Architectural firm Perkins+Will has acquired London-based branding, retail and design consultancy Portland Design Associates in a bid to strengthen the company’s brand and retail strategy offering.
Portland is best known for crafting brand and retail strategies that ‘future proof’ their clients’ business by anticipating changes in how customers shop and interact with their surroundings. Portland will continue to maintain its own brand and operate as an independent entity.
Portland Design has worked on strategic and commercial projects for Hamburg Airport in Germany, Vienna Airport in Austria, London Heathrow Terminal 2, French airport operator Aeroports de Paris, Keflavik Airport in Iceland, Bangalore Airport in India and Turin Airport in Italy among others.
Phil Harrison, president and CEO, Perkins+Will, said, “The customer experience is an integral component of every project we undertake around the world. Whether it’s a hospital or an airport, a university campus or a hotel, it’s essential that the places we design really engage the people who visit them, work in them, and live in them.
“Our clients will benefit from Portland’s consumer insights, creativity and strategic thinking, and Portland’s clients will benefit from Perkins+Will’s global reach and broad architectural, design, and planning expertise.”
Ibrahim Ibrahim, managing director for Portland, said, “We consider our work a kind of anthropology, in a way – a study of human interaction with brands and places, and how we translate that into compelling, user-centric customer experiences.
“Our experience shows us that customers are increasingly responding to personalization and hybrid spaces where traditional categories have been broken down and lines have been blurred – so, for example, a grocery store that is also a restaurant and a cooking school, or a fashion store that puts on yoga classes and knows a customer’s personal preferences.
“The fact is, retail is ubiquitous and has an impact on all sorts of spaces, from museums to hotels to hospitals to schools. We are thrilled to be able to bring this knowledge and expertise to Perkins+Will clients worldwide.”