Savvy Spaces: 5 Examples Of Retail Design Excellence | Nydree Flooring
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Savvy Spaces: 5 Examples Of Retail Design Excellence

by Jason Brubaker
December 21, 2016

Design is never just about appearance, even when it comes to retail spaces. A well-planned store space not only attracts customers to the store, but also accentuates your wares and signs, simplifies the shopping experience, and encourages customers to make a purchase. Investing in new, creative designs for your store will thus more than pay off through higher revenues and improved customer satisfaction-- but only if you do it right. The following five store spaces represent the best that retail design has to offer, providing a model for any successful shop:

1. The Yael Sonia Fine Jewelry Showroom (New York, New York)

Being the Australian skin care brand's first location in the American Midwest, Aesop Chicago had to establish itself as organically part of the city, so its designers literally built the store from the city's foundation. The walls and floors are all made from reclaimed Chicago bricks, instantly identifying the store with the city's heritage and historic designs. These white bricks also easily absorb light from outdoors, reducing the need for electric lighting and giving the store an air of sustainability. The dark shelves and brown bottles sitting on them contrast with the bricks, creating a sleek, dramatic appearance.

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The New York outpost of Brazilian jewelry designer Yael Sonia creates the ideal business environment by, paradoxically, not looking like a business at all. Instead, it mimics a private residence, encouraging customers to feel comfortable and giving them an idea of how their jewelry will look when on display in their homes. Key to this effect is the heavy use of wood, including dark oak floors, ash vitrines, and hardwood tables. The black oak of the floors contrasts with the lighter wood of the tables, giving the room a dramatic contrast that nonetheless appears natural and organic. Combined with couches, a bookshelf, and paper lanterns, this design creates an intimate feel, putting customers in the perfect position to make intimate, personal jewelry choices.

2. The Hermès West Coast Flagship (Miami, Florida)

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Built by the famed French apparel firm Hermès, this boutique serves as the company's flagship store for the entire West Coast. The shop thus needed to make a powerful impression from the start, spurring greater interest in Hermès and creating future opportunities to expand the brand. This it accomplishes through heavy use of white marble to give the store an elevated, classical appearance. Traditional shelving and fitting areas are punctuated by stark white display sections, which host mannequins, bicycles, and other objects used to display the fabrics and apparel. To move between levels of this 3-story boutique, customers climb a white marble staircase illuminated by skylights. This gives visitors the feeling that they are rising to new heights of beauty and light, sealing in their minds the image of Hermès as an elegant, innovative designer.

3. Leica Camera Store (San Francisco, California)

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This San Francisco-based camera company contrasts their high-tech photography equipment with an organic, natural-looking retail space. Through hardwood floors, wooden support beams, and a red brick wall, the store creates a rustic aesthetic, reminding customers of forest cabins and old-fashioned buildings. This suggests to prospective photographers that the cameras will capture any environment. Wall photos reinforce this aesthetic by displaying pictures from a variety of different locations around the world. Any photographer who enters this store will immediately think of a myriad of ways to use its products.

4. Aesop Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

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Being the Australian skin care brand's first location in the American Midwest, Aesop Chicago had to establish itself as organically part of the city, so its designers literally built the store from the city's foundation. The walls and floors are all made from reclaimed Chicago bricks, instantly identifying the store with the city's heritage and historic designs. These white bricks also easily absorb light from outdoors, reducing the need for electric lighting and giving the store an air of sustainability. The dark shelves and brown bottles sitting on them contrast with the bricks, creating a sleek, dramatic appearance.

5. Chronicle Books (San Francisco, California)

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As the only independent publisher in the city of San Francisco, Chronicle Books strives to make its publications stand out, and retail design is key to this effect. Light maple flooring gives way to dark English Walnut borders and bookshelves, creating a powerful contrast that draws customers in. The dark bookshelves in turn contrast with the books, most of which sport bright colors. Combined with abundant lighting and ceiling and floor planes designed to make the most of that light, the result is books that seem to jump out of their shelves. Thus despite the sea of books, customers will never feel lost, knowing that each item has been carefully displayed for them.

Flooring is essential to retail design, and no flooring material opens up more possibilities than wood. For sustainable, durable hardwood floors, contact Nydree today!