The Skeptic Relents

As the opportunities of a new year await us, embrace change for the positives it brings
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Posted January 4, 2017

As a journalist, I’m trained to be a skeptic, and admittedly, it’s a trait in keeping with my personality. Take nothing at face value, we’re taught. If I can’t verify something, fact-check it or attribute it, then I have to question it. As a person, however, life has taught me that certain occasions call for us to temporarily suspend disbelief, even if only for a minute, and push ourselves outside of our comfort zones.

Recently, the VMSD team visited New York to attend the annual Retail Design Collective, an intensive week of visiting showrooms, attending educational sessions and checking out new stores, gaining first-hand knowledge of what the industry’s most creative retailers, designers and manufacturers have to offer for the coming year.

Traditionally, our January issue houses a comprehensive, visual assortment of tools our readers use to imagine and create the inspirational spaces they’re challenged to produce for their brands and clients every day. That has remained, and in the January 2017 Look Book pages, you will find a curated mix of both innovative and imaginative design and visual merchandising products, which our editors have organized by category.

Our continued relevance, of course, depends on our ability to keep pushing the boundaries of our creativity so that we can continue to deliver valuable experiences to our readers every issue, every month. To that end, we’ve added our first annual Retail Trends Forecast to this year’s Look Book.

For the forecast, written by industry veteran Steve Kaufman, we asked our readers to share their thoughts on emerging trends that we’ve identified as critical for 2017. That valuable, and exclusive, reader input is combined with interviews with industry thought leaders to offer a clear view of what issues are top of mind for retailers and designers alike – especially as we enter into a year punctuated by question marks and a “wait-and-see” attitude among many.

As I complete my first year as part of the VMSD editorial team, I'd like to thank you for your support of VMSD and wish you a happy and prosperous 2017!