A city emerged from a great divide has created not one shopping hot spot, but several, making Berlin a mecca for retail trends.

After spending two days immersed in Germany’s capital, we found in and around the cultural attractions were forward thinking independents sitting side-by-side with big brand flagship stores – all offering homage to some of the world’s most inspired retail.

Away from Berlin’s high-end designer stores of Friedrichstrasse and department store and mall-centric Kurfürstendamm, you’ll find some of the city’s most exciting retail trends east of Mitte and around Hackescher Markt.

Youth culture and community spirit thrive in this area and among much-loved labels such as Dr. Martens, Scotch and Soda and Cos you’ll find emerging new brands.

Personalisation and mass customisation prevailed in this is vibrant, fashionable area of Berlin.

From tiny independents to large flagship stores, the creation of bespoke products was rife and scaled accordingly to retailer make-up.

Mass customisation – totally unique products created from scratch to suit the shopper and typically challenging for the supply chain – was offered by retailers selling anything from glasses to trainers.

At the other end of the spectrum we saw mass customisation on a smaller scale – personalisation, which is a much easier feat for retailers where shoppers can take an off-the-shelf items and tweak it to their own tastes.



Adidas offered a quiet corner set aside from the main store with screens set up to customised your own trainers. Beautiful bespoke creations donned the walls while comfy seating and refreshments gave you time to ponder the endless possibilities.

YUN Berlin


Innovative Korean eyewear brand YUN stole the show when it came to eyewear with prescription sunglasses and glasses available in 20 minutes. Their 12,000 different lens blanks makes this possible and they weren’t shy to show the extent they would go to. Technology took centre stage in the store, while eyewear was showcased in minimalist displays. The whole feel of the store was futuristic and the plain white pallet made you feel whatever you went home with would be entirely unique.

IC Berlin

IC Berlin offers bespoke, luxury handcrafted glasses ‘made in Berlin’. This tiny store features a myriad of lenses and tiny details that can be mixed and matched to create the ultimate unique pair of screwless glasses and sunglasses. The ultimate fashionista accessory, this store is hipster heaven and a clear part of the Berlin club culture.

New Era


The flagship New Era store held personalisation at the centre of its proposition. Its offer of customising snap-back caps with stitching is both relatively easy for the retailer to offer while attractive for shoppers seeking something extra special. Caps of every style and sports team donned the walls, while a sewing station and promotional literature supported the bespoke nature of what was on offer.

It was clear in Berlin that personalising products is possible for retailers regardless of their size. While complex off-site manufacturing that starts instore worked for some brands, others worked with sewing machines or screen-printing onsite to wow shoppers with something exclusive.

This trend isn’t just about self expression, it’s about brand expression too and taking your values and the core of what you hold dear out to shoppers in an exciting and unique way.

This is one of two blogs devoted to retail trends in Berlin. Next week we’ll be taking a look at the use of art in retail.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in retail trends and how you could apply innovation to your store.

Adam Tregaskis
Head of Retail