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  • Agile Retail

An Interview with Creative & Build Director, Owen Arundell

We talked to our Creative & Build director, Owen, about the colourful and all-encompassing world of designing and building stores!

Q: What do you and the Creative & Build Team Do?

Sometimes I wonder what we don’t do! My team and I look after all of our creative ideation for retail stores, concepts and ideas, and we look after that right the way through to building the finished article.

We have a pretty broad remit of things we think about, and it stretches my mind sometimes! Often, we’ll be thinking about the right look and feel of an entire store or network of stores, through to the big experiences and moments we’re going to build within them to really excite consumers, and other times I’m focused on the real detail of retail – like what VM looks like in retail environments or what the messaging should be for instore communications.

It’s really broad, really crazy, and really fun!

Q: What do you like most about what you do at Agile Retail?

I enjoy the whole process, but I have to confess the ‘build’ side of things is often the most satisfying. Over the last 7 years or so I’ve been able to lead loads of different store builds and I’m really proud that we’ve perfected the art of “how to do a shop fit” super quickly. Everyone I meet is really surprised when I tell them we can build a shop in 4 weeks – but we really can!

I love seeing a store space, and fixing problems along the way rapidly to make it ready to trade quickly.

Q: What would you say makes Agile Retail special?

It’s nice to be part of a provocative conversation about what retail stores can and should be in the future. So much retail is so “old school” and I love being a part of challenging that. Agile Retail is doing something that nobody else is doing I think – really challenging what it takes to get good retail execution in front of customers.

From my creative side, I get to think about and design modular and quick retail concepts which are pretty unique.

Agile Retail lets a lot of different types of business think about retail stores and that’s pretty cool!

Q: What’s a typical day in your work life?

Everyone says it but there isn’t one, genuinely! I spend a lot of time with our customers, most often wrestling with different versions of the same problem – what’s the best way to get a product or brand in front of their target consumers and make an impact.

I also spend a lot of time with my team – we have a wide range of people looking after everything from store experiential design through to fitters who are actually out installing the work that we do, so I get to stretch my legs often!

Q: Favourite Project?

A lifestyle business I designed the store environment for called Origin’40. This was a really special project for me because I worked on it during the pandemic. I actually had the time and space to get really ‘deep’ into what the stores were trying to achieve, and I also got to get my hands dirty and complete most of the build myself, which was great fun. The stores ended up looking beautiful too, and it was incredible being stood in them and listening to customers be impressed!


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