Posts tagged shops
Retail in Europe has been suffering.
Blame it on the weather – either too hot or too cold – on the economy – the Eurozone is not in the best shape ever – or on consumers’ mood – and here the reasons are as diverse as you can think of – the fact is that stores have not been selling much during the main months of the fashion season. And at the end of June, many stores seem to still have a lot of that season merchandise.
No longer really interested in the 10 or 20 percent-offs provided by mid-season sales, private sales events and various promotional activities, consumers seem to have been waiting for the real deal – namely the 50 percent-plus mark. Sweet deals on It-bags, season must-haves and timeless classics are all the rage.
Having been a lot in Paris for the past 5 weeks, I have become the witness of a new buying behaviour. I have been observing the crowds in the main shopping areas, especially in the department stores. France being one of the few places where official sale dates are regulated and dictated by the law, it was amazing for me to see how crowds have been moving at the same pace as as the discount rates. Six weeks ago, I enjoyed a peaceful stroll through Le Bon Marché, checking out the delightfully curated merchandise in an almost empty store. On a Saturday. Come 8 July, I stopped at Le Bon Marché after spending the day at Mode City, the lingerie and swimwear trade show, in need of some serious retail therapy. I was shocked. Never in my whole life had I seen so many people at Le Bon Marché (I have been coming for almost 20 years). From the ground floor accessories section to the designer floor and passing by the “younger” section located above the food hall, the store was literally packed. And I must say that the deals were really sweet and the merchandise premium: runway looks, season essentials and beautiful pieces were all there, for a fraction of the original price; clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, everything was there.
Sure I have witnessed the sale craze in New York City when Saks, Barneys and Bergdorf went on sale and where I could find a few interesting items but by no means the “iconic pieces” that have been gracing the pages of fashion magazines were to be found everywhere and in all shapes, sizes and colours. Unlike what has been happening in Paris.
A couple of days later, the same thing happened at Le Printemps. While walking around the Boulevard Haussmann area, I entered Le Printemps because I was a bit tired and it is usually much quieter than its much more famous and popular neighbor Galeries Lafayette. Not on that Tuesday. The department store was so full that I had to flee.
So what is happening? Has the economy hit so hard that it has already fundamentally changed the shoppers’ behaviour, making them rather wait a bit than pay full price? Have we all been for many years so influenced by the media to instantly buy so-called “it-items” of all kinds that we have become jaded – fed-up even- to keep on doing it and the slumpy economy just provided the perfect excuse to do so? Has fashion become so versatile and timeless, that it is no longer mandatory to walk around with “just in-season” looks? After many retail golden years fuelled by the emergence of new media and the subsequent overexposure of fashion, have we simply just changed? Sure, we still love fashion and outfits that have the power to make us feel shiny and new, but it seems that we no longer are prepared to pay the full retail price, because what we seem to love even more now is a real bargain. What do you think?
Having been silent for many weeks now, I have decided to rekindle my relationship with you by letting a guest blogger express his opinion. This is what Andreas wrote when I asked him to tell me something about his relationship to shopping. What do you think?
Spending a few days in New York has always been a very special experience. Great food in elegant, mythical, superlative restaurants, walks – sometimes even jogs – on the High Line, museums and comedy clubs – are a few elements of the ever-exciting journey. But a few days in New York also mean intensive Shopping.
For instance at Barneys. Owning over 350 pairs of shoes is still not enough for my girlfriend and she will always need something new, because exactly this model is still missing in her collection. So I got to know all the floors at Barneys by heart. Needless to say that I have used each and every sitting opportunity – and I would like to thank the people at Barneys who have understood that a male individual does not need to formulate an opinion about each and every hanging dress and that he sometimes needs a short break from perusing the endless racks throughout the many floors. And let’s not forget that without me too close, the sales associate can communicate freely with one of their favorite customers – aka my girlfriend – , because the sitting opportunities are always a bit far from the clothes racks.
