THE FUTURE OF TRADITIONAL RETAIL

Bansky 'Trolley hunters'

Shopping is a modern version of hunting, why not turn it into a place of adventure and a positive challenge rather than a lonely planet …

By nature, we are hunter-gatherers we need to work together to fulfil each other’s roles in collecting the essentials to survive. Dopamine is responsible for the feeling we get when we find something we’re looking for or we [achieve] something we set out to accomplish, says Simon Sinek. The hormone is released every time we get closer to our goal. Our bodies feel satisfaction and keep us motivated, without the hormone we would become idle and waste away.

Traditional retail is in a crisis today and the ideas to improve the situation in the future looks sterile, lonely and isolated. If we are served by the robots we will become robots too.

Who will benefit from being looked after by a robot in a store, an app sending messages every time we pass a store or an idea of doing grocery shopping while sitting in a car seat?

The idea of Amazon Go shopping seems most efficient. It’s simple – in and out of a store – no queuing to pay for our shopping means we will have more spare time for ourselves at the end of the day. That’s a positive outcome.

Human contact is a very important part of the shopping experience as we all know it

It is the more personal conversation or a short witty chat with a person behind the counter I think rather than information provided about the product. My Iranian friend can talk to anyone standing beside him in the shop, perhaps it is a part of his culture to treat shopping as a social experience. As a regular customer at the fish counter in Dunnes Stores, I got a small discount which was offered to me by the stall owner – a robot or an app will never do that.

What do you think about the use of an advanced technology in retail in the nearest future? Do you like some of the new inventions?

What do you think about the use of an advanced technology in retail in the nearest future? Do you like the idea? 

Hunting in prehistoric art ‘Rock Art of the Tassili n’Ajjer

African market stall photographed by © Derek Speirs
African market stall photographed by © Derek Speirs
Temple Bar by Market in Dublin by © Greville Edwards
The market in Berlin by © Greville Edwards
Food market in Barcelona by © Greville Edwards
Food market in Barcelona by © Greville Edwards
Food market in Barcelona by Greville Edwards
Food market in Barcelona by © Greville Edwards
Market in Dublin by © Greville Edwards
The market in Dublin by © Greville Edwards
Temple Bar by Market in Dublin by © Greville Edwards
The market in Temple Bar, Dublin by © Greville Edwards

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

Featured image – Bansky ‘Trolly Hunters’

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ROMANTIC WINDOW DISPLAY

Romantic, poetic technology

Today is the 14th of February 2017
The Valentine’s Day

My most romantic window project is called Poetic Technology and at the same time, it is my least favourite window I designed in DIT College, even though I think the phrase is well caught in the design. Somehow I did not feel it, wasn’t sure how to interpret the theme, it felt vague and too philosophical. It was the only time I chose a male mannequin and surrounded him in a pink colour. I was playing with the contrast between masculinity and femininity.

Stella McCartney once said, ‘For something to be feminine it has to be a little bit masculine and vice versa’ I followed her phrase in this project.

Flying birds inspiration for the project
Flying birds project inspiration

Inspiration: Nature and Modern Romance
With the use of advanced technology and electronic devices in these modern times, we are moving farther away from nature. At the same time, we have begun to see the details in the world around us, but we have created a gap between nature and the need to be a part of it. Today we try to resurrect the strong connection we once had but have somehow lost. My model in this window display has a bohemian nature, his attire is contrasting with pixelated patterns of birds in flight in the background.

Romantic, poetic technology window display

Romantic, poetic technology window display

Romantic, poetic technology window display

Romantic, poetic technology window display

To develop my visualisation further I wanted to create photomontage and place the window in a suitable window display. That did not work I should approach it differently from the start. I created this single window display, which now looks like a space tube or a condom sale stand with a slogan Buy your condoms from Valento supported by Safe Sex Organisation 😉

"Buy your condoms from Valento"

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

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CHINA, CHINA, CHINA

Origami roosters celebrating Year of a Rooster 2017

Everybody talks about China. How much do I know about China? What are the first associations I have with the country?

It is a big piece of land with an old history and a massive world population. They love their food and they live to work. The country had its cultural revolution under the leadership of Mao Zedong where the traditional art, craft and literature had to be destroyed to create a new, equal society. So far, for years anything that was ‘Made in China’ meant poor quality and mass production. It’s kind of still the case … Today everyone wants to trade with China, some even see the country as an economic and military threat.

