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Industry Spotlight


INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Antalis Paper & Packaging Solutions

Antalis is one of Europe’s leading distributors of Visual Communication solutions and a global leader in the B2B distribution of Paper and Packaging solutions. We serve almost 130,000 customers from 118 distribution centres and complete more than 14,000 deliveries every day.

Our visual communications team stock more than 1,750 lines of rigid and flexible media for internal/external signage, POS, window and floor graphics, hanging signage, wall décor, textiles, banners and other retail applications, all from leading brands such as Orafol, 3A, Coala and Drytac.

The substrates you use will impact message delivery and the shoppers’ perception of your brand. It is our role to help you specify and use the best materials to enhance in-store experience. We also provide you with advice on sustainable solutions and printing methods to enhance your results, as well as offer training workshops, a conversion facility and next-day delivery logistics.

Just Ask Antalis.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Tarkett’s iD Mixonomi

With iD Mixonomi, Tarkett have crafted a creative ‘material toolbox’ for architects and designers to enable them to use colours and shapes to create their own flooring compositions.

This versatile collection, with 33 original colours and 10 interconnecting shapes, is particularly suited to the development of unique and remarkable designs for retail or hotel interiors.

Built upon the principle of combining colours and shapes, iD Mixonomi is an intuitive tool to enable the tailoring of flooring compositions; from timeless patterns to the most vibrant collages.

Inspired by the iconic hexagon, the iD Mixonomi range features 10 compatible geometric shapes and sizes which may be combined in a multitude of layouts. A striking palette of 33 colours has been created around a central colour theme of bold trend shades, deep complementary hues and metallic highlights.

All of these iD Mixonomi options work seamlessly with the existing Tarkett iD Inspiration standard plank and tile shapes.

To further inspire signature floor designs, Tarkett has created an online library of patterns and layouts for iD Mixonomi, along with a ‘floor configurator’ and digital visualiser at – to help designers create dynamic pattern and colour combinations.

The collection is manufactured using phthalate free technology has a number of crucial functional benefits such as extremely low VOC’s – an important contribution to improved indoor air quality.

View the new collection online at:

Tel: +44 (0)1622 854040




Antalis is one of Europe’s leading distributors of Visual Communication solutions and a global leader in the B2B distribution of Paper and Packaging solutions.

The company serves almost 130,000 customers from 118 distribution centres and complete more than 14,000 deliveries every day.

Its visual communications team stock more than 1,750 lines of rigid and flexible media for internal/external signage, POS, window and floor graphics, hanging signage, wall décor, textiles, banners and other retail applications, all from leading brands such as Orafol, 3A, Coala and Drytac.

The substrates you use will impact message delivery and the shoppers’ perception of your brand. It is their role to help you specify and use the best materials to enhance in-store experience.

Antalis also provide advice on sustainable solutions and printing methods to enhance your results, as well as offer training workshops, a conversion facility and next-day delivery logistics.

Just Ask Antalis.

A1 Retail

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: A1 Retail Magazine – first place for news in your industry

Do you want to keep up-to-date with the latest industry news? Read A1 Retail Magazine!

Published 11 times a year, A1 Retail brings you up-to-the-minute industry news, inspiring projects, comments from leading voices in retail as well as extensive coverage of industry events and exhibitions.

Brought to you in the form of a hard copy magazine, digital magazine, website and free A1 Media App.

Visit our website today to find out how you can subscribe to an industry leading magazine for free!



CAEM Retail Installations are specialist shopfitters, with installation teams based nationwide to cover any part of the UK offering an all-inclusive bespoke installation service to all of its clients and tailored services to meet their ever-changing needs.

CAEM realises the importance that retailers place upon making the customers journey through a store an inviting and cost effective experience and work with them to ensure that their plans and ideas become reality.

Their attention to detail on site is of the highest standards and this enables CAEM to complete all projects in a safe and timely manner that always exceeds client expectations.