But there are also floors that I very much like. The shoe floor, for instance. There a few things as fascinating as watching a woman getting transformed into someone totally different simply by putting on a pair of shoes. How she suddenly is perceived differently because she moves in a straighter, sexier manner, thanks to a pair of high heels. There a very few places where one can admire so many beautiful women on such a small surface and get a glimpse of what can be a really intimate moment.
But I also cannot help wondering why those women willingly and gladly impose on themselves the whole stress of trying on, putting on and off clothes and shoes so many times. In my opinion, women do this solely because they always want to reinvent themselves, because they never want to become boring and just want to stay desirable – to the others but also to themselves. And this is a reason enough for me to play along and be interested. And when my interest is true, it is often impatient and very enlightening. Which guy who has grown up solely wearing jeans and t-shirts and who works in very technical field mostly with other guys can say that he is able to recognize a Dior dress, a pair of Louboutin shoes, a Moschino, Lanvin, Comme des Garçons or Marni piece of clothing just by looking at a rack? And believe me that this knowledge can really be useful in better understanding my female counterparts and their relationship to shoes, clothes, hair and makeup and this understanding is even very useful in my professional life because it gives me clues about how interesting a personality someone can have.
Don’t get me wrong – I often need to overcome my natural instincts especially when all I want to do is check out the latest gadgets at Best Buy or cameras at Adorama. And interestingly enough, in spite of all my Shopping tolerance (and sometimes – let’s be honest – huge efforts), when I ask her to come along, I just hit a granite wall and have to go alone. Arguments and pleas – e.g. that I have already been 4 times to Barneys in less than a week - are unfortunately useless – I have unfortunately come to realize.
And this is when I ask myself: are women simply intransigent beings that only want to do what they want to do? And from the time I got my answer I go along shopping with the self-control and patience of a Zen master, because yes, they are. But the crazy thing is that they don’t just do it for themselves. They also do it for us men. Unlike us.
I wear high heels all the time. I wear them because I love them.
And sometimes I love them too much and wear them when I shouldn’t.
I have fallen 4 times brutally because of my high heels and even though each time I hurt my knee pretty badly, I still cannot go without them. One thing I’ve learned, though: caution and savvy when shopping for shoes and when deciding what pair to wear depending on the impending activity.
So you can imagine my reaction when I received the following e-mail from Barneys New York a few minutes ago prompting me to “Fall for Yves Saint Laurent”.
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the headline was that they were telling me about some special activity related to the Yves Saint Laurent Fall collection. But when I opened the email, a picture of a gorgeous shoe appeared, containing yet another tagline “ Taking the gold standard to new heights”. Well, the very first thing that came to my mind after seeing the shoes and reading the “heights” message was “Those shoes are super high and if I wear them I will probably fall…” then the whole experience of hurting my knee came back to me vividly.
And this is how an innocent email advertisement can become counter-productive and instead of making you think that you will look like a modern day Cleopatra in those heels, it revives a painful memory.
And it’s crazy how a simple expression that might normally work for the majority of products, is used in a totally wrong manner.
I don’t know whether the headlines for the e-updates are automatically generated by some system Barneys use or whether the editing of said updates is relegated to someone a bit inexperienced. But Fall + a picture of a shoe with some “new height standard” (no matter how gorgeous) = not such a great idea. So no, thank you Barneys, I will try not to fall for any shoe designer, ever again. And yes, your stores are great and the products you sell fabulous but you should always make sure your words are selected carefully. Otherwise it somehow kills the myth, don’t you think so?
I am writing this and another example comes to me: a few weeks ago I was in London and walking past a Swarovski store, I had to stop. Mother’s day in the UK was around the corner and Swarovski had stickers with the word “Mother” printed in pink and surrounded by what looked like a heart-shaped ribbon all over their windows.
But this is not what I saw first. I actually stopped because I thought “Smother” (def.: to suffocate) was what was written on those windows. And the first association that came to my mind was how some mothers tend to “smother” their kids. And that the word “smother” is actually also used to designate them. There even is a movie called “Smother” with Diane Keaton about an extreme mother. And it made me smile.
