The rush to online shopping platforms has been pushing brick-and-mortar retailers to up their game in every conceivable way. The tools could include everything from superior customer engagement and servicing to awe-inspiring in-store environments. And that is driving consumer and lifestyle brands across the globe to design next-generation retail stores embedded with a sense of ‘adventure’, storytelling and stunning tech embellishments; all delivering breathtaking visual and sensory experiences that cannot be replicated on online channels.
In recent months, Indian consumers too have been treated to some astonishing retail concepts that definitively raise the bar on what ‘experiential retail’ should look and feel like. In the first of a series highlighting outstanding retail concepts across India and the globe, we present the flagship store of Raymond — Ready to Wear (RTW), launched in Bengaluru last year. The outlet was honoured at the IMAGES Fashion Awards 2016 ceremony last month with the ‘Most Admired Store Design Concept of the Year’ recognition.
Here is a an inside look at Raymond’s outstanding effort to push the envelope — on not just store design, but also intuitive customer engagement and experiential retail.
Raymond – Ready to Wear (RTW)
Raymond RTW’s Indiranagar store in Bengaluru promises to provide truly unique and ultra-luxurious modern shopping experiences. The store fuses path-breaking best-in-class technology with unmatched hospitality to redefine consumer experience in unprecedented ways. The 3,000 square feet store is averaging sales of Rs 60 lakh a month.
Living up to its promise of in-store hospitality, the thoughtfully conceptualised fitting rooms with cutting-edge technology eliminate the trouble of consumers to carry their desired outfits to the trial rooms. Preferred garments in the desired size are made available inside the trial room wardrobe, with definite enclosures for shoes and spectacles. Additionally, adjoining the trial room, the store house a lounge, wherein customers can relax and can make their shopping decisions at ease.
Also, Raymond’s unique store simplifies the checkout process by making it convenient with invoicing enabled on tablets operated by the store staff, making the long wait in queues history. The store with its innovative use of state of the art technology truly offers customers a unique and memorable shopping experience.
– To create an unforgettable setting for ‘The Raymond – Ready To Wear’ story by leveraging Raymond’s strengths – heritage, craft and style.
– To offer a unique experience that helps the modern Indian gentlemen to express and reflect who they really are by defining style for them
Key Design Objectives
– To establish Raymond in Ready To Wear space as a leading player in a tangible retail setting
– To create “The Third Place” for consumers in the apparel space
– To contemporise ‘The Raymond Complete Man’
– Style v/s stock — A radical shift from stock-based experience to an inspirational style-based experience.
– Wider product range – options not just SKUs (showcasing a 30-40 per cent higher product assortment, than any other competitor brand)
– Customer delight in seamless fitting room experience by using attentive technology.
– Inspiration: The Runway / Diorama. Moving away from a conventional store front design to a stylised runway that presents a seasonal showcase of the latest looks. It is a prelude to a dialogue about harnessing one’s unique style.
– The Raymond – Ready To Wear mnemonic is the highlight element on an otherwise clean façade.
– Unconventional approach by having a clean façade that becomes window to the entire
– store and display.
– The façade glass has a unique projection that plays latest Raymond TV commercials.
The Style Bar is where the clothes and connoisseurs meet. Style experts teach to express inner confidence, and to assemble the looks that read true to the customer. Attentive technology is used not only to support the style experts in showcasing the looks, but also to help the customer in making the desired selection of style, size and fit from the back of house. Only one piece of each option is on display at a time, making it an inventory-light experience.
Unique fitting room experience
The customer’s selection appears “in the desired size” inside the Trial Room wardrobe. This unique fitting room experience is delivered through a meticulous system at ‘Back of House’ connected by attentive technology with Style Bar display.
Innovation in design/ material
– The tweed runway — the signature statement of the store — forms a frame for the diorama, video wall and ties the whole length of the retail area. It is made of wood fibre board that contains specially formulated resins and organic dyes within the board. The tweed engraving is achieved by signature laser cutting the fibre board to get the tweed fabric, which has a strong association with Brand Raymond.
– The non-standard metal sections that are powder coated to a pewter finish have been specifically sourced to help maintain integrity of proportions for the modular fixtures.
– The wall washer lights behind the wall fixtures are an in-situ development using LED strips and powder coated aluminum channels used for sliding windows.
– The Trial room ‘Slide Wardrobe’ is specially designed to help receive the customer’s selection without them carrying it themselves. The system is developed such that the selection goes through the digital interface and appears in the trial room before the customer enters it to try on.
– Lighting design is used to deliver boutique hospitality ambience by creating a near perfect balance between highlights and shadows.
– Light fixtures have been used strategically across all three dimensions of the store to highlight the unique style details of the products.
– The 3-Grid Lighting plate fixtures provide flexibility and ease of operation.
– The flexibility of shifting and re-aligning the luminaire without damaging the ceiling — as and how the planogram demanded — were considered as advantages.
– Colour enhancers: The Trial Room light fixture is uniquely created to enhance formal wear colours in the product as a customer tries the look on himself.
– Sky daylight: A Stretch Parasol is fitted in the lounge area to achieve the clean sophisticated no-clutter ceiling look.
– Task Lighting: The hidden light fixtures under specific shelves help accentuate the detailing the product.
– Energy Efficient Lighting System: The store uses Complete LED systems that help reduce energy consumption upto30-40% relative to conventional model lighting systems. This also helps reduce heat load and impact on HVAC consumption.
– An asymmetric design helps create a clean, sophisticated and minimalistic look that brings out the star in the product and its details.
– Fixture design emphasises modularity to create the latest looks, sparking imagination and provoking possibilities.
– Efficient use of floor space: For a similar size conventional store, Raymond is using 40% less floor space for merchandise display, resulting in a non-cluttered boutique hospitality look.
– Fixture ability to display wider product range: Showcasing a 30-40 per cent higher product assortment, than any other competitor brand.
– The specially sourced non-standard metal sections were powder coated to a pewter finish to help maintain integrity of the proportions of the modular fixtures.
– The Slant shelves housing the shirt options are finished in a matt lacquered white paint to help bring out the colors and the fabric details. The hidden light fixtures under the shelves help accentuate the detailing the product.
– Simplicity in the fixtures was enhanced with accent elements through metal face outs and hang bars in Raymond Red.
– The Style Bar stools are a stylised consciously-toned-down version of bar stools; they are made in the same finish as that of the diorama to help align with the overall concept.
– The Trial Room seating draws inspiration from the jacket hanger and doubles up as a coat stand while being a comfortable non-conventional chair.