— The current and future evolution of commercial Layouts in retail world —


Massimo Fabbro, Chairman & Founder of DINN!, has been interviewed by GDOWEEK regarding the current evolution inside the retail market.

Nowadays customers’ buying behaviors are deeply changing due to new technologies and the expansion of digital touchpoints: there are relevant transformations taking place in several stores and retail experiences are evolving fast towards the future.

Massimo Fabbro sees that commercial spaces layout is actually changing based on four drivers:

  1. smart (or self) transaction

  2. omnichannel shopping

  3. augmented reality shopping

  4. formats’ polarization

Smart/self transaction

Customers can experience a new way to purchase products and services, activating smart/self-transactions: this is possible in some banking branches, in telco shops and also in the food market. Some samples of these drivers are online booking service, interactive totems, and self cashier desks or self-payment system. Each of them is redesigning the way of spaces has been rationalized: this happened for Apoteca Natura new layout store, designed by DINN!, where the queues for people with prescriptions and for pharma advisory are differentiated creating two separate paths: one faster and the other one more slow and able to create a more confidential relationship. Even the money has been moved from the Pharmacist: a cashier is located near the exit, inside a path where you can buy self-service counter products.

The development of formats in which there is no longer payment queue changes the whole layout: it allows to provide multiple ingoing and outgoing accesses, seamlessly, making the spaces more free. The design of layout has always been based on an undifferentiated mass of people, while now the technology enables to identify the access of visitors creating customization of their in-store experiences” says Massimo Fabbro.

Omnichannel Shopping

In its simple form, this driver is expressed in the click & collect formats. A revolutionary experience that is promoting new formats such as store drive-through, in-store areas for lockers, book ‘n’ try store. The recent Nordstrom Local format in California is a further step ahead in this direction. Here you don’t find anymore a normal large department store experience (as in a typical Nordstrom store) but a cool and personal store to try the product you selected online, with reduced spaces similar to luxury dressing rooms and showrooms. “The heart of a click & collect layout design for GDO is represented by the area dedicated to the collection of the goods and the experience areas to try and test the product” claims Massimo Fabbro.

Augmented reality shopping

Talking about augmented reality, the purpose to improve the in-store experience and ZARA is one of the most recent example (of many): it offers the possibility to check on smartphones the pictures of models wearing the same clothes you are looking into the store. LEGO, together with Snapchat, has launched in London the pop-up fashion store LegoWear to socialize and create brand partners Loyalty.

Formats’ Polarization

The combination of smaller and selected stores with bigger ones, with an articulated experience, – claims Mr. Fabbro – represents the polarization trend of formats: the expansion of small omnichannel shops focused to deliver a basic service (generally in a smart or self approach) is more and more combined with the development of a new generation of Destination Stores, that offer richer experiences, where the social function and urban renewal take precedence over the selling”. The new Apple Store in Milan, for example, has been located in a renewed place of the city, revitalizing the area, in which products tester and customer experience are emphasized.

Read GDOWEEK article (Italian) HERE