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of art, science and behavioural psychology that is retail design, he cites an
example of an already profitable camera store in Melbourne that employed
the services of design firm Angley Arrowsmith.
“The design company put a person in the store for two weeks just to look
at footpath traffic. They redesigned it, and after a new fitout, increased their
profitability by 45 per cent.”
“Some designers have that ability to interpret a solution to their client’s
unique needs that seamlessly fuses brand, interior and architecture,
skillfully reflecting their values to the targeted audience, through non-verbal
communication,” says Annalise Lemm.
“Meanwhile, consumers seek brands and interiors that indulge their need
to find products that respond to their own values. Good design enables an
ease of interaction with the products in a memorable way.”
Adam Roxby, director of Roxby Architects, which specialises in retail
architecture and commercial interior design in Perth and across Australia,
says there’s no set formula for retail design. By its nature, it is evolving,
eclectic and unique to a particular space, product and demographic. Trends,
he says, may come and go, but there are currently two certainties. One is that
“shoppers in major shopping centres are being courted by higher levels of
sophistication, which is raising the bar for all retail”. The other is that “good
retail design is the greatest opportunity for retailers to compete”.
Tom Brooking, director of Brooking Design, which offers expertise in
the specialist design of commercial and retail interiors, agrees that major
developers, such as Westfield, are consistently setting new benchmarks.
“They see themselves as being at the forefront of retail development,
and they provide a good framework to nurture and guide retail tenants
to share their aspirations.”
Looking like a mum-and-dad operation in the face of competition from
multi-national brands is, he says, a recipe for disaster. But while major
brands may have unlimited funds to cocoon shoppers in terrazzo floors
and cutting-edge plushness, take heart. Good design hinges more on an
understanding of space, people and product than on budget.
Yes, a David with packing crates for shelves can beat a Goliath with
expensively sculptured walls... if their branding is better directed at
the company’s target market.
Australian skin, hair and body-product brand Aesop, for example, is
proving a giant killer with its collection of unique stores. Its Flinders Lane
shop in Melbourne has an interior made of industrial-grade cardboard, while
the ceiling in its Adelaide branch is crafted from recycled bottles.
In Perth, the seamless and understated class of the Giorgio Armani store
fitout suits its target market down to their cashmere socks. “Different
“Consumers seek brands and interiors
that indulge their need to find
products that respond to their own
values. Good design enables ease
of interaction with the products”
ABOVE The award-winning Bindoon Bakehaus & Cafe, by the Fratelle Group, combines a modern palette
and layout with warmth and textures that evoke the past. TOP RIGHT Springs Hair Design, by Bremick
Design + Build, in Beechboro, is clean and modern, yet warm and inviting at the same time.
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