By Jenny Rebholz
I think the paparazzi might have been present during the inspirational session presented by Joanna Felder and Bess Anderson of Chute Gerdeman Retail. Flashes were popping as attendees tried to capture the images of unique visual merchandising and branding concepts from retail spaces around the world.
The imagery helped the pair illustrate their “story” of “Visual Merchandising – The Return of Storytelling to Refresh Tired Stores.” The audience was captivated by the images and the information, and I am sure each person walked away with at least a dozen ideas.
Some of the trends they shared include: “What’s Old is New Again.” Heritage and nostalgia are replacing the overly slick, ultra-modern stark retail stores of recent years. Retro-inspired interiors now offer a décor full of textural elements that express a sense of authenticity and individuality.
“The Return of Words” is another trend where retailers can use words to evoke emotion and offer another opportunity to engage customers in humorous and thought-provoking ways. And taking words one step further, books provide an easy to implement idea that they referred to as “Hot Off the Presses.” The book titles can communicate powerful brand subtext while doubling as product displays. When they’re open, they make a well-read resting place for small items like jewelry or eyeglasses.
Anderson and Felder took the audience on a journey around the globe telling the story of successful brands and interesting spaces. They inspired the audience to think of curated art, coat hangars, used tea bags, stuffed animals, ladders… and the list goes on and on…in ways that speak to customers and transform the retail experience.