Retail concessions continue to grow in popularity, as retailers and brands alike are looking to join forces to drive down the cost of high-street retail. Some brands, such as Topshop, are using their most established stores to provide smaller brands an opportunity to get their product to the masses. This has worked so effectively that Topshop now dedicate a section of their website to “Topshop & Guests” - giving more exposure to the budding brands.
While cost is a significant consideration, retailers are tapping into the potential of combining different shopping experiences under one roof, in response to shopper expectations changing. This goes for shopping centres too, with centres having to compete to get that valuable footfall into their space.
There are different types of retail concession, each of which are defined by their short-term nature. Traditionally a retail concession would be a stand-alone display in the walkway of a mall or high street. However with the rise of pop up retail, concessions have broadened to include pop up stores, which contain limited-edition displays and merchandise, usually targeting a new shopper profile to their standard.
Demand has grown so much, there’s no a self-proclaimed Air BnB for retail, called Appear Here, making it easy to book empty retail spaces, as explained by Retail Gazette.
Growing Popularity of Retail Concessions
The approach was pushed to the forefront of media attention with Amazon’s venture into physical retail, that provided a completely new experience to shoppers. The success of this store was due to its combination of the physical and digital world. Whether the success was short-lived or not, it captured the imagination of shoppers, which is the exact purpose of retail concessions.
Another recent retail concession we have noticed, created by Lucky Fox, was for Victoria’s Secret Pink sub-brand, which took over space in malls local to their established stores - the image below being in Manchester’s Arndale, where the brand have a large retail presence.
We love the simplicity of this display, as it contains all of the necessary ingredients to capture attention in a crowded shopping space - bold colours and messaging that will naturally attract attention (by using gamification).
We’ve also seen online-only brands such as Birchbox create physical retail stores, and such was the success of these stores, extend their stay (https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/birchboxs-london-pop-up-extended-two-months/1453832) on the high street.
What ties all of these retail concessions is the simple, high impact approach to display manufacture. Lucky Fox’s display for Victoria’s Secret exemplifies this, with display frameworks built using modular systems, before high-visibility elements such as LED Lightboxes are used in key areas (used here at eye level) to catch attention.
Lighting has been proven to be a key element of effective retail concession design, and working with a manufacturer that understand has this can be integrated into your concept, puts you at an advantage from the outset.
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