The era of digitization has revealed the importance of data, which is pushing more and more retailers towards a customer-centric approach. Technology has not only improved the quality of information available to the consumers but packaging and delivery mechanisms as well, helping improve product reach internationally. Thus, in an increasingly globalized world, it is imperative to strategize and actively create an identifiable brand identity, which can be communicated successfully through a carefully crafted spatial environment.
Let’s throw light upon few retailers who have bought in-store innovation to next level:
Akbarally’s boasts of a 118-year-old historic identity and a 10,000 sq.ft. store that houses every product. Reinforcing the identity of ‘everything under one roof’ but this time ‘only for men’, Akbarally’s men has been given a crude yet chic look.
With the Royal Enfield placed in the centre, the entrance façade of the store has been refurbished using corten steel to uphold the design. Features such as an in-house barber shop and pedicure and manicure stations cater to quick grooming and styling needs. The material palette is varied: reclaimed wood, chequered plates, black and white terrazzo, galeecha glasses, and antique mirrors filled in lacquered mild steel framework and ‘nuts and bolts.’ This lends the store a rugged yet polished look, attracting a heterogeneous, metropolitan clientele.
The Jade Blue
The Jade Blue Lounge, on the other hand, is marked by a homogeneous language of rich materials that helps put the focus on the products. A classical spiral staircase designed in wood and wrought iron takes one to the entrance of the lounge, further leading into one of the four distinct quadrants. Plush seating is placed to enable a leisurely experience for customers while they browse through and try on the collections on offer.
Intricately patterned brass screens serve as partitions between the various pockets, while classical cupboards with glass panels are used for product displays. The arched niches of the walls are finished partly in wood and gold paint to create attractive display shelves. Finishes and furniture are interwoven into the look and feel of the retail space, exemplifying exclusivity. The antique ceiling features elaborate cornices and intricate, decorative motifs cut in brass work. Arched portals exemplify the beauty of the wall niches, framing the double panels of the jaali.
Key elements of effective store design
While planning a retail store, the display niches or shelves should be carefully designed so that the products are brought into focus. The spatial layout should embody spaciousness and minimalism; ample space must be provided to customers to walk around, while shelves should be placed selectively. This reduces the amount of material required to create a store while allowing customers to explore the products freely without feeling claustrophobic.
How to avoid common pitfalls
One of the most common mistakes that retail brands make while designing a store is the wrong choice of materials. The material palette employed is supposed to communicate the brand’s identity and speak to its target customer base. The wrong choice of materials would, therefore, reveal an identity ill-suited to the brand’s strategy, leading to confusion amongst its customers. This would lead to diminished sales on account of poor brand appeal and customer experience.
(The article is based on inputs received from Amit Aurora & Rahul Bansal, Partners of group DCA)