TRENDS – The head of retail at innovation research and trends company Stylus Katie Baron, shares her thoughts on the latest retail responses to increased public demand for transparency and inclusivity.
THE BRAVE NEW BRAND DESIGN
Off-stage brand hubs and innovation boutiques
Physical retail venues remain an integral part of any successful brandscape, but staying relevant to today’s dynamic consumer requires fresh thinking and a generous dose of artistry.
In response to consumer appetites for transparency, inclusivity and insider insights, many brands are exploring fan-ready store designs established within the very venues from which their brand culture is derived.
USA-based fashion e-tailer Everlane is one of a growing number of brands exploring corporate-commercial ‘HQ stores’ and open-door retail studios and showrooms – spaces that blur the boundaries between consumer culture and industry knowledge.
The premium basics brand has created an inviting space within its San Francisco headquarters to embody its mantra of ‘Radical Transparency’, sharing production details of its garments openly with customers.
Adhering to non-hierarchical, fair-minded brand values, the converted warehouse space opts for an open-plan environment, inviting teams to work in community areas filled with natural light. The minimalistic interior is kept to a subtly monochromatic palette with smatterings of greenery to further an ambience of trust and sanctuary. And, beyond providing retail transactions, Everlane fans are invited to the space to experience the latest collections and speak to personal stylists.
Giving customers access to previously private parts of your brand space can deliver the memorable, high-impact moments needed for long-term loyalty. Cadillac has created a haven that combines automotive opulence with creative exploration at its Manhattan HQ ‘Cadillac House’, soon to be followed by a Shanghai outfit.