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Now that the holiday season is upon us Retail Digital revisits some of the most popular stories of 2011

Appearance is everything in the retail world. Retailers must think carefully about the message they want to convey to consumers when designing a shop.

Retail interior design will make a strong statement about a business.

An unusual, interesting and attention-grabbing store is more likely to keep consumers interested and persuade them to linger in-store for longer.

Design elements like colour scheme, music, ambience and layout are all important. A thoughtful design choice will not just make a brand’s merchandise more accessible but can even influence the shopper’s mood.

There are many stores across the world with this attention to detail, which will completely enhance your retail experience.

Retail Digital brings you a list of the coolest stores in the world.

United Nude Dark Shop

New York

United Nude’s high-concept NYC flagship store looks more like a nightclub than a shoe store. United Nude’s ‘dark shop’ concept means that the store is covered in darkness apart from the products that are showcased. It features a computer-controlled LED wall that highlights the United Nude products as a work of art. It is not just the walls that are black but all fixtures and fittings too. This is to emphasise the contrast with the store’s illuminated areas.  

BBC/Ice Cream

Hong Kong

The Billionaire Boys Club/Ice Cream flagship store in Hong Kong opened its doors in 2007. The store has four levels, which are each 500 square feet. There is a giant rocket on the front of the store, which instantly commands your attention. The rooms are filled with BBC/Ice Cream products, colourful walls and unique ice cream inspired furniture.  

Viktor & Rolf

Milan

Viktor and Rolf’s upside-down store in Milan, which features a welcome mat on the ceiling and grand chandeliers sprouting from the floor, is sure to blow your mind. The traditional neoclassical design has been given a twist and turned on its head...quite literally. Consumers step into a surrealistic world when they visit this unusual boutique. The interior has upside down upended columns, archways and fireplaces. The only thing right-side up is the stunning clothes.  

Solange Azagury-Partridge

London

Solange Azagury-Partridge’s exquisite flagship store is located in the exclusive Bond Street area of central London. The two-storey boutique has a private members only feel with its many discreet enclaves, alcoves, padded walls and hidden doors.  The black ceiling is adorned with 600,000 Swarovski crystals and the store is covered head to toe in luxurious red velvet. This reflects the ‘rock-star’ quality of Azagury-Partridge’s work.        

Apple Opera Store

Paris

The Apple Opera store in Paris, which opened last year, is the most beautiful Apple store in the world. The store resides in a building, which was previously an old bank. Restoration efforts took just over a year with Apple deciding to keep the building’s original fittings, stunning carved wooden stairs and wrought-iron railings. It has also retained its original mosaic tiled floor, marble columns and central skylight. It is a refreshing break from the retail giant’s trademark chrome and glass-stairs look.       

Lairesse Apotheek

Amsterdam

The Lairesse Apotheek is unlike any other pharmacy you will visit. The apothecary, which specialises in natural and homeopathic medicine, strikes a balance between the natural and synthetic world. This is reflected in the store’s design, which features serene hues of green and a tree trunk that seems to hold up the counter. Medicines are arranged in 522 transparent drawers in floor-to-ceiling cases that are fronted in green Plexiglas and have a green backlighting. 

Kirk Originals

London

Kirk Originals eyewear company opened its flagship store in London earlier this year. The store’s design breaks away from the clinical white box of many opticians with its dark grey floors and blue-grey painted walls. Kirk Originals’ shop window features large lenticular prints of winking eyes. This theme is mirrored in-store with 187 white powder-coated holders featuring life-size eye prints, which can be tilted and repositioned. The store is simplistic yet very striking.   

Paul Smith

LA

You cannot miss the Paul Smith store in Los Angeles. It is huge and hot pink. It adds a touch of British quirkiness to the glamour of Hollywood. The store is divided into boutiques that look like film sets: a nineteenth-century Paris apartment and an eighteenth century Avignon chateau. The walls are adorned with a selection of interesting prints and paintings both vintage and contemporary, which are also available to buy in-store.       

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