Retail store design offers plenty of career benefits not present in other types of projects. Working as a store designer could jump-start a young person's career, or it could show so enjoyable as to become the core of a continuing retail practice. In any case, designing for retail has some actual pluses.
Speed - Retail stores are always speedy track projects. It is not unusual, for a modest-sized store, to have a timetable of 16 -24 weeks from the signing of the owner design agreement to the grand opening. These compressed design/construction timetables guarantee that the designer will never become bored with a project. In fact, they generate their own excitement. Projects move so quickly that their actual construction, in a way, takes the place of the presentation and modeling modes in the design of other building types. The fruits of design labor are very quickly visible. This compressed timeframe is fitting for the age they live in, and makes stores a nice project type for more youthful designers who live in a quick-paced digital world - and who might find the slower pace of other types of projects difficult. The speed of store projects is fun and rewarding.
Know-how - Shop designs often incorporate state of the art know-how. Sometimes this is to provide the retailer an edge over its competition; sometimes the know-how provides new ways to display merchandise, complete transactions, or tell the product story - think of all the special glazing details developed for storefronts; the computerized electronics to process sales transactions; state of the art store lighting techniques (LED, fiber optics, projector lighting); the early use of multiple screen and flat screen technology; the mechanical introduction of mind-altering smells to induce shopper purchases; and the use of music, sounds, and colors to induce other desired patterns of shopper behavior. The cautious use of lighting and materials to generate "green" stores, that must function well and meet or better their retail competitors, is a challenge that designers will welcome.
Budget - Some shop designs, namely boutiques, offer the chance to build to per square foot budgets not present in other building types. It is not unusual for small stores to include high-end cabinetry, materials, details and lighting otherwise found only in the design of corporate conference rooms, luxury residential kitchens and baths, and high-tech facilities. Designers love to spend other people's money (wisely of coursework), and the design of boutique stores often provides this chance. There is no room for waste in today's downsized and efficient stores. This requires the designer be a artful craftsman.
Fun - Retail designers can have as much fun as movie-set designers by generating an imaginary world, which would not have existed, but for the designer. Their designs can break through conventions to match the latest design trends. Store designs often have a short life compared to other building types like institutions, corporate offices, and church buildings. Store designers often " live on the edge". Dealing in this bold, highly competitive, fast-paced world is always thrilling and challenging. In addition, store signs and other graphics have become an art form in their own right, as well as a technological stretch.