Whether you’re an integrator, a designer or simply a label-defying creative, the experience is everything. Host Bryan Meszaros explores the story behind the exhibit to understand how a carefully crafted experience traps into the human experience to connect people to place.


Retailers have been creating experiences for shoppers for hundreds of years. Those have evolved based on customer needs, technology, and now a pandemic. Experience by Design is peering into the question of retail design adaptation. Host Bryan Meszaros welcomed industry veteran Cindi Kato, VP of Global Retail for CallisonRTKL. Kato has spent over 30 years with the architecture, planning, and design firm, creating successful retail experiences.

Thinking about where retail is right now, Kato said, “They are stepping back and analyzing the business and how it’s changed during the pandemic. Brands are looking more at omnichannel and how all facets can work together.”

Retailers are reconsidering in-store experiences and their message and how it resonates in the world today. Companies are trying new prototypes that allow for adaptions on the interior and exterior, which includes technology. “The technology needs to be purposeful,” Kato added.

Another theme Kato touched on was fulfillment at the store level to meet eCommerce demands. “Retailers are looking at low performing stores or spaces in stores they can adapt to support fulfillment,” she noted.

Fulfillment also means adjusting stores for curbside, pickup, and queues. Kato explained, “Retailers are planning different entryways, one as a pickup and the other to engage. Lines at stores are also an opportunity for engaging at the storefront.”

Engagement and experience are challenging in a touchless world, but Kato discussed that the real connection is in the customer’s hand. “A brand’s app is a big focus right now. That experience should be seamless for customers in the store,” she said.

Join host Bryan Meszaros on Experience by Design every other Wednesday as he explores the latest trends and solutions helping craft the world’s most intriguing experiences.