From new store openings, refits, to multi-store roll outs, CAEM will work with you every step of the way to achieve your goals.

Secure Trading


Secure Trading is one of the world’s leading independent payment service providers. We help online businesses succeed through cutting-edge technology, world-leading expertise and a culture dedicated to trust.

Secure Trading was founded in 1997 and from the outset has focused on:

  • Security and reliability – our platform has an exceptional uptime record
  • Agility and flexibility – we are continually integrating new technologies and systems
  • Independent advice – we are not tied to a specific acquiring bank
  • Easy integration – we keep customer processes as smooth and simple as possible

Secure Trading provide a full suite of tailored online solutions to large corporate ecommerce merchants as well as SME’s and start-ups alike.

Our creative innovation helped us to grow rapidly, and in 1999 we were acquired by the UC Group of global ecommerce companies.

We are now integrated with banks all over the world, as well as multiple shopping carts, alternative payment providers and ecommerce solutions specialists. However, we are not bank owned and can pass the benefits of this independence straight on to our customers, advising them on the banks, shopping carts and ecommerce partners that best suit them.

Secure Trading has offices in the UK and the US, with a global reach.

Rich Relevance


RichRelevance is the global leader in omnichannel personalisation and is used by more than 200 retailers to deliver the most relevant and innovative customer experiences across web, mobile and in store.

RichRelevance’s clients are able to deliver end-to-end personalisation to their customers, creating more sales and an engaged audience. RichRelevance drives more than one billion decisions every day, and has generated over $20 billion (£15 billion) in sales for its clients, which include Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Shop Direct, Not on the High Street and Hobbs.

Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.

Industry Spotlight: Shopping centre extensions accounting for larger retail space expansion…

More than 2.7m sq ft of new retail space is due to open in UK shopping centre developments next year. However, more than half of that space is made up of extending existing centres. Sarah Davis, associate director at 3d Architects, looks at why…

According to research from global property group CBRE, there’s been 4 per cent year-on-year drop in new shopping space globally. But the number of shopping centre extensions is up, by around 50 per cent year-on-year, as centre owners invest in existing malls. This is particularly true of more mature retail markets in Western Europe, such as the UK.

New retail space from shopping centre openings and revamps in Britain are actually set to reach a four-year high in 2017, according to the UK Shopping Centre Development Report released last month by commercial property agents Cushman & Wakeman.

The spike in retail space will be driven by six new developments, the largest being the 580,000 sq ft Lexicon in Bracknell. However over half of the new space will be made up of eight extensions and redevelopments of existing shopping centres.

These extensions include the 740,000 sq ft extension at Westfield London to make it the largest shopping centre in Europe and the revamped Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford, adding 488,600 sq ft of new space.

So what is driving this move towards more investment in improving existing centres rather than new builds? Let’s look at the factors working against new builds, before considering the trends fuelling the need for existing centres to expand and improve.



The economic risks

The first and most obvious reason is the additional risk and cost of establishing a new build project and taking it through the development process.

It takes a long time for a new shopping centre to come to fruition – typically between 10-20 years. Developers don’t want to hit the building stage during the depths of the recession, so ideally want a stable economic environment and prospect of a prolonged boom to forge ahead.

Although markets are not as bleak as in 2008’s recession, the increased political uncertainty around the world has impacted economic confidence and stability in the short to medium term.

This uncertainty may also stall consumer confidence and cause a slowdown in spending.

Additionally, the rise in online shopping is leading to reduced footfall for retailers with physical shops. So although the number of retailers has grown if you include online outlets, consumer demand has not, which means a potential oversupply.

The lack of new space

In our small and already overcrowded country, the supply of ample land suitable for new retail developments is also becoming more scarce, or much more complicated to bring together. By refurbishing or extending existing centres, planning permission is much easier to achieve and it also fulfils the landlord’s need to keep their offer fresh in an ever competitive retail environment.

