In 2023, we launched a ‘Student Retail Design & Careers Competition’ to help equip students with the skills and experience they need to kick-start their career and to drive interest in the retail design, visual merchandising, and print industry.
Taking place annually, we’ve teamed up with the Art & Design department at Hertford Regional College to offer students the opportunity to experience working on a live campaign brief, creating window display concepts and display activations for some of the world’s biggest brands.
2023’s competition saw students working on a live creative brief for sports brand, Nike and their ‘Women in Sport’ campaign.
The competition is designed to take students on a complete journey, from developing initial creative window display concepts through to manufacturing physical graphics and displays from their designs.
Encompassing 7 key stages, the competition forms an important educational roadmap into how retail design concepts are created for the store environment.
Students embark on a 6-month program and after an introduction to the company and campaign brief presentation, take part in scheduled design and production insight days hosted by KGK Genix. These insight days are an integral part of the competition, providing students with the opportunity to work alongside the design, studio and production teams and ask for advice and guidance to enhance their entry.
The final stage of the competition tasks students to activate their retail design ideas using the physical graphics and visual merchandising displays they have produced into a retail window mock shop at the KGK Genix production site in Harlow. They are then required to present their concepts and activations to a panel of judges, explaining where they sought their inspiration, how they developed their designs, whether they are aligned to any current retail trends and how sustainable their activations are.
The judging panel is made up of six industry and business professionals, who will mark each entry based on the overall concept and activation, whilst taking into consideration contributing factors such as project management of the campaign and sustainability of their design.
Three lucky competition winners will win a six-week work placement at KGK Genix, where they will work on live retail campaigns for leading brands and retailers.