Premier Retail

Retail Design Expo 2017

Humans and Machines Combine to Provide Experience Retailing

Retail Design Expo 2017

Retail Design Expo

Now in its third year, Retail Design Expo is the specialist retail design and branding event from Legend Exhibitions. The Expo brings together the finest exponents of retail design, visual merchandising, branding and in-store experience and is the definitive annual Expo for those working within the retail, brands, hospitality and the leisure sector.

Throughout the event, visitors will be able to interact with more than 270 suppliers and take part in more than 75 free conferences. Star studded speakers will be on hand to offer the best advice in the industry and there will be numerous opportunities to network across the two-day event.

With Retail Design Expo 2017 set to be even bigger than ever before, scores of exhibitors have signed up to appear and/or sponsor the event. These include large numbers of members from trade bodies POPAI, the SDEA and the National Association of Shopfitters, all of which support the event.

“By and large, as an industry, those of us in the P-O-P sector aren’t that good at selling ourselves to clients. But we work in retail and branding, and Retail Design Expo provides a tremendous shopfloor for us to show what we can do,” said POPAI Director Phil Day.

This year’s Retail Design Expo promises to be packed with excellent content, with a whole host of key speakers lined up to take part in the event. Speakers include the likes of Federico Schilling, Head of Store Design and Development for Thomas Pink; Sarah Page, Creative Director & Partner at Household; Simon Clark, Director of Lumsden Design; Paula Rowntree, Head of Branch Formats & Design for Lloyds Bank; and Martin Illingworth, Director of Store Development for Harrods.

Additional speakers include an array of managers, directors and CEOs from companies such as John Lewis, Ben & Jerry’s, H&M, Dulux and Boots, amongst others.

A key feature of this year’s Retail Design Expo will be The Designer Pavilion – a space where leading design consultancies and architects will be exhibiting. The following exhibitors will be taking part in The Designer Pavillion: Household (DES1); Edge (DES2); Double Retail (DES3); Octopos (DES4); True Story (DES5); Quadrant Design (DES6); Ormerod Design & NBC Building Contractors (DES7); and DisplayPlan (DES8).

In addition to a packed programme of events, this year’s Retail Design Expo will also provide the platform for the third annual Retail Design Student Awards. The awards – which are sponsored by ITAB UK – will see global brands and retailers set live briefs to test the next generation of retail design talent.

The Retail Design Expo 2017 takes place at the London Olympia on May 8th and May 9th.

Networking & The Big Party

The Retail Design Expo 2017 offers the perfect opportunity to network, courtesy of the Retail Design and Visual Merchandising Visitors Lounge. The lounge, sponsored by Kesslers, is an exclusive space where panel guests can speak with visitors and vice versa, and those looking to expand their current network will be given the opportunity to converse with colleagues old and new.

According to The Retail Design Expo, the Retail Design and Visual Merchandising Visitors Lounge “is the perfect place to take a few moments to relax, review the exhibitors you still want to see, decide which conference sessions you want to attend and check out the many other exciting features at the show.”

The Retail and Visual Merchandising Visitors Lounge is located on the 1st floor of the Gallery area.

And don’t forget, if you want to network even further, The Big Party is the perfect opportunity to round out a busy day with a drink and a spot of conversation. Open to visitors and exhibitors alike, The Big Party starts at 4:30pm on the first evening of the show – so don’t miss out!

Retail Design Student Awards 2017

Students from six colleges will take part in this year’s Retail Design Student Awards. The colleges include: Portsmouth, Kingston, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Manchester and Middlesex.

The students will be mentored and supported by six industry experts, including: Helen Shelley, Creative Director of MWorldwide; Tim Greenhalgh, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of FITCH; David Judge, Creative Executive Director of Start JG; Ross Hunter, Director of Graven Images; Lloyd Blakey, Founder and Creative Director of Innovare Design; and Jon Lee, Creative Director of 20.20.

Students from Portsmouth and Middlesex will be working from a live brief set by Adidas; Kingston and Glasgow students will be working from a live brief set by Majestic Wines; and students from Manchester and Huddersfield will be working from a live brief set by Pret a Manger.

Christmas VM Market and Awards

Retail Design Expo, Europe’s leading annual event for the retail design, marketing, visual merchandising and architecture industry, has announced the launch of two new major features for its 2017 show in May – the VM Christmas Market and the VM Christmas Awards.

