Meanwhile, the wounds that the booming online trade has inflicted on the city's body are becoming more and more visible. And it is not just in retail that many are anxiously asking themselves the question: Will the inner cities continue to desolate, will their social and cultural life lose diversity and liveliness? What can be thrown into the balance against factors such as expensive commercial rents, limited living space, the relocation of work to the home office in the suburbs of the big cities and the climate-related reduction in individual traffic?
The logic of digitization
The department stores failed with their integrated brand shops. Do retail stores now also have to submit to the logic of digitization and transform themselves into "content hubs" and websites that are enhanced with a haptic experience? Does the real space ultimately mutate into a media appendage that contributes to the image and brand? Or is it possible to reconnect the shopping experience, retail design, cultural environment and social closeness?
There are currently more questions than answers. When it comes to revitalizing inner cities - and not just economically necessary - and maintaining the diversity of offers beyond ubiquitous global brands, interior design plays a key role in concert with architecture, urban planning and politics. Despite or because of the digital competition for on-site charging. In the “lively ground floor zone” where the shops are located, the aim is to address customers. An inviting retail design and ambience lets you perceive the “public interiors”.
Retail design and ambience
Bettina Kratz, managing director of Kplus Concept in Düsseldorf leaves no doubt about it: In the inner cities, a rethink has to be made. Aesthetically convincing interiors remain important, but above all an attractive mix of industries, as is often found in neighborhood centers, can help. Also because of lower rental prices, these are not yet dominated by the same global brands whose offers can be easily found online. In particular, as she says, “little pearls”, for example a confectioner or a shoemaker, should not be allowed to go. Here - with the support of politics, among other things - protection zones must be created and the diversity of the offer promoted.