British designer Tom Dixon creates a popup vision of the future of retail.
For this year’s edition of the London Design Festival, celebrated British designer Tom Dixon explores the near future of retail with Multiplex, an “immersive, multi-sensory department store of tomorrow.”
Located at The Old Selfridges Hotel, Multiplex brings together over 30 international brands, blurring traditional retail boundaries.
Dixon’s selection includes the Mumbai-based slow-fashion label Obataimu, which celebrates human touch and process. For Multiplex, Obataimu takes transparency to a radical extreme, featuring a live video feed of its Mumbai production studio.
Service is also a key component of Dixon’s vision. In particular, handmade eyewear brand CUBBITS and Reviv, a company that administrates intravenous vitamin drips, put one-to-one consultations and expert advice at the heart of their brand propositions.
“There are still things that you can’t really do online,” said Dixon. “Service is something really difficult to deliver online in a similar way.” With Multiplex, Dixon wants to rethink mainstream retail, enlisting a range of collaborators to offer shoppers a highly engaging and theatrical hybrid environment. “The modern brand is the sum of its friends and partners, not just an enclosed island,” the designer said.
“It’s nonstop show time in retail now,” Dixon continued. “People need a very superior reason to get into physical spaces. There’s something you can’t reproduce online, which has to do with gathering people together, real conversations, real smells, real tastes.”
By exploring and nurturing partnerships with like-minded brands, for example through rotating popups and brand collaborations, retailers will be able to deliver more engaging, experiential, and service-oriented customer experiences.