Young Designers’ Vision Becomes Reality in Centre point’s Store of the Future

Dubai, UAE (March 5, 2020):Two school children,Angeline Benevides and Isaih Tarun, from Al ManahelPrivate School in Abu Dhabi, who were winners of Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation’s Project Design Space (DIDI PDS) competition to design Centrepoint’s “Store of the Future” in Mall of the Emirates, have seen their transformational designs come to life. The two teenagerswere treated to a special preview by Centrepoint’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon Smith,just days before the re-vamped store is fully completed for shoppers to experience.

DIDI PDS is an annual student design competition that presents junior high and high school students with a challenge from different local and international brands.In the third edition of the competition, Centrepoint tasked students to design an innovative omni-channel customer experience that encourages young adults (18 to 25) to spend more time in Centrepoint stores. Over 4,000 students across 70 schools in the UAE, from Grades 5 to 12 took up the challenge, with each team submitting a video showcasing their proposed prototype.

Centrepoint is a leading family shopping destination in the region, boasting an extensive range of fashion, beauty, kids and footwear products through its in-house brands of Splash, Lifestyle, Babyshop and SHOEMART. The winners’ideas included reforming floor plans for open spaces, adding in digital screens, introducing break-out areas, and providing seamless transactions vis-à-vis self-checkout counters. Some elements will also be featured in the 11 new Centrepoint stores set to open in the coming months across the GCC.

Simon Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Centrepoint, commented: “Today’s young people and their shopping needs will shape how retail operators meet consumer requirements over the future generations, so when designing our Store of the Future, we felt it was important for youngsters to contribute. We recognize that we must appeal to a young audience if we are to remain a leading retailer loved by families, kids and mothers well into the future. We felt that Angeline and Isaih’s recommendations were very sympathetic to our vision of bringing more value to our customers, online and offline, by reinventing our stores through experiential design and technology.”

Mohammad Abdullah, President of DIDI commented: “DIDI’s mandate is to develop regional design by feeding highly-skilled talent into the industry. Collaborating with progressive and motivated brands such as Centrepoint for our Project Design Space student competition is one of the many ways we build on this endeavor.

“Designing for Centrepoint was a fun and challenging project for pupils – and a great motivator for aspiring professionals to understand critical design thinking early on. For children to see their designs come to life in the store of a leading GCC retailer is incredibly rewarding for the students and everyone associated with DIDI and the UAE’s dynamic design scene.”