2014 has been a good year for suppliers of shopfittings and display equipment. Members of the Shop and Display Equipment Association (SDEA) are reporting increased sales with initial like for like figures suggesting a 12.3% increase on 2013 says Heidi Easton.
Creativity has been restored to the retail environment helping to grow sales and at the same time safeguard jobs. Retailers, keen to take advantage of increased consumer confidence are now turning to SDEA members for innovative, new instore displays and shopfittings to boost sales. It is no coincidence that those store groups which have invested heavily in their instore experience, such as John Lewis and Next are doing so well. Having a good looking, well designed store works equally well for large groups and smaller independents!
This year we have also seen a subtle shift towards bespoke products being sought and developed, as well as modular systems that can be customised. This trend coupled with the short lead times demanded by retailers, is helping to fuel our industry and bring manufacturing back to the UK.
Another trend this year has been the incorporation of technology and LEDs into display units. We live in a world of technology and it is only natural that it is shaping our instore environments as well as online. There are now companies dedicated to the creation of such display units, which often feature advanced flat screen technology, purely for product promotion. LED lighting has been a revelation in the last couple of years as new supermarkets proudly boast 100% LED coverage. Now LEDs are being used extensively in retail display: in light boxes, for unobtrusive under shelf lighting and for edge lit acrylic displays. LEDs have become a staple part of the instore experience and are being incorporated into many aspects of display equipment.
SDEA has devoted a lot of time this year to researching and developing an industry leading sustainability tool and accreditation, which will benefit both its members and their retail clients. The Association is determined to establish sustainability within the retail sector by offering its members a tool which delivers sustainability without sacrificing cost, lead-time or functionality.
Earlier this year our industry witnessed the announcement of an exciting new retail trade show. Retail Design Expo is to be held from 10th – 11th March 2015 at Olympia in London and has become ‘the show’ everyone is talking about. From the supplier of the smallest display part to the largest retail store, this new exhibition fuses the retail community together seamlessly. It has already amassed a lengthy A list of exhibitors together with 2,000 retail visitors who have already registered to attend three months before the event.
SDEA has pledged its support for Retail Design Expo and will also be exhibiting at the show. Director, Lawrence Cutler, who is part of the steering group that has helped shape the show from its inception said “SDEA has been campaigning for years for an exhibition dedicated to retail design and display. Retail Design Expo is the right exhibition at the right time and in the right place. SDEA is proud to be supporting the Show and encourages everyone in this highly creative and innovative sector to take part, whether as an exhibitor, speaker, delegate or buyer.”
Retail display has a lot to look forward to next year.
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