Personalisation in Retail

Meg Williams


Shopping habits are changing, online shopping is rising and footfall is declining. Stores are closing and are not being replaced. Personalisation and hyper-local retail are on the rise and consumers are moving away from traditional retailing.

Hyperlocal is information adapted around a community. Using this information, personalised retail experiences can be made.

H&M Mitte Garten

H&M has grown into one of the most recognisable brands in the fashion industry with nearly 5,000 stores. The company wants to explore how to make the massive global company, more local. H&M have opened one of their smallest stores to date, a hyper-local store in Berlin.

The new store sells external brands, that are local to Berlin, as well as a careful selection from their main collection and screens available to shop the rest of the collection online.

The miniature flagship is in a unique location in the capital and serves as a meeting place for locals. “It’s a tradition we want to honour. We aim to offer a neighbourhood store serving as a platform for local and global talents within retail, culture and art.”

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Nike Melrose

Nike have opened the first of their new Nike Live concept stores. Based in LA, it is directly influenced by their customers in the area. It was chosen as the first location based on insights from the NikePlus app that highlights they are running and style-obsessed visionaries. All the products and services in the store are based on data and will change every two weeks to keep up with the new local trends.

The in-store sneaker bar allows customers to have help from trained staff to find the perfect shoe for them. There’s also what they call a ‘curbside service’ that allows the customer to message the store through the app; so they can quickly pull up to buy, exchange or return items without having to go inside the store itself.

Personalisation in retail is becoming a major trend to keep things new and exciting. Nike have been able to personalise every part of the customer’s journey, even before they enter the store. The nature of the store and its consumers allow it to be experimental and easily changed.

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Primark Birmingham

A ‘city of stories’ is the concept behind the largest retail store in the world. Inside what was previously the Pavilions shopping centre in Birmingham, the space is covered in localised graphics and customer personalisation opportunities.

Graphics feature local dialect that is designed to call out Birmingham’s friendly nature, with other touches in the wayfinding highlighting other sights of the city.

Personalisation is a theme throughout the store in terms of retail space and customer experience. The Custom Lab gives customers the chance to create a bespoke t-shirts or tote bags.

Recognising the love and high demand for popular brands like Harry Potter and Disney, each franchise has their own dedicated areas with all of the related merchandise you could ever imagine. There’s also a Disney themed café right at the top of the store, where you can get your very own Mickey shaped pancakes.


New York’s ever-changing store.

Founder, Rachel Shechtman describes the store as “a concept store called Story. We have the point of view of a magazine, we change every three to eight weeks like a gallery and we sell things like a store.”

It’s a hybrid space that blurs the lines between retail, exhibition and media. The aim being for customers to get a unique experience that they can’t get online. Past themes have been Love, Wellbeing, Holidays, NYC and Creativity. The design of the store reflects the theme through it’s store design, merchandising and the biggest focal point, fluorescent sign at the back of the store that sits in the middle of their sliced logo, designed by Sagmeister & Walsh. The contents of the store is carefully curated by the editor and comes from a mix of independent businesses and larger, well known retailers.

Everything about the store is thought about, nothing is out of place, from the signage to the bespoke scents. The bi-monthly store refresh attracts customers to keep returning to the store rather than a one visit wonder.

The concept store has now been sold to department store Macy’s. The merchandise, design and events change to tell the new story every couple of months. Over 7 years the store changed over 40 times, worked with over 5000 small independent businesses and hosted more than 500 events.

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