I learnt a lot about Retail design last year. Not about how to design retail interiors but how to run the projects. I had three decent sized shops to design for different clients in different towns / cities across the south east of England. I visited one of the sites regularly and that project is proudly photographed and on my website. Some elements of were changed on another site and I managed to get a couple of photographs. With the last shop the owners ignored a lot of my advice and their shop ended up looking like all of their other shops, which was against what their original design brief set out.
So if your looking to open a shop and want to engage with an interior designer use their experience and knowledge to the maximum. They won’t turn up and know exactly what you need, the shop designer will need a lot of input from you, the more information and detail you can give them about what makes your shop unique the better. Shop / retail design is about taking all of the requirements that the clients has, melting them together, then expressing them in a practical and beautiful way that will engage customers and sell products. The first port of call is to compose a design brief, for more details see my Design Stages page.