Retail store activations

Retail store activations are becoming increasingly important in the industry, providing engaging experiences for customers, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately driving sales. As technology and customer expectations continue to evolve, it’s crucial for retailers to stay up-to-date with the latest retail store activation trends in 2023 to create impactful experiences for customers.

A fundamental aspect of these retail activation strategies lies in the superior build quality and painstaking attention to detail, which is instrumental in actualising any design concept. The physical orchestration of the installation, inclusive of the location and construction, is crucial to its triumph. The fine-tuned detail, flawless integration of display components, and superior finishing touches contribute significantly to the aesthetic allure and interaction of the installation.

Bringing Brands to Life through Immersive Brand Experiences

In the domain of retail design, the emphasis is centred on curating experiences that are both engaging and immersive, experiences that transcend beyond the ordinary. Rather than merely showcasing products, the strategy focuses on creating spaces that foster interaction, stir curiosity, and furnish memorable encounters. This approach has been a foundational element in driving the success of retail activations, repeatedly proving its worth in delivering experiences that resonate deeply with customers.

Retail store activations

A testament to this was our project for the 2022 FIFA World Cup celebrations. Entrusted by client Jack Morton, we crafted the adidas Family House, a hub that showcased how a meticulously chosen location, rigorous attention to detail and a top-tier quality build can come together to enhance a brand’s resonance. The venue, purposefully located at the Dubai Mall Fountain, was designed to be warm, inviting, and visually engaging, a meeting point for football legends such as Iker Casillas and Kaka.

The Family House was an oasis of immersive brand storytelling, encircled by a white fence, an artificial garden, and outdoor lighting, creating an environment that welcomed each visitor.

Every aspect of this space — from the custom-made entrance wall to the reception area, dining area, kitchen, living room, shopping area, gaming room, photo-op, and storage room — had been conceived with an obsessive eye for detail. The space came alive with 3D logos, banners, rotating lightboxes, and a range of adidas products, decorative elements, and artefacts, ensuring brand consistency that permeated the entire area.

The design aesthetics of the Family House were a reflection of adidas’ brand identity, with a focus on the themes of football, teamwork, and community. This immersive experience provided visitors with an opportunity to connect and resonate with the brand’s values.

The success of the adidas Family House at the Dubai Fountain is an emblematic instance of how brand storytelling can be utilised in retail design and activations to carve memorable experiences. The concerted effort in the selection of an impactful location, the stringent focus on detail, and the dedication to an exceptional build quality were pivotal in bringing the project to life, perfectly aligning with the brand’s universe and amplifying the reach of the brand activation.

Crafting Memorable Experiences: Shop Windows and Pop-Ups in Malls

Shop windows and pop-up stores have become one of the most essential retail store activation trends in 2023 for retailers to deliver excellent experiences for customers while also showcasing their products and creating brand awareness. These activations are particularly effective in malls, where they can attract the attention of a large and diverse audience.

We at Electra have a proven track record of providing technical solutions for successful shop window and pop-up projects, each with a unique approach to technical design and premium craftsmanship for luxury brands.

One example is the CHANEL Fine Jewellery pop-up at the Mall of the Emirates, where we created a bespoke stand that reflected the brand’s iconic “Matelassé” quilted pattern. The result was an elegant and visually striking space that perfectly showcased CHANEL’s Coco Crush collection.

Our attention to detail was demonstrated in the booth’s decoration, featuring 400 hanging items suspended from the mall ceiling at 40 metres high. This project exhibited our commitment to quality build and high standards of finishing.


​​Another example of our expertise in creating unique experiences through pop-up stores is the HermèsMatic Pop-up Store in City Walk, Dubai. The pop-up store was designed to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the launch of the famous silk ‘Carré’, and the location was a permanent water feature. We faced a unique challenge of creating a custom-built structure to float over the water feature.

To overcome this challenge, our team made technical calculations and built the entire geometric diamond structure in-house. The substructure over the fountain was made up of floating water cubes with a top layer of decking, weighed down at either side. The result was an innovative pop-up store that offered customers a distinct shopping experience.

