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NXTLVL Experience Design

Episode 34: Christian Davies

Change and The Power of Design with Christian Davies – Design Practice Lead, Bergmeyer




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Christian Davies is an internationally recognized retail and experience design leader. He has amassed over 100 awards and has worked for a diverse set of clients from disruptive startups to the best of the Fortune 500. His career path has put him on both sides of the line of design consultant and big name retailer. Christian talks with host David Kepron about the seismic change we are all now experiencing in culture and the marketplace, sustainability, leadership, Gen Z, creativity, and designing with reverence and respect for an aging population.


Christian’s LinkedIn profile:






Davies brings 30+ years’ experience as a creative leader, working with brands across the globe, from disruptive startups to the very top Fortune 500 contenders in retail, experiential, beauty, fashion, hospitality, technology, luxury, and more. His veteran status includes over 100 national and international design awards (15 of which earned top honors for Store of the Year Awards), including a five-time winner of design:retail’s Retail Design Influencer as well as a coveted Retail Design Luminary award.

As a Design Practice Leader for Bergmeyer, Davies will bring a thoughtful and provocative approach to leading and inspiring its teams, projects, and clients through purposeful brand identity exploration and the shaping of meaningful and memorable physical environments.

Prior to Bergmeyer, Davies served as Managing Director of the Creative Marketing Group at Verizon, Creative Vice President of Global Design and Innovation for Starbucks, Executive Creative Director of the Americas at Fitch, and Vice President/Managing Creative Director at FRCH Design Worldwide.



On Creativity:


Back in the early 2000’s the International Retail Design Conference came into being. The event sponsored by VMSD magazine and STMedia Group – now owned by SmartWork Media – wasn’t your typical tradeshow. They tried booths by vendors early on and then abandoned them for a fully educational event.

Retail industry leaders and some of the best retailers and visual merchandisers have since gathered every year – but for 2020 due to the COVID pandemic – to talk all things retail.

There were always great presentations about projects that pushed the boundaries of retail design, awards galas, the requisite cocktails and spontaneous conversation in the hallways where ideas flowed naturally.

As a member of the VMSD Editorial Advisory Board, I have attended all but 2.


And over the past 20+ years I recall a few speakers that simply captivated the audience. Christian Davies was a ‘standing room only’ presenter that drew crowds to hear insightful, thought provoking and slightly cheeky commentary that he seemed to get away with – perhaps because his English accent gave him some slack – but mostly because he was on target and freakishly smart.

Christian didn’t hold back. He went to the heart of the matter.

Sometimes critical, sometimes satirical and often emotional.

Too this day frequent attendees will recall a session he presented on Compassionate Capitalism where he and the audience shared a tear over the profoundly moving actions of some global retailers who stepped beyond the bottom line and reached out in support of people in need.

I was always one of the ‘standers’ – not because I needed an easy way out if the presentation was not meeting my expectations but because people had rushed the room to be creatively inspired and challenged in their thinking.

I have worked with and competed against Christian for design gigs with national and international retailers but mostly studied him as a retail design, brand experience place-making leader who has had a career working on both sides of the line – as a design consultant and big brand retailer. Honestly, I have been at times envious but mostly admiring of him.

Christian is a visionary creative leader with over 30 years working in the retail and experiential industry across the globe. He is Skilled in Strategy, Innovation, Design and Implementation.

He gets it done.

He has amassed over a 100 international design awards working for everything from disruptive startups to the very top of the Fortune 500.

And… he continues to be a keynote and session speaker at every major retail conference in the US.

Christian is now the Design Practice Lead for Bergmeyer – a Boston based design firm.

A recent favorite topic for his speaking sessions these days?

“Navigating the future in this time of seismic change.”

Love it…Right up my alley….



David Kepron is a multifaceted creative professional with a deep curiosity to understand ‘why’, ‘what’s now’ and ‘what’s next’. He brings together his background as an architect, artist, educator, author, podcast host and builder to the making of meaningful and empathically-focused, community-centric customer connections at brand experience places around the globe.

David is a former VP – Global Design Strategies at Marriott International. While at Marriott, his focus was on the creation of compelling customer experiences within Marriott’s “Premium Distinctive” segment which included: Westin, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels and Gaylord hotels.

In 2020 Kepron founded NXTLVL Experience Design, a strategy and design consultancy, where he combines his multidisciplinary approach to the creation of relevant brand engagements with his passion for social and cultural anthropology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies.

As a frequently requested international speaker at corporate events and international conferences focusing on CX, digital transformation, retail, hospitality, emerging technology, David shares his expertise on subjects ranging from consumer behaviors and trends, brain science and buying behavior, store design and visual merchandising, hotel design and strategy as well as creativity and innovation. In his talks, David shares visionary ideas on how brand strategy, brain science and emerging technologies are changing guest expectations about relationships they want to have with brands and how companies can remain relevant in a digitally enabled marketplace.

David currently brings his creativity and insight on brand experiences to an international audience as a member of VMSD magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, as a Board Member of the Interactive Customer Experience Association (ICXA) and Sign Research Foundation’s (SRF) Program Committee.

He has held teaching positions at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), the Department of Architecture & Interior Design of Drexel University in Philadelphia, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (L.I.M.) in New York, the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Montreal and he served as the Director of the Visual Merchandising Department at LaSalle International Fashion School (L.I.F.S.) in Singapore.

In 2014 Kepron published his first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World” and he is currently working on his second book to be published soon. David also writes a popular blog called “Brain Food” which is published monthly on

In September of 2020, he launched the “NXTLVL Experience Design” podcast which brings listeners dialogues about “DATA: Design, Architecture, Technology and the Arts.” His guests include thought leaders who are driven by a passion to create the ‘New Possible’ and promote new paradigms of experiences into the mainstream.



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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