I really wasn’t sure will I have enough to write about before I started my research on Chinese design. How wrong was I! Seems, I have found material for a string of posts.

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Ai WeiWei is Chinese most famous, provocative, contemporary, multidisciplinary artist and an activist. The guy is a living legend, went through a lot of hardship dealing with Chinese authorities. His work reflects on social issues with an emphasis on violations of human rights. He has a great compassion to most vulnerable people.

Ai WeiWei during an exhibition in Le Bon Marche, Paris
Ai WeiWei during an exhibition in Le Bon Marche, Paris

 

Le Bon Marche department store in Paris, featured in January 2016, Ai WeiWei exhibition called ‘Child’s Play’ a creation of mythological creatures using an old technique that involves stretching silk or paper over bamboo frames. The exhibition was inspired by Chinese antiquity legends and fairy tales, written by Shan Hai Jing.

Sadly, the artist could not read the stories as a child as it was totally forbidden at the time in China. During Mao Zedong ruling the intellectual property had to be destroyed with an idea of creating a different society. Society cut off from the past, roots, traditions, arts and crafts.

‘CHILD’S PLAY’ EXHIBITION

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‘LAUNDROMAT’ EXHIBITION

The exhibition features refugees clothes and shoes collected on the shore of Greece. Clothes are presented in a desirable way,  placed in a trendy store created by Ai WeiWie. Wall is covered with images of refugees gathered from social media.

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat at Deitch Projects

Ai Weiwei: Laundromat at Deitch Projects

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Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

All images and videos used in this post are linked to the original source. Click to find out more.

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NATURE THE GODDESS – WINTER

white frost on the trees in winter

WE MAY HAVE MANY GODS

But we should have one Goddess and it should be the nature. Inspiring and unique images full of shapes, scents, colours and sounds are like free gifts undervalued, invisible, unnecessary. Nature gives back what has received. It is either going to be a dull, destructed life, with no spirit and hope or the utopian version of it. Do take care of your Goddess, always where ever you are.

WINTER AND THE WHITE FROST

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

THE ARCHITECTURE OF DUBLIN

Dublin-architecture

LOOK UP AT THE ARCHITECTURE OF DUBLIN

Only recently I started to pay more attention to the Dublin’s architecture and the facades of the buildings even though I have been living here for many years now. It is hard to keep the head up when walking through Dublin’s streets as they are very active and busy most of the time. When in town we all have to pay more attention to what’s in front of us rather than what’s above us.

Heads up when in Dublin!

 

 

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

HISTORY AND THE EVOLUTION OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING

EVOLUTION OF VISUAL MERCHANDISING THROUGH THE HISTORY OF EUROPE AND AMERICA

  • THE FIRST AWARENESS OF SOPHISTICATED MARKETING TECHNIQUES, 1780
  • VICTORIAN STORE
  • Kansas, 1872
    Kansas, 1872
  • Soho, London, 1883
    Soho, London, 1883
  • LE BON MARCHE, PARIS, 1838
    LE BON MARCHE, PARIS, 1838
    THE ARRIVAL OF DEPARTMENT STORES
  • TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS DEPARTMENT STORES TO USE PLATE GLASS WINDOWS, MACY'S, NY, 1862
  • Paris, 1912
    Paris, 1912
    EUGENE ATGET DOCUMENTS PARISIAN WINDOWS LATER INSPIRATION FOR SURREALIST ARTISTS
  • Paris, 1912
    Paris, 1912
  • The customer is always right
    The customer is always right
    HARRY GORDON SELFRIDGE BRINGS RADICAL CHANGES TO THE MARKETING TECHNIQUES IN THE STORES, 1890
  • High Street, England, 1895
    High Street, England, 1895
  • Selfridges Store, 1909
    Selfridges Store, 1909
    REVOLUTIONARY METHODS OF DISPLAY AND MARKETING
  • Selfridge Store, London, 1909
    Selfridge Store, London, 1909
    SELFRIDGE MARKETING METHODS ARE SPREAD ACROSS EUROPE
  • Pierre Imans, 1920's
    Pierre Imans, 1920's
    LEADING MANNEQUINS MANUFACTURE
  • 1920's wedding dresses display
    1920's wedding dresses display
  • Berlin, 1925
    Berlin, 1925
    WERTHEIM DEPARTMENT STORE
  • WASHINGTON D.C. 1928
    WASHINGTON D.C. 1928
    WINDOW DISPLAY FOR ATWATER KENT RADIOS
  • MODERNISM MOVEMENT ARRIVED IN AMERICA, SAKS STORE, NY, 1929
    MODERNISM MOVEMENT ARRIVED IN AMERICA, SAKS STORE, NY, 1929
  • HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR INFLUENCED WINDOW DISPLAY,  1920-1930's
    HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR INFLUENCED WINDOW DISPLAY, 1920-1930's
  • 1930's
    1930's
    ELECTRICITY ALLOWED TO LIGHT UP WINDOWS AT NIGHT TIME
  • BONWIT TELLER COMMISSIONED SALVADOR DALI TO PRODUCE SERIES OF WINDOW DISPLAY, 1936
  • SALVADOR DALI WINDOW DESIGN, BONWIT TELLER, 1936
  • Berlin, Germany, 1933
    Berlin, Germany, 1933
    WWII - EUROPE IN CHAOS
  • 1950's Desirable Life Style
    1950's Desirable Life Style
    FUTURE HOMEMAKERS, STYLE EQUALS FUNCTION
  • New York, 1950's
    New York, 1950's
    AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CREATES MASS CONSUMPTION
  • ANDY WARHOL BRINGS FRESH IDEAS TO WINDOW DISPLAY, BONWIT TELLER, NY, 1961
  • ARTIST JASPER JOHN'S WORKS AS WINDOW DRESSER, BONWIT TELLER, NY
  • NEW CONCEPT - LIVE MODELS IN WINDOW DISPLAYS, 1970's
  • Biba Store, London, 1973
    Biba Store, London, 1973
  • 1980's Funk
    1980's Funk
    POSTMODERNISM, WINDOW DISPLAYS INFLUENCED BY ELECTRONICS
  • Late 1980's
    Late 1980's
  • Hermes, 1993
    Hermes, 1993
  • Hermes, 1995
    Hermes, 1995
  • Hermes, 1996
    Hermes, 1996
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Hermes, 2002
    Hermes, 2002
  • Joseph Fashion
    Joseph Fashion
  • Aishti Christmas window
  • Ivy Moda
    Ivy Moda

Images linked to the original source click to find out more

The most creative period in the history of Visual Merchandising seems to be the early 20th century until the 1960’s in America, in Europe until the 1940’s. WWII created so much chaos there was no room for creative ideas.

The time when the skill of window design was at its lowest creative point happened between 1970’s-1990’s which is odd considering it was a very creative period in music, fashion and cinematography.

Technology had an impact from the early stages, at first, it was plate glass window then electricity, then air conditioning. Today internet stimulates the shopping experience and it is the greatest competition for the traditional form of retail. Early 2000 is the start of e.commerce. The competition forced many retailers to be very creative – again!

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In my opinion, high street retail stores have not changed much since Mr Selfridge revolution. There has been nothing new added to make the experience more pleasurable or even adventures. Stores look the same, not even across the street but across the globe. No personality just globalised pure business in the same dated uniform.

Perfumery section at Selfridges, 1909
The jewellery sections of Selfridges, 1909
The jewellery sections of Selfridges, 1909

Even though I write about Visual Merchandising I personally do not really like traditional shopping (except Flea Markets) I find it a tiring and stressful experience. My reasons: some stores are just too big, there is too much to choose from (yes, that can be a problem), I do not like noise in general so I do not enjoy the loud music played. I have to walk up the stairs (when there is no escalator or lift) but I’m already walking through the streets from one store to another, so please do not make me walk even more. I’m tired I want to rest on a nice soft couch that is not here!

Well, I am big time e.commerce because I can shop online in the middle of the night in my pyjamas, I can drink a coffee while browsing, I do not have to rush to make a decision, I do not have to queue or move around disoriented shoppers. I can read the customer review or search through categories all that while listening to my favourite music.

It will be interesting to see how the traditional retailers and e.commerce will evolve in the future. Both still have plenty to work on as online shopping is very practical it does lack the creative side. There is no big window display where a potential customer could go… ‘Ah Cool’!

Joseph Fashion Christmas window in collaboration with Harlequin-Design 

     

Author: Walkowska Aleksndra

Additional note:
While doing my research I have noticed how much better the images were archived up till the 1960’s. Most of the images from that period have a date and place provided. Between 1960’s up till 2000 was hard to find well-archived images. It does get better after 2000 … A lesson learned – I will try to organise my images better too.

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