Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Over 5,000 visitors saw some of the best and most tactile in new surfaces at Surface Design Show 2018

February 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Over 5,000 visitors saw some of the best and most tactile in new surfaces at Surface Design Show 2018


Last week saw the return of Surface Design Show to London’s Business Design Centre, where more than 170 exhibitors from 15 countries showcased their very best in exterior and interior surface materials and treatments.

Here is a round-up of the key facts and figures from the biggest Surface Design Show to-date.

  • 5016 visitors attended Surface Design Show 2018.
  • 72% of visitors work in the architecture & design sector.
  • 69% have purchasing authority
  • 5% of visitors travelled from abroad to see the show.
  • More than 170 exhibitors showed at SDS18.
  • All 10 of the top 10 of the ‘AJ100’ architectural practices visited SDS18:
    • Foster & Partners
    • BDP
    • Zaha Hadid Architects
    • Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
    • Sheppard Robson
    • Allies and Morrison
    • Atkins
    • Purcell
    • Squire & Partners
    • TP Bennett
    • Scott Brownrigg


  • Big brands from the worlds of retail, beauty, hospitality and transport attending Surface Design Show 2018 included:
  • John Lewis
  • Debenhams
  • Next
  • Princess Yachts
  • Topps Tiles
  • Transport for London
  • Waitrose
  • Chanel
  • Soho House
  • Bentley Motors
  • Network Rail
  • Boots
  • David Linley
  • Crossrail

The plethora of exciting and innovative materials, many of which launched at the show, kept the audience engaged across all floors with the top 10 most sought after products being:

  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Wall coverings
  • Tiles and Tiling solutions
  • Solid Surfaces
  • Natural Stone
  • Paints & coatings
  • Glass & Glazing
  • Veneers


Highlights of the busy 2018 show events programme included:

  • Opening Night Live Debate, which tackled the hot topic of housing in London and attracted a large and varied audience. Led by Peter Murray Chairman of the NLA, the expert panel presented their views on house prices in London and discussed potential solutions.


  • The Main Stage, designed by Anne Kyyro Quinn, created a stunning platform for the exciting programme of talks which included sets from interior designer and TV presenter Naomi Cleaver, colour and trend expert Sally Angharad and Houzz.

  • The fantastic PechaKucha Evening was another highlight of the events programme, with a full house listening to an engaging set of panellists being hosted by architect Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects.


  • Light School, presented by the Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, was home to architectural lighting allowing visitors to touch, compare and learn about innovative lighting and technology products.


  • Surface Design Awards took place on the last day of the show, where we saw The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon by AL_A announced as the Supreme Winner. 11 categories saw the best in applied surface put forward by a number of brilliant architects and designers including Coffey Architects, Giles Miller Studio, Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio.


Surface Design Show 2019 will take place at London’s Business Design Centre from 5th – 7th February 2019.

Sign & Digital UK announces retail expert Mary Portas as guest speaker

February 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments


Sign & Digital UK (SDUK) has announced that one of Britain’s biggest names in retail, Mary Portas, will be headlining at the sign and display show taking place on 24th to 26th April, at the NEC in Birmingham.

In keeping with SDUK’s theme for 2018 – Creativity Brought to Life – Mary Portas will deliver an inspiring keynote followed by a Q&A session during the show’s opening day.

Crowned “Mary Queen of Shops” by the UK media, retail and brand expert Mary Portas has long been a champion for SMEs. The celebrity guest speaker will use the Q&A session to share her expertise and industry knowledge with the show’s visitors.

Mary Portas will also take a tour of the show floor, to meet many of the leading suppliers exhibiting at the show.

Rudi Blackett, event director at SDUK, said: “Mary Portas’s continued advocacy for independent retailers and the manufacturing industry makes her a truly inspiring guest speaker for our show visitors and exhibitors alike.

“We’re greatly looking forward to welcoming Mary and hope visitors and exhibitors will bring their burning business questions to benefit from Mary’s expert retail knowledge.”

Mary Portas, retail consultant and broadcaster, commented: “I’m always excited to discover new emerging techniques from retail, sign and display industries which will be a big part of Sign and Digital UK. The merging of digital and traditional manufacturing techniques is now more important than ever before, and I hope to open a discussion about how these trends will impact SMEs in the modern retail landscape at April’s event.

