By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs + Services
The four days of the 2014 International Home + Housewares
Show will be packed with events as well as educational sessions. To help you plan your time at the Show, we’re giving you a preview of the presentations that will take place in the Innovation Theater in the Lakeside Center. Today we are speaking with Martin M. Pegler, a legend in retail design and visual merchandising. His presentations are always entertaining and informative, so be sure to mark his program on your Show schedule.
Creating the Retail Identity
Date: Monday, March 17, 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Location: Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, E350
Martin M. Pegler, with gia judges Wolfgang Gruschwitz, Scott Kohno and Henrik Reisby
With more than 50 years in the field, hundreds of articles and 80+ books to his name, Martin M. Pegler is renowned in the field of visual merchandising and store design. His subjects range from retail design to café and restaurant design, supermarket and specialty food stores to shop exteriors and streetscapes. He is a contributing editor for international trade journals. At the academic level, his Visual Merchandising and Display is the most widely used textbook on that subject in colleges around the world. Until recently a full professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, he is also a popular lecturer in the U.S., in Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Rim countries.
Martin has been honored by PAVE (Professionals for the Advancement of Visual Education) with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many contributions to the field. In 2001, he was selected for the New York state’s Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching. He is an inductee in the Visual Merchandising/Display Industries’ Hall of Fame and an elected member of the Society of Visual Merchandisers. He received an honorary gia award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Housewares Association, which also named its annual gia award for display/visual merchandising for him.
Martin, you always so energetic and enthusiastic. What inspires your passion in your work?
I am still turned on by seeing new and exciting retail designs—new stores with great merchandise presentation. I do not feel the need to run in and shop so much as stand by and inhale the novelty and admire the talent involved in the shop’s creation. Some people love going to museums—give me a street filled with handsome shops and I am in heaven. There must be a name for my condition but I do not know what it is. When not walking down a High St. or a Main St. or an aisle of a mall or shopping center, I can spend hours at the computer looking up and clicking on retail outlets, architects, store designers—one usually leads to another—and I get more and more frustrated because I am not able to fully share my “discoveries” with others the way I used to do when I edited a magazine for over 30 years. So, I started work on a new book—“Creating the Brand Identity in Retail Spaces.”
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how this topic is important for Show audiences.
The word “brand” or any of its variations like “branding” or “brand identity” are the buzz words de jour—the words we toss around that get the desired consumer reaction. Increasingly we are told that shoppers respond more to brands they know or recognize than to others. We have become a generation of brand shoppers. So, how is that brand made evident in a retail space? How does the architect or designer turn a two-dimensional brand values statement into a three-dimensional environment by adding appeal to the five senses? How do you interpret “tradition,” “heritage,” “trendy,” “classic” or any other of the descriptive words that make up who the brand represents or what the brand stands for? That became my challenge—and an excuse to connect with architects and designers and get from them the “how/what/why/where” and the design process they use to create these brand identities that become welcoming retail spaces. Along the way—as is to be expected—I come across some fabulous but unpublicized home or house furnishing stores—and then I put on my International Home + Housewares Show hat—become a gia judge—and follow up on the designer and the design with renewed energy.
Martin, you have a large international following and your presentation fills our Innovation Theater each year. What brings you to return once again?
Here’s why I accepted the invitation to again speak at the Innovation Theater in March. It is my opportunity to share the information I have gathered that I think retailers might be interested in knowing about and also to show off not only this year’s gia winners but some of my own discoveries as well. Competition gets fiercer each year and “beauty” may be in the eye of the beholder—but it also is in the shops you are competing with. The question for the retailer is “how do I make my brand identity—my store—so unique, so memorable, so unforgettable that my “beauty” will be the one the customer sees? This year, in addition to my visual presentation, I will be joined on stage by my fellow gia judges—Wolfgang Gruschwitz, Scott Kohno, and Henrik Reisby—and they will be available to answer questions on all aspects of the branding process. So, no matter whatever anybody may want to know about branding and brand identity, one of the three experts is equipped to provide the knowledgeable answer.
What do you think is a current issue in retail store design?
As always, I think the main problem in merchandising home goods is quantity; how much to show and then, how to show it. Depending upon the store brand and the product brands shown in the store—when is enough “enough”? Through images of current gia award winners and other fine stores, I will show how that dilemma is solved—according to the brand image that the retailer wishes to project.
I hope that I can once again put on my professorial hat and deliver my thoughts simply, succinctly and with a touch of humor to make it all go down easily for the attendees. I know that my “back-up” of talent—my fellow gia judges—will also provide valid and valuable information. I know that the pictures I show will be worth the visit on Monday afternoon.
Thank you, Martin. You’ve offered some tantalizing morsels here. I know your fans will be lining up at the Theater door to hear your stories and see what you will present of retail environments from around the world. We look forward to your program Monday, March 17 at 2:30 pm.
Contact Martin M. Pegler at firstname.lastname@example.org for further insights.
At the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show, the Innovation Theater in the Lakeside Center will present 20 educational programs, beginning Saturday morning and running through Tuesday morning. Be sure to make time in your Show schedule for FREE executive-level seminars that will help build your business—at the Innovation Theater, located in Room E350—near the entry to the Level 3 Lobby, the gateway to the Lakeside Center exhibit hall. Check www.housewares.org regularly for updates on the schedule of Show events.