Barclays’ South
Africa-based subsidiary, ABSA, has awarded
UK-headquartered allen international with the brief to create
an innovative retail space that will enhance the bank’s core brand
values while using state of the art technology to reinvent the
relationship with existing and prospective customers.

Using its experience in
best practice retail design and knowledge of market leading digital
technologies, allen international will work with ABSA to design a
new and vibrant space where customer interaction takes the

Enhanced by alternative
channel positioning and the creation of differentiated offerings,
the aim is to offer the optimum expression of retail design
strategy, providing customers with what the consultancy described
as “an immersive brand experience.”

It will also act as a
lab to test new technology and service innovations.

The ultimate goal will
be to create a space that represents a ‘destination’ experience and
provides a powerful and exciting channel to communicate and engage
with customers.

The aim is to open the
new venture in Johannesburg in the third quarter of

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Recent major allen
international projects have included:

iBank in Greece; a
premium banking project for Santander in Mexico; a large-scale community
banking project for Lloyds Banking Group in the
the Open
bank concept rolled out by Dexia;
the innovative multi-sensory branding project
for Helm Bank in Colombia
and a multi-country branch
development programme for Standard Chartered.