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The winners of VMSD’s annual Retail Renovation Competition




RENOVATION AND CONVERSION projects have always had an eco-friendly dimension – after all, you’re reusing an existing space rather than building a new one. In addition to fulfilling consumers’ ever-growing appetite for such green environments, the astounding variety of projects chosen as winners in VMSD’s annual Retail Renovation Competition also achieves retailers’ and restauranteurs’ desire to find new ways of wowing customers.

Consider the competition’s overall winner – the Larissa Loden Retail Store and Makers Studio – which involved converting a run-of-the-mill, low-rise office building into a glittering gallery of jewelry merchandising and production.

Remarkable Redos

To help our expert judges pick the winning projects (either conversions, defined as a retailer taking over another retailer’s space or some other usage, or renovations, the redo of a space by its existing brand), submitting design firms were asked to provide detailed answers to four questions: What was the scope of the renovation work? What were the project’s goals and objectives? What unique challenges were involved in the job, and what steps did you take to overcome them? Finally, what makes your project unique in terms of store planning, concept, materials, fixtures, lighting, etc.?

What follows are excerpted highlights of the answers designers provided to those questions for the competition’s overall winner and for the five first-place finishers.

Read them and reap.


Retail Renovation of the Year:

Retail Renovation of the Year First Place:

  • “Avril – Place de la Cité”
    Conversion: Supermarket | Submitted by: Aedifica, Montreal | Photography: David Boyer, Montreal
  • “Bastone”
    Renovation: Restaurant/Specialty Food Shop | Submitted by: Z-Space Design, Lawrenceville, Ga. | Photography: Mia Yakel, Atlanta
  • “Innvictus Tezontle Refresh”
    Renovation: Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 10,000 SQ. FT. | Submitted by: CallisonRTKL, Seattle | Photography: Innovasport, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • “Noble Herb”
    Conversion: Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 10,000 SQ. FT. | Submitted by: High Road Design Studio, Scottsdale, Ariz. | Photography: Kevin Brost, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • “Tullabee”
    Conversion: Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 10,000 SQ. FT. | Submitted by: NORR LLC, Detroit | Photographer: Gabby Pike Photography & Design, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Honorable Mention:

  1. “As Revival”
    Submitted by: NORR LLC | Photography: Gabby Pike Photography
  2. “Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Udvar-Hazy Center, Retail Renovation”
    Submitted by: CallisonRTKL | Photography: Sterling Plenert, New York
  3. “Target Times Square”
    Submitted by: Target | Photography: @ Brian Lauer / Jeffrey Totaro Architectural Photographer, Gladwyne, Pa.
  4. “Save-On-Foods Sunwood Square, Coquitlam”
    Submitted by: c8studio design collective | Photography: Courtesy of c8studio design collective
  5. “Bergdorf Goodman Personal Shopping Suites”
    Submitted by: Bergdorf Goodman | Photography: Jeehan Moon, New York
  6. “Bottega Guachipelin”
    Submitted by: Gensler, Costa Rica | Photography: Sergio Pucci, San Jose, Costa Rica
  7. “FabHOME by Fabindia”
    Submitted by: FRDC – Future Research Design Co. | Photography: Praveen Sundaram, Karnataka, Bangalore, India
  8. “Hattie B’s Hot Chicken”
    Submitted by: August Construction Solutions Inc. | Photography: Audrey Leonard, Dallas, Texas

Thank You to Our 2023 Judges!

  • Jay Highland
    Executive VP, Creative
    WD Partners
  • Diane Archibald
    VP Store Planning, Design and Facilities Mgmt.
  • Amanda Sarver
    Senior Interior Designer
    The Kroger Co.
  • Eric Daniel
    Creative Director
    Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
  • Barry Baughman
    Design Manager – International Implementation
    The Wendy’s Co.



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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