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UAL Research Online

An interdisciplinary approach to the conceptualisation of retail environments

Kent, Anthony (2013) An interdisciplinary approach to the conceptualisation of retail environments. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Kent, Anthony

The focus of this thesis is on the internal and external environments of retail stores, and their contribution to retail branding from marketing and design perspectives. The retail industry in the postwar period and in particular since the 1980s has grown rapidly creating new store formats, new locations and new markets; retail brands have become some of the most powerful in the UK. The retail store now forms a visually engaging, three dimensional material and symbolic environment, where the brand merges with detailed store design. Both marketing and design initiatives have had a significant role in these developments, and consequently informed the distinctive interdisciplinary approach to the research journey.

The body of work draws on nine publications, from an initial exploratory paper in
2003 to the final piece of work in 2010. The journey is characterized by its critical engagement with qualitative methodology, and an increasing awareness of the value of visual methods in the field. This contributed to a different understanding of the internal spaces of the store from a consumer perspective and the co-creative possibilities of retail design. As the research journey progressed, the contribution of the store to the retail brand was extended to its place in the external, urban environment. This contributed to understanding the significance of the building to the retail brand, through prestigious new buildings but also the re-use and regeneration of commercial buildings and their meaningful connections with the past.

It is in this context that the body of work contributes new knowledge of the relationship between design, branding and experience in retail environments in which the design of the building, both internally and in its local context provide new opportunities to communicate to, and create experiences with consumers.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

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Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: store design; retail industry; branding
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: January 2013
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 15:29
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 10:14
Item ID: 6129
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6129

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