After what seemed like a very long three-and-a-half months, shops across the UK are finally welcoming back customers, as Covid-19 rules were eased to allow non-essential retail to reopen.
Hopefully, this is the last time that retailers will be forced to close their doors, with the vaccine roll-out going well and all of the lines on the government’s charts going in the right direction.
The improving situation also means we can start to look forward to returning to physical industry events when other restrictions are, hopefully, relaxed in the summer. The Creative Design & Display Connections event in September and the Creative Retail Awards in October are both set to go ahead, and we look forward to catching up with many of you later in the year!
For the moment, there’s still plenty of exciting new developments in retail, both in the UK and further afield.
In this issue, we have an early look at the brand new Browns Brook Street flagship boutique in the heart of London’s Mayfair, which Browns chair Holli Rogers describes as “magical”.
There is also a behind-the-scenes look at Nespresso’s new flagship boutique in Vienna, which has been designed to inspire and excite shoppers with a whole host of interactive and informative in-store features.
Elsewhere on the continent, we get an insight into how Parisian architecture agency RDAI transformed a listed building for luxury brand Hermès, while Massimo Renon, CEO of United Colors of Benetton, takes us inside a new store concept in Florence, Italy.
We also have expert analysis from Hilary Bradley, Client Services Director at Undercurrent on how to treat the shop floor as an experience hub, while leading brands from the digital signage sector set out how this form of media looks set to play a major role in retail’s revival.
Enjoy this issue and see you back on the high street!