“With my Sign & Digital UK audience, I will aim to cultivate a new confidence in diversification. I look forward to rallying with business leaders from these adapting sectors and offering advice among small business owners who are looking to explore ways of getting ahead of their competitors.”

Speaking alongside Mary Portas at SDUK this year will be a stellar line-up of industry experts who will deliver a series of keynote talks, interactive sessions and panel debates across the three-day event.

For more information about the free-to-attend event visit The full speaker and seminar schedule will be available online soon. To enquire about exhibiting please contact the show team on 01342 332 100 or email


February 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

CBRE Global Investors has today announced a significant new piece of public art will be commissioned as part of the proposed £11 million comprehensive refurbishment of Angel Central in North London.

The Contemporary Art Society has been appointed to source the new artwork and has compiled a handpicked list of critically acclaimed UK artists, from which a select steering group has invited four artists to provide their proposals.

The shortlisted artists specialise in a wide range of mediums, from graphic and two-dimensional works to the more architectural or digital interpretations, and their final submissions will be shown at a public consultation event, taking place from the 9-10 March, to gauge opinion amongst local residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

Working with The Contemporary Art Society Consultancy, CBRE Global Investors and Development Managers, Queensberry are also planning to involve local schools in the process via an education programme designed to highlight how art is produced, from concept to installation.

The final artist will contribute a unique piece celebrating the local area and Angel Central’s new look.

Commenting on the decision to commission a new piece of public art for Angel Central, Laura Wilson-Brown, Head of Asset Management UK at CBRE Global Investors, said: “The new art installation or work will be a central focus for the proposed development and will reflect the contemporary look of a revitalised Angel Central.  We are excited to see what the shortlisted artists will submit and how they have interpreted our brief.  It is important the new art reflects the local community and is something we can enjoy for many years to come.”

Fabienne Nicholas, Head of Consultancy at the Contemporary Art Society, added: “To be appointed by CBRE Global Investors and Queensberry for Angel Central is a fantastic opportunity to commission a piece of art that reflects the history and community of Angel.  The highly acclaimed shortlisted artists will each provide their own unique response to the local area and we are thrilled to have been part of the legacy process for this popular destination.”

The 170,000 sq ft Angel Central benefits from an annual footfall of 10 million visitors and is ranked in the top 10 of London Retail Destinations*. Currently anchored by H&M, Angel Central’s retail line-up includes Muji, Rituals, Monsoon and Oasis, with the latter recently completing a significant refurbishment.  In addition, Vue’s ten-screen cinema and the O2 Academy lead the leisure offer, which is complemented by a range of restaurants, such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama.

CBRE, CWM acts on behalf of Angel Central for all the retail leasing and BNP Paribas for F&B leasing enquiries.

*CACI’s Retail Footprint 2016


February 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Vodafone announced today that it is working with Mango, the global high street fashion retailer, on a new programme to rollout digital fitting rooms to the company’s top stores worldwide.

The digital fitting room has been designed around a new Internet of Things (IoT) digital mirror designed by Mango, developed by Vodafone in collaboration with Jogotech, which will allow the shopper to scan the clothes tags in the fitting room and then contact shop floor staff directly from the mirror, through a digital watch, to request different sizes or colours.  The mirror will also suggest additional clothes to complement the original choice.

Mango’s aim is to extend the digital fitting room to its top stores, from Barcelona to New York and will help to blend the online and real world shopping experiences for the Mango customers.  This is the first phase of a digital transformation project for Mango to create new ways for customers to engage and relate to the brand.

Vodafone Director of Internet of Things Stefano Gastaut commented: “This project helps put more power at the shopper’s fingertips and will bring Mango closer to its fashion conscious shoppers and offer them more options and experiences than a conventional fitting room.”

Mango’s Chief Client Officer Guillermo Corominas added: “This is a really exciting project for Mango.  We see the future of retailing as a blend of the online and the offline.  These new fitting rooms are another step in the digital transformation of our stores to create a whole new experience for our customers.”

Digital Place Solutions Helps QICGRE Malls Generate Revenue ‘Out Of Thin Air’ With Ceiling-Hung Double-Sided NanoLumens® LED Displays

February 16th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

QICGRE recently created brilliant new high-tech revenue streams at two of its Australian locations with the help of Digital Place Solutions’ (DPS) expert digital display integrators utilizing NanoLumens® cutting-edge LED displays. According to DPS Director Stephen Rubie, installations such as these are breathing new life into the in-person shopping experience and allowing owners to capitalize on every possible advertising location — even the open air above shoppers’ heads.

