There’s functional retail design, there’s beautiful retail design, and then there’s memorable and effective retail design. Retailers all over the world are struggling to sell their wares effectively, and for many shops, this means fabulous and unforgettable store structure.
If you’re in the process of designing your store, check out what these innovative retailers are doing and see if any of their sets would work for your product. You may just get an idea for a layout that would blow these five out of the competition.
Apple Store, New York
New York’s Apple Store is a prime example of the importance of location, location, location. The store is the epitome of minimalism, as its complete glass exterior prevents the store from becoming cluttered with other design elements. Natural sunlight makes the store bright and lively, and the single iconic apple hanging in the middle of the store says it all to bring customers through the doors.
Besides finding prime New York real estate and constructing a giant glass cube to sell your wares, you can learn from Apple’s minimalist design and pare down on the clutter in your own store. Look at your displays and judge whether or not you really need all the ornamentation. Once you free up your space, you might find your products have more room to be seen.
Han Kjøbenhavn Fashion, New York
Han Kjøbenhavn sells clothes, but they do it unlike most usual clothing stores. Instead of placing all their wares on hangers or folding them on tables, Han Kjøbenhavn tries to find unexpected ways to stack and store their products. Currently, that means curling their clothing into rolls and placing them in little cubbies. This innovation is striking in its presentation, if only because it differs from the norm.
Experiment with your own products’ display. If you’ve been doing what’s normal just because you think your audience will expect and appreciate it, think again. Eye-catching and unique design is what draws customers in and gets them talking to their friends.
Lucien Pellat-Finet Fashion, Tokyo
The beauty in the recently completed Shinsaibashi location of Lucien Pellat-Finet’s high fashion line is evidence of the fact that you don’t need ornamental displays for your products as long as the store around your products is astounding. Clothes are hung from metal stands just like you would find in a regular department store, but the walls of the shop explode with fascinating geometric shapes. The interior of the shop itself feels like a fantasy land — though not in in a trite or kitsch way — which immediately draws customers in from the busy Tokyo sidewalk.
The Lucien Pellat-Finet store knows that its products will speak for themselves once customers come inside, but the shop designer also understood the importance of getting customers inside. If you already have a fabulous idea for your store’s décor, supplement it with M Fried store fixtures to let your products speak for themselves.
Aesop, Hong Kong
Aesop is a cosmetics store with a flair for design. Aesop likes to keep things tidy, but that doesn’t mean they’re as ultra-minimalist as the Apple Store. Instead, Aesop made use of its wall space by placing its various products in cubes patterned from floor to ceiling, window to back wall. The floor space of Aesop is completely bare, which under the wrong conditions might make customers feel untethered and awkward, but in Aesop’s small space with product-lined walls, the choice is a good one that allows more customers to walk around and view their purchasing options.
Make sure you consider the layout of your store. If you have a small space to work with, maybe moving things toward the walls and giving customers plenty of space is a good idea. Conversely, if you have ample space, try to give your customers direction with aisles made from displays.
Shakespeare and Company, Paris
Shakespeare and Company is an iconic bookstore not just for its design, but for its history. Countless novelists and poets have come here to read the masters and get the spark of inspiration for their own work.
However, you must stop and appreciate the clever design Shakespeare and Co put into their shop; though it looks cluttered — much the opposite of most of the stores on this list — the clutter makes it feel warmer and more intimate, a setting perfect for book-lovers.
While designing your shop, consider the needs of your target audience. If you vend a product that people like to mull over before purchasing, like a book, perhaps you need a more homey space. If your product needs to shout forward-thinking and high-fashion, try some of the previously mentioned design styles.
No matter what, your store needs some kind of design, and the more interesting it is, the more likely you are to get business. Instead of opting for run-of-the-mill displays, try to create a unique space people come just to see; then maybe they’ll buy something while they’re inside.