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‘Indian retail design industry is growing at a rate of 25-30% every year’

By Niranjan Talekar | June 05, 2024

Vishal Kheradia, Interior Architect at Vishal Kheradia & Associates, shares his optimism for the Indian retail design industry and his insights on what can make store design truly deliver, in the next ‘Business of Design’ conversation. 

In this latest interview as part of our series ‘Business of Design’, we had a conversation with Vishal Kheradia, Interior Architect at Vishal Kheradia & Associates, to discuss the current trends and challenges in the retail design industry. With extensive experience in crafting innovative retail spaces, Vishal shared his insights on the evolving retail landscape and key factors that drive success in this industry.

As the industry continues to adapt to changing consumer behaviours and technological advancements, Vishal remains very optimistic about the growth of the Indian retail design industry. "The Indian retail design industry is growing at a rate of 25-30% every year, with the total value increasing by 2% annually," he said, highlighting a promising future for retail designers in the region.

Market Trends and Challenges

Vishal did concede however that there are also challenges. "The apparels segment is facing challenges due to clients seeking higher ROI and more stringent budgets. Jewellery showrooms are picking up, and there are many opportunities in other categories," shared Vishal. He also emphasised that brands are expanding their store formats, with some multiple store openings in a single location. “This trend is reshaping the retail design landscape, pushing designers to think creatively about space utilisation and brand consistency,” he said.

Designing for Flexibility and ROI

In terms of his company’s design approach to retail projects, Vishal emphasised the importance of designing for flexibility and ROI. "Designing for flexibility is crucial, as clients want to refurbish showrooms every five to seven years, The process for designing retail projects involves ensuring the showroom can last for 15 years, with material costs and data automation being important factors," Vishal noted.

He also highlighted the evolving nature of the retail design industry, where flexibility, ROI, and customer engagement are key factors for success. As the industry continues to adapt to changing consumer behaviours and technological advancements, retail designers will play a crucial role in crafting innovative retail spaces that drive growth and profitability.

Visual Merchandising for Brand Identity

Expanding on how visual merchandising and technology integration, are an integral part of retail design, Vishal said, "Brands need to develop their merchandise and communications in a way that complements their brand identity. Technology integration, such as digital displays and sensors, is becoming increasingly important for enhancing customer experiences and providing real-time data.”  

Storytelling is the Key to Better Customer Engagement

Vishal also emphasised the importance of incorporating elements of storytelling and customer engagement into design. "Incorporating elements of storytelling and customer engagement into design is crucial for creating an immersive experience," he asserted. "Designers should prioritise creating a layout that allows customers to browse products without feeling overwhelmed, encouraging them to spend more time in the store." This strategy helps in building a strong emotional connection with customers, fostering brand loyalty, he explained.

Data, Data and More Data

Customer connect is also about understanding and processing data. Emphasising the need for capturing live data, Vishal suggested greater use of digital integration and data analytics. "Capturing live data can be done by incorporating digital integration and data analytics, Retail stores can gather data by having customers fill out forms, buying data from different sources, or conducting interviews." This approach not only helps in understanding customer preferences but also aids in creating targeted marketing strategies, he shared. 

Staying Updated with Trends is a Must

Finally, Vishal underscored the need to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies. "I study trends, travel to different cities, and visit malls to understand consumer behaviours and preferences," he summed up. 

 

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