Maybe the good people at Swarovski never wanted to do anything else than placing he word “mother” in a ribbon heart. Maybe they wanted to style the heart to make it like an S for Swarovski…
But I smiled and said t to myself “ It’s amazing that nobody saw this while are creating, approving, producing or placing those stickers. It’s amazing how big brands with experienced teams and big budgets manage to create the exact opposite of that they intended to initially by neglecting to look at something in context. And it’s really amazing how no matter what you do, in retail, the tiniest detail can make or break an idea or a concept, no matter how great they are.“
Do you have any similar examples of auto-destructive messages or good marketing intentions gone bad?
I would be delighted to hear about them. Please email them with or without pictures. I will then compile all contributions and post them on this website. Email Maya
Looking forward to hearing from you!
In the light of dramatic current events, between revolutions and natural disasters, retailers are doing all they can to convince customers that spring is the ideal time to be in a good mood and enjoy life, to go out and have fun and naturally to shop for new things that make them feel better, different and very lucky to be alive and well.
Wandering through the streets of London and Paris, I have noticed the following trends:
1- Butterflies. They are everywhere. On the high street and in the luxury boutiques, butterflies symbolize beauty, lightness and freedom. A pretty powerful symbol that is telling the customers that they too can be light, colorful and carefree – especially in troubled times. That everything is ephemeral and one should definitely seize the day. And the items on display before they’re gone…
2- Superheroines. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl et al. are very much du jour. Whether as a real fashion and design influencer with visible symbols or as a general theme, superhuman comic figures are everywhere and undeniably aim to have a very positive effect on customers. Who hasn’t been fascinated by the beautiful, clever and powerful Wonder Woman with her gorgeous costume and her invincible style? And what about Supergirl and Catwoman? It sure has been a long time since they have been seen in movies or on TV but they remind us of when we were young and so certain that we too can achieve incredible things. By using Superheroines, retailers are giving their customers the clothes and accessories to finally publically become those Superchicks they always secretly dreamed of being. It’s like a teenage dream come true.
3- Play. Having already dominated the past Holiday season, “Come & Play” is still here, in variations of all kinds, albeit translated into a more grownup way. Golden rollercoasters are carrying the new season at Louis Vuitton, Matrioshkas of a very peculiar kind are rotating and telling their customers to “Shed their layers” at Ted Baker and Christian Louboutin is taking everyone to an enchanted circus. Come & Play remains a very good way to insufflate fun and put a smile on the customers’ face by reminding them of the joy and fascination they had as kids playing with new toys.
4- Neon lights. The Fifties. The Sixties. The Seventies. The Eighties. Those eras have acquired an idealized nostalgic varnish by now; they are “the good old times”. This trend is strongly fueled by incredibly stylish and highly covetable designer collections for spring/summer 201 – Céline, Tom Ford, Gucci and Marc Jacobs, to name a few – have borrowed strong symbols from those various eras and translated them into beautiful fashions and powerful ad campaigns. And let’s not forget Mad Men, the highly stylish and successful TV show that has everyone wanting to look polished and chic while wondering whether it would be a good thing to start drinking at the office… Amidst this profuse nostalgia, neon lights have the unique quality of infusing a retro touch to any façade, any store, any brand and using a certain font will undeniably link them to a certain era. Besides the fact that they are visible from far and can be made in the brightest colors, neon signs are cool. And whether they remind you of a 50’s era diner in Middle America (or from Edward Hopper’s incredible paintings) or the hip clubs from Miami Vice, they somehow symbolize the American Dream. And that’s pretty powerful.
But at the end, all those trends aspire to the same thing: retailers want to make you hope, make you dream and make you believe that even though things have been pretty bad for the past months – or even couple of years – you should never stop being optimistic and believe in the capitalistic ideal that going out, shopping and having fun – not being ashamed – doing it is a fundamental right, an expression of freedom and maybe the road to a certain happiness.
