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Conran Shop Week 10: Retail Design & Study Visits

Study Visit at Bolton's Market Place

We visited Bolton’s Market Place to help us understand better who retail shops works. The task was to photograph key elements of store design and how the displays are link with the current trends. We also had to consider to our task the Visual Merchandising, customer journey, store layout and the flow of the stores.

The displays I believe is the most important part of retail shop design, I could see that some stores had spent more time and money for they displays but some stores didn’t even had one. Also I noticed that the more expensive one store was the better display they had. These two had mannequins and big posters of their campaign selling you their latest styles and clothes with famous models.

Zara’s display was very simple but at the same time really nice because it had clear lines, the mannequins was dressed with their main products and styles and trend colours. Next had the most complicated one with lines coming out of the wall sand their put their mannequins in positions that each one was supposed to have a role to play if it was real people.

We also had to identify and photograph principles of display like colour blocking and its impact, symmetry and balance, redemption, odd numbers, mirroring and triangulation. Colour blocking was one of the principles that I saw a lot, which I found it interesting because I had never realized how important it is. It makes the stores look more clear, but also, customers can find easier the colours tones they like. During this study visit, I found balance and symmetry an important element in retail design which I realized is what is missing from Bolton’s market place. Every part of the stores where full of products which it was too much at some points and that it have bug impact on customers experience and aesthetic of the stores.

I would rather see more simply spaces that sells better less products instead of spaces full of objects that you are not going to send some time see ii them because there so many things going around that will catch your attention. For my design I will try to find solutions so I can put as much products as I can but I will try to give it as much balance and simplicity as possible.

Study Visit to Leeds Arcades

Study Visit to IKEA Ashton Under Lyne

To get a better understanding of how retail spaces are working we visited IKEA in Ashton under Lyne to get some ideas and inspiration. IKEA might not be on the same level when it comes to the quality of furniture’s and materials, they have totally different target market and market position but also is much cheaper than the Conran shop but they know how to layout their stores.

From our visit there I realised that nobody can deny that they invest a lot of money and time to design the way that their products are going to be displayed. The layout of their stores is kind of what I want to create and for my design for Conran shop. They separate the stores in small sections (rooms) like living room, bathroom, kitchen, office and dining areas in many different styles and colours and they put each product where it belongs. By doing that they make it easier for customers to choose what they like for their homes, they also selling products as sets so people will buy more of them if they see a product is matching with another and I think is a very good idea because you can find easier what you’re looking for. The environments they creating some times are not looking very good because they trying to fit inside as much products they can, but I guess is for the purpose of having some products in the store, but sometimes these small sections are looking very nice and smart.

I could see that in some spaces they gave attention to details, like this kitchen where they tried to make it look realistic by putting windows with wallpapers showing nature as background and they tried to much the furniture’s and materials with it.

The study visit to IKEA even if it wasn’t similar brand as the Conran shop, it gave me a lot of inspiration for my design, I learn what is the best amount of products I can use for each section so is not going to look empty or too much, ways to display products and how to design the layout effectively.

Study Visit to the Space

The shop is located within the Queens Arcade. The task we must do for the day is to take pictures of the shop and do sketches of main parts of the front. The other task we had to do is measurement every single part of the shops front so we can create an AutoCAD file and have the correct dimensions of the space.

The front of the shop was really complicated because it has a lot of details like window displays with curved ends and Corinthian style columns, and the fact that we didn’t get access to the space came to make it more difficult. An access to the shop will had provide us with all the information’s we need about what’s going on within the space, take photographs, see architecture details, materials and get a better idea of the space.

Pages From My Design Development Book