Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shaping Spaces

Design of a retail space now builds consumer loyalty and reflects what the brand stands for, in an environment of convergence of limitless sub-cultures of internet, grand fantasy and face-to-face connections in stores. In an article, published in April' 2014 issue of Retail Today, Aashish Karode ask the consumers to be prepared to find an ultra-futuristic whimsy store with a window display of inspired vintage and romantic furnishings with oversized, backlit chess pieces, rendered in plastic film, within a 2,000 sq-ft hair salon!

Aashish Karode is a principal with Design Atelier Urbis, a New Delhi, India based famous architecture firm. He writes, "We are witnessing far more nontraditional and diverse approaches to design, locations, and offerings being cross-pollinated between various formats of retail. Contrary to glitzy marbles and granites of yesteryears, there is now a co-mingling of high brow and low grade materials - such as marine-grade plywood, raw packing creates and exposed or impressioned concreate. Using these materials showcases rather simplified lightwood interiors to subdue the users with a true feelings of free flow and weightlessness while also combining ultra-luxury high end furniture with display cases made from shipping crates!

Retail stores, according to Aashish, now balance the changing and ever more complex environment of physical stores, online presence, creative calalogues and radical marketing. Not only are there multiple selling streams and real estate spaces to contend with, but there are also the demographic range of their customers who have widely differing aspirations and choices to consider.

Global influences, local context, realty prices and discerning consumers are leading the revolution of design in retail. The drastic changes seen in departmental stores that are becoming boxes to hold several in-stores and pop-up stores, makes brands compete to create their own alluring environments within. Therefore, brands design their own space within a larger shared space! Read full article in Retail Today, April' 2014 issue.

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