Figure3’s cleverly designed brand experience for Canadian retailer Simons has been awarded “Store of The Year” in Chain Store Age’s 31st annual design competition. Recognized for nearly 100 years as an authoritative voice for the retail industry, the publication has honoured figure3 with a sweep of four top awards.
From remote controlled “capsule” fitting rooms that descend from the ceiling to valet styled rooms equipped with tablets showcasing the look-of-the-week, ‘touch-points’ for engagement are paramount to figure3’s winning concept for the 115,000-square-foot playground in West Edmonton Mall.
In-depth consumer behavior research initiated by figure3 included trips into consumer’s closets through innovative online diaries and cohort shopping. Visual audits of each department’s typology were divided into young/urban/traditional tribes and then used to translate Simons’ private label brands into physical spaces in the new store.
The result is a new retail landscape and service model that encourages consumers to explore the fashion environment through design features that speak to each unique demographic.
figure3’s award-winning experience design strategy features a cutting-edge digital photo studio resembling a giant iPad that allows consumers to take real-time photos of their shopping experience. Connected to live social media feeds, shoppers are encouraged to take pictures of outfit combinations and get instant feedback from friends. In-house stylists can create ‘key looks’ on mannequins that embody each department typology, promoting them inside the store and beyond by tweeting the looks through photo booths. This real-time engagement designed by figure3 allows the fashion “magic” of Simons to be displayed on social media channels to customers outside of the store. The fashion customer becomes “a star,” embedding the Simons’ experience into outside channels with the touch of a button.
And while most retailers don’t encourage consumers to linger, figure3 encourages Simons to invest in future consumer loyalty with interactive touch-points such as an on-demand gaming station and an enticing cavern-like interior for the elusive younger male “skater boy” demographic.
Says Christopher Wright, design principal at figure3, “We’ve gone beyond traditional interior design and provided solutions for all aspects of today’s complex retail ecosystem. We haven’t just designed a store, but instead created an experience that will make the whole more profitable,” says Christopher Wright, Design Principal at figure3.
For Canadian Interiors editor Michael Totzke’s piece on the project, see the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of the magazine.
Other figure3 awards:
On top of its “Store of the Year” honour, Simon’s also won for best department store and best fitting rooms. In addition, figure3 got a first-place award for another retail design – its TELUS G2 concept store in Laval, Quebec, won in the “Hard Lines, up to 5,000 square foot category.