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GRID2 Expands Design Services For Retailers In China

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To mark their crystal 15th anniversary, GRID2, an award- winning team of retail consultants, architects and interior and graphic designers, announces their expansion into Asia with the opening of their first Shanghai office in March 2005. “GRID2’s first trip to Shanghai was more than 10 years ago, and since then we have been able to see firsthand how this country has grown,” says GRID2 President Martin Roberts, a design industry veteran whose work appears in the permanent collection at the New York's Museum of Modern Art. “With our new Shanghai office, we look forward to helping Chinese companies develop their own brands in a strong, stable retail economy and become more competitive in the world marketplace.” GRID2 has always felt that Asian business is an important part of their growth. They have had a network in Asia for at least 15 years. They’ve worked with companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Tokyo, and recently have been focusing on China because of its incredible economic growth. GRID2 has observed this development over the last decade and believe that Shanghai is the most economically advanced city in China. “Shanghai was the obvious choice for an expansion into the Chinese market as it is one of the most dynamic cities in Asia, boasting a thriving, increasingly sophisticated economy and a highly educated work force,” said GRID2 Vice President Akka Ma. GRID2 plans to function as a one-stop-shop for Chinese retailers, by bringing world class design concepts to their stores and also providing them with the experience and the know-how to build a brand, along with in-depth staff training. They are a part of the entire process from conception to staff training to project roll-out. Ma envisions the potential for the Shanghai office to eventually become more like the New York office, with a team of marketing, consulting, and graphic and environmental design professionals, going from the current 8 to 20 or more employees and eventually serving as a base for all Asian operations. GRID2’s innovative approach in Asia was exemplified in their work with “City Supermarkets”, a gourmet and organic food retailer in Shanghai. Because their food offering is so unique, GRID2 felt that their name “City Supermarkets” portrayed them incorrectly. Therefore, GRID2 convinced the client to change their name to “City Shops”, evoking a much more sophisticated image. The first “City Shop” store will be unveiled in July or August of 2005, with the completion of all stores within a year. GRID2 also just completed work for HCG China, a bath fixture manufacturer that produces everything from bathtubs to shower doors to sinks. Based in Taiwan, HCG China is one of the largest manufacturers in Asia. GRID2 designed a whole new showroom for them, along with a new retail display system. They’ve since applied GRID2’s designs in big supply stores similar to Home Depot in the United States. GRID2 recently won the “2004 Retail Store of the Year Design Award” in the Chain Store Age Competition for their work with HCG China. They are also starting to work for the Brilliance Group, one of the largest retail groups in Shanghai, to develop a new generation of building-supply retail stores, similar to Lowes in the United States. GRID2 opened in 1991 with a mission of providing retail solutions through research and design in order to maximize their clients’ sales profits. Using consumer focus groups and in-store video research along with innovative store designs, GRID2 has provided some of the most customer friendly retail environments. They pioneered this design concept for the Barnes & Noble Superstores, which has since been implemented in over 500 locations. GRID2 is ranked as one of the top retail design firms in the United States, and has been the recipient of numerous awards from professional organizations, such as the Institute of Store Planners, Identity Magazine, and Visual Merchandising + Store Design Magazine.

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