Shop windows and pop-up stores are not only effective in creating brand awareness but also in fostering a sense of urgency and encouraging customers to stop by for a short-lived event. Pop-up stores that offer limited-edition products create excitement and attract more visitors. Our ability to create beautiful and engaging experiences through shop windows and pop-up stores enables retailers to draw attention to their brand.

Leveraging Interactive Technology

Interactive displays and multimedia technologies offer customers a unique and interactive shopping experience. By incorporating these latest retail store activation trends in 2023, retailers can enhance the shopping experience and give customers a fun in-person experience. Additionally, these displays can serve as a reminder to customers that the specific retail location is more than just a place to buy products.

In partnership with Platinum, we at Electra built a floating structure and produced the interior fit-out for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Stellar Odyssey exhibition at the Dubai Fountain. The exhibition consisted of five areas, including a bar and a workshop.

Electra’s dome tent was used to create an immersive room with projection inside for a digital show. With a total surface of 1500 sqm, the main structure was built using our Cube Tent and fully customised with branded cladding. We also provided custom-made elements for all the indoor spaces, as well as premium items from our furniture rental collection.

Stellar Odyssey exhibition

Digital displays and interactive technologies can also be used to create a multi-sensory experience that allows customers to interact more tactilely with products. For instance, interactive displays can enable customers to virtually try on clothing, see how furniture would look in their home, or even customise their own products.

Incorporating interactive technology into the retail experience can be an effective way to attract customers. With our expertise in this area, we can help you create unforgettable retail experiences that customers will remember long after they leave the store.

Whether it’s a pop-up store or a permanent installation, we will work with you to create an aesthetically pleasing and engaging experience that will delight your customers.

What are the Latest Retail Store Activation Trends in 2023?

In 2023, retail store activation will prioritize innovative ways to create practical retail space. From interactive product displays to immersive brand experiences, retailers are leveraging technology and creative design to captivate and engage customers. Personalized shopping journeys and experiential activations will be key to driving foot traffic and boosting sales in the coming year.

Quality Build and Attention to Detail

Crafting a successful mall activation involves collaborating with experienced partners to bring your design to life. The physical set-up of the installation, including location and build, is paramount to its success. Attention to detail, seamless integration of display units or elements, and high-quality finishing are vital to make the installation visually appealing and engaging.

Location is a critical aspect of mall activations, as it can impact foot traffic and visibility. We work closely with clients to select the most strategic location for the activation, taking into account the target audience and brand messaging. Once the location is determined, we work on the physical set-up of the installation, ensuring that it is designed to capture the attention of passersby and entice them to engage with the brand.

Attention to detail is also key to creating a thriving mall activation. We focus on high-quality finishing and seamless integration of display units or elements with experiences, ensuring that the design is visually striking and aligns with the brand’s values and identity. Every aspect of the installation is carefully considered, from lighting and signage to interactive elements and customer flow.

Quality build is another essential factor to consider. We have a team of skilled designers, architects, and technicians who have a wealth of experience in retail design and activations. This enables us to deliver a seamless and exceptional experience, from conceptualisation to execution.

In-House Production: The Key to Adapting Quickly in a Fast-Paced Environment

In the retail industry, deadlines and speed to market are critical for success. We understand the importance of delivering on time and creating fresh shopping experiences. At Electra, we have the advantage of in-house production facilities that allow us to quickly adapt and meet the needs of our clients. It enables us to produce high-quality work quickly, consistently, and efficiently.

We have a team of experts who specialise in creating exceptional in-store customer experiences. From design teams to retail experts, we are passionate about pushing what’s possible and always looking for new innovations to challenge the market.

If you’re looking to create a standout retail experience that captures the attention of your target audience and drives sales, look no further than Electra. We are dedicated to delivering outstanding technical solutions that align with your brand’s identity. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help bring your retail vision to life.

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