Concept Stores: How Designers Iterate for Retail Brands

Jan 21 • MIX, Retail • 678 Views • 22 Comments on Concept Stores: How Designers Iterate for Retail Brands

By Phil Roberts

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Retail brands are constantly using market research to learn about their clientele, and one of the ways they do this is with concept stores. Rather than build a lot of stores in a new market without learning from testing ideas out, like some retailers, concept stores allow brands to receive feedback in the real world. The architects and designers play a big role in helping these brands figure out their path to success.  Some designers, like Lex de Gooijer, create concept stores as communication tools that expresses ideas, lifestyles, or a desired future. Some brands like O2 are using concept stores designed by Dalziel & Pow, to revolutionise the way their industry sells products.

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Concept stores can also be temporary, like with Coca-Cola’s Far Coast, a premium coffee brand. In 2006, Toronto-based K Paul Architect, and global design firm Otto Design Group, helped Far Coast set up the Toronto concept location. It was one of four locations in the world, along with Singapore, Oslo and Atlanta. About a year after the launch, Far Coast closed all four locations. The concept stores were only for market research, but the products continued to be sold elsewhere.

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Read the full article of “Retail Iteration” here.

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