Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Marketing

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

In order to optimize the learning process during the Innovative Retail Design course, students are recommended to have taken a basic Marketing and/or Management course during their Bachelor of Science program.

Mission & Content Summary


How does the store influence our relationship with ourselves? How do our anxieties influence the future of the store? The course is based on three basic processes: store dynamics, social discourse, innovative consumption. It has three principal objectives: - Provide the students with a comprehensive understanding of how a retail store works both technically and culturally. - Help the students to develop a comprehension of the management and analysis of a retail store. - Teach actual tendencies in store design, encouraging the students to develop an analytic and innovative approach to future innovation at the retail point.


After a full-immersion in the dynamics of visual merchandising and store management, the student use theory and methods for observing and understanding social discourse and practices. After an attentive analysis of the transformation of the individual derived through observation, the students (in groups) re-define the buying process and it’s meaning. In a final project applied to a specific area of retail, each group creates a store concept and strategy, indicating possible transformations to the buying process. In short, the topics discussed during the course include:

  • The store as a tool to communicate, consolidate the brand equity, maximize space productivity.
  • The context of Retail: Customer Culture and Buying.
  • The store design planning process.
  • The buying behavior analysis.
  • The space experienced, the space perceived, the ideal space.
  • The Customer’s Journey.
  • Cultural Disruptions and Concept Development.
  • Visual merchandising aims and tools.
  • Visual merchandising and communication outside of the store.
  • Visual merchandising and communication inside of the store.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Graduates acquire advanced knowledge related to:

  • Issues of strategic retailing and scenario analyses, in particular:
    • The new role of the store as a communication tool adding value to the brand and the store identity.
    • The behavior of shoppers in terms of space experienced, space perceived and ideal space.
    • The store design planning process.
  • Issues of operational and tactical retailing, in particular:
    • Processes of configuration and management of store atmosphere.
    • Methods of in-store communication management.
    • Methodologies and tools for managing visual merchandising.


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Graduates are able to:

1. Apply acquired knowledge related to issues of strategic retailing and scenario analyses, in order to:

  • Work out strategic marketing analysis to support innovative retailing decisions.
  • Identify the key factors that influence shoppers emotions and purchasing behaviors, as well as apply various research methodologies to them.
  • Develop a retail innovation project to take advantage of the opportunities related to the development of omnichannel retailing.

2. Apply acquired knowledge related to issues of operational and tactical retailing, in order to:

  • Define store positioning, its elements, assess store image, store identity and implement actions of in-store brand equity.
  • Manage in-store communication.
  • Plan the store atmosphere from external communication, to internal design, layout and display.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


In addition to one-on-one lectures, the course includes:

  • One or more guest speeches by managers from retail and/or brand companies aimed at better understanding the main trends in the retail sector and how visual merchandising and/or in-store brand equity are applied as well as the relationships among clients-products-space.
  • Several guided visits to evaluate in-store communication and visual merchandising aimed at applying the concepts and models that were shared during the face-to-face lectures.
  • A group assignment that consists of creating an innovative project for a concept at the distribution level.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


The course requires attending students to prepare a group project on store innovation, based on requisite put forth in class. Evaluation criteria:

  • Method followed (analysis, process, results).
  • Proposed solutions (creativity, innovation, coherence).
  • Document graphics (user-friendly, clarity, organization, editing).
  • Individual in-class presentation (synthesis, clarity, interest evoked).


The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final exam in written form. It is made up of open-ended questions referring to the concepts, models and cases contained in the textbooks and exam materials.

  • The open-ended questions are aimed at verifying learning of the analytical and management abilities and their correct comprehension, and at assessing the ability to apply the knowledge students learned when studying the course material.

Teaching materials


List of textbooks the students should acquire (in order to successfully attend the course and develop the project):

  • E. ROZZO (edited by), Innovative Retail Design, Readings, Il Pellicano, a.a. 2019/2020.
  • K. ZAGHI, Visual Merchandising, In-store Communication to Enhance Customer Value, Egea, 2018.
  • Additional material (slides) are available on the Bboard platform.


  • E. ROZZO (edited by), Innovative Retail Design, Readings, Il Pellicano, a.a. 2019/2020.
  • K. ZAGHI, Visual Merchandising, In-store Communication to Enhance Customer Value, Egea, 2018.
Last change 16/06/2019 19:50