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The New ROI

The best return on investment can be reconnecting with shoppers.



Want to get a sense of the creative, behind-the-scenes thinking going on in retailing today? Then take a day and delve into a year’s worth of renovation projects encompassing all sectors of retail – from specialty and department stores to supermarkets and restaurants. That’s just the task that VMSD and a host of judges undertook for our sixth annual Retail Renovation Competition.

Throughout that day, we reviewed some pretty innovative solutions to tight budgets, material sourcing and even how to incorporate that annoying column in the center of your store without calling in a bulldozer or construction crew.

While judges debated the ins and outs of each project, discussing whether the final result was relevant to the space and helped (not diluted) the brand presentation, they kept returning to one of this year’s entrants as a “really good execution of a down and dirty, quick renovation.”

The project was White House | Black Market’s Houston Galleria store, which was due for a refresh, says Victor Johnson, the brand’s director, store environment. In an effort to bring the store as close to the brand’s latest store format without taking on the cost of new construction, Johnson and his team chose key areas to remodel that would deliver the most impact, like a new fixture and lighting package. Much attention was also given to the fitting rooms, which now boast crystal chandeliers, sconces, black walls, striped satin curtains in lieu of doors and a new entrance. “As the brand evolved, we’ve felt the fitting room experience is a huge part of why women shop with us and come back,” says Johnson. “We wanted it to be a wow.”

The competition judges thought in the wake of the 2009 economy, the scalable, five-day renovation project deserved a special ROI award. “It’s a great job of elevating the overall look in a short time,” says Jan Tribbey, vp, store design and construction, Victoria’s Secret Stores. “It’s right for what they were trying to achieve.”

Plenty of retailers halted construction and new store rollouts over the last year and a half, but they haven’t stopped updating their product offering or reinventing their brands. While we all eagerly await the return of project approvals and those pie-in-the-sky budgets, putting a few upgrades here and retail renovations there is a great way to remind shoppers who you are. And, more importantly, why they should be shopping with you.




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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