The VM Christmas Market has been launched in consultation with Retail Design Expo’s steering panel, to meet a demand from event visitors for a showcase of the very best Christmas decorations, displays and props on the market. Displaying both bespoke and off-the-shelf products, the market will provide a focal point for retailers and brands seeking inspiration for their Christmas displays.

Housed in its own designated area, and with a distinct look of its own, The VM Christmas Market is already attracting attention from new exhibitors.

“The VM Christmas Market really made sense for us,” says Sasha Lord, new business and sales manager of AromaCo, which has signed up to exhibit in the market. As well as being a key time for perfume sales, Christmas creates a variety of scent-based campaigns for food and drink brands, says Lord.

The Silk Forest, which creates artificial trees, plants, food and other props, is also to exhibit in the VM Christmas Market. Managing director Graham Aldred says: “The VM Christmas Market promises to be a great chance to show the creativity and fun that VM can provide for retailers – just at the point when many of them will have finalised their budgets for the festive season. We’re looking forward to showing what we have to offer.”

The second new initiative is the VM Christmas Awards, which will celebrate the very best in seasonal VM displays, interiors and windows, with all displays from Christmas 2016 eligible for entry. An independent judging panel of top retail and creative talent will select the shortlist and winners. Work from the full shortlist will be displayed throughout Retail Design Expo and a glittering awards ceremony announcing the winners will be held on the second day of the show.

“For a great many retailers a strong Christmas trading period can be crucial to a successful year’s results,” says Space NK head of visual and store design Paul Wilkins, a member of the Retail Design Expo steering panel. “A huge proportion of the annual VM budget is set aside for jaw-dropping gorgeous shop windows and in-store displays all focused on creating the ultimate magical customer experience that translates into sales. No one can afford to make a mistake at this time of year and we all spend enormous time, energy and money to get it right. That is why I am incredibly excited by the VM Christmas Market and VM Christmas Awards initiatives at Retail Design Expo 2017.”

Retail Design Expo – An invaluable event

Past visitors to the Retail Design Expo have frequently related how invaluable the Expo has been to them and this year promises to be the same.

Phil Whittle, Schuh head of store operations, said: “I think it’s fantastic. It’s great that everything’s all under one roof and that you can have a one-stop-shop, and come and see all the different companies that are here and listen to the talks and get involved for the day, if you want to.”

Intersport COO Thomas Rasmussen said: “I think the good thing about being here is that you have a sample of all the kind of systems that we use in the retail. I’m a retailer by heart, so for me it’s important that we also understand that it doesn’t have to be only technical, nerdy… You need to actually be in a place where we can get inspired by all the kinds of different ways that we see retail business, and I think actually this exhibition does that. I come over here to England from Denmark and I actually think I get some new inspiration that I couldn’t get in Denmark.”

B&Q head of retail design Alan Taylor said: “I just like the atmosphere of the place and just the feeling that everybody’s in this ever-changing retail world and they’ve all got parts to play within it. And it’s just great to connect with people as well and just talk about that and the challenges you’re facing, the challenges they’re facing and ways you get through it, so it’s been great.”


For more information about Retail Design Expo 2017, please visit:

CD (UK) Ltd

CDUK distributes the solid surface material DuPont™ Corian® across the UK. Corian® is the incredible material that was introduced to the UK by CDUK in 1979. For the past 38 years, CDUK and Corian® have been evolving, innovating and inspiring architects, designers and fabricators alike.

Corian®, is an advanced composite of natural minerals and pure acrylic polymer, one of the amazing attributes of this surface is that it is able to offer a seamless flow between work surfaces, retail counters, vanity basins and limitless other items.

Since its initial use in both bathrooms and kitchen schemes, the use of Corian® applications has grown and the product can now be included in a range of projects from hotels and office schemes to retail, healthcare projects and more. In addition, Corian® can now be used as an external ventilated façade, Endless Evolution expresses what Corian® has been, is and will be.

At the Retail Design Expo 2017, CD (UK) Ltd will be teaming up with Dyson to showcase a fantastic new concept which launches later this year – The Washroom Solution. The Washroom Solution combines a series of Avante® Basins in Corian® with the Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer to provide the perfect wash and dry solution for any washroom.

