Ute Holtmann spoke to Sidney Philip, Managing Director of Xiamen Yiree Display Fixtures, during the C-Star 2017 to discuss trends in store design and the requirements of different markets.
As a custom fixture manufacturer, you serve the fixture needs of top retail brands and chain stores. 95 percent of your products are exported to the U.S and European markets. Why do you intend to play a bigger role in the Chinese retail market now and how do you want to attract Chinese retailer?
That’s a good question. For starters, we were exhibiting at C-Star to introduce our new service and new product VR Rendering, a new service from Yiree. The start of this endeavor set a milestone and marks Yiree's strategic transfer from a traditional custom fixture manufacturer to becoming a major integrated service company of retail space and store design, fixture designs and rendering, as well as the interactive experience creation with our core manufacturing capabilities. Smart Display Glass is our brand-new product that we showcased at this fair. It not only represents a construction material but also an interactive media with many benefits, including environmentally friendly, energy saving and high strength characteristics and 80 percent transparency.
Secondly, EuroShop – as you know – has developed into the world's number one trade fair for retail investments since 1966. As one of China's most prominent international retail shows, C-Star is essentially another "EuroShop" in China. We believe this important event promises us the chance to market our company profitably and seize opportunities within the Chinese market and even the Asian market. We are also looking forward to the interaction with all our peers who will attend the fair and all the visitors from all over the world.
Do Chinese retailers have different needs than European or American merchants?
Generally speaking, the needs of Chinese retailers don’t differ drastically from those of European or American retailers. Having said that, we should mention that Chinese retailers request shorter lead times and faster service. Their project launches are much faster.
What materials are the most requested in store design and are there any differences between the countries?
From our experience, most of the materials that are still used frequently include metals and wood materials. Meanwhile, in recent years more and more chain stores want their shops to look cool and unique, prompting an increased use of more unusual materials such as cement boards, LED lighting and polyurethanes versus the traditionally used metals and wood materials. We don't believe there is a vast difference in the materials needs of the different countries. It all really depends on the type of retailer and the type of brand store you are working with.
Based on your experience, how often do retailers modify their interior designs and do the renovation frequencies differ between countries?
It's hard to say how often retailers change their interiors. Frequencies can vary from a few days to several years. Take the examples of the Burlington Coat Factory (BCF) and Gentle Monster for example. BCF uses the same design for 5 years without making any changes, while Gentle Monster changes their design once every 21 days to elicit attention and project newness. The frequency of design change is also based on different brand needs. The same principle applies to different countries.