Thirteen stores in Newmarket are currently sporting creative window displays designed, created and installed by retail students from AUT. Using props ranging from laser-cut cardboard letters to hand-tied silk flowers imported China, the students are competing to win a two-week internship at Selfridges department store in London.
The competition, which is the first of its kind, is aimed at highlighting the importance of shop window design and enabling retailers to compete with the many international brands entering the Kiwi market. It is led by three organisations, each representing the retail industry from different perspectives: AUT’s MARS (Marketing, Advertising, Retail and Sales) department, Spaceworks Design Group and the Newmarket Business Association.
The 51 students involved were mentored by Spaceworks’ Lizzi Hines during the briefing and design process before their windows were unveiled. Each group of three or four received a design brief from the store they partnered with, and many were required to work within the constraints of the retailer’s head office by showing only certain products or branding.
The judging panel consists of Andrew Parsons, professor and head of MARS, Mark Knoff-Thomas, chief executive of Newmarket Business Association and Sarah Dunn, editor of NZRetail magazine and The Register.
On judging day, the group noted the high level of professionalism involved in nearly every entry. The entries were judged on creativity; the extent to which they were on-brand for the retailer; and the standard at which they were executed, as well as other traits.
The winning window will be announced at the Newmarket Business Awards on June 17.
Participating stores are:
- The Poi Room
- Madder & Rouge
- Arcadia Books
- Flo and Frankie
- Walker & Hall
- Mischief Shoes
- Paterson Burn Optometrist