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What will retail design look like in 2023?

As part of DesignWeek's series of design in 2023, UXUS CCO and founder George Gottl offers his view on what might happen in retail design over the next year.
12 January, 2023
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What do you think 2023 will hold for retail design?

During the pandemic, consumers became accustomed to virtual realities when the real world became suddenly inaccessible. However, many people are now returning to physical spaces with the need to travel, explore and come together as groups – reconnecting with the real world again.

In the hospitality industry, there are no longer “off seasons”, as people are more inclined to travel all year round after having this privilege taken from them during the pandemic.

In 2023, we expect to see an increased number of new food and beverage services, as consumers have a refreshed desire to connect with people – now more so than ever. Visually bold décor and unique products will continue to be employed to entice customers in, with hopes of increasing the shareability factor of spaces for social media.

In relation to this, many restaurants now have signature dishes that they know will create noise and buzz on social media. For example, the oyster bar in Grand Central and its incredibly popular caviar paninis. As such, places then become ‘famous’ for these unique and wonderful dishes, due to customers sharing their experiences through social media.

Fashion retail, on the other hand, will be impacted by the recent collapse of great houses – such as the recent controversy of the latest Balenciaga campaign which brought the brand to a crashing low, coupled with Gucci’s long-standing creative director, Alessandro Michele, stepping down. In 2023, there will be a rebirth and reconfiguration of brands, giving new and upcoming fashion houses the opportunity to emerge. Gen Z is heavily influenced by fashion, meaning the new labels about to enter the markets will be targeted towards their interests and styles.

Additionally, people are looking to decrease their screen time, with a wave of consumers focusing on IRL not URL. As we enter 2023, travel and F&B is booming again with many fabulous hotels and restaurants opening. Yet in the luxury sector, many big brands are on the decline, which will create space for new ones to emerge.

2023 is going to be a positive and exciting year for all brands that were heavily affected by the pandemic, as consumers are craving the experiences they missed out on for two years.

What was your favourite retail design project from 2022 and why?

A design project that stood out last year was Browns integrating dining into its Brook Street store, creating Native, designed by Red Deer, which embodies an artisanal, handmade spirit throughout. This is a great example where a brand has stood the test of time but still injects fun into its changing spaces.

Browns Lounge

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