8 keys to compete successfully in the Retail of the Future

Retail Future, the annual trade fair on digitalisation and trends in the retail industry, held its 6th edition this October at the Caixa Forum building in Valencia. With a full programme of round tables, experts discussed topics ranging from the economic perspectives of retail, new forms of sales and business management, as well as examples of successful and innovative projects.

As in previous editions, we attended the Retail Future fair to learn about new trends in the retail sector and network with speakers and attendees. After the day, we have reflected and synthesised what we consider to be the 8 essential keys that will mark the path of the Future of Retail, both for small retailers and for large fashion brands:


Knowing our customer well


The first and most valuable lesson for successful retailing is to learn everything about our customer. Rosa Pilar López, business director of the Fashion & Beauty section at Kantar, presented her conclusions on current customer behaviour. In a post-pandemic context of rising inflation, consumers are buying less but spending more, especially in the food sector, simply because of price increases. "Consumers have become more rational when it comes to shopping," he added.

On the other hand, according to Enric Ezquerra, from Realfooding, despite the context of difficulties and headwinds, the 'value' factor is increasingly more important than the 'money' factor in users' purchasing decisions. "Customers can behave differently depending on their interest in your product and go for what pleases them and matches their lifestyle," he said. Therefore, this situation opens a window of opportunity for brands. If we are relevant, we will have a better chance to compete successfully.


Opening up to uncertainty


Today's world is characterised by being difficult to predict and to understand, both for organisations and retailers. In this scenario of uncertainty, visionary and expert Jaime García Cantero shared his thoughts on the trends that are going to be crucial for Retail companies, starting with understanding the "WOW effect", the idea that customers' decisions are made quickly and emotionally. As companies, it is necessary to generate this opportunity to surprise customers, but also to resist the actions of the competitors. According to García Cantero, one of the current and most significant "wows" is the emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence, the branch of Artificial Intelligence that focuses on generating original content from existing data.

Another challenge for companies, according to the expert, is the way we organise and function as a group. "Organisations have a fundamental objective which is to change our solid, rigid structures and make them open to change. Roles are changing, repetition is not enough and the ability to improvise is much more important," he said.


Use the technology that best suits our business


Uncertainty and this concept of "liquid society", introduced by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, also relocates to retail businesses. In recent years we have seen how the integration of online and offline retail has given way to a Figital Retail experience (physical and digital), which we have already discussed in depth in the Es Design monograph "Retail Figital, the renaissance of commerce", as well as other trends such as the incursion of the Metaverse, the use of smart fitting rooms or RFID tags on clothing, among other examples. In this new scenario, it is essential for brands to analyse and understand what each channel brings to the customer and how they should adapt the trends to their own business.

In this sense, humanist and lecturer Xavier Marcet defended the idea of listening well to customers and being consistent with them. "How can we be consistent? We should not speed up with technology but serve the future only half a step ahead", he said. While technology will be important, so will proximity. For Marcet, retailers need to be aware of putting technology to their advantage and think about how technology can make us better: "Think about customers and how you want to evolve with them".


Generating trust with the customer and the community


In line with offering a closer and more personalised service, the visionary and expert Jaime García Cantero stressed during his speech the importance of building trust. "The centre of retail is once again the physical shop. We want a quick shopping experience but we also like a place where we can share and empathise", he explained. In his own words, a shop should be understood as a safe space for the community. This is why there are retail projects such as bookshops that organise workshops or book presentations in their spaces.

Pepa Casado, founder and researcher at Futurea, reflected along the same lines. "Physical retail has the capacity to curate, to select products with more care, thinking about the customer's experience and the brand", she said. This 'curation' also has to do, according to Casado, with the concept of 'selection': supporting and helping the customer when deciding between millions of options in the market with the product that truly connects with him or her.

"Moreover, when a brand appeals to us, it not only appeals to us in one product category but can appeal to us in many categories because we are talking about how we connect and how we vibrate in the same tune", she added. For this reason, multi-category brands are beginning to appear that offer fashion and habitat, as is the case of Sessun, which sells women's fashion while offering an exhibition of selected handicrafts in its shop.


