Exploring London’s Energetic Retail Design Scene: Design, Energy, and Innovation

London is at the forefront of retail design, with the avant-garde brands and concepts mixed with the historic charm of the city, the blend of tradition and innovation is inspiring. Recently, we took the opportunity to explore a few of the city’s stores and examine some of the latest design trends for 2024.

What emerged across many store environments was an energy in store through three different approaches; energy through display, energy through engagement and energy through people. In retail design, the creation of an energetic environment is very important as it can transform transactions into immersive brand experiences. An energetic retail space is where brands come to life, engaging customers on a visceral level. By strategically infusing spaces with vibrancy, from digital screens to areas that encourage customer engagement, designers and retailers have the power to evoke a sense of excitement. This energised ambience not only captivates attention but also encourages longer dwell times and repeat visits. Ultimately, in the competitive landscape of retail, an energetic environment becomes an excellent tool for differentiation, making a lasting impression and forging a strong connection between the brand and its audience.

Energy through display.

Footasylum’s newly opened flagship store on Oxford Street is packed with cutting-edge retail technology. The streetwear and sportswear brand aesthetic and vibe is instantly communicated by the large digital screens creating an immersive audio and visual in-store experience. The store also features click-and-collect lockers, connecting the brand’s online and in-store offerings seamlessly. The store is going beyond sales, with brand showcases, panel talks and DJ nights, all exclusively accessed by downloading the Footasylum app, encouraging customer engagement in-store and online.

A prime example of bustling energy through digital display in the city is at Outernet. Opened last year in London’s West End, Outernet is an entertainment, arts and culture district, it is the largest digital exhibition space in Europe with the world’s largest LED screen displays. The audience is transported to alternate worlds. One of the most magical displays currently is The Butterfly Trail, ‘a new immersive experience which pushes the boundaries of digital design.’ The whimsical and colourful display shows explorer Professor Peter Pelgrin’s Botanical Workshop. Visitors use their phones to scan QR codes, enabling them to release animated augmented reality butterflies. When visiting, the atmosphere was electric, with people of all ages equally engaged and excited by what they could see and hear.



Energy through engagement.

Levi’s new in-store consumer experience is offering more to their customers, with expert tailors in the centre of the store. This hub is for repairing, re-imagining and recycling your Levi’s to make them last longer or transform them into something new. This in-store service adds a creativity and energy to the store environment, with the sound and activity of the tailors at work. It also adds a visible sustainable element to the brand experience.

Victorinox, experts in pocketknives, luggage, watches and kitchen knives have a new flagship store on Oxford Street, that exudes quality and functionality. The store features a personalisation station, where customers have the opportunity to customised and engrave products. There is also a pocketknife assembly station, where you can create your own pocketknife. This adds a level of customer engagement and interaction with the product not seen in most stores.

Nike London’s customer engagement area ‘Nike By You’ is a ‘one-stop shop for repair, care & customisation’ offering a sustainable personalisation service, along with exclusive ‘Nike By You’ session with artists. With vibrant and aspirational online campaigns for the concept, the physical space is a draw for customers to come into the store and spend longer during their visits.


Energy through people.

The engagement of staff plays a pivotal role in a store’s overall success, an enthusiastic and well-informed staff member creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere that resonates with customers. An engaged staff not only enhances the customer experience but also contributes to increased brand loyalty, ultimately shaping the success and reputation of the store.

A wonderful example of this is at Didi’s Juice Bar within Kavanagh’s, Belsize Park. The juice bar sits within the food-to-go island as you enter the supermarket. Didi, the owner, is warm and passionate about her work, greeting regulars and welcoming new customers. There is a bustle of activity as you enter that immediately catches your attention.

Gymshark’s flagship store on Regent Street, is engaging customer through offering events in store. The space for events aims to bring the community together with exciting workout classes, PT sessions, community-led run clubs and events hosted by their athletes. The space allows the brand to go beyond transactions, connect with their customers and build a community around the brand.



As we conclude our visit to London’s vibrant retail scene, it’s evident that the city is full of retail design innovation, seamlessly blending physical stores and cutting-edge concepts. The emphasis on creating energetic environments through diverse approaches; display, engagement, and people, has become a defining trend shaping the future of retail design. As retail design specialists, it is clear that the energy we infuse into retail spaces, whether through captivating displays, creating areas for engaging experiences, or getting staff to be passionate about the project, not only differentiates a brand but creates a profound connection with the audience.


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