Author(s): Natalie Hantze
Glamorous, fascinating, and sometimes even magical: the flagship stores of the biggest brands combine interior design and product presentation to create a unique melange of style and image. Stores serve as a window into a very special world whether they are a concept store, pop-up store or a shrine to the brand. The days are long gone when they were merely a sales floor; brands in the fashion, automotive, beauty and lifestyle sectors want to inspire shoppers with their spirit. This is what turns customers into diehard fans. Store design is the great art of staging and communicating a brand's values, and the supreme method of anchoring your brand in a customer's mind over the long term. As our daily activities move increasingly into the virtual sphere, people long for things that are accessible and approachable. Retailers must fight an increasingly difficult battle with online providers to win customers. A sophisticated mix of a wide variety of materials, spaces designed with eclectic ingredients or luxurious accents, and elegant lighting solutions become vehicles that convey the heart and image of a brand and create tactile and visual experiences for shoppers.
In this manner, shops become event locations, favorite hangouts, and in the very best cases, a kind of living room for customers and friends. This opulent book shows the most amazing stores, talks to brand makers and creative artists and designers, and offers unique insights into the previously unknown world of brand design. Brands want to move us-and more and more, stores are where the magic happens.
Natalie Hantze is Editor-in-Chief of Design Lodge magazine. For more than 15 years, she has been consulting with companies in trade, industry, and the media as well as design firms in every area of brand positioning and communications.