Humanising retail

In order to create community and build trust, physical shop workers are the best brand ambassadors. In this sense, the retailer Marcos Álvarez insisted during his talk on the importance of attracting workers to the brand they represent.

"We retailers are not aware that our salespeople are our first customers. If we are not able to sell our product to our shop assistants, they will not be able to sell it to our customers", he explained. In other words, Alvarez said retailers must learn to empathise with their salespeople, ensure that they are comfortable in their position and that their aspirations and desires are accommodated in their professional experience. "The people who work with us are talent and capital within the organisation. Let's do everything we can to keep talent with us," he said.


Understanding the changes in the system


At the round table "Lab Retail: Discover the shop of the future in key sectors" we had the opportunity to learn how shops are evolving from the point of view of several experts and consultants. Pepa Casado, expert in the habitat sector at Futurea, spoke about "furniture as a service", a trend that consists of selling not only the equipment or furniture but also the after-sales services, throughout the useful life of the product. An example of this is Nornorn, a company that offers a subscription to fully circular office furniture. According to Casado, this "servitisation" has to do with changing lifestyles and new ways for customers to purchase products.

On the other hand, another trend that responds to the new way in which customers approach products is the creation of "shoppable spaces". According to Casado, these spaces are the result of users' need to interact in a more natural and organic way with the product. A great example is shoppable hotels, where users can buy any product in their hotel room by reading a QR. Another example is showrooms such as the Bernadí Hub in Barcelona, where the professional prescriber is encouraged to go not only to buy but also to experience the product, exchange knowledge and enjoy a community space.


Embracing sustainability in all its dimensions

Sustainability and environmental care is a radical and urgent issue in order to align with the wishes and expectations of our customers and to avoid environmental and economic impact. According to Bloomberg data, 9.7 million tons of furniture were discarded in 2018, an amount equivalent to 80% of the furniture that was manufactured that same year. As we have seen above, many reference projects have a business model that has at its core the concept of circularity. "Increasingly, we see how conditioned furniture has become a valuable product: we are abandoning the 'pre-used' label to talk about 'pre-loved', which says a lot about how the perception of users has changed over time", reflected Pepa Casado from Futurea.

Another very present topic at Retail Future was the idea of considering sustainability in all its dimensions and especially considering people. In this line, the visionary and expert Jaime García Cantero made the following reflection: "When we talk about sustainability, everyone thinks about the environment, but there are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and only 5 are related to the environment", he said. The fight against poverty, diversity, democratic quality and equal opportunities are also SDGs and, in García Cantero's opinion, this is a huge opportunity for retail, especially small retail.


Finding our competitive edge and competing successfully


As we have seen, Retail Futire has taught us some great lessons. If we can get to know our customers well, build trust in our business, be resilient in the face of change and use technology to our advantage as well as understand the changes in the system and embrace sustainability in all its dimensions, we will be able to compete successfully.

In the scenario that opens up in 2024, physical shops, particularly the own shop, have regained their weight against the online channel as the most important channel for fashion. This is confirmed by the latest edition of the Veepee-Modaes Barometer of Fashion Companies in Spain. The physical store is the visible face of the brand, a unique space where we can show what makes us unique and connect with the consumer.

At Grup Idea we have more than 25 years of experience accompanying brands in their expansion processes, from design, architecture and engineering services to the final construction of the commercial premises. Discover all our work with international brands and do not hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation quote.

Artificial Intelligence under debate: how will it influence design and architecture?

How will Artificial Intelligence influence the world of education and how will it change the architecture, design and construction of spaces? On 17 October, Roca Barcelona Gallery hosted the talk "AI Visions: Artificial Intelligence under debate" to better understand what this disruptive technology is and the challenges it poses in the present. Roca and Arquitectes per l'Arquitectura, in collaboration with the companies Unifit and Elia, organised a first meeting with the collaboration of universities such as UIC Barcelona, laSalle and Elisava.

