Designs on retail

Save The High Street joins awards programme to promote design and display for indie retailers


A new partnership has been set up to promote the importance of design and display in independent retail, with Save The High Street sponsoring the Best Independent Store category.

John Abbate, retail design and visual merchandising expert on the High Street industry movement’s advisory board, believes effective design and display can provide a competitive advantage to indies so has backed the link with the Creative Retail Awards.

“Independents are the heartbeat of our High Streets,” John said. “They offer the local community and beyond a unique and personal shopping or service experience. Their ability to provide a more personal touch, together with the individual look and feel of their physical space, adds character and diversity to our High Streets.

“The freedom of the independent to express their personality in creative ways provides an advantage over national chains, which can often lack variety and feel impersonal.

Save The High St pic 2“Many large brands often try to emulate the spirit of an independent shop, but no one can do it as authentically as the real thing – and that’s what we need more of in the retail design and display world, the real thing. To be inspired, creative and quirky, making retail fun. To offer a personal experience and become a destination, even on a small budget. is proud to be associated with this award.”

Antony Behiels, director of the Shop & Display Equipment Association (SDEA) and co-organiser of the Creative Retail Awards, added: “With ever more competition to attract consumers to the High Street, effective visual merchandising, design and display is imperative.

“When it’s done correctly it will engage and attract more customers, help increase sales and give customers a reason to return in the future. This is especially important for independent stores who often lack the budget for large-scale marketing campaigns.”

The Save The High Street team will provide the winner of the Best Independent Store Award with access to their business support platform JO, and an exclusive mentoring session with one of their High Street experts.

The Creative Retail Awards 2022 take place on September 22 at Proud Embankment in London’s West End, and each year they recognise and reward innovation and excellence in retail, leisure, and hospitality design, display and experience across disciplines including store design, surfaces, omni-channel, technology, sustainability and lighting.

With over 75 years’ experience within the industry, SDEA provides support for members and retailers including its retail display directory, website and InfoLine helpline.

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