Looking back on 2016: Barber branding and retail design review

It seems like a long time since Christmas and we seem to be hurtling towards the end of January with renewed vigour after our festive break. We’ve been having numerous meetings with clients and have many exciting new projects in the pipeline. But, before we tell you about those we thought we would take a moment to reflect and have a look back at some of our successes from last year. With many exciting projects and award nominations for our work across the globe. Here is our 2016 Barber branding and retail design review:


Our retail design work was featured on Channel 4

We got off to a flying start last year when a pared down version of our retail design work was shown on Channel 4’s ‘Secret Shopper’ television programme, presented by ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas.

The show is still available to view on the Channel 4 website, so if you haven’t seen it, grab some popcorn and settle down for a treat! The eccentric storeowners and their unusual retail strategy are a treat to watch!


Neal’s Yard Peacemarsh opening

Neal’s Yard Remedies are an award winning ethical, organic health and beauty brand with 52 stores and more than 470 outlets across the UK as well as 80 stores internationally.

We have been creating a series of store designs for Neal’s Yard Remedies across the UK (and beyond) over several years and in March 2016 our latest store design was revealed at Peacemarsh in Gillingham, Dorset, on the site of the brand’s ‘eco factory’.

The new retail store was a new addition to the factory site – which had recently expanded – and was the latest phase on our new series of retail design concepts for the organic beauty brand.

2016 Retail Design Expo

Also in March we found time to showcase our work at the 2016 Retail Design Expo in London’s Olympia. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to touch base with hundreds of potential clients and suppliers whilst getting some fresh design inspiration from other exhibitors and industry specialists at the event.

Retail Design Expo


2016 VM and Display Show

In April we took our stand to the VM and Display Show at the Business Design Centre in London. The VM and Window Show is an international event with many different countries from across the world represented. The show is also attended by global companies looking for innovation and inspiration. We relished the opportunity to speak with other like-minded businesses.

Retail Design Expo


Neal’s Yard Remedies Covent Garden Opening

On May 26th our design for the Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store was unveiled in Covent Garden. The brand opened their first store at this location in Covent Garden in 1981 and it was an honour for us to be asked to help them redevelop the interior of such an iconic store. This event was the latest stage in a series of designs for Neal’s Yard stores across the UK and internationally in Alberta, Canada, Taipei, Taiwan and Makati in the Philippines.

The Covent Garden store was shortlisted for an award at the 2016 Retail Week Interiors Awards.


Discovery Store Opening, Dubai

On June 1st, one of our most exciting international retail design projects to date – the Discovery Aquarium – opened for business in the Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates. The vision for this store was for a first-of-its-kind retail initiative, offering a unique retail experience with inspiring footage of marine life on big screens and the primary storefront suspended over an aquarium.

Our retail design work for the Discovery Aquarium was shortlisted for a gong at the 2016 VM and Display Awards.

Discovery channel store in Dubai

SugarSin Covent Garden Opening

Also in June, our second retail design for SugarSin opened in Covent Garden. The store was relocating to new premises following the success of their original Covent Garden store, which was also designed by Barber.

The stores owners, Swedish sisters Anna and Josefin describe the ethos behind their idea, which was used as the basis for our bold and colourful design:

“The idea of SugarSin was to create a magic, modern Willy Wonka factory that appealed to grown ups as well as children. Inspired by the candy store in Pippi Longstocking, the store has been designed in a soft pastel colour theme with bold, candy inspired interior. We love contrasts, and the shop features a great mix of contemporary pick ‘n’ mix shelves, a high gloss pastel pink counter, a retro neon sign and turquoise marshmallow tables filled with sweets in gorgeous apothecary jars.“

This store design featured in Premier Retail magazine and was also shortlisted for a 2016 Retail Week Interiors Award.

Love Brand & Co. Brand and Retail Guidelines

June was a busy month for us here at Barber as it was also the month that we helped Love Brand & Co. to create a new a set of brand and retail guidelines which would showcase the classy swimwear brand in a new light, focussing on theirethos of conservation and philanthropy.

Each item of swimwear sold raises awareness and funds to help elephants from extinction in the wild. A distinctive idea entitled “Trunks for Trunks”

Love Brand & Co. hats


Sovereign Centre food court revamp for Vixcroft opens in Weston-super-Mare

In October our retail design work for Vixcroft, owners of the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare was opened. The £500k retail revamp was the first phase of our work at the centre and we are now working on the rebranding and retail planning of the entire shopping centre. This work includes a new website design, signage and promotional materials throughout the area.

2016 TFWA Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit

Also in October we found time to enjoy some autumnal French sunshine at the TFWADuty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit in Cannes. In recent years Barber Design have carved out a bit of a niche as travel retail designers, working for Thomas Cook, Travelex and the Hong Kong Cruise Plaza, to name but a few. The TFWA Summit is always one of our favourite annual events as it presents us with an excellent opportunity to reconvene with existing clients as well as meeting new ones, whilst also connecting with other professional vendors in the travel retail industry.

TFWA event in Cannes


Shortlisted for 2 Retail Week Interior Awards

November marked the start of awards season. As mentioned our retail design work for Neal’s Yard and SugarSin were shortlisted for 2 prestigious awards at the Retail Week Interiors Awards. This was the third year in a row our work had been nominated. In 2015 we won the coveted ‘Best Large Format Store’ award for our work with the Triathlon Shop in Bristol.

Retail Week Awards


Finalist in the VM and Display Awards

In December our work for the Discovery Channel was acknowledged when we were shortlisted as finalists in the 2016 VM and Display Awards.

VM and Display Awards

Christmas Mannequin Challenge

We rounded off the year with a bit of office fun when we filmed our own version of the ‘Mannequin Challenge.’ Watch it to the end to see if you can spot Doug blinking!

And in 2017?

So that was our 2016 and we’ve hit the ground running with lots of interesting projects in progress for the coming year. We are continuing with our work for Vixcroft at the Sovereign Centre and Neal’s Yard Remedies  and we are working on an exciting new retail project for Jigsaw to be launched on the High Street this spring!  Plus a lot of other things that we aren’t allowed to talk about just yet! We are already preparing our display stands for the Retail Expo and the VM and Display Show and with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we will hopefully be bringing the tuxedos out again when award season comes around too!