The appearance of ChatGPT, based on AI, a year ago in open and free mode has generated many questions about its use. Should we understand AI as a tool that will make us faster and more efficient? Or should we see it as a threat? According to Miquel Ángel Julià Hierro, Concept Architect and Director of Design and Marketing at Grup Idea, which commissioned the sessions, AI "will mark a before and after in how we use our Natural Intelligence from now on". "We are no longer talking about a new Industrial Revolution but a true Cognitive Revolution," he said.

The aim of two round tables was to deepen knowledge about artificial intelligence (AI) with the help of experts in the field. The first round table dealt with the implications of AI in education, both in student management, predictions, statistics and connections throughout the community, as well as the use of this tool in teaching. The second session, focused on design, discussed how the use of AI can influence the ideation of creative processes and also the user experience.


Training in Artificial Intelligence, a must in education and business


The field of education has undergone structural changes in recent decades. Now, AI poses unprecedented challenges in the education sector with impacts that are difficult to calculate in comparison with the irruption of the internet. To assess these aspects, experts in the sector took part in the round table, such as Alex Torras, founder and director of Unifit, Andrés Colmenares, head of the Master's in artificial intelligence at Elisava, Alfons Cornella, founder of Curiosity Atelier, Institute of Next and Infonomia, and Griselda Miralles, co-founder and director of an IoT business unit with AI at CD4IOT.

Alex Torras, Alfons Cornella and Griselda Miralles took part in the first round table, which focused on education, with Miquel Ángel Julià as moderator.
Alex Torras, Alfons Cornella and Griselda Miralles took part in the first round table, which focused on education, with Miquel Ángel Julià as moderator.

For Alex Torras, creator of the saas (software as a service) platform Unifit, which seeks to digitise educational collectives and improve the student experience, artificial intelligence will bring many changes and schools must be prepared for this: "Institutions must go from being reactive to being active in promoting new technologies". Alfons Cornella agrees that AI will directly affect us as humans, as there will be tasks that we will have to stop doing. And he warns "We will need a change of operating system in organisations".

"We need to objectify. AI is software that solves problems that previous software did not solve. The job will not be taken away by AI, but by the person who is most prepared and trained in AI", warned Griselda Miralles.

With all this, Griselda Miralles of CD4IOT, calls for calm and agreed with the other speakers that more specific training is needed in companies. "We must be objective. AI is software that solves problems that previous software did not solve. The job will not be taken away by AI, but by the person who is most prepared and trained in AI", he stressed.

Andrés Colmenares, head of the Master's degree in artificial intelligence at Elisava, also agreed that the use of AI implies a great responsibility, both at a socioeconomic level and in the context of the climate crisis, and that it is necessary to "open spaces for conversation to measure the impacts that digital technologies and the narratives surrounding them generate in our lives". These narratives, he adds, "are shaped by the perspective of engineers and demographically of a minority sector of the population that concentrates a lot of resources and a lot of power". In conclusion, the experts agreed that humans will have to find a competitive advantage in those values that make us human, such as empathy, curiosity, love and teamwork. "We can see AI as a problem but also as a challenge to be better, to stimulate questions, to be more imaginative and to go further," concluded Cornella.


Artificial Intelligence in architecture yes, but without forgetting the subjective experience of the user


The use of AI and the recently emerged AI-based tools also pose great challenges in the way architects design and construct buildings, or how designers approach their creative processes. The second round table, focused on AI and architecture, featured María Araya León, architect and co-director Master in Design - One Health, Marta Delgado, designer, researcher and educator - Architecture with Meaning, Tetiana Klymchuk PhD Data Scientist and professor at UIC and Manuel Rodríguez Ladrón de Guevara, PhD and instructor of design and computer studio at Carnegie Mellon University.

To begin with, Tetiana Klymchuk defined what AI and Machine Learning are as an expert. "AI is a software tool that performs tasks that humans do, such as walking, understanding or speaking. This includes Deep Learning, which is inspired by the neural network of human beings. They themselves learn", he explained. Manuel Rodríguez Ladrón de Guevara commented, for example, on how he applies computer science learning to architecture. In his startup, Flumio, they have replaced CAD with a programming language and have managed to automate the design and manufacture of furniture for their clients.

