Retail & Consumer Experience

Our retail designers and strategists deliver seamless, connected shopping experiences across platforms and maximize engagement between brands and customers. Through our total retail service, we refresh offerings and experiences as market demands evolve.
Retail’s new purpose is wider, deeper, and more enduring than just transactions between buyers and sellers. It’s about establishing a place, both physical and virtual, where customers feel valued and understood as part of a community.
—Aaron Birney, Global Lifestyle Sector co-leader

Blending, not bifurcation, is the formula for consumer engagement.

Experiences are no longer either/or; they are AND. Through the years, we’ve seen the full spectrum — from convenience to engagement, from transaction to experience. Today, brands must strike a balance and find the right blend to meet consumer needs and create relevance for physical retail space, also recognizing where other channels can fill gaps.


Physical-human-digital (PHD) is the baseline of consumer engagement.

As physical and digital experiences continue to blur, the intersection is increasingly important to map. Brands are investing in digital retail experiences that are additive in a meaningful way — introducing ease, streamlining processes, or creating connection. In many cases, a consumer’s own device is the best way to generate engagement, providing the choice to have a digitally augmented — or totally analog — experience.


Hypercuration elevates the role of physical space.

To differentiate physical space from online engagement and connect with consumers on a local and personal level, brands and retailers will edit in-store assortments to be more meaningful and relevant. Curating products based on context, location, or even personal preferences will also simplify the decision-making process, freeing up space for a greater focus on the brand and additional experiences.

A group of people standing in a room with a stage and lights.
Design Forecast 2024
Design Forecast identifies the trends and design strategies that are shaping the future of the human experience and the built environment. We provide strategic advice, research, and projects from all 33 of Gensler’s practices to help clients prepare for transformational times.