See How River Island are Designing Retail Spaces for the Future 24th November 2023 | IN DESIGN TECHNOLOGY | BY SBID

What does designing a retail space in the modern era look like? Online shopping is at an all-time high, so how do you offer your customers the convenience they’ve come to expect with the human connection they so desperately crave?

The answer is balance.

And such balance is something being carefully created by the folks at River Island, a storied fashion brand that’s been delivering elevated looks to the streets of Britain for over half a century.

river island, See How River Island are Designing Retail Spaces for the Future

Innovative Technologies, Improved Customer Experience

With roots on the prestigious Kings Road of London, River Island now has over 250 locations across the UK, and in addition to trending fashions, River Island also has its hand in trending technologies.

River Island’s solution to creating exciting in-person shopping experiences comes in the form of River Studios. This concept “introduces a modernised take on the retailer’s brand while paying homage to its craftsmanship and family business culture,” per Retail Focus.

The most interesting aspect of River Island is “Chloe,” an AI styling system that personalises customers’ shopping experience. The clothing found in River Studios will feature washable tags that will register with Chloe through mounted touch screens throughout the retail space and changing rooms, helping shoppers find more of what they love.

Additionally, a Digital Click and Collect point using Chloe’s computer systems creates a faster way for customers to find the exact pieces of clothing they’re looking for.

This technology, blended with the advantages of in-person shopping — being able to try on clothes, seeing fabrics in person, and participating in a curated space — will create a new feel for the brand’s retail locations.

“Retail is at its best when it’s evolving and adapting to best suit the needs of shoppers, and we’re no different. River Studios delivers a modern, seamless experience fit for the high street of today,” Will Kernan, River Island CEO, told Retail Focus.

river island, See How River Island are Designing Retail Spaces for the Future

Creating the Retail Spaces of the Future with Vectorworks Architect

Technology-focused storefronts for the River Island brand will be designed by Hannah Boulter using Vectorworks Architect. Boulter has long leaned on Vectorworks Architect to aid in her design work for River Island, mainly using 2D drawings to plan out new stores and renovations to existing stores, in addition to adding the Chloe system and changing room touch screens.

But as the company pushes to improve its retail offerings, she’s also looking to improve how she uses the software. Boulter is now working with Kesoon Chance, Vectorworks senior industry specialist – interiors, to use Vectorworks’ data-centric features for a more automated design process.

With tools like custom record formats, data tags, and reports, Boulter will be able to streamline how she designs in Vectorworks, just like how River Island is improving the shopping experience for their customers.

“Kesoon and I went over things like our merchandise fixtures around the store,” said Boulter, “and each fixture has a typical number of arms. Before, we’d send the design to our manufacturer, and they’d go around and have to count all the fixtures by hand. There’s so much room for human error.”

Now, Boulter and her River Island team have a formula that quickly calculates the number of arms for each merchandise fixture and automatically tabulates them into a table to share with manufacturers.

To learn more about how to use data management features in Vectorworks Architect, click here.

river island, See How River Island are Designing Retail Spaces for the Future

Learn More About Designing Influential Retail Spaces

Want to design modern, engaging retail spaces like River Island’s? Look no further than this webinar, “Data-Driven 3D Modelling for Interiors.”

In this presentation — inspired by an elegant retail interiors project located in Tokyo by designers Mana & Takashi Kobayashi, IMA Inc. — Luis M. Ruiz, interior associate AIA, will discuss how you can increase your efficiency and win more work with an integrated data-driven 3D modelling process.

Your workflow is no longer just about providing 2D drawings and details; great visualisations and smart take-offs can all be a part of your design process. BIM for interiors is a more thoughtful way to design, organise, and face today’s challenges in the industry.

Click here to watch the webinar for free.

About Vectorworks

Exceptional design demands exceptional tools – a platform built to deliver absolute creative expression and maximum efficiency. Vectorworks believe your design software should offer the freedom to follow your imagination wherever it may lead you, to seamlessly share your vision at any phase, and to easily interpret the information needed to make the smartest decisions every time.

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