Store design concepts 2018

With change and challenge comes innovation and opportunity. The high street is not dying, but it is evolving, and bricks-and-mortar retailers must adapt to meet changing consumer behaviour. And so, as 2018 draws to a close, we look back on some of the most influential store designs to launch over the past 12 months.

Farrow & Ball, Los Angeles

Design: Project Room
Opening date: November 2018
Store size: 242 sq m

British paint and wallpaper brand Farrow & Ball is transforming the way that customers experience and interact with its products in a new showroom in West Hollywood. The two-storey space celebrates the brand's colour expertise as well as the local design scene in Los Angeles. From its vibrant, striped facade to its innovative display, the showroom incorporates the rich storytelling elements of the heritage brand, taking a new approach to how we experience colour.

Claus Porto, New York

Design: Tacklebox Architecture; Loop Lighting
Opening date: October 2018
Store size: 51 sq m

In the Nolita neighbourhood of Manhattan in New York City, nestled among the designer jewellery shops, indie boutiques and cosy coffee shops sits Claus Porto's first international store. The 51 sq m interior pays homage to the brand's Portuguese roots, from the striking archway made entirely of cork to the monolithic washbasin, carved from the same Estremoz marble that features in the Porto flagship store. The store beautifully presents the brand's soaps, which are hand-wrapped in vintage-inspired labels.

Mulberry, Regent Street

Design: Johnny Coca & Faye Toogood
Opening date: September 2018
Store size: 278 sq m

Looking to collectively redefine the shopping experience, Mulberry creative director, Johnny Coca and interior designer Faye Toogood have developed a fresh, contemporary interior for the leather goods brand that reads more like a welcoming home than a traditional retail environment. The new retail concept was unveiled in September at the new Regent Street store, ahead of a global rollout. Inspired by the painterly qualities of bucolic British landscapes and the strong but simple geometric forms of Brutalist architecture, Coca and Toogood have explored the beauty of contrasting materials, volumes, shapes, scales and sensibilities, throughout the design concept.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Milan

Design: In-house
Opening date: September 2018
Store size: 2,300 sq m

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, Italy, is a place where customers can come to discover the art and science of coffee in a spectacular environment that is both a homage to the city and a celebration of the company's 47-year history. From the palladiana flooring that was chiseled by hand, to the bright green clackerboard made by Otalian craftsman Solari, everything in the Roastery is intentional, offering moments of discovery and transparency.

Gentle Monster, London

Design: In-house
Opening date: July 2018
Store size: 385 sq m

Korean eyewear label Gentle Monster generated much excitement when it opened its surreal science-fiction inspired store in London in July. It is the brand's first European flagship store, which focuses on product, space, styling, campaign and service. Spread across two floors, the store has a Kung Fu theme that immerses visitors in a total sensory experience.

Nike Live, Los Angeles

Design: In-house
Opening date: July 2018
Store size: 423 sq m

Earlier this year, Nike unveiled Nike Live, a new store concept that is inspired by, and built as, a hub for its local NikePlus members. The first one - Nike by Melrose - operates like an experimental digital-meets-physical retail pilot, with the products and services tested there based on a deep understanding of the neighbourhood. More neighbourhood-specific locations will open in cities around the globe, including Tokyo, next spring and beyond.

Tiffany & Co, Covent Garden

Design: In-house
Opening date: July 2018
Store size: 200 sq m

Back in the summer, luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co expanded its presence in the UK with a new Style Studio in Covent Garden that is designed to encourage creative interaction and play. The space incorporates Tiffany Blue wooden crates displaying whimsical Everyday Objects accessories, a personalisation bar, and a Tiffany fragrance vending machine. A large sky-lit space at the back shop is used for client events, exhibitions and parties. The boutique is expected to operate until mid-2019.

Stella McCartney, Old Bond Street

Design: In-house
Opening date: June 2018
Store size: 700 sq m

British fashion designer Stella McCartney unveiled her new global flagship store in June on London's Old Bond Street. Spread across four levels, the space celebrates the spirit of the brand, reflecting its modern approach to design, innovation and sustainability. The material palette includes raw steel, concrete, glass, fur-free-fur from previous collections, papier-mache, and rocks sourced from the McCartney farm in Campbeltown. Of the store, McCartney said it really tells the story of the world of Stella McCartney, incorporating sustainability, fashion, desirability and luxury.

The Shop at Bluebird, Covent Garden


Design: Dalziel & Pow
Opening date: May 2018
Store size: 1,393 sq m

More than 10 years ago in an Art Deco space on London's King's Road, The Shop at Bluebird emerged, filled with unexpected fashion finds and works of art. Over time, this treasure trove grew and grew until it was time to move. The Shop at Bluebird's new chapter started in May in the Grade II listed Carriage Hall on Covent Garden's Floral Street, with its original pulleys, beams and glass atrium set against modern art installations. Dubbed 'the playground of wonders', the design and layout promotes a sense of discovery. The glass-topped atrium with Icosahedron installation is a particular design highlight.

United Colors of Benetton, Oxford Street

Design: In-house
Opening date: March 2018
Store size: 1,500 sq m

'When we started the project, the brief was not just to do another flagship store; the idea was to create a brand amplifier, a place where the customers can become users of the brand’s philosophy, not just simple consumers,' said Michelle Trevisan, global head of retail design at United Colors of Benetton, at the launch of the company's Oxford Street store. The store is furnished with natural materials, such as wood, iron and stone, and features a knitwear theatre and lounge space. Customers can move fluidly across the three levels of the store using a striking loop staircase.

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