The watch brand and retailer Swatch has a vibrant store design that’s up to the minute. John Ryan visits an example in Beirut

As a retailer and brand, Swatch seems to have been around forever – even if its foundation in fact dates from 1983. The real point about this watch brand, however, is that its stores have constantly been reinvented. If you want to see how to sell small items in a space that is relatively large in comparison, then Swatch provides object lessons wherever the shopper goes.

A visit to the outpost in Beirut Souks, an upmarket outdoor shopping centre in the heart of the Lebanese capital, offers an example of why this is an enduring brand turned retailer.

The real attraction in this small store is not the stock, but the walls. These have been covered in very large graphics; in one case the stylised picture of a watch covers almost the whole back wall. It’s enough to capture the gaze and make sure that this store is not missed among the mall’s varied attractions.

The watch displays are, of course, well thought through and contemporary in appearance. However, the lesson must surely be that if you want to sell articles in a big space, concentrate on a large-scale graphic splash.