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Next Store: The Future Has Arrived. Have you ever wondered why there are so few examples of a fully realized and executed digital experience (DX)-based design in the retail industry?

Next Store: The Future Has Arrived

This has been a hot subject for several years, and one I’ve certainly championed here in this column; but now, we may have a new model to follow. I recently became aware of a fresh retail concept being developed with digital experience at the forefront. Since my days leading the digital experience retail tours at the National Retail Federation (Washington, D.C.) annual conference, and now writing this regular column, it’s been difficult to point to many retailers who weren’t just treating digital as a novelty, and few new brands have been created with digital engagement at their essence.

And now, DX design would finally have a true case study to be showcased as the next model of excellence. Tuned Up. We’ve all been there: You walk into a brightly lit store at night, and the intensity hurts your eyes.

Tuned Up

The culprit is cool-color-temperature lighting – light that more closely mimics daytime hours. Though static illumination was once the only option, recent advancements in LEDs and tunable white lighting have offered new solutions. Without getting too much into the nitty-gritty, tunable white lighting products allow end-users to adjust the source’s color temperature from a warm 2000 kelvin (or below) to a cool 6000 kelvin (or above), depending on the manufacturer. Mannequins: For Fun and Profit. The Internet is constantly changing the way people shop.

Mannequins: For Fun and Profit

But it’s also turning mannequins into social media icons. “Blogs, images and comments about mannequins are all over social media,” says Faith Bartrug, owner and founder of Faith Bartrug Design (Columbus, Ohio). “They have become an essential part of popular culture. It’s all about personality.” Next Store: Interactive Digital Experiences Come of Age. There is a new acronym to add to your digital era glossary: It’s IxD, or interaction design.

Next Store: Interactive Digital Experiences Come of Age

Ideo (Palo Alto, Calif.) co-founder Bill Moggridge has been talking about it since the mid-1980s when he, along with designer and researcher Bill Verplank, first coined the term. In his 2006 book, “Designing Interactions,” Moggridge predicted the future existence of this new design discipline, dedicated to creating imaginative and attractive solutions in a virtual world, where one could design behaviors, animations and sounds. Captivating Customers. Nike (Beaverton, Ore.) recently launched two major campaigns for its London flagship stores, transforming its Jordan brand and authentic basketball annex into visually alluring installations.

Captivating Customers

Showcasing some current trends in visual merchandising, Nike called upon design firm Green Room (Birmingham, U.K.) to execute its vision. Green Room sought to climb above and beyond its aesthetic expectations and storytelling demands for the Kobe XI and CP3.XI product lines. The result: a visual recreation of speed and lightning, respectively. Next Store: Virtual Reality Has Arrived. I was recently in downtown Los Angeles while the innovative Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was setting up shop at the convention center, and I became intrigued when I learned that more than 70,000 attendees were expected.

Next Store: Virtual Reality Has Arrived

E3 is produced annually by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and is the definitive global video game event, showcasing approximately 1600 various tech products. A trade show that garners that level of attendance must serve an active and dynamic marketplace. And, where there are gamers, there is bound to be digital innovation occurring that will, no doubt, drive discussions surrounding virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for the coming years. This ever-evolving market is one that those of us in the retail sphere should look to for inspiration, or at least keep our collective eye on.

26 Visual Merchandising Innovations.