The lure of ample space was what originally motivated retailers to move away from the constrictions of the city high street towards large out-of-town shopping centres, such Lakeside, Bluewater, Metro Centre and Meadowhall. This space allowed free parking, easy access and more room to service and deliver the experiences demanded by the modern shopper.

Though these spatial benefits still stand, size is no longer everything and offering the biggest spaces isn’t the only means to attract shoppers. That’s why existing centres are upping their game to increase their pull – to entice shoppers from further afield and away from their computers.



Creating an more appealing environment for shoppers

One reason shopping centres successfully attract shoppers, and in turn satisfy retailers, compared to the high street is that they deliver an appealing and cohesive shopping experience.

Installing large department stores, such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer as anchors traditionally worked well on the footfall front. But shoppers are now also looking for more variety so adding ‘new’ brands, experiential events and leisure facilities enhance the ‘destination’ appeal of a shopping centre and get visitor numbers up.

Centres under single ownership are best placed to deliver the additional facilities that shoppers demand. This helps to increase footfall, dwell time and loyalty to the benefit of all retailer occupants.  For the landlord, adding these new facilities maximises value from land they already own, reducing land costs and increasing the yield on that existing development.

Intu – the owner, manager and developer of prime regional shopping centres in the UK such as Gateshead’s Metrocentre and London’s Lakeside – is one operator doing this successfully. For each of its centres, it produces lifestyle magazines, seasonal promotion events and fashion workshops to add appeal for shoppers – as well as adding new leisure facilities.

Combining shopping with dining and leisure

What is common to these shopping centre expansions is the increasing amount of new space dedicated to leisure facilities, as owners look to address the latest retail trend. According to recent figures, almost a fifth of units in the UK’s top 30 shopping centres are leisure focused to help drive the next generation of customer engagement.

Leisure, shopping and dining are becoming inexorably linked, with eating or socialising becoming as much of a reason to visit a shopping centre as buying goods.

Indeed, recent findings by CBRE revealed that a third of all visitors to shopping centres across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East will visit a shopping centre just to eat or drink. According to this research, four out of 10 will then go on to shop, even if their original reason for visiting the centre was to eat or drink.

Evolving consumer shopping habits and working patterns has also influenced when people visit malls. According to an intu survey, two in five people are now going to a shopping centre during the week, as opposed to the weekend. So leisure activity is helping to justify extending the shopping day and centre opening hours.

Confirmation of this leisure trend can be seen in the latest proposals submitted last month for extending Meadowhall shopping centre on the outskirts of Sheffield. A £60m renovation project is already underway and the centre owned by British Land is now wants to invest £300m in a new 330,000 sq ft leisure hall.

This extension will provide entertainment and dining offerings to help the shopping centre become a more experience-led destination. Proposals include creating a new outdoor dining terrace plus replacing the existing cinema, adding a gym and a flexible leisure space for indoor golf or ten-pin bowling.

The arrival of big leisure operators

Considering this trend, large leisure operators are playing a bigger role within shopping centres. Intu Trafford Centre already has a Legoland Discovery and Sea Life Centre and intu Lakeside has announced plans to introduce Nickelodeon’s first UK shopping centre attraction.

This family entertainment centre will form part of intu Lakeside’s 225,000 sq ft leisure extension due to open in 2018, featuring adventure zones, attractions and themed rooms designed for kids’ birthday parties, as well as a dedicated dining area and retail space.

In conclusion, what’s clear is that consumer needs are getting more complex and demanding, so building more enticing layers of appeal onto already established shopping centres may be a quicker and easier route to attract customers. Thereby generating higher footfall, greater consumer spend and return rate for retailers and shopping centres.

If you are a retailer or shopping centre owner looking for advice on how to maximise value from your retail offering, please get in touch with us.

