Looking For Retail Design Inspiration? These Concepts Stores Have Got What You Need

As a business owner, staying up to date with retail design trends isn’t always easy. The trends and fashion are always changing, and brands with big design budgets are constantly changing what people look for in their shopping experience. However, if you’re looking for cool and quirky design ideas to incorporate into your retail space, there’s no better place to look than in concept stores.

What are Concept Stores?

A concept store is defined as a retail space that uses new and innovative concepts to enhance their shopper’s experience. High-end brands are well known for designing top of the range concept stores to promote their high ticket items. Whilst concept stores can be expensive to pull off, they offer a great marketing opportunity for brands to show off their products in the chicest way possible. As small business owners, creating a concept store would be basically impossible, however, smaller retail brands can look to these stores for design inspiration and tips.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful concept stores to check out if you’re in search to for style inspiration.

1. No Youth Control

No Youth Control is a brand which focuses on the idea that age itself is a concept and everyone can stay young. Their concept store in Paris perfectly encapsulates this idea with its color schemes and decor. Not only are clothes and products strung up on nostalgic pieces like playground slides, but it also has a quirkily childish color scheme which adds to the youthful aesthetic. If you’re looking to create a fun and playful style in your store, No Youth Control would be the store to check out.

2. 33 New Road

33 New Road is a concept store in Britains trendiest city – London. The store is housed in a converted Georgian townhouse, in keeping with its British location. When you enter the store, you’re greeted by a selection of carefully selected decorative pieces that feel as though you’re in a modern art gallery with a difference. The whole concept was created by the clothing store Hostem, but it is really much more than a clothes shop. All of the art and decoratives are also on sale, and you can even book a stay in the super cool house conversion overnight or for long stays  

3. Barber and Parlour

Barber and Parlour is a converted warehouse concept store presented by the luxury British brand, Soho House Company. The concept store really is a one-stop shop for any activities that might take your fancy. Inside the stylish warehouse, you can purchase Soho House company products.

But that’s not all, the building also houses a nail parlour, barbers shop, and cafe where you can buy in-house cold-pressed juices. You can also kick back and relax in their basement movie theatre, ‘Electric Cinema’. Aside from all it’s luxury amenities, Barber and Parlour sports a sleek and modern design that is good inspiration for anyone looking to inject some minimalist class into their store.  

4. Stylenanda Pink Hotel

Stylenanda is a Korean brand the offers a range of cosmetics, fashion items and accessories. If you’re looking for anything girly Stylenanda is the place to go. In keeping which their girly theme, Stylenanda opened the Stylenanda pink hotel in Seoul.

Sticking out from the high-street, the giant pink building has the look and feel of a luxury spa hotel, but it’s pink! The store includes a cafe for relaxing and getting an Instagram worthy picture and six floors of shopping and recreation spaces. Stylenanda does a great job of utilizing a strong color like pink making it a good store to check out if you’re looking to use bright colors in your designs.

5. Graanmarkt 13

If you’re looking to incorporate a hip modern feel into an unconventional space then Graanmarkt 13 could be great inspiration. The store converts a traditional Antwerp townhouse into a homely but modern 6-floor concept space.

Aside from the first-floor retail space, the building also hosts a gallery, event space and super cool restaurant with an award-winning chef. Whilst it might not be possible to open a restaurant in your space, Graanmarkt 13 still has some enviable design elements that are worth checking out.


So there you have it, 5 awesome stores that are sure to have you overflowing with design inspiration. It’s worth noting that there are hundreds, if not thousands of cool concept stores across the world which are worth checking out if your keen to learn more.

Are Hybrid Stores The Future Of Retail?

Data is never lacking when analysing the past, present, and future of retail. However, it must be emphasised that hasty conclusions as to the impending demise of brick and mortar retail shopping have yet to be borne out. According to eMarketer, by 2019, e-commerce will represent just about 9.8% of US retail sales. Statistics available from studies conducted in Australia also indicate that 69% of shoppers prefer in-store shopping to an online experience. Perhaps old habits die hard and according to a spokesperson of the US’ National Retail Federation, “As consumers continue to evolve the way they shop, retailers will pay attention and modify their strategies to align with the needs and wants of their customer base.”. How will retailers accomplish this objective? It has to be by “creating a better and more satisfying in-store experience.” says Marshal Cohen, a retail industry expert. Overall, available statistics point to the fact that shoppers are voting more for bricks than clicks, according to an online platform, GeoMarketing.

What is Retail Shopping Evolving Into?

It may be hard to capture an exact picture of retail the way it may look in the future. However, it is easy to peer into the next few years and project that hybrid stores are a likely destination. Shopping is mundane, so something extra must be woven in to compel shoppers to visit the stores and truly connect.

What are Hybrid Stores?

Think of an environment where you can actually feel at home, and the reason is not sentimental but the result of an emotional connection. It is a subtle yet powerful fusion of a retail store set in a homely environment. Airbnb seems to be the pioneer of this concept and retailers are fast buying into it. The driving force behind Airbnb’s model is the customers’ desire to have a familiar albeit different environment. So, rather than an impersonal and sterile hotel environment, hotel customers get to stay in home surroundings. How does this work for retail? Well, some stores are already providing similar environments for shoppers in-store to give them an emotional experience.

How Will this Work?

Literally, by engaging professionals to carry out retail refurbishment especially where the building is not constructed for retail purposes. Making a 360-degree turn in-store design takes astute professionalism supported by experience. The objective is to provide an ambience that online shopping experience cannot mimic.

Killing Two Bird With a Single Stone

By using retail refurbishment to radically change the internal ambience of the retail stores, businesses in the industry are not only meeting the needs of contemporary working class people, but they also connect with them on an emotional level. Early adopters of this model include the retail stores, quick service restaurants, and grocery stores.

Examples of Hybrid Stores

i. Hotel Style Stores: This very innovative concept has been adopted by a bedding and towel brand and incorporates a slightly vintage hotel room setting with all the trappings of a hotel room. Outfitted with the brand’s beddings and towels, beautifully designed to taste, customers have a literal experience of the products as they see, feel, smell, and perceive other qualities of the products.

ii. Restaurant Style Grocery: This hybrid variant of a grocery store has been tagged ‘grocerant’. Funny as that may sound, this model is working out very well for early adopters. The grocery is refurbished to accommodate the needs of busy shoppers who want to combine a quick, hot meal with doing their grocery shopping. The redesign also provides seating arrangements outdoor for people to seat and eat.

iii. Bar Style Art Gallery: Customers do not have to stare at artwork throughout their time at the gallery. Its combination with a bar setting ensures that they can sip beverages while perusing artwork or participating in art exhibitions. The entire gallery has been outfitted to provide subtle ambience, conducive for relaxation and appreciation of art.

It is quite clear that online activities are stimulating in-store purchases and the question is; “are retailers ready to maximize the benefits of this potential?” According to Nathalie Belanger, VP of Customer Engagement Solutions at Aptos, “…retailers must now adapt and position their physical stores within the continuum of the omni-channel experience. Stores must be equipped to serve not only as traditional product showcases but also as fulfillment centres, enterprise selling hubs, and points of online access”.

Marketing campaigns have the power to drive traffic through the door, but the experiential part will be done in-store. By leveraging retail refurbishing, brick and mortar retailers can creatively give shoppers the right ambiance in-store to stimulate a nostalgic experience.