The Valley Group

Best Retail Inspiration: Copenhagen

April 11, 2023

Looking for some retail inspiration? Here’s Dr Retail’s pick of the best...


Photo credit: Dr Retail

Hay House

Østergade 61, 2, 1100, Copenhagen

Located within an apartment in the heart of Copenhagen, Hay House isn’t just a retail space, it’s a space where the brand ‘represents the now and vision for the future’ by bringing people together. It incorporates a showroom with a multi-purpose work, event and meeting space where visitors are made to feel at home.

The space is a successful blend of architecture, art and design, where colour is used as a simple mechanic to deliver maximum impact. Fixtures and fittings are cleverly designed to complement the multicoloured product offerings, whilst achieving a natural flow within the shopper journey around the space.

Why it works?

  • We love how the character of the building has been used to help create intimate and homely spaces, showcasing furniture alongside material options shoppers can imagine the products in their lives.
  • Vibrant colours are a key part of Hay’s brand identity and are used sympathetically within the space. Combining with muted tones allows for a backdrop to showcase artworks by inspirational artists.


Photo credit: Dr Retail

Highsnobiety GateZero

T2 Departures, Kastrup International airport, Copenhagen

GateZero is Highsnobiety’s first permanent retail space, following the success of their Zurich airport pop up store. It delivers a curated offer of the freshest apparel and lifestyle brands, often difficult to find in airports- a great way of expanding brand options available to the shopper . The store also offers the opportunity for brands to test markets before investing in expensive travel retail space. Targeting the luxury consumer with brands such as Comme des Garcon and Acne Studios, GateZero offers exclusive product collaborations available only in the store, creating a destination for the fashion pack.

How could it work better?

  • The product assortment is unique, but the space is tight. At 32sqm, despite the large conveyable carousel extending beyond the front of the store, it felt as though the product spilling out into the main terminal was an afterthought. Displays felt dark, especially falling under the shadow of the illuminated screens above.
  • Our suggestion? Use clever lighting tricks to bring the focus back onto product on the carousel. This would really bring the space to life. Instead of squeezing in a DJ between the rails of apparel, harness the power of the product. Use Marshall speakers to allow customers to play their own playlists and test the quality of the devices- we have some great examples of how we did this here

Photo credit: Dr Retail

Illum floor 4

Østergade 52, Copenhagen

Illum’s top floor is everything retail should be- inspirational, impactful and emotive. As well as accommodating Muji’s flagship store, the space combines a number of bars, cafes and home brands, even a design atelier all housed under one spectacular roof.

Collating a high density of brands into a singular space, whist looking cohesive yet individual is a challenge for any multi branded retailer. Most play it safe with uniformed fixtures and fittings, however Illum have used a playful approach to colour and substrates to zone areas whilst leading the shopper around the store. With candy coloured striped flooring, contrasting pattered fixtures, edge lit illuminated shelving and playful character mannequins- the store felt like a treasure trove with enticement around every corner.


Why it works?

  • A spectacular space where densities are maximised without compromising on storytelling. Creative counter top displays, along with colourful unitary and room mock ups soften the space and deliver inspiration to the shopper.
  • The uniformity of the long single level display units created a sense of organisation and calm to the space. The lower hight levels allowed access for all abilities, whilst the wide unobstructed aisles made navigation easy, especially for families.

Photo credit: Dr Retail

Kylie Cosmetics Pop Up

T2 Departures, Kastrup International airport, Copenhagen

Walking through T2 departures at Kastrup airport and you can’t help being side tracked by the bright candy pink Kylie Cosmetics pop up store- complete with bubblegum machine, candy trolley and matching pink scooter.

Designed with ‘instagrammable moments’ in mind, the space is created to encourage shoppers to discover Kylie’s bestselling make up and skincare lines, whilst highlighting the brands vegan credentials. The activation looked great, but its combination with social and media advertising helped elevate the pop- up into a ‘must-see’ destination within travel retail.

Why it works?

  • In true Kylie fashion, partnering with Danish influencer @emilisindlev and several other beauty influencers in a paid activation drove awareness of the pop up to an audience of 1.4m.
  • Coty also partnered with Clear Channel to promote the activation within the airport through digital media to drive awareness and traffic to the pop up.

Photo credit: Dr Retail

Storm Copenhagen

Regnegade 1, 1110 Copenhagen

Hip retailer Storm, is one of the city’s best known boutiques and one of the busiest. Presenting a collection of worldwide trends from established and emerging luxury brands such as Neuw, Raf Simons and Y3 alongside beauty, music and books. It’s also an in-store exhibition space, described as ‘a conceptual platform where commercial and artistic platforms meet’ a huge table dominates the rear of the store filled with stacks of coffee table design books.

Store footfall was high, but the unique shape of the retail space allowed for easy browsing. Gallery spaces for product were created using simple materials such as plywood to help define categories. Also the central positioning of the cash desk made store assistance easily accessible.

Why it works?

  • The curved store front and angled interior walls could have made the space awkward, but instead it added to the individuality of the store. Working with the architectural parameters of a space can help to deliver distinction, whilst enhancing the customer journey.
  • Placing the payment point in the centre of the space aided shopper convenience, whilst allowing store staff the ability to welcome shoppers and support with purchases.
  • We loved the stores bright neon carrier bags- instantly recognisable on the street and offering impact in the crowded shopping districts.

Feeling inspired? We love talking shop, drop us an email and say hi!