This holiday season, playfulness seems to be “du jour”. A few rather clever retailers have decided that the economy and its miseries have been going on long enough and that they needed to diffuse a new mood: playful.
Selfridges in London currently looks like a giant toy store, a superlative playroom designed to fulfill the wildest fantasies of that kid who still is alive and well somewhere in each and one of us. The windows are an explosion of colors, toys are everywhere, mixed and displayed with other items such as bags, shoes, ties, clothes, books, makeup…you name it, it’s in there.
Inside the store, bouquets of glossy balloons in vibrant colors asking you to “Come & Play” are suspended or framing pink neon signs spelling out brand names – suddenly every brand seems more fun, whether it’s no-nonsense Laura Mercier, Clinique or the perenially fun Benefit, they all get that special extra dose of playfulness that makes their products even more covetable. In the Wonder Room, a dedicated section named “Play Lounge” hosts a selection of curated items that made that little girl inside me not believe her eyes: in what looks like a giant Rubik’s cube that exploded and created a multitude of fun stuff, the whole space just makes you want to stay there for hours, touch, try and buy everything you ever dreamed of as a child: colored pencils contained in wooden holders (in the same colors as the pencils they are holding), Pantone notebooks in vibrant hues neatly organized, touchable, quirky limited edition dolls , Lego jewelry, a crazy Barbie foosball table… everything is sure to make a fantastic Christmas present.
With a very similar look&feel, Kiehl’s have also decided to go playful and use Jeff Koons’ glossy art while supporting the Koons Family Institute – they definitely make your holiday shopping more enjoyable and help a good cause. Additionally to the limited edition Crème de Corps, beautiful gift boxes are there for you to fill with your favorite products and give to those you love.
Taking playful to a more personal, intimate level, Tiffany’s decided to add a pinch of magic and created fairytale tableaux, stories for you to imagine, under the “Once upon a time” theme. Every window is different and never fails to transport you to beautiful imaginary places (Richard, you are a true artist!).
And I just read a post by Heather Strang on the Retail Design Diva blog that an artist named Nathalie Wetzel designed a Christmas tree entirely made of marshmallows for Peeps&Co – talk about taking a child’s fantasy to the next level…(click here to see what it looks like)
This holiday season, all retailers are afraid that the still ongoing crisis will affect their most important shopping weeks and many have gone to new levels to ignite the desire in their customers.
But those who decided to wake up that kid in you are those who really got it right: if they can make you look at the world with the dreamy eyes of a child, you will definitely get some of that belief that the future still holds great things to come. And it won’t just make you buy, it will make you feel better, it will make you hope. And isn’t this ultimately the main purpose of the holidays – feeling joy and hope in order to kick-start that truly great new year to come?
Aesop was a slave, a storyteller who lived in Ancient Greece between 620 and 560 B.C. His stories – or fables – always contained a moral connotation and learning of some sort and they are among the best known in the world. Aesop’s fables have been adapted in many languages and dialects, by eminent poets and popular bards and have been used across many centuries for the moral education of children, because they used finesse and storytelling to explain ethical and humanistic concepts in a simple, entertaining manner. Being initially French educated, I can still remember Jean de La Fontaine’s “La Cigale et la Fourmi” (The Grasshopper and the Ant) and it has been one of my favorite fables since age 8– even though I never have managed to apply its learnings to myself…
Aesop is also the name of company founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1987 that makes beautifully packaged, great-smelling products for the face, body and hair. Mainly plant-based, Aesop products also include non-botanical ingredients that are effective while remaining safe and gentle.
The first time I saw an Aesop cream was about 7 years ago in London, at the Liberty Beauty Hall space that has now become a COS store. Amid the colorful displays and the kaleidoscopic makeup counters, the Aesop table clearly stood out: rows of dark jars and bottles bearing white labels inscribed in a clean, very modern font –to me they looked as if they contained a remedy composed by a modern-day alchemist. I was intrigued. And when the saleswoman put a dab of some heavenly scented cream on my hand, I was hooked. I bought the cream which was labeled “Relax Aromatique Body Balm – 2003-04 Vintage” and I still have a little left in the glass preciously stored in my bathroom cabinet. The cream still smells great, by the way – absolutely no signs of aging – and I dab some on my pulse points from time to time – frankincense, bergamot and an irresistible blend just make me feel wonderful.
