EHI and Mesee Düsseldorf presented the annual EuroShop RetailDesign Awards on Sunday 5 March, the first day of the triennial EuroShop trade fair. Standout store concepts this year were Primark in Madrid, Rose Biketown in Bocholt and Saks Fifth Avenue in Toronto, selected from more than 80 entries across 27 countries.
Primark in Madrid, Spain
Designed by Dalziel & Pow, the new flagship store of fashion discounter Primark is notable for its digital concept, which is intended to be a direct response to the electrifying atmosphere of the Gran Vía, Madrid’s largest shopping street. The store, with a contemporary design, covers 12,356 sq m over five storeys of an historical edifice. The atrium at the centre of the building is surrounded by 11 transparent, contiguous LED screens that display tailormade visual content accompanied by special sound effects. They interact with the historical architecture, creating an exceptional 3D experience for customers. Expressive typography, illustrations, sculptures and installations by local artists draw customers’ attention. Emphasis is given to traditional materials, and the colour scheme is keyed to the themes in each department.
Rose Biketown in Bocholt, Germany
Designed by Blocher Blocher Partners, the store operated by Rose Bikes, a German manufacturer and retailer of bicycles and accessories, places heavy focus on omnichannel retailing. Online and offline worlds merge in a 6,000 sq m space. Customers can design the bicycle of their dreams using an interactive configuration tool that can be accessed via a tablet computer or an interactive table with the help of a sales assistant. The system can also be used to browse through the product catalogue. Various test stations, for such items as navigation systems or bicycle lights, help in the selection of products. The custom-configured bicycles are delivered at a pick-up station where customers can discuss the details of their purchase with the staff. Wood and concrete, as well as a road that seems to traverse the premises and large landscape pictures, give the store an appropriate outdoor character. The bicycles are presented on platforms at the centre of the sales area and illuminated by a special ceiling structure to draw attention.
Saks Fifth Avenue in Toronto, Canada
The flagship store of luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue combines exclusive objects of art with natural materials to create an impressive overall picture, and was designed by FRCH Design Worldwide. The installations and handcrafted materials are inspired by Toronto’s natural environment. Diverse materials – warm and cold, matte and polished – are juxtaposed, giving each department an individual look that is matched to the given products on display. The store design on the third level, for example, features stylised metal trees and wavy pieces of glass in the shape of icicles that call to mind the surrounding forests. The building’s open floor plan, which allows light to flood in, enhances the exclusive and natural design. Services like personal shopping advice offer customers additional luxury and convenience.
The wining designs excelled in the way they fulfilled the selection criteria of the international panel of experts: an appeal to a specific target group, a clear message about the product range, a consistent store concept and a mix of architecture, materials, lighting, colours and visual merchandising that effectively conveys the establishment's story to the customer.