Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wind in the Windows

Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has breathed (literally) life into the store windows of Hermès in Tokyo.
The Hermès scarf, which represents an iconic image for the brand, hanging in the window is softly swaying. This is in response to a woman’s blow, with the woman being projected onto a monitor within the window.

Yoshioka has said of the installation;
”On designing a window-display at the 1F Maison Hermès, I intended to express people’s daily “movements” with a suspicion of humour. There are moments when I perceive a hidden presence of a person in the movements born naturally in daily life. In this installation, I created a space where one can perceive someone behind the scarves as if life were breathed into them.”


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creating A Grand Entrance

...Well a welcoming one at least. Rose petals on the path outside Delices Verneuil in Rue De Verneuil, 7th Arr Paris

Changing Space Daily With Twitter

The advent of sms, online communication and particularly social networking sites like Twitter (etc) has allowed brands to alert consumers of relevant information (based on voluntarily revealed consumer preferences) in real time.

Take the case of Twitter poster boy, the Creme Brulee Man* who changes location daily by posting his whereabouts. Launched in San Francisco in early August 2009, Curtis Kimball's mobile Creme Brulee Cart has attracted more than 8,000 Twitter followers who rely on his tweets to find out exactly where he'll be and what flavours are on the menu.


Kogi Korean BBQ* sells its Korean/Mexican fusion food primarily through two trucks that are always on the move to new locations in the Los Angeles area. To know where to find them, customers must follow Kogi on Twitter.

The examples listed demonstrate how these two businesses have capitalised on social networks and technology to activate space, (in this case constantly changing), and still be assured of customers. It offers a 'unique experience' which is particularly attractive to modern consumers. It's not just about the food, but the unique way it's delivered, thereby generating its own hype - 'the eatery with no fixed abode'. It also effectively gives the business the opportunity to test different areas without incurring the traditional setup costs associated with establishing a new physical outlet each time.

*Source: One of the world's leading trend firms, sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas With A Pop

It’s hardly a new phenomenon for retail, but it is perhaps one of the best contemporary takes on activated space.

We are of course referring to the 'pop up' or guerrilla store and its many very successful incantations around the world in recent years 'popping up' temporarily to occupy a space to present a brand and then disappearing. In the lead up to Christmas here are some businesses using the concept to drum up sales this silly season.

What: Baker D Chirico
Where: 24 Crossley St, Melbourne
When: From Nov 24th until Christmas Eve, Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm
Retailing: baked goodies ranging from panettone to nougat to lavender macaroons
Point of difference: The crazy cosmic bakery wallpaper

What: Ferrero Rocher Wrapping Store
Where: 461 Oxford St, Paddington (Sydney)
When: 7 days until 8pm December 24th
Retailing: A huge range of Ferrero Rocher pralines
Point of difference: Shoppers can have three gifts wrapped for every limited edition gold Ferrero Rocher gift box purchased.


What: Target Gift Box
Where: Martin Place (Sydney) and St Kilda Beach (Melbourne)
When: 2 days in each city in November / December
Retailing: Christmas gift items
Point of difference: Coincided with the national launch of the 2009 UnitingCare Christmas Appeal. All profits from sales at Pop Up donated to the appeal. Celebrity appearances


What: Ebay
Where: 8 cities in US including NY, Chicago, D.C., Philly, Atlanta, LA and San Jose
When: November through mid December
Retailing: The store is broken into six “personalities” – Stylista, Fashionista, Techie, Urbanite, Gamer and Youngster and shoppers have the opportunity to view 400 featured products from the thousands of items available from Ebay.
Point of difference: Rather than pulling out their wallets, customers purchase items via touchscreen terminals or bid on other auction items after getting advice on gift options from the personal shoppers or eBay’s 'trend and culture experts'

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Aesop's Signature Style

Aside from being at the forefront of the boutique cosmetics industry with its range of high quality skin, hair and body products comprising plant based ingredients, the brand in the amber bottle has also made a compelling statement with innovative retail design.

In November Aesop revealed its freshest face in Singapore where March Studio utilised thirty kilometres of coconut husk string to create a light fixture spanning the entire ceiling. Aesop Director Dennis Paphitis was inspired by the twine used to tie the company’s gift boxes, a regional product.

aesop singapore 2aesop singapore 1  aesop singapore 3

Paphitis says, “Geography, climate and light all inform which path we take with our design decisions. For Singapore, we referenced the humble ball of twine with which we wrap and detail our gift boxes. The entire store is framed with meticulously detailed grids that suspend twine from the ceiling. The idea is to work with a sombre material palette in an unexpected way. We’ve used coir matting as carpet and marine plywood to detail our storage units which conceal a palette of Le Corbusier-inspired coloured wall panels.”

Each stores’ signature look is unique and a reflection and celebration of its location. Visual merchandising is limited to furniture and interiors that provide function, allowing optimum space and movement. Sustainability is also a design consideration.

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Flinders Lane Melbourne – March Studio. Made entirely of industrial grade cardboard including shelving and the counter top.

aesop strand sydney 1  aesop strand sydney 2
Strand Arcade Sydney – March Studio. Hero material is porcelain used for tiles and small furnishings.

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Zurich – March Studio. Use of suspended shelving fitted with camouflaged tubing providing illusion of space ad weightlessness in a low ceilinged space with an awkward column arrangement.

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Rundle Mall Adelaide – March Studio. The ceiling is composed of 7560 recycled amber bottles arranged in a wave pattern.

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Mayfair London – Ilse Crawford. The old fashioned fittings and furniture, including a claw foot bath tie in with the heritage building.

Stay tuned for pics of Aesop’s latest design offering in Shoreditch London.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Power Shops... The Cool Hunter

"A retail store is not a concept, neither is it a brand. It is just one channel, one way of expressing whatever it is the consumer understands the promise to be, whatever the consumer feels the experience is going to add to his or her life. Branding, marketing, store design, merchandise selection, staff behavior, the windows, the change rooms, the website, the wrapping paper and bags, plus a million other details make up that promise, and every store visit either renews or shatters the trust."

The Cool Hunter is a great reference point for new and cutting edge Store Designs.
This article discusses the importance of implementing a good store design that meets consumers needs, not those of retailers or their suppliers. Power Shops

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Every Click Counts At Sportsgirl

Yes yes one of my favorite brands has developed and implemented a fantastic tool for consumers to interact with their product across their entire online space - enter the icon!

It seems like an obvious idea but previously (and on almost every other retailers site) you would read about a product then have to move to the shopping section of a site to put that product in your trolley. Sportsgirl ensures that you can get that product immediately on the site, using the logo which activates a pop up window.

They have removed another barrier to purchase (however small) by effectively making sure the trolley, or 'bag' as they call it, is always in your hands. In doing so Sportsgirl demonstrates that they inherently understand that all consumer contact with the brand (positive and even negative; comments on a blog for example) is a chance to put product in the consumers hands. Cut through at its finest! Check out the SGTV video here