Wall Street notwithstanding, 2008 wasn’t all bad. Dramatically posed mannequins brought a return of glamour to retail interiors. New technologies made it possible to print on substrates like wood and steel. And manufacturers were increasingly willing to share data on what exactly makes their products green. These trends inspired retailers and designers to experiment and create environments that will move this industry forward.
In the past year, sustainability has made significant strides in retail design. As more retailers seek environmentally friendly methods to design stores, they’re demanding that manufacturers create a wider variety of products that help them build green. Energy-efficient LED technology has moved beyond a purely decorative purpose and is appearing as a light source in recessed and surface-mount fixtures. And it’s now possible for visual merchandisers to incorporate green into windows and in-store presentations with mannequins made from recyclable plastic and decoratives constructed from recycled materials.
As we close out the year, let’s review the products that best represent the technological advances, design innovations and cultural considerations that are the future of store design.