A chemist, a health food shop, a camera shop, a sports outfitter and a niche handmade cosmetics outlet. Now that’s the kind of variety that every high street needs. But it would be nice to have a better visual environment than most of these.
With Lush on the visiting list, it was going to be difficult to find anyone capable of taking its current crown (Lush won the 2016 Lux Award for Retail Lighting Project of the Year).
And from what we saw, no one was particularly interested in challenging for the title.
Retail Hell – Boots
Mary: The ceiling plan bears no relation to the floor plan and many displays are simply hard to see. The only well-lit items are the concession displays.
Tom: So bland, with dirty ceilings and burn marks from lighting all over. Have Boots created such a monopoly that they don’t need to make an effort? Indirect fluorescent 600×600 squares make for a flat, depressingly not too dark, not too bright weird light level that makes you want to procure some over the counter drugs immediately. Oh, hang on…
Retail Heaven – Zara
Mary: Bright and lively, good attention to vertical illuminance and really good colour rendering – all lights aimed at products, too.
Tom: Great store. Very good warm light quality. Lush products make for a chaotic display, but good merchandise displays and unfussy lighting (which is actually focused!) balance this out. I really like the contrast of warm merchandise lighting and cool white signage lighting.
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