by Satarupa Charaborty (in-store asia)
VM&RD Retail Design Awards, 12th edition but first virtual execution, continued to contain the same amount of excitement and anticipation. in-store asia as partnering tradefair of EuroShop is the largest trade fair in the Indian subcontinent for retail resources and investments in store design, VM and in-store marketing. Here is an overview of the winners and the winning projects.
It was the 12th edition of VM&RD Retail Design Awards, India’s only Award Show recognizing the best in retail design and visual merchandising. With the “new normal” that the Pandemic has bestowed upon us, the award evening, first time in the history of it was executed virtually. VM&RD Retail Design Awards is India’s only Awards title that recognizes the best in design in the physical retail space. 22 categories are well-spread to identify each and every aspect of design that a brick-and-mortar store can possibly feature. This year, 325 entries were received which is marginally higher than the last year.
The esteemed panel of jury, comprising 26 senior design professionals with deep insight and knowledge in the field of retail design from India and overseas, judged the entries through three consecutive judging processes. 160 entries were shortlisted, out of which, the final winners are then chosen.
We spoke to some of the winners who won maximum awards across various categories, and here is what they had to say on the winning projects:
Vishal Kapoor, Chief Design Officer, Future Group
Foodhall and Central, two retail identities of Future Group, are worked with two intricate concepts.
For Foodhall, it’s a balancing of bazaar like buzz & interaction with a premium touch embedded in its environment & experiences. The core to Foodhall is the seamless weaving of experiences and interactions which tingle our senses and highly warm service design enabled by contextual technology that further immerses its consumers; all leading to a highly memorable journey. The challenge at the strategic & functional level is the brand’s seamless and cohesive customer journey & enabling a system design which brings all stakeholders into a common platform of experience delivery benchmark and then a constant operating design to sustain. This is a common challenge and hence opportunity that continues across different real estate shapes or locations for Foodhall.
For Central, on the other hand has its design success in building a seamless format experience while balancing the variances designed across categories and brands to keep the interest alive. The multiple brands coming together with their juxtaposed individual yet collective appeal is where central design plays a role. The design gets further woven by services and technology all providing the customer a 50000 square feet plus of vibrant, young and spontaneous environment.
Shyam Sundar, Founder & Managing Director & Nagaraja R, Founder & Director Design, Four Dimensions Retail Design (I) Pvt Ltd
Winning Projects :
Logic Display Experience Centre
Century Veneer Centre
The Bombay Store
Logic Display Experience Centre as an interesting challenge to present a futuristic story setting powered with cutting edge technology – IoT controls, robotics, lift and learn, touch screens and gigantic digital installations in multiple dimensions. The project challenged the design team by stretching imaginations beyond spatial design and display into thinking tech enabled experience design blended with storytelling to redefine the instore experience of CDIT and Telecom.
The Bombay Store required the design team to immerse in Indian culture and interpret that in spatial stories in the store environment. A marketplace and an Indian home setting defined the direction to be taken by the visual presentation in offering an authentic piece of India in an immersive store experience. The key design strategy was for visual merchandising to lead the store architecture, fixtures, lighting, and signage to help create a distinct and cohesive narrative of the celebration of Indian art and culture.
Opticoat is a project that is focused on articulating the prestige of owning premium luxury cars in a futuristic sci-fi setting. The design strategy was to render an ultramodern minimalistic environment with distinct finishes and chic lines associated with super cars. The lighting design challenge was to use it to enhance the store’s slick architecture by blending discreetly into walls, ceiling and furniture while drawing selective attention to the store super premium service and offerings.
Century Veneer Centre was an interesting mission to blend art with materials and in a setting that is consultative by inspiring, educating and offering real life product experiences. The main challenge for design was to integrate technology and engineering in art from conceptualization to realization. Surprises, like a veneer clad mannequin, a deconstructed log, interactive screens and a water jet wall were critical to deliver a memorable experience.
Prasad Patil, Co-founder, Drink Water Design
Winning Project :
Naturals Ice Cream (5 Awards)
Naturals now was the most demanding project we have executed so far, and the most demanding aspect of the project was its incessant need to believe in the power of design. From the moment we cracked the idea of designing a jungle in the middle of the concrete jungle, it seemed impossible. Right from FSI limitations to space constraint to water logging issues to timelines to on site fabrication, we faced every issue a designer can imagine in Mumbai. But we simply refused to tweak our design concept. The end result was Gold both at the site and at this year’s VMRD Award show.
Commenting on the virtual show initiative by VM&RD Awards, Elke Moebius, Global Head of Retail / Retail Technologies, Director EuroShop and EuroCIS, stated, “VM&RD Awards is India’s only Awards platform in the field of excellence in store design, retail excellence and visual merchandising. For now 12 years, VM&RD Awards has been felicitating some brilliant works that brick-and-mortar stores could possibly showcase. 22 varied categories, across which, the awards are given away, do feature almost every part of design excellence that a physical store can possibly entail. We thank our sponsor Argo Lighting Pvt Ltd for bringing this award evening to all of you. I also thank our esteemed jury who helped us choosing the best talents in the field of retail design and the participants who shared their woks with us.”
Thomas Schlitt, Managing Director, Messe Düsseldorf India Pvt Ltd, added, “We are excited to witness the energy at the first ever virtual evening of VM&RD Awards. This year, we received 325 entries across 22 categories, which is higher than last year. 160 entries were shortlisted, out of which, the final winners are then chosen. We thank our jury, sponsor Argo Lighting Pvt Ltd, participants and everyone who made this evening possible and successful.”
Around 35 companies including design agencies, vendors and retail brands won awards at VM&RD Awards, 2020 across 22 varied categories.
Watch the award evening here
The next edition of In-Store Asia will take place between March 25-27, 2021.
You can view the full winners’ list here https://www.instoreasia.org/winners2020.