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Call for Entries: 49th International Design Competition

The Institute’s 49th International Design Competition celebrates outstanding and innovative retail spaces that encourage new techniques in planning, design, graphics, fixturing, lighting and visual merchandising.

Design firms and in-house retail design teams from around the globe are invited to submit projects covering all retail formats. (No entries accepted from general contractors, allied trades, fixture manufacturers, material suppliers or owners’ representatives.) The competition celebrates exceptional retail experiences ranging from full-line traditional department stores to specialty apparel stores and restaurants to kiosks and pop-up shops.

Submissions must include up to 8 images for specialty stores and up to 12 images for department, large format and supermarkets. Each entry must include a 750-word narrative summary, plus captioned images. NOTE: ENTRIES MAY NOT INCLUDE MULTIPLE

LOCATIONS REPRESENTING A SINGLE RETAILER. Images (uploaded should be less than 5 megs, and in RBG color format (jpeg or png). Images are uploaded individually. This applies to photos and to floor plans. There is the option to add video -- see registration for size and format details.

Eligible projects are those completed between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. The competition portal opens Monday, August 12, 2019 for entries and closes Monday, February 17, 2020. Click here to be connected.

The “Class of 2019” (finalists for Best in Class award) will be announced in March 2020. The finalists will be celebrated along with the Store of Year (Best in Class) winner will be announced at the 49th Awards Gala, May 20, 2020 in New York City. Winning projects will also be published.

For more information, contact Janet Groeber;


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