Thinking strategically about format

We understand different retail formats and how businesses can make the most of each and every one of them. The retail landscape is changing rapidly, and new retail formats are constantly emerging — from pop-ups and laboratories, to boutiques, flagships and retail partnerships and kiosks. We work closely with clients to make best use of their full retail spaces, finding new opportunities and supporting business strategies through effective design.

Formats for retail partnerships

When you work with retail partnerships, it’s important to think about both parties. We always start by understanding each business, each brand, and both groups of staff. Then we find ways to balance their different needs. This approach makes the most of the business opportunity and helps create a seamless experience for customers.

Using the same components in different configurations across a variety of locations delivered on the business opportunity.

Flagships for the real world

Often we’re asked to help clients find the right balance for their all-important flagship store. Of course they need to be a showpiece for the brand, attracting and inspiring customers. But they also need to work in the context of operations and budgets. So it’s important not to get too carried away with inflated budgets and impractical expectations and think smartly about what makes most sense for the business.

Finding the right balance between costs and brand impact.

The world beyond the flagship

Thinking about the retail estate as a whole is crucial. We start by understanding the short and long-term business objectives and nature of the entire estate. Then we apply our design thinking to a broad a range of store types and sizes — from retail parks, to shopping malls and high streets. We need to consider the legacy and geometry of existing stores, different regulations and cultural nuances, and much more.

Less construction time = less downtime.

  • Construction cost was 40% less than previous refit

    Construction cost was 40% less than previous refit

  • Previous refits took up to eight weeks, our record was 11 days

    Previous refits took up to eight weeks, our record was 11 days

  • Quick installation meant less closed time

    Quick installation meant less closed time

  • Orange UK's most ambitious store refresh, with 120 refits in six months

    Orange UK's most ambitious store refresh, with 120 refits in six months

Using store formats for learning

In a fast-moving, rapidly changing retail landscape, there are very few hard-and- fast rules. So we work closely with clients to develop ‘laboratory stores’ to test new ideas and learn from ‘real life’ situations. This gives us the chance to set up, monitor, analyse, compare and value-engineer upgrades. We gather tangible information and insights to understand what works and what doesn’t, making business sense of any changes so we can then go ahead and evolve the store design in the best possible way.

The laboratory stores enabled us to test a range of ideas in real time. This had significant impact on our retail strategy and changed how we operated across the business.

VP of Retail, Rogers Communications