What's new in Retail?
TAP Retail Picks
The retail sector is evolving very fast, it can often be difficult to keep up. We like to stay informed at TAP and we like to keep you informed too. These are some of our top picks for what is going on in retail at the moment.
H&M FLAGSHIP STORE, PARIS
The H&M flagship store has reopened in Paris with a brand new look and feel. It seems the convenience and ease of online shopping is forcing some of the large fast fashion businesses to take a look at what they are offering their customers in terms of spatial design and shopping experience. Here, the design of the space incorporates both traditional and digital retail features, bridging the gap between online and offline.
The addition of two service areas to the shop is what separates H&M from other high street stores. The new program is called ‘Take Care’ and provides the use of sewing machines to customers for repair of previous purchases. It seems that H&M have recognised that it takes more than just an Instagramable interior to attract a growing following. Sustainable fashion is becoming a sales driver among millennials and H&M are acknowledging and responding to this.
Fast fashion is currently linked with environmental damage and punishing working conditions, something H&M’s consumers are becoming increasingly aware of. By investing in a customer experience that repairs old or damaged clothing, H&M is changing consumer opinions on their appearance as a company and also providing an experience in store.
RUNNER CAMP, SHANGHAI
Designed by Prism Design in collaboration with Office Coastline, the Runner Camp store is a retail space that incorporates both online and offline customer experiences.
At Runner Camp customers enter the store like a regular shoe shop. They can try on shoes and test them out in an experience area to get a feel for their performance. Instead of buying your shoes there and then, you must order them using an iPad provided in store. Customers then leave the store empty handed and wait for their purchase to be delivered to them at home.
Runner Camp brings the customer journey from offline to online, back to offline. There is a gym on the second floor of the space so once customers have received their shoes, they can come back to Runner Camp to enjoy the running facilities. The gym includes an interactive LED exercise area (we like to imagine this as a giant dance mat area), as well as weight training equipment and treadmills.
– So by buying shoes from this store you essentially buy a gym membership too.
SNEAKER DISTRICT, ANTWERP/AMSTERDAM
Barde + VanVoltt designed Sneaker District to appeal to a new generation of shoe shoppers with increasing aesthetic demand. Sneaker District is a store based in Antwerp and Amsterdam. An Instagram worthy material palette of millennial pink, terrazzo, neon lighting and polished concrete helps to attract shoppers to the physical store rather than buying the same pair of shoes online.
The store has added features that are relevant to their target market such as a neon sign citing lyrics by rapper Nas – ‘The Nikes on my feet keep my cypher complete.’ Luxurious fabrics such as navy blue velvet upholster the chairs, which contrasts with mirrored cube tables. The store is more like an art gallery than a shop – it seems this is the direction that many retailers are going in to make sure their space competes with the convenience of the online store.