SPAIN. Umdasch has outlined how it played a key role in the transformative redesign of Barcelona Cruise Port Terminals A and B.

The Austria-based company, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, provided the manufacturing and installation services for the 950sq m retail space.

Family-owned Spanish maritime retail concessionaire Actividades Marítimas (BAM) has operated the Barcelona stores since 2005 (its shop locations can serve a potential 2.2 million passengers), and it recently renegotiated the contract until 2025.

BAM realised that the old design and flow was deterring potential shoppers. Targeting the classic cruise travel tourists, the aim was to improve the average spend of the passengers and diversify the items being bought to include local products. To achieve this aim, a new concept was designed to break up the passenger flow and create a more immersive experience.

“This was a truly international project, with five nations involved and experts on all ends,” said Umdasch General Manager Travel Retail Michael Ripfl.

Design expertise came from No.ova design Lead Designer Marlene Pollhammer, with the company’s 3D visual rendering enabling an immersive design process. That allowed store makers from Umdasch to swiftly implement a clean and striking concept.

“It was an interesting experience for us as designers, combining working with Umdasch store makers, Michael Ripfl and the client. It was a very successful collaboration and showed how we can have a focused, creative design unit working with two global organisations,” said No.ova design Co-Founder and Creative Director Lewis Scott.

In keeping with the character of the vibrant city, the design concept reflects the identity of Barcelona. From the floor designs inspired by the artwork of Antoni Gaudí, to the open markets resembling those found across Spain, the new design surrounds shoppers with the culture of Barcelona and entices them to explore the retail options available.

The central plaza sits under canopies, surrounded by large concentric circles, a theme running throughout the design to divide the larger area into more intimate ones. Two areas are clearly defined: the more generic duty free and local products, including Barcelona FC souvenirs.

Previously, the linear nature of the terminals was disengaging for passengers, meaning they were often not passing through the retail areas when disembarking. To create a more engaging concept, the flow needed to be reconfigured on a strategic level by analysing entry and exit pathways.

Travellers now pass through the travel retail space and the circular design encourages a leisurely, irregular path around the area, creating a more positive experience for the customer.