The second round table, focused on AI and architecture, was attended by María Araya León, Marta Delgado, Tetiana Klymchuk and Manuel Rodríguez, with Miquel Ángel Julià as moderator.
The second round table, focused on AI and architecture, was attended by María Araya León, Marta Delgado, Tetiana Klymchuk and Manuel Rodríguez, with Miquel Ángel Julià as moderator.

Artificial Intelligence opens up a wide range of possibilities for designing and improving spaces, evaluating subjective and objective aspects of users and their environment. María Araya explained how in research projects in which she has participated it is possible to know through algorithms and system learning "what (the user) is feeling at any given moment and how long he/she is in each place". "In this way we can analyse the impact of the design on the user", she added.

For Marta Delgado, it is always necessary to work in real environments because the phenomenon can be dangerous. "It is the use of science in architecture while ignoring culture. The human being is embodied cognition, feeling and thinking are the same, which is why we propose a very systemic vision to study the impacts on the design of spaces". On the other hand, she added that it is necessary as users to be "critical about who owns the data and for what purpose". To conclude, María Araya agreed that, with the application of AI in architecture, "it is important to work within a multidisciplinary team and, beyond the objective data that the new tools can provide, the subjective experience of the users, the protagonists of the spaces, must be taken into account".

"Beyond the objective data provided by the new tools, we must take into account the subjective experience of the users, who are the protagonists of the spaces", said María Araya.

One of the images of how AI imagines 'the city of the future', projected at the end of the second round table at Roca Barcelona Gallery,
One of the images of how AI imagines 'the city of the future', projected at the end of the second round table at Roca Barcelona Gallery,

In the session, thanks to the work of the digital partner Flop Work, Miquel Àngel Julià had the opportunity to talk directly with a very special guest, the Artificial Intelligence he called Selva. He shared with her the keys to these topics that served as a starting point for the debate. To end the day, with the collaboration of the audience, they imagined together the University of the Future.

As Miquel Àngel reminded us, Martín Linstrom, author of "Buyology" and "Small Data", had already shown us in his reflections that "making our way through the Amazon jungle is a child's task" in the face of understanding how our brain works. Humans have not yet finished understanding how Natural Intelligence works and we are not only looking for Intelligent Life outside our planet Earth, but we have also created Artificial Intelligence. We have a lot of jungle to discover!

30 years of experience in retail design and implementation services

For 30 years, the partners who later founded Grup Idea and Abessis have been working for brands. They started out in what we now call corporate architecture.

Over the years and with the development of the sector, we have positioned ourselves as specialists in the retail sector, whether in design, implementation or site and construction management, and there are now more than 700 premises in which we have successfully participated around the world. We currently have the design and implementation of commercial premises in our DNA as a company.

Since our beginnings, we have thought of Grup Idea as a professional services company, which is why we have incorporated architects and engineers into our team. Our strength is teamwork and cooperation between departments.

In this way, we accompany our client throughout the implementation process, from the first visit to the premises to assess the viability both in terms of regulations and spaces. Once the premises have been approved, we draw up the basic project, which may include the layout or the distribution of spaces. The next step is the drafting of the executive project, both in terms of works and installations, a step prior to the project management. At the same time, our team takes care of the processing of all the necessary licences for the opening of the premises. In our architectural and engineering services section you will find each and every one of the phases in which we participate.

One of our most recent deliveries has been the implementation of a Levi's store in Lleida. Grup Idea accompanies the brand in the implementation of Levi's stores in Spain with projects in Barcelona, Tarragona, Castellón, Olot or Palma de Mallorca, among others. All our work in retail for international retail brands can be consulted in our web section Design and Construction of commercial shops.

EXPANSIÓN - Articles on financial architecture

Grup Idea has collaborated with Expansión magazine in the series of articles on financial architecture published in digital and paper format in July and August 2023. Miquel Ángel Julià Hierro, Director of Design and Marketing, and other expert architects such as Eugeni Bach and Fermín Vázquez, have accompanied the author and Expansión journalist David Casals on a tour of several global benchmarks of financial architecture.