3d Architects Ltd

Tel: 01908 325230


BWP Group: It’s as easy as X, Y, millennial…

So over the last few years, marketing has become more challenging as retailers struggle to reach the ‘golden egg’ that has become the millennial. This is interesting, because surely it’s easier to reach a vast audience that all think and feel the same.

‘Generation Me’ or the ‘Entitlement Generation’, as anyone born in the 80s and 90s have also been dubbed, tend to only be interested in themselves; they’re over-confident, fame-obsessed and selfish, shaped by a narcissistic digital age – a marketer’s demographic dream.

Or… and this is where it gets complicated, they are entrepreneurial, socially aware, generous and hardworking, shaped by an age of austerity and an intrinsic unfairness they observe via their ultra-connected world.

There are certain facts that are undeniable when looking at generational segments. Millennials are certainly the world’s first digital natives. Born into a world with connectivity at their fingertips, they are more aware of technology, and how they can use it to make their lives easier or more fun. And there are a lot of them – about 16 million in the UK.

These are two of the reasons why retailers and marketers have been duped into seeing millennials as the pot at the end of the rainbow. We know where they spend their time, how they shop, how they socialise and there are lots of them eagerly looking spend their disposable income. But to simplify our marketing communications to target a single homogenous group is not just a bit lazy; it’s an expensive mistake that loses sight of the bigger picture.

Firstly, as demonstrated above, this group is no different to the many generations before it. There are different behaviours, mind-sets, groups, fans and tribes. To treat them all the same, loses sight of the fact that people are generally looking for greater personalisation and relevance in the way we communicate with them – that’s the data exchange that’s been implicitly agreed.

Secondly, it ignores the fact that many segments of the generations before the Millennials have more disposable income, greater wealth and are also increasingly switched on to the advantages technology holds.

In order to make communications more relevant, and therefore more efficient, it’s important retailers become far less ‘age’ focused in how they segment their audiences. Examining the customer journey and customer mind-set at each stage of that journey is a far more valuable way of building proper segmentation and creating far more valuable and bespoke audience personas. A 25-year-old who researches purchase through bloggers and peers and then goes to a store to purchase, is going to have more in common with a 40-year-old who does the same, than another 25-year-old who prefers to go to a physical store for comparison research, before finding the best online deal to purchase.

This approach also offers useful future-proofing for activity; undoubtedly millennials will soon fall from marketers’ favour as the next fresh-faced generational segment (Generation Q) appears over the horizon with bulging wallets. The switched-on retailer will already have a segment for that, with no need to start ripping up their marketing plans in a clamour to engage with a group of people who are not really that different to the people that came before.


Words by Kieron Weedon, director of Strategy at the BWP Group

Industry Spotlight: How digital technology is influencing fast food retail design…

Fast food is getting faster and good use of digital has become an essential component in growing and driving its success. Robert Rosser, creative director of retail design agency, Studio Tait, explains more

The fast food industry continues to flourish. With ever busier lifestyles, people are less willing to cook for themselves, and are attracted to fast food for its affordability. Meanwhile the quality and diversity of fast food keeps improving, with leading brands like McDonald’s adapting their offering to focus more on health and quality.

The gap is also closing between fast food and casual dining restaurants, following the growth of ‘fast casual’ brands like Five Guys, Wahaca and Leon.

With these changes, expectations have risen – customers want great service, quality food and a memorable experience in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Today, the design of fast food restaurants needs to achieve this while removing the perception of ‘fast and cheap’.

In this evolution, using technology to enhance the customer experience has been key, with almost every fast food brand embracing digital in some respect. Merging digital and physical worlds helps to strengthen branding and experience, while at a fast food outlet, but also interactions beyond that.

Choosing your destination and food before you go

You can now use your desktop or phone to locate your nearest preferred food outlet, and easily share details to meet up with friends. Websites and apps can also let you know about the latest daily specials or offers before you visit, starting the experience before you’ve even arrived.

