EuroShop RetailDesign Award: Top trends in shopfitting 2022

This year the entries for the EuroShop RetailDesign Award 2022 include 87 examples of outstanding store design concepts from 28 countries, of which 37 have made it to the shortlist.

Time to consume: 2 min
21 April 2022

By Claudia Horbert

In spite of two very hard pandemic years this has been a new record since the launch of the award in 2008, and for EHI and EuroShop it is a clear commitment to the important role which traditional retail stores still have for retailers and their customers.

But the pandemic has also demonstrated, in a different way, the significance of establishing stores that can adapt to new behaviour patterns. As life is becoming more and more digitised, customers are looking for real-world experiences that engage all of their senses. Modern stores nowadays start an interactive story-telling experience. It is more about the overall experience on-site rather than just the purchase of an item. The store is a social place and meeting point for the community, mixing cafés and restaurants, personal services, art galleries, co-working spaces, readings, workshops and lots more. In the food business, modern supermarkets emphasise freshness, local products and hospitality. They respond to changing consumer habits by extending their fresh food sections and inviting their customers to embark on culinary journeys.

Flexible store concepts

Across all sectors, retailers now are very open to exploring new concepts like smaller formats, pop-up stores, or becoming a partner in ‘retail as a service’ projects. With this growing blend of shopping, hospitality, work and entertainment, sales spaces have to fulfil more than just one function. For this reason, flexibility is highly important, not only for switching from one category to another, but also for transitions between segments and areas.

But not only flexibility has been high on the agenda. An environmentally friendly store design has also become more and more important. Stores are working on concepts characterized by an abundant use of natural and recycled materials, giving a second life to products that no longer have a possible reuse. Even new materials have been invented, for example plastic tiles or the scraps from the textile industry, are in this way prevented from being discarded and going to waste. These materials deliver the appropriate input for new sustainable designs in a store, such as alternative new surfaces or curtains for fitting rooms.

Smooth transitions

Finally, customers are expecting a seamless shopping experience. To meet these expectations, contemporary stores are providing an omnichannel experience by the use of digital tools and services. Some examples from the shortlist

  • Gaming touchpoints and selfie points
  • Running tracks for running style analysis
  • Digital mirror screens in fitting rooms and in the beauty department
  • Or even a robot as a customer service assistant in Asian supermarkets, who guides customers, recommends special offers and contacts human staff when needed.



Written by Claudia Horbert
Director Research Store Planning + Design
EHI Retail Institute