As an expert in corporate and financial architecture and innovation advisor to the Barcelona branch of the Col-legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), Miquel Àngel has contributed articles on aspects such as the technical and architectural details of the building, the purpose of the design and the history behind emblematic buildings of contemporary architecture such as the hermetic and contrasting design of the Danmarks NationalBank in Denmark; the risky and powerful proposal of Bank of London or the DZ Bank buildings in Berlin or HSBC in Hong Kong, works of the renowned architects Frank Gehry and Norman Foster, respectively.

In the compendium of articles, we have approached the European Central Bank (ECB) building in Frankfurt, known for its symbolic power as a meeting place where Europe is 'embraced', or the ING headquarters in Amsterdam, built between 1998 and 2002 and which stands out for its futuristic style. The story of the extension of the Bank of Spain by Rafael Moneo understood as 'copy' and not 'plagiarism' or the curious story of how a student detected a calculation error and 'saved' the Citicorp building from collapsing are also stories that have been shared and where we have had the pleasure of participating.

As on previous occasions, the collaboration with Expansión has also contributed to highlighting Grup Idea's work for financial institutions and corporate offices, such as the design and construction of the Bank Degroof Petercam offices in Madrid and the renovation of the CaixaBank offices. Access the original articles in Expansión (in Spanish) at the following link:


  1. Danmarks Nationalbank: surprise effect in a grey ‘bunker’
  2. A journey into the bowels of a whale at Berlin's DZ Bank
  3. Building, engineering and feng shui at the HSBC in Hong Kong
  4. European Central Bank Frankfurt: The ECB, the complex where Europe is 'embraced'.
  5. Financial architecture : A 'sculpture' of reinforced concrete
  6. ING's Amsterdam headquarters: 'Star Wars' style for an 'unbanked' bank
  7. Banco de España Madrid: When a copy is art and not plagiarism
  8. Financial architecture: Citicorp, the tower 'saved' by a student

BOTIGA TESTER - The Tester shop and the spiral of innovation

Miquel Àngel Julià Hierro, design and marketing director at Grup Idea, has participated as a collaborator in the book 'Botiga Tester', an initiative led by Creu Coberta, in collaboration with Barcelona City Council. The project consists of creating a 'tester shop' or 'trial shop' that would be owned by the municipality and would be rented at affordable prices to new commercial initiatives, but for a short period of time. The project, already implemented in some districts of the city of Paris, aims to support new business initiatives, promote the revival of a local economy, improve social links and local employment.

In the article 'La Botiga Tester i l'Espiral de la Innovació', Miquel Àngel reflects on innovation in retail, the strategy prior to design and the importance of having professionals in the creation and launch of a business:

Creu Coberta, together with Barcelona City Council, is initiating and leading the 'Botiga Tester' project, an innovative and disruptive project compared to what has been done so far in other European cities such as Paris. The project consists of creating a 'tester shop' that would be owned by the municipality and would be rented at affordable prices to new commercial initiatives, but for a short period of time.

This project goes much further and can help us to define a broader city and territorial strategy.Before implementing any business, it is necessary to design it, not only the physical space but also the digital space, the services it will offer and the whole universe that revolves around the trader, the consumer and the product it will offer. Prior to this design, a strategy is needed that specifies the conceptualisation of what is called the business model.


The role of the architect in the conceptualisation of the business model


Although it may seem a good idea to think about the Botiga Tester from the inside as an interior design project, what is necessary is to have a transversal view from other points of view in addition to that of architects, interior designers or decorators.

It is necessary for the architect to think "out of the box". Because an architect not only designs buildings and interior spaces, but the first thing he or she does is to design strategies that will later allow spaces to be designed. The architect acts as a hinge between the business world and the Design world and must act as a guiding thread so that business ideas can finally become tangible and are not lost along the way.

So, when we start the process we are divergent, we have more ideas and more questions than answers. After this first work there is a turning point and it is time to choose and discard. In the last phase of the project we must prototype and test before launching it definitively on the market.

It is in this last phase where the Botiga Tester is located and makes sense. And once we open a shop, it is not the end of the line, it is where the commercial activity begins and the necessary dynamisation of the point of sale appears. Through methodologies such as the Spiral of Innovation, it is possible to understand the creative process of a commercial space, not as a closed design cycle but as an open spiral, which never stops growing and which enriches future projects as you evolve (or revolutionise).

