Brand values and their 360° staging

5 retail trends that are guaranteed to keep us busy in 2023


Credits: Salvatore Ferragamo

The immaterialization of retail spaces has taken hold in recent years: Online stores have taken the place of many brick-and-mortar stores, offering increasingly easy and satisfying shopping experiences thanks to digitalization. But what about the classic point-of-sale? This has been in a state of flux for some time in order to remain attractive to consumers. Mathias Ullrich, Managing Director at LIGANOVA, presents 5 trends that will shape retail in the future.

Trend 1 – Sustainability

The store as a sustainable experience

How can sustainability be implemented convincingly and holistically as a brand? Concept stores all over the world show where these considerations are leading and where the journey is heading. In the area of sustainability, two major themes dominate above all: The use of natural raw materials such as steel, wood and clay, and the integration of recycled materials, which are the focus of minimalist and energy-efficient design in remodels and new construction projects. In addition, the examination of raw material and material cycles and the accompanying change of a store to an upcycling or recycling manufactory is becoming increasingly important. A store of the Korean sports brand Kolon Sport on Jeju Island, for example, uses plastic waste from the local beach and upcycles it in the store – as clothes hangers, cabinets or tables. In-store repair services and a sustainable and optimized supply chain cycle also round out the brand presence.

Retail Trends 2023 JU YEON LEE

Credits: Ju Yeon Lee

Trend 2 – Hyperphysicality

The store as supersensory experience

Countering the convenience of digital requires a compelling reality that is better than the digital shopping experience – and ideally combines both. Luxury brands in particular are increasingly taking their target groups on an experiential journey into physical space: the space becomes a multidimensional sensory experience that focuses not on the product but on the brand experience. This is done, among other things, with unusual designs and experience concepts. For example, Jacquemus’ concept store tiled in swimming pool blue or the store completely covered in pink faux fur for Balenciaga’s “Le Cagole” handbag generated a lot of hype. Contradictory, over-the-top, experienced with all the senses and in harmony with the individual brand philosophy – this is how modern brands, can score with customers.

Retail Trends 2023 Balenciaga

Credits: Balenciaga

Trend 3 – Immersive Experiences

The Store as a Gateway between Worlds

Augmented reality, NFTs and gamification – sounds like metaverse, but it’s happening right there in the stores. At Zero10’s fashion pop-up, for example, visitors could digitally try on clothes with an AR app, while the Salvatore Ferragamo Soho Concept Store allows free play with designs and materials for one’s own sneakers and lets players mine their own NFTs. Landrover also stages the customer as the protagonist of the brand experience and created an outdoor course equipped with cameras, at the end of which riders can receive and share their personal cinematic film, thus reliving the ride over and over again. The store acts as an active brand space that is played upon and seamlessly connects online and offline experiences. This guarantees an unforgettable experience whose duration lasts even after the store visit via digital channels and personalized end products.


Credits: Salvatore Ferragamo

Trend 4 – Content & Cooperation

The store as a multidimensional identification space

The focus of new concept stores is primarily on story selling – captivating content, suitable events, and a varied scenery. A coherent appearance makes customers forget that they are in a salesroom. The Studio Odeonsplatz, for example – the Programmatic Brand Experience Space of Mercedes-Benz in Munich – offers curated collaborations and community events in addition to changing campaigns and installations. In this way, the store becomes a place of identification with the brand and its lived values, and thus the nucleus of a new community. Nike is also presenting a sensational concept with its Style Store in Seoul: In addition to the products, the company offers a content studio here for creating social media content, as well as community experiences with changing workshops and a “Snkrs” lounge. The store is becoming an entertainment hub that provides products, knowledge, art and culture and stages them in a way that is appropriate for the brand.

Retail Trends 2023 Mercedes

Credits: Mercedes-Benz

Trend 5 – Brand extension

from the salesroom to a brand lifestyle that can be experienced

Culture begins where products are no longer in the foreground, but are embedded in an overall social, historical or societal context. The opulent interior, international cocktails and elegant bartenders of the Gucci Giardino 25 in Florence, for example, reflect the core of the Gucci brand. However, the products cannot be bought in this setting; they are merely accessories. The next stage of this brand staging is the establishment of luxury brands as cultural assets. La Galerie Dior in Paris, for example, is intensively dedicated not only to the history and founder of the house, but also to the stars and films that were outfitted with and by Dior, the label’s iconic designers, and the cultural importance of the brand. The Gucci Garden in Florence also focuses on this, bringing the brand and history to life: in addition to curated exhibition spaces, it also features a three-star restaurant. Guests not only experience the brand, they are deeply immersed in the entire lifestyle.

Retail Trends 2023 Gucci

Credits: Gucci

Brands need to be more innovative and bold in the coming months

Stores were really just thought of as retail spaces until the advent of flagship stores. Everything in these places has been optimized for decades with the hope of more efficient sales processes and higher revenues. Online stores now fulfill this rational need almost perfectly, replacing physical stores in this task.
However, what online stores cannot adequately create are multidimensional brand experiences. Customers want to be entertained and inspired, switch seamlessly between digital and analog worlds, and be part of a community that shares the same values as they do. Most importantly, they want to be surprised by the brand and its uniqueness. That’s why it’s imperative that brands focus more on their core values and propositions to create a comprehensive brand experience for the latest generation of shoppers. In order to stand out from the competition, effectively reach their target audience and continue to be relevant, brands in the physical space will have to try a lot of new things in the coming year and also take risks.

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