Blog/Jos de Vries: the future of retail
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Jos de Vries: the future of retail

Due to the rise of the internet and online shopping, retail has changed significantly at a rapid pace in recent years. Where some companies overreacted and a large number of shops closed, those who stayed with Jos de Vries (JDV), internationally renowned because of its retail concepts, design and architecture, remained calm and with a visionary approach to the future. Chris Rikkers, communication specialist at JDV, says, ‘Sales in the physical and online spaces do not hinder one another. On the contrary, we think that sales in the digital and physical spaces complement each other nicely. Both aspects have a lot to offer. Sales in online spaces benefit functional, basic products in which speed of delivery and price are important factors, whereas experience is of little to no impact. You can also add value to many products. We are now seeing a movement in the opposite direction where increasing numbers of companies that operate in the online space want a physical location where their users, fans, and visitors can feel, experiment, and experience.’

The sum of parts

This is exactly what JDV is focusing on; searching for that added value that confirms the story of retailers and attracts customers. Rikkers explains, ‘We are a colourful company that specializes in many areas. We engage with everything related to concept development for retail and to public spaces in the broadest sense of the word (including train stations, airports, and libraries). We take full responsibility for everything from logo design to architecture. In our vision, concepts best come to life as part of a holistic approach. While parts are important, the main concern is the whole formed by the parts. If you can maintain a concept throughout all its elements and everybody works based on the same idea, your brand becomes stronger.’

From transaction to interaction

Every three years, JDV refines its vision of retail and for the next three years the theme will be ‘From spaces to places’. ‘In our view, a space is an empty area whereas a place is a location that has an identity. That last part is key. After all, people are social creatures and need interaction. People want interactions with shop employees and with fellow customers. The retail sector can offer that as well as opportunities for interaction by purposefully developing physical spaces. Shops are very capable of distinguishing themselves from the home environment as well as internet while also creating spaces that people want to visit. At JDV, we focus more on interaction than transactions. Currently, shops are often a channel to make purchases, like the internet. Shops should therefore be used as places where people can meet, tell stories, and build brand loyalty. The added value of physical shops is therefore experiencing brands and products, in addition to the routing and layout, so the first thing you see and how you are led past the products. Supermarkets, for example, can offer customers a unique and fresh experience including artisanal products or products made on site by employees. That is an experience that stimulates the senses in a way that the online space cannot. We apply this vision to vacancy levels and view it in a positive way, because people should learn to see spaces as an empty canvas with endless opportunities, if you can look at wider functions. We challenge our clients in the recreational, employment, and shopping sectors to combine their experiences to complement one another. Combining such functions results in dynamic spaces that clients will make intensive use of.’

Traditional spaces in a new light

This innovative and creative company’s vision, in which JDV encourages people to view physical spaces in a different way, will be presented at Euroshop (an innovation platform for retail) in Düsseldorf in mid-February. They will share a stand with Mosa and TGLS. Rikkers continues, ‘We like working with other innovative companies. When TGLS told us about their click system with Mosa-tiled floors, we knew that this was a good match for our vision. Instead of renovating a shop from top to bottom every five years, we want to renovate spaces according fixed concepts in a modular way to tailor them to market requirements. By using a click-system for floor tiles, it becomes easier to modify floors and to recycle old tiles. This means that it is a great way to adapt to trends and developments as well as beneficial to our sustainability requirements and our desire to contribute to a circular economy. Thanks to their new ideas and solutions, suppliers such as Mosa and TGLS make it possible for us to take the next step and to therefore create an interesting product for end users. And that’s what it’s all about.’

>Read also: Mosa Global Corporate Accounts Team supports retail