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From the Editor

Look Again … and Again

Our 2023 Look Book aims to inspire your future projects

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ANOTHER NEW YEAR, another new Look Book! Each year, we produce our January/February comprehensive products issue that showcases the latest and greatest solutions intended for retail environments. That includes the usual suspects from mannequins to props to lighting to materials, and almost everything in between. Our hope is that this issue, like our past Look Book editions, becomes a year-round resource as you begin planning and implementing your 2023 and 2024 renovations, displays and new builds.

One thing that was quite apparent to the editorial staff as we crafted this issue was the uptick in sustainable products and materials. Though eco-friendly elements have been important to designers and retailers for some time, sustainable products are making a bigger impact than in years past, highlighting the growing need and interest for sustainable design practices in our industry. (In fact, retailers are reportedly responsible for 25 percent of global emissions according to a recent study from Ascential’s World Retail Congress and Boston Consulting Group.)

Other concerns that are top-of-mind for retailers in 2023 include elevating omnichannel strategies, looking toward growing opportunities in the metaverse and continuing to enhance experiences in store. (Yes, “experiential” is a buzzword that’s here to stay.) You can read more about what to expect this year in our annual forecast on pg. 38.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Look Book without our holiday windows recap featured on pg. 20. This year, the trends in interactivity, animation and augmented reality remained, yet static window displays didn’t disappoint either. The past several years, retailers have seemingly been dedicating more time, effort and love to the visual merchandising techniques in their windows, proving the importance of these frontline selling tools. It’s safe to say many things have changed for retail during the past century, yet window displays remain a coveted stalwart.

In the coming months, we’ll be announcing the dates and location for our 23rd annual International Retail Design Conference (IRDC), and the call for speakers is now officially open. Additionally, we have plenty of contests and editorial opportunities now open for submissions like our Designer Dozen, Retail Design Firm Resource Guide and International Visual Competition – be sure to check out vmsd.com/submit-your-competition-entry today to learn more.

The VMSD team is wishing you all a very happy new year!

Look Again … and Again

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