Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

A revamp can keep a store fighting fit

Westfield London opened with a fanfare that was bound to feel a bit out of sync with the mood of retailers and the media.

This is the last in a round of key shopping developments and may even be the last until Westfield’s Stratford scheme. No developer is going to commit to that scale of development in the foreseeable future.

This is not the first time we have seen such a downturn. The early 1980s and 1990s were difficult and this time around it may be even tougher, but the market has grown stronger in that period by focusing on the activities that made a difference to customers. Perhaps we are better prepared this time around.

For many retailers, refurbishments will replace expansion plans, but that can have its rewards. There are still far too many bad retailers and some shops will close while others

We have to recognise that there is potential in the next few years, as expanding in a recession can double your advantage while others stall. I recall our Chelsea Girl to River Island rebrand rolling out in 1990 at a rate of five stores a week, and the rest is history.

In these uncertain times retailers need inbuilt flexibility, concepts that can respond to market developments and be easily morphed when change is required. In a market that is depressed, newness and rejuvenation are crucial. It is the retailer’s job to be optimistic; if we are unsure, shoppers will lose confidence.

I believe we will see a new austerity, a new reality that creates interesting challenges. Trust and reassurance will need to underpin brands and customers will take comfort in shopping, dwelling longer and spending less.

David Dalziel is founder of store design agency Dalziel & Pow

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.