Consult the original publication on the Botiga Tester website (in Catalan).

Team Building GRUP IDEA ABESSIS in Delta del Ebro!

Team Building GRUP IDEA ABESSIS in Delta del Ebro!

On 25 and 26 May, the Grup Idea and Abessis teams travelled to Delta del Ebro, halfway between the Barcelona and Valencia offices, to enjoy a few days of Team Building. This fantastic location offered us an idyllic setting to disconnect and enjoy nature and its landscapes, marked by the flow of the Ebro River, coastal lagoons, dunes, riverside forests, bays and beaches. Once there, we stayed at the Juanito Platja hotel where we enjoyed the most traditional food with unbeatable views of the bay of Sant Carles de la Ràpita.


Through a guided visit to MónNatura Delta, the interpretation centre in the heart of the park, we got to know first-hand the economic activity of the area, the salt pans, the rice fields, the traditional fishing and the marine and terrestrial biodiversity it hosts. In fact, at the viewpoint and birdwatching point we were able to spot flamingos, one of the more than 150 species that nest and hibernate in the park. In addition, we have discovered the art of ‘barcas de pértiga’, the typical boat of Delta del Ebro with which we have sailed in groups through the shallow waters of the salt pans, a very fun activity to get closer to the traditions of the place and solve challenges in teams!


Precisely, the objectives of the Team Building days have been to get to know each other better, to encourage companionship and team building. In addition, through activities such as the ‘barcas de pértiga’, we have been exposed to team challenges such as reaching port safely with skill in the handling of the ‘perxa’ and with the involvement of our colleagues. It has also been a good opportunity to reinforce the corporate values that best represent us: teamwork, flexibility, imagination, ethics and honesty or involvement. Don’t miss the selection of photos from the Team Building days:

Publicamos en la revista IARQCO la acogida de Grup Idea & Abessis en este año como exhibidores en Designer’s Village

IARQCO - Architecture, construction and interior design at the leading retail fair EuroShop 2023

We publish in the IARQCO magazine the chronicle after our visit to the EuroShop retail fair, the reflections on the current situation of the sector and the reception of Grup Idea & Abessis this year as exhibitors in Designer's Village.

After three years marked by the pandemic, the world's largest retail trade fair, EuroShop 2023, has returned to bring together retailers and industry professionals in areas such as lighting, visual merchandising, shop design and construction. This year's Euroshop was attended by up to 1,830 exhibitors from 55 countries.

Designer's Village was the meeting place for boutique design, architecture and construction companies. A total of nine companies showcased current innovations in shop design through their own projects, from standard efficiency solutions to international high-end shop design. Grup Idea together with Abessis were the only Spanish representatives to offer their Design & Build services.

Grup Idea offers design, permitting, architectural plans and installation services for retail brands. Abessis, on the other hand, carries out site management and final construction of the space. Both companies are based in Barcelona and Valencia. Depending on the client and their needs, Grup Idea & Abessis can offer their services separately or jointly, from design to turnkey construction.

Digitalisation and sustainability, cross-cutting themes in retail construction

Themes such as sustainability and digitalisation have been cross-cutting themes in each of the exhibition pavilions. At a time of major changes in online and offline business, shoppers are coming to physical shops attracted by the experience and the possibility of connecting through emotions. Equally, users do not easily give up the immediacy and high degree of personalisation that the digital world offers. In this sense, designing from the user experience, making efficient use of technology and connecting with the community are some of the challenges facing brands today. Some exhibitors wanted to respond to these challenges in their own stands at EuroShop.

Read the original article in full on the Interempresas website (in spanish).

The Grup Idea & Abessis stand in the Designer's Village area of EuroShop.

Warm welcome to Grup Idea & Abessis at the leading retail trade fair EuroShop

The 21st edition of EuroShop 2023, the leading retail trade fair, came to an end on 2 March with a successful turnout of more than 81,000 visitors and 1,830 exhibitors from 55 countries. On this occasion, Grup Idea & Abessis were there for the first time as exhibitors with our own stand to present our work method, services and international retail projects and works all over Europe.

