Article: Shopfittings – the materials revolution has finally arrived

The playing field for shopfittings has changed. Combinations of materials have become the hottest trend.


The colors are dark, the surfaces are wooden. Beech and oak and their imitations rank among the most desired floor materials. Exotic woods, though desirable, have not asserted themselves on a broad scale. Key colour elements remain neutral, with shades of oyster- grey, beige and brown. How are these looks combined? Noticeably apparent at this year’s EuroShop is the use of numerous shopfitting designs which are specially developed to create the appearance of metal, stone, glass and wood. These are put together to seduce the consumers’ senses.

Space is used very creatively in order to maximise the shop experience. It is flexible, durable, free-standing and temporary. The status-quo is being broken – and broken for good. No more key-strips, no more slat-walls, something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The revolution has hit EuroShop 2008.

The question, though, is: why is this revolution important or necessary? The answer is simple: those who fail to create just the right store atmosphere to enchant the customer stand risk to lose a considerable market share. These new shopfittings captivate the imagination – and that is what is needed to pull and and keep the feet within the stores. "Today’s shopfitter is a retail environment designer," says Preben Bailey, General Secretary of the ISO International Shopfittings Organisation. This is true: shopfitting means fashioning the sales space, to create an effective sales environment and shopping experience that boosts turnover and profits. This is where the return on investment is measured: it is only good if it generates profits. And profits can only be generated if the consumer remains enthralled – and what can do that better than creating a revolution?