design:retail - May/June 2020 - 29
RECALIBRATE AND REASSESS
RETAIL PRACTICE LEADER
THE YEAR BEGAN with an optimism for a new decade
that would reveal solutions to the industry's biggest
challenges. Concerns over the "death of retail" or
an "apocalypse" had given way to the promise of a
"renaissance of retail"-offering more intimate,
personal, human experiences to connect brands to
communities. But we've seen a dramatic shift, virtually overnight, as customers have changed their
behaviors, established new buying habits and adopted
a different set of priorities.
We evaluated the challenge of this shift through
the lens of our clients' needs, their customers and our
teams-how does Little need to respond now, or pivot
in the future to meet those needs post-COVID?
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
FOUNDER, CEO, GROUP
YOURSTUDIO'S PURPOSE is to "Inspire Human Connection." We do this by connecting people to brands
through the pioneering experiences we create. In a
world that is currently avoiding connection at all costs,
this obviously throws up a few problems!
We also have the $50 billion question: what does
retail look like post-COVID-19?
Like the rest of you, we have been absorbing data,
listening to experts and giving our own commentary
on the effect of retail following the pandemic. Our insight and strategy team has been working overtime
helping clients understand the challenges that are being presented, staying on top of the consumer mood
and hypothesizing what's next for retail experience.
We have seen a few behaviors from brands and consumers emerge over the last few months, which we
have tried to capture and share along the way.
We have seen many human and heartfelt responses
from brands supporting the fight against COVID-19,
but also brands trying to keep their communities
together and connected with each other.
For the immediate future, shoppers may continue
with their online grocery shopping as they experience
the benefits, but seek safer public spaces for consultation or trial when they visit the store. We're all taking
this opportunity to re-calibrate-to assess our values.
Retailers will need to reassure the customer and deliver on their commitments to health and safety. Brand
communications and architectural details will play a
significant role in reassuring these shoppers by promoting hygienic practices, calling out antimicrobial
materials and by ensuring high-touch spaces can be
sanitized and are more resilient.
Shoppers are increasingly aware of the impact their
decisions are making on our well-being and the climate. They will be more deliberate about how they
separate essential items from those considered indulgent. As increasingly conscious global consumers,
we'll seek more locally sourced materials and produce,
entrusting retailers who share our brand values and
embody them through their actions.
One of our favorite examples has been an immersive VR experience called "Trikestra 360," bringing
three Berlin symphonies together to entertain and
support their community from isolation. The YouTube
video is worth a watch.
"We will have to
purpose of the
These have been emerging along with new rituals
and habits, rewiring how we shop and what we value
most. Brands have been supporting these changing
values through digital platforms.
Nike has been supporting their consumer by offering the premium version of the Nike training app for
free to support their "Play Inside, Play for the World"
campaign. Nikes partnership with Headspace has
given additional well-being support through animations and positive words to help consumers navigate
Just as time is increasingly viewed as a luxury,
social distancing has placed an emphasis on the value
of space. Customers will be wary of their environment
and of one another, demanding more options for
pickup/drive-thru, curbside delivery and electronic
payment methods as they gradually reconnect with
For example, our concepts for Element Hotel
(by Marriott) offer solutions for groups of guests
seeking private dwelling space. "Studio Commons"
provides a shared, dynamic living area for groups of
travelers (business or sports groups) who may no longer be comfortable spending their time exposed in a
Technology is, without a doubt, a driver in enabling
this change in behavior to occur-from efficient logistics to contactless payment that seamlessly connect
the physical, digital and last mile of retail. Few of us
could have predicted the events of recent weeks, but
the majority of us saw the change in retail coming.
The pandemic has simply accelerated our trajectory
toward the "rebirth" of retail.
their realities. Many of us have found motivation
essential to keep well and on top of our health.
Our new confined lives, added to the newfound
challenges around money and work, have seen an increase in consumers exploring digital worlds through
gaming. We believe this escapism won't be just digital.
Once our restrictions are lifted, we feel there will be a
jump in people wanting to escape their confinements
in search of physical experiences that will help them
escape their realities.
We are some way off from this escapism bliss, but
we are on a route back to stores opening. Speaking
to our clients, we are expecting two phases of retail
comeback. It is going to be a tentative journey back
into stores, one of building trust with consumers,
communicating stories of hygiene and ease of shopping at distance.
Once we move past that first phase, I'm excited
about the innovation that will come. With the boom in
digital integration and uptake, we will have to redefine
the purpose of the physical retail experience and map
out what the new retail eco-system looks like.
At YourStudio, we have our own hypothesis as to
what this future retail experience looks like, but for
now we are waiting for when the world eventually returns to a new normality to get a clearer view on the
As a group of people that solves problems using insight, data and creative thinking, I've no doubt that
design agencies will be ready to adapt and support the
challenges retailers face ahead.
design:retail - May/June 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - May/June 2020
design:retail - May/June 2020
From the Editor
On Trend: Retail in the Pink
Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
Interactive Spaces: Razer
Plugged In: adidas
Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
40 UNDER 40
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Intro
design:retail - May/June 2020 - design:retail - May/June 2020
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover2
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 1
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Contents
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 4
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 5
design:retail - May/June 2020 - From the Editor
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 7
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Happenings
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 9
design:retail - May/June 2020 - On Trend: Retail in the Pink
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 11
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 13
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 14
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 15
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Interactive Spaces: Razer
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 17
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Pop-Ups: Backcountry
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 19
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Plugged In: adidas
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 21
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 23
design:retail - May/June 2020 - SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 25
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 26
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 27
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 28
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 29
design:retail - May/June 2020 - CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 31
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design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion1
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design:retail - May/June 2020 - 40 UNDER 40
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design:retail - May/June 2020 - Moment
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover4