Quantitative easing, the credit crunch, Ponzi schemes. If nothing else, the current global sticky patch has given all of us access to new ways of saying some pretty simple things - they just have the perceived benefit of making us sound as if we know what we're talking about.

If only that were the case - we might not actually be in the mess we're in, but that's another matter.

The use of arcane language is something that those involved with stores and the way they are put together will be very familiar with. For those who are not, it would be nice to say that what follows is an all-you-need-to-know guide to working out what's being said in the heady world of store design. But it's not, because as soon as this is written, another term to describe something mind-numbingly straightforward will have been coined, so it's best to regard the next few points as a work in progress…

  • “We followed an iterative process.” Trans: “We cocked things up a few times before we got it right, but at least the result looks half-decent.”

  • “An innovative and exciting new store.” Trans: “That's it then. We got there in the end, it cost a bit of money but, er, we think it's half-decent.”

  • “A graphic rather than environmental store design solution.” Trans: “Not enough money to really go to town on this one, so we've gone for pictures and words instead of the whole shebang.” NB: this is a phrase you will hear more and more, because it does carry the considerable advantage that it keeps store design departments on speaking terms with the finance director. Oh, and the outcome may be “half-decent”.

  • “Found furniture.” Trans: “We've been on E-bay.”

  • “Dramatic glazed double-height frontage.” Trans: “A big, glass shop window.”

OK, that's enough and you've probably got the point by now. But while some of the terms found on press releases from architects, designers and, yes, retailers, when talking about their stores, may seem a little like blinding glimpses of the obvious, imagine how dull the world might be without this kind of invention.

It's easy to rail against neologisms (keep up - new words/expressions), but they are actually an expression of a dynamic sector. Strip away the verbiage and there really will be something half-decent and worth getting to know.

Go on. Treat yourself. Visit the nearest brand flag (big shop) and get to know its interior architecture (what it looks like inside).

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