Throughout the years I have regularly bought Aesop products from small, niche boutiques and I can safely say that it has been a brand that always attracted my eye. But what I saw a few days ago in London really surprised me and beyond simple attraction, it made me love Aesop. I was walking on Westbourne Grove, when the familiar packaging caught my eye. I saw that it was a standalone boutique and crossed the street to look closer.
It was a store with the simplest design: dark shelves with the products displayed – sometimes in rigorous order and sometimes in a calculated mess –, clean and minimalistic but as I came closer I could not repress a smile. The floor of this simple, very graphic store was literally covered with tree leaves. And the two employees were walking around organising the products and their footsteps made this unmistakable crisp noise that I could hear from the outside and that instantly made me want to talk a long walk in a forest or a park.
So I go in. And I suddenly remember that I have always wanted to try the Geranium Leaf Body Balm – and particularly after my friend Romaine had told me that the smell of Geranium kept toxic people away…-
The inside of the store is really very simple: three units of 3-tier black tables are displayed behind each other, a white ceramic sink at the far end of the store and on the right hand side the same 3-tier table with the cash register, a few glass containers filled with products and the house perfumes on it. The walls have names of writers and poets as well as quotes written on them.
The products are displayed in rows and sometimes the bottom shelves contain blank books or tubes of product in a pile. Aesop have also composed a few kits that contain series of products – those kits are named after streets where Aesop stores are located: Rue St Honoré (Paris), Oberdorfstrasse (Zurich), Westbourne Grove (London)…and they add a fresh graphical element to the whole store. In all, the store is very simple, uses no-fuss furniture and lets the products be the stars in their own, understated way.
The cream I would like to purchase is called Geranium Leaf Body Balm is in a bright green tube (and with just one other body balm in an orange tube constitute the only real colours in the store) and I spot it immediately. I tell the smiling young lady that it is what I would like, she asks if I just want the cream or the whole kit I say just the cream, she wraps it in a fabric pouch, makes me try two perfumes that I was interested in smelling, gives me a few samples to try, I pay, take a few pictures and leave. Perfect.
After spending a week in London looking at many beautiful stores in their Christmas attire, the only store I felt like writing about is Aesop. It somehow touched me. And I think many retailers could learn a moral lesson from Aesop – sometimes keeping it simple, letting the product shine and adding a whimsical idea that makes people have a happy thought and smile is all that is required to make you fall in love.
I am very excited to announce that I will be speaking at the In-Store Marketing event that will take place on 25 November in London. My topic will be: “Mystery Shopper Secrets – Uncovered”. I will be sharing some of my mystery shopping findings as well as my experience with the retailing of telecommunications and entertainment products and services.
For more details: http://www.instoremarketingevents.com/?paged=2
Make sure you don’t miss this unique event that will be focusing on the most compelling retail marketing initiatives available in retail today.And let me know if you need any VIP access.
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
A few days ago I was in Paris and couldn’t resist going into Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. I had not seen it since the renovations and I must say that it shone in all its glory on that gloomy April Monday.
The current theme was RED – the color. The windows displayed objects of desire in red – specially commissioned, limited edition items. The red theme continued throughout the store – every section had its declination and special items where everywhere.
After perusing the counters of the impressive ground floor and not resisting the temptation of looking up to admire the beautiful glass dome, I went to my favorite section – the designer floor.
Vibrant racks in neon colors displaying the resuscitated Carven collection greet you as you get off the escalator – designed by mmparis by the way –. Then what seemed like miles of intertwined zones of style-compatible designers: Acne, Helmut Lang and Maison Martin Margiela, anyone?
Each zone was clearly dedicated to a certain designer – except one.
