Earlier this month I attended Global Shop in Las Vegas.  For those of you not in retail design, Global Shop is THE yearly trade show for all things retail.   It covers everything from workshops on the latest trends to new shelving for store displays.

I attended the show this year because many of my clients were going and I like to keep up to date on the latest trends and challenges in retail.  My approach this year was three fold.  First, walk the show floor.  This is a great way to spot new trends in retail as well as understand what is tried and true.

Second, I network.  The show is a great place to connect with existing clients and candidates and meet new ones.  I also enjoy the Retail Design Awards.

There is also all the hosted bars sponsored by different vendors, but what happens in Vegas…

The third arm of my approach is to attend interesting, design focused classes.  I feel this is where I learn the most about new trends and new challenges in the retail design field.

Now that I am back into my day-to-day I will be writing a series of blog posts about the classes I attended.  If I were to create a theme to this year’s event overall it would be “Retail is Personal” or maybe “Retail in Transition”.  In the fasted-paced, always connected, social media, instant feedback and suggestion world we live in, retail is making some exciting, and maybe controversial, changes.

This first post is about the mingling of the on-line and brick and mortar shopping experience.

First, watch this video

I am sure most of you have seen this.  I have seen it several times and I am still amazed.  Think of the possibilities.  The shopper still has the social interaction, a major aspect of shopping, yet has access to unlimited and even unique products, much like online.  Companies also benefit.  Stock can be minimal; items are simply shipped from a central warehouse when purchased.  Warehouse costs dwindle.

One talk that I think addressed how retailers are blending the on-line with the brick and mortar was titled Designing Right Brain Stores, hosted by David Kepron a Principal with Callison.  His talk was very interesting with many topics that ranged from the right and left brain, social interaction and the main point I came away with, shopping=playing.  Playing the way a child might play, having fun, enjoying yourself and not noticing the passing of time, playing like you do on Facebook or other on-line sites.

From the looks of this video, shopping is well on its way to meeting the child in each of us in a very personal way.