How Gallery-Style Store Design Elevates The Brand Experience

How Gallery-Style Store Design Elevates The Brand Experience
Brand Activation & Immersion

Physical retail spaces take cues from the art gallery for layouts that encourage shoppers to explore and interact with products at their own pace

PSFK
  • 22 may 2018

As online-only brands expand offline and legacy retailers revamp their brick-and-mortar footprints to lure back shoppers, store design is an increasingly important element of the brand experience. Rather than pile up inventory on shelves and tables, physical retail spaces are finding inspiration in a more sparse and striking interior design tradition: the art gallery.

Brands are creating store layouts that encourage customers to explore and interact with products at their own pace, creating experience-driven shopping that focuses on product discovery rather than the traditional purchase path. PSFK researchers rounded up a few examples:

Perfumarie
Perfumarie displays its perfumes without any branding to help customers choose scents without the influence of marketing. Its owner, Mindy Yang, believes the system helps customers find fragrances more suitable for them without feeling silent pressure to purchase products with superior images. Inside the store, customers will find a line of 32 different products for them to sample in the back. They can also take part in a small tour sampling all of these products before choosing their favorite two, which they may try on their skin. At the end of every month, Yang reveals what products were under the taps during a cocktail party.

Spring Whispers Book Club
Architecture firm Fon Studio converted a traditional Beijing hutong into a minimalist library and reading room called The Spring Whispers Book Club, which has a view of a nearby canal and is masterfully redone in minimalist fashion. Grey terrazzo, glass and wood were used to create an organic and open feel in the space, and the floor-to-ceiling windows give readers light all day. Lastly, the shelves are made of thin white metal, providing the perfect frame for the eye-catching magazine covers that grace its walls.

Hyundai
Hyundai’s premium brand Genesis opened its first company-owned flagship showroom in Seoul, South Korea, which was designed to function more like a gallery, divided up with a series of freestanding concrete partition walls. The arrangement of the walls creates private areas for customer consultation and allows for the display of vehicles to be varied. The space features massive illuminated ceilings, with light panels that attempt to mimic how cars are studio photographed with large light banks. Additionally, the stark interior incorporates some sensory elements, which Genesis programmed, so that certain areas of the space express the brand’s scent and music collection.

Aesop
Skincare brand Aesop’s store in London’s Chelsea neighborhood was designed with interior design firm Snøhetta and partly inspired by the opening scenes of classic Bond films. The shop features earthy pale rose walls, a central column and twelve arches that curve up and across to the store’s perimeter. These create intimate zones positioned around a large circular demonstration sink that seems to hover in space, inviting visitors to come and experience product consultations.

These store designs heighten the shopping experience with high-culture influences, transforming the physical retail space from a trader of commodities into an aspirational retreat and a channel for discovery. For more insights on this topic, download the PSFK research paper Elevating Brand Experience Through Store Design.


Lead Image: Snøhetta

As online-only brands expand offline and legacy retailers revamp their brick-and-mortar footprints to lure back shoppers, store design is an increasingly important element of the brand experience. Rather than pile up inventory on shelves and tables, physical retail spaces are finding inspiration in a more sparse and striking interior design tradition: the art gallery.

+apparel
+Architecture
+Asia
+Automotive
+banking
+beauty
+brand activation & immersion
+Brand Development
+brand experience
+Brand Immersion
+Brand Introduction
+chat a researcher
+china
+Design
+Fashion
+Interior Design
+Market Research
+Music
+retail
+Shopper Marketing
+Shopper Marketing & Promotion
+South Korea
+store experience
+store experience & design
+Store Expression

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