“Large, innovative digital display installations excite customers and provide new revenue streams for retail location owners,” Rubie said. “With NanoLumens’ lightweight and easy-to-install LED displays, we can mount them virtually anywhere a client wants. Our two latest installations at QICGRE’s Canberra Centre and Westpoint Shopping Centre show exactly how versatile the technology is, with each double-sided vertical display hanging from the ceiling without any additional infrastructure support. These installations would simply not be possible with any other display technology.”
The display at Canberra Centre, measuring 11’ by 19’ and weighing 2,100 pounds, and the display at Westpoint Shopping Centre, measuring 9’ by 16’ and weighing 1,540 pounds, provide incredibly bright, large, crisp imagery with their 4mm pixel pitch designs. Freed from the constraints of heavy, unwieldy multi-panel video walls, DPS was able to suspend the NanoLumens displays from each location’s glass atrium high above shoppers, requiring no major construction or support infrastructure.
“We are thrilled with Digital Place Solutions’ installation of the NanoLumens displays,” said QICGRE’s Head of Commercial Dennis Michael. “The vibrant, oversized double-sided displays are a new point of interest for shoppers that allow us to utilize space that previously was impossible to monetize. Think about it: with DPS able to hang huge NanoLumens displays above busy foot traffic corridors, we are basically creating marketing solutions for retailers and brands out of thin air. Additionally, the DPS team was exemplary in their conduct and professionalism, and worked closely with our mall operations team to deliver an outstanding product without impacting the mall’s day-to-day operations. We would be delighted to work with Digital Place Solutions on further deployments.“
DPS knew right away that, to deliver what QICGRE requested, NanoLumens was the only choice. As is common in large shopping centers, both locations are subject to strong sunlight, so the displays needed to be incredibly bright in order to be visible in all conditions. They also needed to be lightweight enough to safely hang from the ceiling without requiring customer interruptions and heavy construction.

“As the principal contractor overseeing all of these projects, Digital Place Solutions is proud to have delivered them all on time and on budget,“ DPS Director Gerry Thorley added. “Our team has the expertise to deploy displays without bulky cables or any adding any additional structure to the mall. The result is a super thin display that appears to float in the space and enhances the environment that mall owners are delivering to consumers. Digital Place Solutions understands the operating requirements of retail space and despite complicated access and installation environments we were able to seamlessly deploy these magnificent displays in just a few shifts.”
Lastly, QICGRE required a certain level of performance guarantee, which NanoLumens delivered with its unrivaled six-year, down-to-the-pixel warranty. Between the warranty and the innovative Nixel-based design, by which the display is comprised of small individual LED panels that snap together seamlessly, any future repairs can be done quickly without impacting the mall’s operation.
“Working with NanoLumens display technology has allowed us to deliver 100 percent satisfaction to retail mall owners through unique, eye-popping installations,” Thorley added. “Whether used to create revenue with advertising or provide information and announcements, the displays demand the attention of every shopper. It’s a great feeling to be able to listen to what our clients want, no matter how bold, and tell them ‘yes, we can do that.’ With NanoLumens, we can.”

Commenting on the installations and the success of the relationship with both DPS and QICGRE, NanoLumens Vice President of Sales East-US and International Almir DeCarvalho stressed the values shared by each partner. “A transformative business outcome can only result from a team that is committed to excellence in every phase of the project,” he said. “NanoLumens provides one very important component of the successful relationship — world class LED-based visualization solutions in any size, shape or curvature a client desires — but it is still only one piece of the equation. It requires the vision of the customer, QICGRE, and the commitment to excellence by our installation partner, DPS, to bring it all to life in a way that generates a more complete customer engagement solution. We look forward to many more projects with DPS and QICGRE!”

Guided Innovation Tours at EuroCIS 2018: Register today

February 15th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

For the third time, there will be guided tours for visitors at EuroCIS 2018, The Leading Trade Fair for Retail Technology, taking place from 27th February to 1st March 2018 in Düsseldorf. The tours will be organised on the first two days (February 27th and 28th) twice a day, one tour in German language (from 11:30 to 13:00) and one in English (from 14:30 to 16:00). The tours will be organised by the consulting company Planet Retail. The meeting point for the participants will be the C-star stand in the mall at the north entrance.


