When you are creating a store that is unlike any other, it takes a lot of research and planning. Beyond the obvious elements like location, store layout, merchandising, there are story-telling, brand expression, audience engagement and interaction opportunities that can create a memorable in-store retail experience. Pantaloons engaged Restore to create one such great experience for kids.
Pantaloons is among India’s biggest apparel and accessories retailer. With the kids store, the brand wanted to retain its core expertise and build the best store experience for kids.
The broad objective presented to Restore was to create a store that put kids first without forgetting about the parents or guardians accompanying them. The specific objective was to create a unique retail experience rooted in the brand, while making the store visit more engaging and interactive for the kids.
After her induction in the world of kids’ retail store spaces, our Product Service System Designer, Maddalena Bogni started researching what would later set apart the retail store we would end up creating. We had some eye-opening insights after observing shopper behavior, interaction between parents and children, store layout and our own interaction with products.
• Signage was not proper in the stores. This led to a lot of time wastage, which resulted in a bad experience.
• The graphic communication in the store was displayed at a height where it was not visible to the kids.
• The apparel in the store was placed at a height where it was not reachable for the kids, thus making their involvement negligible.
• The number of changing rooms was less and there was no facility for outdoor changing space making it a tedious process for the kids and their parents or guardians.
We uncovered many such opportunities for design and detail during our research which we then eradicated in our approach towards designing the store. You can read the full research here (a link to a separate blog/case study which has the complete research and its findings).
After a rigorous research process, we were very clear about our Brand Code (a proprietary tool which outlines the brand’s point of view) and the store experience that needed to be developed based on consumer insights. The store design needed to make kids feel comfortable so that it would generate more involvement from them. A tailor-made environment for kids to have fun and shop what they like to wear.
We designed avenues in the store for some activities for the kids to keep out mundane experiences. Apart from making the store kid-friendly, we also installed elements that made the space interactive for them.
It was time to put the approach to test. We started at the beginning. The kids were welcomed in the store with colourful paper bands that could be worn like watches with messages written on them. We also gave them money coupons to get them more involved.
Maddalena Bogni and Paolo Chiorino worked together on the retail experience. Colourful floor paths greeted them inside the store along with multi-colour panels asking them to find their size in an interactive way. The selection of the colours for each zone was done on the basis of a study of colours and their significance to various age groups. The shopping bags were made kid-friendly in the sense that they could be worn around the shoulders or driven across the floor.
Interactive mirrors were placed near the apparel browser and display units to keep them engaged. The fitting rooms were modified according to the insights found during the research.
The design team questioned everything before starting this project. We challenged the norm of current kids stores and then created a completely fresh take on kids apparel retailing. We worked closely with the clients and ensured that we had operational, budget and merchandising concerns all taken care of.
– Paolo Chiorino, Design Lead at Restore
The prototype gave us the assurance that our design strategy and concept was headed the right way. Moving forward, we added some more experience elements to the store.
The façade at the store has an exclusive entrance for kids and we made sure of that by a low height clearance. As kids enter, they are welcomed by the staff and a colourful wrist band is tied on their hands. The store is colour coded into three zones pertaining to different age groups.
The fixtures are colour coded in a way that they also give the shoppers direction and also make a great engagement tool for the kids. The ‘Find Your Size’ unit at the entrance makes it easy for the kids and their parents to figure out the colour zone they need to visit.
The interactive mirrors are designed and arranged specifically for different age groups. These mirrors provide a lot of photo/selfie opportunities for the kids. The store also has hide away corners and little bridges for toddlers.
The POS has also been tailor-made for the kids to be a part of the billing process. The steps and the vacuum chute at the POS makes it a great experience for the kids.
The fitting rooms are designed to add to the welcoming space for kids with interactive messaging, selfie walls, curated lights and hooks. The platform inside the fitting room has been raised to an adequate height so that the kids are at equal height as them making it convenient to try on the apparel.
Research was the key here. Once we got the insights, we planned our approach accordingly. The prototype showed us that we could add to our existing ideas to make it even better.