Located in the Designers' Village, the area reserved for architecture and design studios, we shared space with nine other young agencies already established in design and shopfitting, mainly from the United Kingdom and Germany. From the designers' area, only Grup Idea & Abessis came from Spain. For five days we welcomed professionals from the retail sector to our stand: technicians, suppliers, collaborators and clients in a very positive atmosphere of professional exchange and business opportunities.

During the fair, we had the opportunity to talk to the entire ecosystem of manufacturing companies, especially in the field of lighting, new materials, finishes and their high quality solutions to improve design and equipment in the retail sector. We also attended various talks at the Store Design Stage and Retail Designer's Stage to learn first-hand about the latest trends in design for an optimal customer journey and the implications of sustainability and digitalisation in the design and construction of points of sale. Sustainability and digitalisation were the most common cross-cutting themes in the retail products exhibited and offered at the fair, from shopping stands, mannequins and decorative busts to lighting and refrigeration equipment.

For the event organisers themselves, the new edition of EuroShop has had a very positive impact, especially after three years of uncertainty and in view of the current challenges in the sector. "We would like to thank our exhibitors. With their innovative strength they have once again proved to be a magnet for the entire industry," said Erhard Wienkamp, managing director of the trade fair, in a press release. The next EuroShop at Messe Düsseldorf will be held from 22 to 26 February 2026.


Marketing Directo - EuroShop 2023: this was the 21st edition of the retail trade fair

Grup Idea and Abessis are two of the Spanish-based companies that participated as exhibitors at the EuroShop 2023 retail fair. The report entitled 'More than 80,000 visitors attend EuroShop 2023, which makes clear its leadership in the retail sector', published in the digital media Marketing Directo, summarises the past edition and includes the testimony of several exhibiting companies, including Grup Idea and Abessis. With the participation of Lluis Sáiz.

EuroShop 2023, the world's most important retail trade fair, has successfully concluded its 21st edition. After five days, the curtain came down on the congress held at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre on Thursday, 2 March, which attracted 81,000 visitors from all five continents, with a large number of international visitors: 68% of the EuroShop audience came from outside Germany.

Particularly positive was the increase in visitors from Southeast Asia, Africa and North America. In total, EuroShop 2023 trade visitors from 141 countries came to EuroShop, including countries as far afield as Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

The number of exhibitors, 1,830 exhibitors from 55 nations, has increased this year compared to previous editions. Erhard Wienkamp, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, was very satisfied with the results of the event and said: "In view of the current challenges facing the retail trade, we are delighted that EuroShop has once again fulfilled its role as the world's leading trade fair offering orientation and guidance. "We owe our exhibitors a great compliment. With their innovative strength they have once again proved to be a magnet for the entire industry," he added.

Read the original article in full by clicking on the link to the Marketing Directo report to read the full article in Spanish.

The stages in a retail architecture and construction project

We discover the step by step of an integral "turnkey" project and all its advantages.

When considering the opening or refurbishment of a store or planning the expansion of our brand, uncertainty may arise as to the steps to follow in the design, implementation and construction of our space. Choosing a good location, choosing one premises or another depending on its technical characteristics or meeting the delivery date of the work can often become a big headache. The sum of our services of architecture and engineering, construction and shopfitting allow us to provide a complete solution to the needs of our clients. Our method is reduced to 6 steps, six phases that help us to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in Design and Built.


1. Drafting of the feasibility study


The first step of the project is the drafting of the feasibility study of the premises. We collect images of the space, carry out a study of the location and its characteristics to determine the suitability of the premises. The feasibility study is a detailed study to assess whether the premises meet the minimum technical conditions necessary to carry out the activity, whether it is a retail space, offices for the brand or any other type of activity. 

To do this, our technicians will check the measurements of the premises, possible structural pathologies or any other type of pathology, the time period foreseen for the granting of building and/or activity licences, the connections of the installations, accessibility, ventilation and lighting, or fire safety, among other aspects. 

It is essential to check these aspects before renting or buying premises, as this study can be used to negotiate aspects such as grace periods or to obtain a better price for the purchase or rental of the premises. These aspects largely condition the success of the business you want to open. Therefore, gathering all this information is essential.   


