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2nd Retail Design Expo doubles in size and awes industry
London, 23rd March 2016, Retail Design Expo, Europe’s leading annual event for innovation and inspiration in retail design, marketing, visual merchandising, architecture and shopfitting returned to London last week, with a huge boost in attendance from 12,000 last year to 15,452 visitors including retailers and brands. The event was at London’s Olympia and was co-located with RBTE and Retail Digital Signage Expo.

The event, which doubled in size for 2016, showcased 225 market-leading suppliers from global players to innovative smaller suppliers covering every aspect of the in-store journey.
Business leaders including Guy Smith, Head of Design, Arcadia; Andy Turnbull, Global Creative Principle, New Look; Alan Taylor, Head of Retail Design, B&Q; Tony Holdway, Creative and Marketing Director, BHS; Liz Silvester, Head of Visual Identity, Liberty and Stephen Dempsey, VM Concept Manager, John Lewis discussed a broad range of topics covering the spectrum of retail design and architecture, branding, and visual merchandising. A new addition for 2016 was the Shopper Marketing Conference, run is association with POPAI, with speakers from, Tesco, Unilever, Pepsi and Heinz Craft Company to name but a few.

In addition to the extensive blue chip conference programme and exhibitors there were a lot of new features on offer, including the Innovation Trail and Awards, sponsored by design agency 20.20, which helped visitors navigate the most cutting edge exhibitors; the Retail Design Student Awards, sponsored by ITAB UK, the inaugural VM Student Awards, sponsored by Harlequin, the Designer Pavilion and the Retail Design and VM networking lounges. If that is not enough, trends expert Stylus were on hand, providing design and marketing insights to businesses looking for inspiration, innovation and best –practice case studies.

An exciting and fresh development for 2016 was the launch of Retail Digital Signage Expo – a dedicated new event located between Retail Design Expo and RBTE. Embracing the booming digital signage market, the show featured the entire range of suppliers, from screens and kiosks, to content management, AV, media players and networking solutions. In addition to the broad range of vendors, the topic was widely addressed in both the Retail Design Expo and RBTE conference programmes.

In its aftermath, exhibitors have been praising the show, and the number and relevance of the visitors who came. Many exhibitors have already started the rebooking process for Retail Design Expo 2017, less than 24 hours after the doors closed on this year’s Expo.

“For Shopworks Retail Design Expo 2016 has gone very well,” says Shopworks founder and managing director Craig Phillipson. “We have been impressed with the calibre of exhibitors and the quality of attendance, particularly as we have met a lot more retailers this year. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from visitors suggesting that Retail Design Expo felt even more exciting this year and almost everybody we have spoken to said they will be back next year, as will Shopworks.

“I was privileged to be part of the impressive seminar programme, talking through the latest forecourt convenience formats with Shell’s UK convenience manager retail, Will Green. The talk was very well attended, with good feedback and interaction from the audience,” adds Phillipson.

“Retail Design Expo is growing into a must in the UK retail industry. The expansion of the event in terms of space and visitor numbers was fantastic to see and the Expo provided us with a great platform to showcase some of our recent work with clients such as Microsoft, JD Sports, Accessorize and The White Company”, said Nick Whitehand, sales director UK and Ireland at Vitrashop.

“Our stand acted as a great stage to hold valuable conversations with a range of existing and prospective customers and to highlight the profile of Vitra within the UK and International arena with a dynamic mix of Retailers and Designer in attendance”, continues Whitehand.
Richard Ash, founder and CEO of Green Room agrees. “I think it has been an excellent show,” he says. “Green Room is really proud to be supporting the British retail industry for a second year – we came last year and it was a good start for us. We’ve invested a lot more this year and produced a much bigger and better stand, and we’ve seen some great people from brands and retailers. We’ve been involved in the awards, in speaking in the seminar programme, and it has all really helped us raise our profile. We are really excited about how that is going to translate into helping Green Room grown its business.”
The dates for Retail Design Expo 2017 have been announced as May 8th & 9th.

About Retail Design Expo
Retail Design Expo is the specialist retail design and branding event from Legend Exhibitions bringing together the very finest exponents of retail design, visual merchandising, branding and in-store experience. It is a clear reflection of how the retail sector is responding to the increasingly discerning consumer.
Showcasing solutions from designers, architects, shopfitters and specialist contractors it focuses very clearly on innovation and inspiration in retail design, marketing, visual merchandising, architecture and shopfitting. Retail Design Expo encompasses additional features such as trends labs, student awards and roundtables as well as a full programme of conferences and seminars.

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