What will 'retail palaces' look like?

The firm, Colman Architects, says that in the future more information about products, manufacturing processes and the holistic attitudes of the brand will be available through all forms of media, especially the web.

“Loyalty to brands will be determined by the retailer’s profile and how this meets consumer expectations,” it predicts. “The amount of information in the public domain will have expanded exponentially. Information will be immediately and freely available and seen as the interactive highway between the customer and the retailer.  Consumers will rely on consultation with specialist advisers in making their eventual selection of purchases.”

Colman Architects’ innovative forecasts for shopping in 2059 – called ‘Retail Galleries: The Grand Forum’ offer a vision of a futuristic retail palace. The design is complete with a solutions lounge where personal assistants use personal ergo chips to facilitate product ‘harmonisation’ based on individual likes, dislikes and previous purchasing history, body-contouring scans to update measurements, and recycling depots to deal with ‘after-wear management’.

The British architectural firm’s inspirational design impressed a jury of leading North American critics, who included design and innovation experts. The Grand Forum was the winner in the shopping experience category in the ‘Future Image’ architecture competition organised by the  New York-based retail property organisation ICSC. All the other category prizes in the competition went to large US-based architectural firms.

Established in 1988, Colman Architects employs 30 architects and works across a broad range of property  areas, including retail, leisure, offices  and mixed use.

The firm has worked on some noted UK-based  projects  as well as developments across mainland Europe, including Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and the Irish Republic. 

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