2. Layout definition and approval by the client


Once the choice of premises seems ideal, before proceeding with the decision making process, a preliminary study of the interior space is carried out. Based on the necessary functional programme provided by the property, first the spaces and routes of both the areas open to the public and the internal areas such as services, archives and other more private uses, but necessary to carry out the activity, are schematized and zoned. The accesses and evacuation routes are also analysed and reflected. Because it is not only a question of seeing if the uses fit into the space in terms of surface area, but also of analysing whether the premises will allow the logic of the routes necessary for the user experience in the space required by the brand.

From there, in this study, one or several distribution proposals are included in which the future technical development and the zoning of the space for the use of the premises is schematically drawn. This is what we call the Layout. In this Layout, the distribution of the elements and spaces within the design to be developed in the following phases of the project will be plotted. If this work is not carried out, it is possible that although the premises may seem ideal in terms of surface area, free heights, unevenness and other technical characteristics of the space, it may not be so, as it will not allow us to implement the specific Customer Journey that the project requires.

Once the layout has been completed, an initial cost estimate is made with Abessis.


3. Obtaining all necessary permits


The next step is to obtain the necessary permits for the work and those licences required depending on the country. In Spain, for example, even within the same city, the procedure with the administration can vary and previous experience in other projects is very important. It is important to know which procedures are necessary depending on the characteristics of the premises. 

Your choice depends on obtaining the building and activity permits in a quick and agile manner.

At Grup Idea we have carried out projects, managed and built works in the main cities throughout the peninsula and the Canary and Balearic Islands. Likewise, in Europe we have extensive experience in architecture and engineering services as well as in construction. We incorporate local technicians with extensive experience in each country into the project to avoid surprises and to know, from the outset, what the deadlines are for obtaining permits and complying with the regulations in each country, both for installations and civil works. Find out about our complete architecture and engineering (implementation) service.


4. Preparation of the Construction Pack: Architectural and MEP executive project 


When the time comes, we move forward with the technical development of the project: the architectural executive project and the engineering project or MEP, also known as the Construction Pack. 

With the architectural project we draw up the plans, elevations and sections of the final proposal and through the engineering project or MEP, the calculation and realisation of the installation, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing plans. In parallel to the executive projects, the choice of furniture and the application of technology and branding in the space are approved with the client.


5. Allocation of the work and turnkey projects


Once the Construction Pack has been prepared, and with the actual project defined and delimited, it is ready to go out to tender and assign the work. 

At Grup Idea and Abessis, we offer turnkey projects to our clients. With this method, the client has the peace of mind of having a single interlocutor, the Project Manager, who is in charge of the complete management of the project and the work. At a time of heavy workload, it is optimal to have a single person in charge of the project who can inform the client at all times and resolve any unforeseen events quickly and effectively. 

On the other hand, with this formula we involve the construction company in the design process, providing solutions that, from the specialists' point of view, can help to optimise the final budget. Find out more about our turnkey service.


6. Execution of the work, legalisation of the installations and AS Built


In this last step, Grup Idea and Abessis carry out the management and execution of the work and all the industrialists involved. We are in charge of everything from the demolition phase, masonry, finishes, electrical installations, air conditioning, plumbing and fire protection, manufacture and installation of furniture, right through to the final fitting out of the premises on the day of the inauguration. 

After completion of the works, we carry out the legalisation of the installations: electricity, plumbing and drainage, air conditioning and fire protection.  Finally, we generate the As Built dossier, which consists of drawing up the modified end-of-works plans and delivering all the documentation to the company. 

At Abessis we have our own working method based on good planning, a direct and close relationship and transparent management and execution. In addition, we have the quality certifications and sufficient technology so that our clients can monitor the work remotely and through any device. Discover the step-by-step of our methodology graphically here.


It may seem like a long road full of obstacles, but at Grup Idea and Abessis we optimise all our efforts by working with clients and technicians as a single team. In addition, we guarantee a surprising and profitable result, our 25 years of experience all over the world endorse us. Discover now all our projects and works in the retail sector.