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ITAB UK returns to sponsor Retail Design Student Awards 2017

The awards area at Retail Design Expo 2016

ITAB UK is to return as sponsor of the Retail Design Student Awards in 2017, the second year it has supported the initiative, to continue its commitment to the training and development of the next generation of store designers.

The awards scheme, run as part of Retail Design Expo, celebrates the high standards of UK design education by challenging students with live briefs from international retailers. Leading retail designers act as mentors for the students during the competition, with winners offered paid internships at both retail and design companies.

“The quality of the entries in 2016 was fantastic, and we had some great feedback from retailers for supporting the scheme,” says ITAB UK chief business officer Roy French of the company’s decision to renew its support. “The students I spoke to at the awards presentation really appreciated our involvement too.”

In 2016 Tin Wai Venus Pang of Glasgow School of Art and Sammie Shaw from the University of Huddersfield won the competition, creating designs for a Los Angeles branch of Topshop and a Speedo pop-up store respectively.

As a shop concept specialist ITAB designs, manufactures and installs retail interiors and fixtures. French says supporting new talent entering the industry is a vital role that can too easily be overlooked. “To support the Retail Design Student Awards endorses all the things we believe in, the whole ethos of our business,” he says. “I’ve spent all of my career in this industry. Sometimes we don’t think about the future enough.”

The development of fixtures for modern retailers involves a large amount of conceptual design work, requiring a constant flow of new blood into the industry, adds French. “We’ve employed some really smart people and they have brought a new edge in… but they have to come from somewhere,” he says.

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