing their slogan to ‘Just us’ - which is a bold but confident move.

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Komplementair Retail Design

Although not as high street name such as Apple or Nike, Komplementair have applied similar techniques as the two giants we’ve already mentioned, in terms of authentic design and ensuring store design encompasses the context of its surrounding area. 

The unfinished stone walls are the first thing that you notice upon seeing the store, which when combined with the polished concrete floor creates a natural, organic retail setting. 

However once you begin to notice each product display, the finishes which have been implemented are entirely appropriate for the concept behind the store design. White frameworks and integrated lighting adorn the exterior of the shop space, with the interior allowing products to take full focus, with dark marble-like surfaces mixed with unfinished wood, providing a slither of elegance to the untreated store design.

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