Trends & Insights

The Experience is back!

Welcome to the new way of shopping

A number of envelope-pushing, interactive concept stores have opened as the experience economy springs back to life, enticing shoppers into stores with immersive and playful spaces.

Experiential retail is back with a bang. Shoppers around the world have spent much of the last 18 months subject to lockdowns and various degrees of restrictions, and now they are hungry for entertainment. Brands and retailers are complying, with a host of innovative new concepts opening throughout this year.

And as brands continue to vie for consumers’ attention and drive foot traffic back to physical stores, they are reimagining their spaces as service hubs, introducing experience-driven initiatives to draw people in and offer something beyond just shopping. Global retailers are therefore doubling down on their bricks and mortar efforts as consumers continue to demand innovative store design, interactive events and personalised, unique in-store experiences.


Holzweiler Platz, Oslo

Operagata 61D
0194 Oslo, Norway

Tel: +47 922 66 710


Holzweiler Platz is the new experience-driven retail destination from Norwegian fashion brand Holzweiler. Located in central Oslo, it has been designed by architects Snøhetta as a space to unite fashion, art and music. Conceived as part-boutique-part-hang-out-zone, where shoppers can socialise and pass the time, it’s meant to be all about culture and community as well as supporting emerging talent. Key features include the in-house restauran, yearly artist collaborations, clothing and accessories from past collections, and a striking design concept focusing on curved lines, open space and Scandi minimalism. “The pandemic gave us time to really reflect on everything, so we’re even more confident that the time is now to really create this place to eat, think and be. It’s our very own playground,” said Andreas Holzweiler, the brand’s CEO.


Swarovski Instant Wonder, New York City

542 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

Phone: +1 212 343 7378


Swarovski is refreshing its brand image and, along with it, has revamped a number of stores in major global cities with a more immersive, experiential concept. Under the reign of new global creative director Giovanna Engelbert, the Instant Wonder stores feature live and digital components that invite visitors to fully experience the brand, from virtual tours to lifestyle content and previews of collection pieces.

The aim of the Instant Wonder stores is to bring shoppers into a sensorial space enhanced by vibrant colours and textures and metallic sculptures, to encourage exploration and self-expression. The latest outpost, which has opened on Broadway in New York City, resembles a candy-like dreamscape, with walls covered in differently shaped octagonal-shaped compartments. It was designed by Paris-based events agency Villa Eugenie, who wanted to create “an ode to Alice Wonderland and Willy Wonka”. Instead of traditional jewellery stands, the pieces are displayed on a series of metallic-cast busts. Each character has been created using 3D technology and is depicted in poses that represent “joyful uninhibited play”, the company said. The move is designed to boost the brand’s affiliation with high fashion and style as well as to signal its on-trend range of merchandise.

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