Commenting about their appearance at the Retail Design Expo, CD (UK) Ltd Managing Director, Gary Baker, said:

“This is year three for us – we’ve been showcasing Corian® at the Retail Design Expo since the very beginning and the retail sector is a key area for us. There are many leading brand names that are already using Corian®, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, but we’d like to build upon this. The Expo provides us with the opportunity to meet new clients, while demonstrating to existing clients the latest innovations in Corian®.”

Gary added:

“At CD (UK) Ltd we’re really proud of the fact that we are the UK distributor of Corian® and that CDUK have played such a large part in the growth of this incredible product since we brought the product to the United Kingdom 38 years ago.”

Ashleigh Signs Ltd

Ashleigh Signs Ltd has been established for over 30 years and has grown to be one of the top five signage companies in the UK. Founded from an engineering background, Ashleigh Signs Ltd developed and pioneered the introduction of aluminium pub signs to the brewery sector, which replaced easily ruined timber signs. With a team of over 150 people the company manufactures all aspects of their signage in house in their purpose built 90,000ft2 factory.

Due to the growing development of digital signage in the UK, the company formed Ashleigh Digital in 2014. Their in house design, manufacturing and installation expertise allowed them to become the only complete turn-key digital solution in the UK. They offer a turnkey package that includes the design, manufacture, hardware procurement, content management and creation as well as installation, and service and maintenance.

Clients and Brands include Premier Inn, Morrisons, Thai Leisure Group, Mitchells & Butler, Intercontinental Hotels, Beefeater, Forrest Media, Daktronics, KFC, Unite Students, Marks & Spencer to mention just a few, Ashleigh Signs will be part of the Retail Design Expo, Europe’s leading annual event for innovation and inspiration in Retail Design, Marketing, Visual Merchandising & Shopfitting from around the world.

Mark McLennan commented:

“We will be exhibiting our capabilities in terms of signage though Ashleigh Signs as well as Ashleigh Digital.”

He added:

“As a company we pride ourselves in our quality, service and customer retention. We work successfully with a wide range of clients and brands to develop individual requirements and deliver excellent results.”


Alplas is an injection moulding manufacturer and distributer of POS Accessories.  A family run business located just outside London, Alplas design, prototype, manufacture and deliver solutions for in-store promotional display.

Alplas innovates and was the originator of plastic Eurohooks, many different fixture clips and bespoke adaptions to standard products to find new solutions. They can produce in colour to help bring in-store print to life.

Exhibiting at the Retail Design EXPO is a first for Alplas and Helen Davidson, Alplas’ Marketing Administrator, commented:

“The Retail Design EXPO is a new show for us but we have hit the ground running this year as we’ve been busy exhibiting at the VM & Display show and Euroshop, in Dusseldorf. We will be exhibiting our in-house design, prototyping and manufacturing capabilities with a number of new POS accessory products, including our Anti-Theft Swing Tag and a range of stud mounting clips opening up new display possibilities.

Helen added:

“In these challenging times we are proud to be a member of the Made in Britain campaign.”

CJ Retail Solutions displays the future of instore compliance solutions

Retail display installation company, CJ Retail Solutions will be pulling out all the stops at this year’s Retail Design Expo.

The award-winning company’s stand will showcase the latest in providing instore compliance solutions through audio-visual retail technology, including digital analytics and virtual reality headsets.

This year, CJ Retail Solutions will give delegates the chance to trial digital analytics to understand its multiple instore uses and the benefits and value it can add to retailers and brands.

Commenting on the company’s exhibition at RDE 2017, Managing Director of CJ Retail Solutions Chris Langford said:

“We’re really excited about incorporating digital elements to our stand which will allow people to achieve a fully compliant retail environment.

“It’s important for us as a company to be creative and stay ahead of the retail design curve, which is why technology is forming a large part of our stand this year. It will be great to show how retailers can make the most of new products and tools to revolutionise their in-store marketing techniques and maximise their potential.”

Founded in 1995, CJ Retail Solutions specialises in global Retail Display & POP Installation and Digital POS Implementation.

For more information on CJ Retail Solutions please visit:

Muraspec & bbrown

Muraspec is a commercial, digital and bespoke wallcovering solutions specialist, providing services to the hospitality, leisure, retail and residential sectors. Their products range in size, style and include decorative panels, coated fabrics, paints and dry erase wallcoverings.

As an international leader in wallcovering solutions, Muraspec has partnered with a number of clients, including Marks and Spencer, Dixons Carphone as well as private residences, amongst many others.

