About the annual competition

The Institute’s annual competition — now in its 49th year — celebrates outstanding and innovative retail spaces that encourage new techniques in planning, design, graphics, lighting and visual merchandising.

Call for Entries

Design firms and in-house retail design teams from around the globe are invited to submit projects covering all retail formats. (No entries accepted from general contractors, allied trades, fixture manufacturers, material suppliers or owners’ representatives.) The competition welcomes exceptional retail experiences ranging from full-line traditional department stores to specialty apparel stores and restaurants to kiosks and pop-up shops.

Eligible projects are those completed between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

The Institute is pleased to partner with CSA magazine in publishing winning projects from the “Class of 2019.”

Submissions require a 750-word narrative, plus photo captions for each submitted image (maximum of 8 for specialty stores and 12 for department store, big box and mass merchant categories) and a floor plan. The narrative should cover the project’s scope, goals and objectives, customer journey and branding. Text should also outline details such as store planning, design, materials, lighting and visual merchandising. Entrants are also asked to list the general contractor and suppliers to the project including additional consultants and contractors, plus equipment and decor vendors.

Key Dates

Competition Opens – Monday, August 12, 2019
Deadline to Enter – NOW EXTENDED TO Monday, March 2, 2020.

Entry Information

In order to enter, you must create an account.

Entry Fees
For Retail Design Institute members the entry fee is $250 USD per
submission. The cost per additional entry for members with multiple submissions is $225 USD.
For nonmembers, $375 USD per entry.

Please pay online using the Institute’s secure payment portal. Accepted:
Visa, MasterCard and American Express in U.S. dollars only.

To Qualify for Membership Entry Rates

In order to receive membership rates for submissions you must be logged in to this site as a member.


A list of finalists will be announced March 2019 on this website. Individual finalists will be contacted by the Institute. The 2019 Store of Year winner will be announced at the 49th Awards Gala, scheduled for May 20, 2020 in New York City.


For more information, contact Janet Groeber; [email protected]

Member Discount Codes for Submissions:

To view member discount codes, please log in as a member and revisit this page.