Brands like Burger King and Subway have invested in pre-ordering services, where you can place your order via a phone app or online so the food is ready and waiting when you arrive. 

Improving the ordering process in store 

When inside the physical fast food outlet, you don’t just queue, order and collect your food in one go anymore. Instead there are fast lanes where you your order is taken as at a delicatessen. New digital terminals that combine ordering and payment are also making purchases more efficient and convenient. 

McDonald’s has introduced interactive self-serve kiosks, seen in the new London Oxford Street branch that opened this summer. These giant phone screen terminals allow you to place your order, and even customise your burger, while avoiding the queues. You can also explore more detailed information about calories, nutrition and ingredients. 

Personalised menus and offers here can also enhance the in-store experience. In France this can include placing your order using the kiosk, taking a ticket and your seat and waiting for your meal to be served direct to your table. 

Using digital signage to engage customers 

Whether it’s ordering at a kiosk or serving counter, diners needs to understand the offer immediately to order quickly and reduce dwell time. Use of effective communication graphics is key here, and digital signage is more engaging and flexible than static printed graphics.

In this fast-paced environment, menus change frequently so digital signage can keep information up to speed. It allows you to update content quickly and remotely at any time and promote new or change under-performing products on the fly. 

The high resolution screens make the branding and food images look more enticing, plus changing content or motion video on the display is more engaging, entertaining customers while they wait. Digital screens can also convey the readiness of the ordered food items in real time.

Creating a relaxed, welcoming environment

As much as speed and convenience are important to some diners, other consumers want a place to meet, chat and relax where food is just part of the experience. So fast food interior design is increasingly creating more warmth and integrity. From the wholesome looking greens and natural materials in McDonald’s to the eclectic interior design of independents such as Love Koffee who’ve used Indian bicycle wheels as light fittings and reclaimed doors used as wall coverings. 

Seating options are more varied and flexible, combining sofa lounge areas, high tables to perch on and intimate booths. Adjustable lighting and curated music playlists are digitally-led ways to adjust the mood to match certain times of the day. 

Providing the ability to charge your mobile phone, is another way Fast Food retailers are using everyday requirements to tempt customers into their stores and make a purchase, customers are now entering these dwell areas not even for the retailers primary or secondary offer but to ensure their mobiles are fully charged and they are able to stay online while on the move.

Keeping diners happy and entertained

As digital devices are increasingly present at home, so they are in restaurant spaces. Some of the latest fast food fit-outs have fixed tablet devices on tables, allowing diners to game, chat or read the news while they stop for a bite to eat.

For child-friendly outlets, colouring books are being replaced with electronic tablets, games or activities to keep families entertained. Play zones with interactive projections and screens keeping kids happy beyond the meal.

Free wifi is also a must and food retailers can use this service to collect consumer data that can then enhance their experience and attract diners back.

Exploring home delivery

In the fast-food world, the culture of take away and drive-through remains, but the desire for home delivery has increased dramatically with mobile apps enabling food to be ordered at the touch of a button. 

The rise of third-party online ordering portals such as Deliveroo and Just Eat, means fast food chains are exploring home delivery options. Burger King began trialling home delivery in 2015 with a national rollout expected, while Pizza Express is looking at opening 150 delivery sites over the next five years.

What’s clear is that whether it’s dining in, taking away or home delivery, fast food retail design needs to achieve a consistent and holistic experience with a high level of service. The use of various digital tools to help achieve that is only likely to increase.

If you would like to find out a little more about how we can help you improve your in-store customer experience, please give Studio Tait a call on 01582 460990 or visit


Robert Rosser is creative director at Tait working across retail, brand & hospitality design. He takes an innovative and commercial approach with clients to develop store concepts, from strategy, environment to communication. Robert works closely with teams to ensure successful interpretation of a client’s brief is delivered from concept to reality. His client list includes Topshop, Primark, The Crown Estate, Sainsbury’s, Harrods, River Island, John Lewis & Gap.