At about the middle of the “balcony”, a different area caught my eye.
Called “Le Relais”, it displayed clothes from various designers but also beauty products, shoes and accessories. This was a “curated area” and the theme was “eco-friendly, recycled, sustainable, organic…”
The next stand did not contain products other than clothes but an odd, unexpected object: a “Feed Haïti” bag.
That’s when it struck me: are the marketing people from Galeries Lafayette trying to remove the guilt out of shopping in order to make people buy? Are they positioning the store in a way that takes shopping into a different, guilt-free dimension in a world that has been shaken up for over a year?
In my opinion, many signs indicated so. Here is my interpretation:
- Buying special items is not merely buying: it’s investing: The color red certainly indicates passion and incites desire (and maybe a similarity to the (red) campaign plastered across the nearby Gap store? Just a thought…), but the limited edition items are not mere clothes or shoes, they are unmistakably red collector’s items: they are saying, “Buying me is not just buying a piece of clothing or a shoe. I am a rarity. My value is greater. Invest in me like in a piece of art. It’s not shopping, it’s collecting…
- Buying eco-friendly, organic, recycled products is not shopping: it’s being responsible. The curated area is telling the customers, “Everything here is special and it is destined for special people who care. Buying those items makes you special, you are different from the polluting, negligent consumers, so indulge…”
- And the “Feed Haïti” bag is saying “Buying while helping Haïti is not buying, it’s contributing to alleviate the suffering: if you buy the bag you can make a difference. It’s not silly consumerism, it’s caring…”
What the Galeries Lafayette are doing is not an isolated case. It’s where retail is heading, if it wants to distance itself from the bad reputation it had gained those past years. Shopping can no longer be a selfish activity. It has to be an act of responsibility. Right.
In the present troubled times, if they shop, consumers would rather spend their money on “sure values” – products of high quality that are trend-proof. This allows them to not feel guilty about buying stuff in times where “careless spending” seems so last decade.
Today, tradition and heritage are a brand’s most valuable assets, as they are reassuring and make each spent cent feel like an investment – people are not spending money, they are investing in timeless pieces that can be used/worn/carried/driven… for a lifetime.
But what does a brand do, if does not have a long tradition and heritage in order to attract customers driven by “safe spending”?
In my opinion, the best answer has been delivered by J.Crew (I won’t be mentioning Oprah or Michelle Obama, I promise).
The April J.Crew men’s catalogue and derived campaign feature products with a history, with heritage, products that are not originally J.Crew, but that have been commissioned and curated by J. Crew and introduced to their April’s men’s catalogue: Levi’s®, Ray Ban®, Alden®, Timex®, Superior Labor, Baracuta® , Adidas® and many more.
With this brilliant move, J. Crew have proven that in order to project authenticity and heritage you don’t necessarily have to be an old company with a tradition in manufacturing high-end goods. You just need to tattoo your brand with the heritage of others. Brilliant.
Korres natural products is a Greek company founded in Athens in 1996. Initially set up in Athens’ first-ever homeopathic pharmacy, Korres make scientifically developed products that aim to natural well being and beauty. The Korres product range covers skin care, hair care, makeup and sun products. Korres use herbs and plants from the Greek Flora and also have a range called “Materia Herba” that is eco-certified. They have won numerous awards not only for their products but also for their packaging design, their corporate design and their store design – for the NYC and the Glasgow store.
Korres products – breaking a design convention
Korres products are natural and promote personal well-being. Traditionally, the natural cosmetic market has used very basic and “safe” design for its products- either to show seriousness or for lack of better marketing knowledge.
From the very beginning, Korres have packaged their products beautifully but also in a simple manner that shows expertise and eco-responsibility. They managed to associate great design - to appeal to beauty product addicts usually repelled by the look of natural product packaging – with trustworthiness that is crucial to establish them as a real player in a difficult market.
