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First Place: “Woolworth VA Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa”

Renovation: Department Store
Submitted by: Woolworths, Cape Town, South Africa




2021 Retail Renovation Competition

Scope of work: Renovating two existing floors and converting a basement-level garage into selling space. “That allowed us to trade on a larger scale and extend our homeware, food and beauty offer,” said Errol Solomon, Executive Store Design and Visual Merchandising, Woolworths. “All the above-ground spaces are connected internally by an atrium that we relocated to be a more central spine for vertical circulation.”

2021 Retail Renovation Competition – First Place: “Woolworth VA Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa”


The new basement selling space, meantime, was dedicated to a coffee bar and a café, a click-and-collect counter, a gift-wrapping station and a beauty bar.

Unique challenges: The basement has a very low ceiling, reflecting its previous use as a parking garage. “Because it was not feasible to raise the soffit height, we had to work with the current infrastructure — including several massive columns — without making the space feel oppressive,” says Solomon. “To do that, we opted to darken the overhead equipment and have a lighter color on the soffit to create contrast that alleviates the perception of a low ceiling.”

In addition to a tight timetable — two months — Covid hit during the project, which meant the design team had to work under strict quarantine measures, Solomon adds.

2021 Retail Renovation Competition – First Place: “Woolworth VA Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa”


What sets the project apart: The update turned the store into the first — and so far only — one of the chain’s 155 full-line outlets that trades over three floors.

📷: Jac De Villiers, Cape Town, South Africa



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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