After an introduction by Planet Retail about the latest industry trends, the groups will visit eight to ten exhibitors and get to know their products and solutions. The tours are mainly focused on the following subjects:

1.Omnichannel Solutions

– Cloud

– Real-time

– Mobile

– Last Mile

 2. Instore digitalisation

– Digital Signage and Electronic Shelf Labeling (ESL)

– Automation and Robotics

– Virtual & Augmented Reality

– Mobile Solutions

– Self-checkout and Checkoutless Store

3. The Connected Retailer

– Big data

– Artificial Intelligence

– Location based Services

The target audience of the Guided Innovation Tour are retailers who want to inform themselves about the latest innovations at the trade fair. The tour is free of charge for the participants but the number of participants per tour is limited to a maximum of fifteen people.

Sign up here for the Guided Innovation Tour at EuroCIS 2018: Further enquiries about the tour will also be answered by email.


February 15th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

A little boy very close to our hearts here at A1 Media needs your help!

Ronnie is a 3 year old from Saffron Walden. He has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and we want to help Ronnie fulfil his dream to walk independently without tripping or falling over.

To donate please follow the links below:

Run, Ronnie, Run

There is also a TextGiving code:
Text FITE67 £5 to 70070

FutureBrand UXUS designs new beauty boutique Riley Rose in the USA

February 13th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Apparel retailer Forever 21 recently launched new beauty boutique, Riley Rose, with stores opening in Glendale Galleria shopping center in Los Angeles, The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio and six more locations across the US. Design experts FutureBrand UXUS have created a unique and playful retail experience across the stores. Riley Rose is a one-stop shop, where customers can discover, play and explore cutting-edge products and trends within a unique store experience. The boutiques are a true lifestyle destination, featuring beauty essentials, interiors and accessories.

Aimed at an explorative customer who wants to discover innovative products and experiences, FutureBrand UXUS have created a playground for beauty enthusiasts with the Riley Rose stores.

The spaces are wholly interactive and offer a contemporary take on beauty retail, with product trial opportunities, shareable moments, unique pop-ups and in-the-know staff on hand. The playful FutureBrand UXUS design offers a warm, contemporary and lively feel to the stores. Bringing the social media experience to brick and mortar, Riley Rose will also collaborate with social media influencer’s all-year round as a part of the stores creative initiatives.

A large part of the design concept employed was a unique ‘zoning strategy’, layered, exploration–basedarrangement that enhances the Riley Rose ‘playground’ offering, where customers can discover innovative products through play. The stores zoning transforms the vast spaces into digestible areas for browsing, chilling and trialing. The stores are a complete walk through experience, starting from the enticing and playful façade, customers can then roam from ‘selfie’ pop-up station, to chic beauty island, and on to a Vanity area, where customers can discover the latest bath and fragrance products.

The bespoke colours and materials chosen for the store’s design are a perfect fit for the female millennial shopper, with soft marbles, rose gold metals and pink tiles, the combination offers a visual wonderland in the playful interior spaces. The contrasting grey concrete and perforated steel accents throughout, add an innovative edge to these softer hues and materials – a visual environment well suited to the explorative and design savvy Riley Rose customer.

The Riley Rose brand will expand in the coming months, with Forever 21 opening eight more stores in 2018. New stores in Pembroke Pines, Columbia, and Minnetonka will be followed by further store openings.

intu launches River Island’s first standalone kidswear store

February 12th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Shopping centre owner intu has worked with fashion retailer River Island to launch its first standalone kidswear store ahead of a national roll out.

The new shop opened at intu Braehead on Saturday 3rd February in a 3,000 sq ft space close to one of River Island’s strong performing regional stores. intu Braehead near Glasgow is a popular destination for young families as it also hosts a number of leisure attractions, including Scotland’s only indoor ski slope, in addition to more than 1.1 million sq ft retail space.

River Island’s Kids & Mini collections for children up to 12 years old will be sold in the new store.

Kate Grant, regional managing director at intu, said: “River Island came to us last year on plans for the first River Island Kids in the UK and we’ve been working with them closely to launch this exciting new store at intu Braehead.

“intu Braehead is the perfect location to introduce this new concept to British shoppers for the first time thanks to its high annual footfall and expansive leisure offer which creates compelling experiences for thousands of families ever year.”

    2018 A1 Buyers Guide
    2018 A1 Buyers Guide right-hand Skyscraper
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