Mariaschool in Pijnacker wins design contest The Store of the Future

25 January 2022 – Today de Bijenkorf announced the winner of their ‘Shop of the Future’ design competition, in which children aged 6 to 16 were asked to visualise their idea of a shop that is kind to people, animals and the environment. The seven best designs will be on display in the windows of the department store until 9 March. In addition, the winner will become the children’s director for a year and some of their ideas will actually be realised.

Sustainable future of retail
De Bijenkorf’s design competition was aimed at the younger generation – the customers of the future – to find out their ideas how to contribute to a sustainable future for retail, society and the world. The jury, consisting of Thiëmo Heilbron (founder of the Fawaka Entrepreneurship School), Rupert Parker Brady (retail expert) and Inge Schmitt and Justin Pariag of de Bijenkorf, looked at the entries in early January to choose the finalists. One of the designs will be on display in each of the seven Bijenkorf shops until 9 March.

Feasibility, creativity, sustainability and inclusiveness
Today, it was announced that group 7a of the Mariaschool in Pijnacker is the winner. According to the jury, this joint design had everything in it: feasibility, creativity, sustainability and inclusiveness. Over the course of the year, a number of their ideas will be implemented and they will be allowed to fill the position of children’s director at de Bijenkorf for a year.

From slides that generate electricity to a Special Goods department and windows with solar panels – ideas that may sound unfeasible at first glance, but certainly are not. I am very excited about the implementation. The fact that this class worked collectively is an added bonus for me. Rupert Parker Brady, Member of the jury Shop of the Future

Young people are less restricted to what is really possible and are therefore much more creative.  At de Bijenkorf, we are working on sustainability on a daily basis, with the concrete goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2040 and offering a fully sustainable assortment by 2025. The children’s ideas have inspired me to really think outside the box again. Justin Pariag, Manager Sustainable Business at de Bijenkorf

The future is green
The competition was organised as part of Bijenkorf’s sustainability campaign The Future is Green and the department store’s ambition to lead the way in transforming and making retail more sustainable. A survey conducted in 2021 showed that an overwhelming majority of Dutch consumers believe that physical department stores should continue to exist, especially as a place to be inspired. Sustainability plays an important role. Many Dutch people think that shops should take their responsibility in this respect and appear to be open to ‘green’ services that extend the life span of items, such as renting, second-hand purchase, collection and repair. Last year, de Bijenkorf gave vintage clothing a permanent place in its range and started a rental service for crockery.

Mariaschool in Pijnacker wins design contest The Store of the Future

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