Report by Lois Jacobs (below) Chief executive officer
As we had hoped, 2010 was a much better year for FITCH. We completed the restructuring that began in 2009, enabling us to focus on our core offer of translating brand into consumer experience.
In 2010 we grew our worldwide revenues and saw a dramatic improvement to our bottom line despite ending our involvement in conference and event production. We rationalised our Middle East offering in Kuwait, Doha and Dubai under one leader, Olivier Auroy, and combined our US offices under Victoria Leavitt. We saw growth in almost all our 10 offices; of particular note were London and Doha which both experienced strong double-digit growth.
Russia remains a strong market for FITCH. In 2009 we created Sberbank’s new brand identity and in 2010 we were pleased to design the bank’s 19 pilot branches. This latest work is a clear example of our ability to combine both our graphic and environmental design skills in one integrated consumer experience. Further new clients in Russia included consumer electronics retailer Eldorado, and telecoms company, Beeline.
We gained many new clients in other regions in 2010 including Target, The Sports Authority and Fixtures Living in the US; Land Securities and UBS in Europe; Jumeirah in the Middle East; L&T, Infosys and Bajaj Auto in India; Philips in Singapore; and Sundan in China. Indeed our work in China, with both new and existing clients like Dell and Nokia, prompted us to open our newest FITCH office in Beijing at the end of the year.
We saw growth in almost all our 10 offices; of particular note were London and Doha
Early in 2011 we will be opening in Delhi to complement our Mumbai office.
As a global design consultancy it’s important for us to look forward as we create consumer experiences that will be both compelling and engaging. Shopping options are changing dramatically and there is an ever-increasing need to provide people with reasons to visit the store.
At FITCH we spend a lot of time examining consumer trends as evidenced in our latest white paper, Future Retail. We see an atavistic yearning for community spirit, cooperation and collaboration. The meaning of value is being redefined and retailers are responding with concepts such as Freetail and Tryvertising. ‘Inline’retail embraces new technologies which increase engagement as the digital and physical worlds converge. Future Retail formats are being defined by flexibility, convenience, speed of reaction, local relevance and clarity of choice while powerful storytelling, delivered in seconds, gives brands a way to cut through the noise.
There has never been a more exciting time for retail and for retail designers.