Packaging design – beautiful, informative, proud
Korres packaging has a strong visual identity that is consistent throughout the whole product range. The main ingredient/theme is always shown in a stylized macro photo and there is clear information about what the aim of the product is and what it contains. Additionally, the product name, info about ingredients etc are always also written in Greek, proudly showing the origins of the company.
From 1996 until 2006 Korres’ retail presence was through big retailers, at which they had corners and shops in shop (1’250 points of sale). In 2006 Korres opened their first stand-alone store and have 31 own stores worldwide to date. The store surface ranges from 20 to 110 m2. The store design is not uniform, nor the same everywhere, but the brand always comes across in an authentic manner.
Various store design approaches created by different architecture agencies have made the Korres stores a living example about how brand identity can be brought alive while being translated differently, with a strong local flavor, depending on the store location.
The above pictures show how authenticity and brand integrity are preserved but translated into totally different stores.
The Glasgow store in detail
Located at the front of a mall on Buchanan Street (The Buchanan Galleries), the store hosts a warm atmosphere and a poetic design – which makes it immediately noticeable – and very inviting – in the white, industrial-style mall.
The store windows are very simple and put the packaging design to use to catch the eye.
Inside the store, wooden palettes – the kind used for stacking and transporting goods – set the mood and give the store an unfinished, imperfect touch, thus making it accessible. Soft light illuminates the palettes as well as the areas of the store that are not exposed to daylight.
Clear, lit shelves display the products that can all be touched and sampled.
No matter which entrance you use, you are invariably oriented towards the products on the walls thanks to the combination of furniture positioning, light and clever product display.
In the makeup area, the furniture is made of original Greek honey containers encased in Plexiglas.
The palette nearest to the register displays gift sets and promotional packages – ready to be taken as they are.
Behind the cash register the company philosophy is displayed for everyone to read.
The products are aligned by category but are accessible for everyone to touch and the beautiful packaging is really part of the whole concept.
Dressed in sleek black, the salespeople are smiling, have a positive attitude and are knowledgeable but never pushy.
What can retailers learn from Korres?
1. Not over-designing everything conveys authenticity
- An imperfect, unfinished look and “raw” materials translate into authenticity and really show that the company concentrates on the essentials – namely the products and NOT the store furniture.
- The “temporary” look makes the store more desirable – “it might go away, so take advantage now” it seems to tell the customers
- The use of unconventional objects to create fixtures suggests spontaneity, creativity and makes the brand more lovable
2. Lighting is crucial and it can make or break a concept
- Korres stores use warm yellow light that are inviting already from the outside
- Products are spotlit like stars on a stage by using stronger light than the one illuminating the furniture and fixtures which draws the customers’ attention and gives the store a shiny happy feel
3. Clearly displaying the company values and philosophy
- Korres is not an old company but they are proud of their products, of their scientific approach and their Greek roots – by clearly displaying who they are and what they believe in, they communicate transparently with their customers.
- Even though this approach is consistent on their packaging and their products in general, they display their values prominently in their stores, at a place where nobody can oversee them – above the cash register.
- This allows the customers to understand who they are buying from and what they are buying without any doubt, which automatically gives them a sense of security and the confirmation that they have made the right choice.
4. Remain true to your values but translate them into various retail concepts
- Whatever the look of their stores, Korres succeed into keeping their spirit intact
- The fact that they adapt their store design to their location – and invariably to their target customers – shows that they have a deep understanding of the importance of local cultural codes and their use as a stage for displaying the brand values and attracting a wide range of customers.
- Being true to the values therefore does not mean having a uniform store concept and respecting brand guidelines does not mean applying corporate design at any price
5. Be consistent in everything you do, have a clear vision and stick to it
- Korres have started with great products, packaged them in a pure, pretty way, created retail concepts that supported their way of doing things and even though they have grown and gone global, they remain true to their initial self
- By doing so they are telling their customers: ” Our products are originated from scientific research, they are effective but are not smelly and ugly, they work, but they are also agreeable to use, smell great and look stylish in your bathroom. You can be beautiful while using products issued by the application of science on nature and also feel beautiful while using them.”