Trend spotting in retail design

“Design is the living embodiment of who you are, your style, an expression of your mood, company, and philosophy,” Andrew Gallici told attendees of his Thursday seminar about retail design. Gallici, the executive creative director of Watt International, Toronto, Canada, spoke about design trends with company president Ron Harris. Their firm is responsible for the creation of nearly 3,000 jewelry stores worldwide.

While Watt’s job is to unearth and express the unique identity of each client, the task takes logos, package design, proper display cases, lighting, and more, to send the right message to customers. Windows are a tease to bring in customers, Gallici said, and the entire storefront is an invitation. “If people look into your windows, can they see that you’re a jeweler?” Harris asked.

But in addition to addressing individual store personality and sending the right message, jewelers should address social trends that affect design. For example, by 2010, 40% of the U.S. population will be obese. For retailers, this means armless chairs that don’t “limit those who sit in them,” suggested Gallici. Other social trends to consider include:

* Women influence 95% of all shopping decisions.

* Generation X (the children of the Baby Boomers) and the Millennial generation (people born after $$$$) will increasingly influence retail trends.

* Masstige, or the democratization of luxury, will continue.