Head of bbrown, Angus Morton, said:

“Muraspec is the leading British designer, manufacturer and distributor of commercial wallcovering solutions for the global interiors industry. Our products are on display in the finest hotels, offices, cruise ships, retailers and residences around the world.”

Muraspec’s brands include their international elegant wallpaper specialist Fardis, textile wallpaper specialist Calcutta in Belgium and bbrown. bbrown is a display materials specialist, supplying a variety of speciality products and fabrics to the retail, events, exhibitions and entertainment sectors, including products for television programmes & film sets. The bbrown brand has been in operation since 1934 and, over the past 83 years, has built up a strong reputation for excellence.

bbrown stocks an extensive range of products, from a wide range of woven and non woven fabrics and polycarbonates, to tiles and laminated PVC products and more. The minimum order is just one linear meter, and all products can be delivered during the next working day.

Angus Morton added:

“We are part of the Muraspec Group, a leading international designer and manufacturer of wallcoverings and decorative surfaces. Working closely with our partners enables us to supply our products to every corner of the globe.”

Muraspec and bbrown will be in attendance at the Retail Design Expo 2017.

Outform Valley

Outform Valley is one of the industry’s most advanced designers and manufacturers of retail solutions and technology. The company’s mission is to become the leading global retail agency by providing clients who seek multiregional end-to-end support with a dedicated partner.

The Valley Group was established in 1892 – Outform was established in 2003. The two businesses came together as Outform Valley in 2016.The Valley Group’s 125 years of experience, combined with Outform’s agency heritage and global production capabilities offers clients a truly comprehensive and unparalleled shopper marketing service.

With enhanced reach and support, Outform Valley can empower global brands with greater control over product launches, brand compliance, and retail distribution. Outform Valley is privileged to work with some of the world’s leading brands including Apple, Pernod Ricard, Tag Heuer and Microsoft, providing innovative and consistent retail experiences across the globe.

At the Retail Design Expo 2017, Outform Valley will be showcasing a range of solutions, from fully interactive displays to the latest retail technologies on the market.

James Haggas, Managing Director for Outform Valley, said:

“At Outform Valley our philosophy is ‘Dare to Innovate’ – it is a creed that is all about our clients. Combining capabilities and years of experience enables us to offer the best quality, competitive pricing, and guaranteed results. We provide solutions to every vertical, whatever their needs may be.”

Quadrant Design

Award-winning architecture and interior design from Quadrant Design has put hundreds of clients’ projects in the best position for success since 1998. Quadrant Design is a close-knit team that boasts a reassuringly broad skill set when they put their heads together.

Quadrant Design provides thoughtful, individual designs for a vast range of clients. The team includes interior designers, architects, technicians and graphic designers. On every project, Quadrant Design put the right mix of people on the case to suit their scale and aims.

Companies such as H&M, Gap, New Look, Radley and The White Company put their brand’s design and implementation in the hands of Quadrant Design’s designers and architects. They’re trusted by global names you’ll see above the doors on high streets and shopping centres throughout the UK.

Come and visit Quadrant Design at stand DES6. They’d love to have a chat and show you what they’ve been up to recently.

Quadrant Design love the space they’re in. You should too.

Suntop Europe Limited

Suntop Europe Limited specialise in the provision of world-class modular and customised solutions for use within the retail sector, both domestically and internationally. The Suntop Group was formed in Xiamen, China in 1999, has built up a strong skilled work force, currently employing more than 800 people, and has completed over 2000 individual projects across more than 40 countries.

Over the past 18 years, Suntop Group has developed into a leading supplier of retail solutions, providing services to various prestigious clients, including AS Watson, Future Group, Landmark, Anta and Fila. Clients vary in scope and size, but cover sports, fashion, leisure, children’s, electrical goods and more.

At this year’s Retail Design Expo, Suntop Europe Limited will be showcasing their work and highlighting their products to UK clients. In particular, Suntop Europe Limited will be promoting a range of special products including an innovative cable free illuminated shelving system.

Suntop Europe Limited, Managing Director, Chris Prendaglia, said:

“We are proud to be a China-based company that offers a high-end quality service, at affordable prices.

“We recently invested heavily in our company, specifically our machinery, improving our equipment to offer the best service possible to all our clients.”

About the author

Premier Construction

Leave a Comment