January 2016: RETAIL WEEK AWARDS ISG STORE DESIGN OF THE YEAR

Each year the Oracle Retail Week Awards plays host to the biggest and brightest names in the UK retail sector. The largest and most prestigious event for the retail industry, it’s an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the most outstanding achievements in retail for the past year.

One of the most highly regarded categories, the ISG Store Design of the Year Award 2015 saw LloydsPharmacy’s Betterlife store in Leeds take away the coveted title, facing stiff competition from the likes of Argos, John Lewis, Debenhams and Waitrose.

All of the shortlisted candidates were worthy contenders for the crown. But what set Betterlife apart was its innovative store concept and engaging interactive customer shopping experience.

Innovative store concept

Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy is a new, innovative concept store, which specialises in helping people live independently by providing products that help them with everyday tasks. Customers have the opportunity to try out these products in what can only be described as a truly engaging retail experience.

The 3,229 sq. ft. store in Leeds features a fully furnished bathroom and bedroom, allowing customers to try before they buy in a real-life environment. The store is even equipped with a multi-surface track to test drive mobility scooters and similar products.

Commenting on the award, Grant Abrahams, Head of Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy said:

“The store is much more than just a large retail space – it’s an interactive experience designed with customers’ needs and concerns in mind. For many people, admitting that they need some help with their mobility can be an overwhelming chapter in their lives, so our plans have always focused on how we can make the experience not only easy but also relaxing, enjoyable and informative.”

The future of high street shopping

There’s something rather exciting about the Betterlife brand and the future of high street shopping. The company started out selling its products online and in catalogues, before demand led to the opening of their first high street bricks and mortar store in Leeds.

Their success goes against the recent trend of high street retailers moving into online shopping. Unlike most online retailers, high street shops have an opportunity to provide customers with a try before you buy experience. And that by embracing innovative new ways of thinking and interactive design concepts, the high street shopping experience still has a vital role to play.

Inspirational shopping experiences

Like LloydsPharmacy’s Betterlife, The White Company has also embraced a unique lifestyle-led concept to provide customers with an inspirational shopping experience. Their store in Norwich came Highly Commended in Retail Week’s ISG Store Design of the Year category.

The 4,000 sq. ft. store features a series of “rooms” spread over two floors, which have been designed to take the customer on a journey through the home. Lighting that changes automatically, depending on the time of day, was introduced to enhance the customer’s overall shopping experience.

2016 will be the 21st anniversary of the Retail Week Awards with Oracle. Attracting over 1,600 attendees, the awards ceremony takes place every March. You can read more about the Retail Week Awards here: https://awards.retail-week.com

At Elecosoft we’re award winning innovators in our own right too. Our retail property data management software has helped large retailers like ASDA, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Next and John Lewis manage their property data. In fact, 7 of the UK’s top 10 retailers are using our system. They know that managing their data is just as important to their success as managing retail space and customer experience.

Find out more about how we help the UK’s best retailers here: http://iconsystem.co.uk/case-studies/

Further reading:

http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/lloydspharmacy-opens-first-dedicated-independent-living-store-betterlife/

http://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/retail-week-award.php

http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/white-company-debuts-stylish-new-store-concept#