The Arvind Store is the only Arvind Group venture to bear the Arvind name. In Guwahati, Restore was given the challenge of creating a new retail identity for the company’s flagship store, marrying Arvind’s fine fabrics with the highest quality bespoke tailoring.
As the flagbearer of the Arvind brand, the store needed to give customers a clear picture of the heritage, vision and achievements of the company, while still maintaining a high fashion, high craftsmanship feel.
This is the challenge Restore took up. And then found a way to deliver on it. Lisa Mukhedkar, co-founder of Restore, takes us through the conceptualization and execution processes inherent in designing this landmark store.
The core of the store design were the letter ‘A’ (for Arvind) and the brand colour. Using the ‘A’ in its entirety as well as its parts, Restore created a solution that was organic, sophisticated and functional.
The store feels contemporary and comfortable to shop in and provides an easy way for customers to get the most out of Arvind.
Despite there being four distinct zones in the store, the store forms a single entity, capturing the scale and uniqueness of one of India’s largest groups in textiles and fashion: the US $1 billion Arvind Group.
Manon Foucraut, Retail Designer at Restore, says, “As a designer the challenge of this project was to link together different areas with widely different functions and offerings (shirting, suiting, Arvind Touch, Arvind Studio, Ready Made Garments and Denim Lab). Each of them had to have their own treatment. The use of the letter “A” and the diagonal line come as a signature and allow us to link each zone to one another and create continuity.”
The Fabric Zone
The elements include white tables with the logo sandblasted in, high seating and sliding walls with the product story. Says Tanisha Arora, Visual Merchandiser at Restore, “All the mannequins were custom-made for The Arvind Store with changeable faces that can be changed from gold to wood using magnetic mechanisms. Today visual merchandising is all about modularity and flexibility of looks, and our vision was to create a VM language that incorporates this in order to create a distinct impact in each zone, while maintaining the central theme through the store.”
The Studio Zone
Bright and open, this is the focal point in the store. Here, highly trained and specialised “masterjis” interact with customers, customising looks for them. Dharmendra Sharma, Project Manager at Restore, proudly claims, “The design called for integration of the brand colour seamlessly throughout the various zones of the store. To effectively execute this, our team designed all the unique custom-made lights. This brought a homogeneity to the store experience while maintaining the distinctness of each zone separately.”
The experience of fine craftsmanship is enhanced by studio tables which allow customers to examine buttons, cuffs, collars, and other details.Adjacent to this, tablets in The Arvind Touch zone provide an experience of the multi-channel operation of Arvind.
The ADL Zone
Arvind is the pioneer of denim in India and this zone is where the history and capability of the Arvind Denim Lab shines through.
It allows customers to see and touch the customisation of denim – from textures and colours to washes and treatments.
Exactly the kind of versatility that the world’s biggest denim brands demand. The mood and layout of this zone highlight in full the mystique and enduring appeal of denim.
The RMG Zone
Arvind retails some of the best and most successful RMG brands: Arrow, USPA, Flying Machine, Izod.
This zone is designed with modular retail fixtures and tells product/brand stories effectively using the imagery of individual brands.
Customer Utility Areas
The suiting lounge has been designed with lounge seating and large black & white imagery on the wall. The focal wall in this space has a specially designed Arvind timeline – showing the rich Arvind heritage stretching back to over 80 years.
Reaction to the Store
On completion of the store, Bhaskar Kelkar, CEO of The Arvind Store said, “We commissioned Restore to work on a new retail identity for The Arvind Store – for both flagship locations and other locations. Restore developed a unique design for us and showed total commitment to the project – in terms of design, fit-out budget, timelines and was totally involved in the execution, overseeing every detail.
We were delighted with the outcome, which exceeded expectations. Restore has a great retail design and visual merchandising team who take the trouble to understand different aspects of the project. I look forward to working with them in the long term.”
Ashish Pradhan, Head of Projects, The Arvind Store added,
”We worked recently on the new retail identity of The Arvind Store with Restore. We have so far done two locations – a flagship and a standard store. They have a good team of designers and projects people who are totally involved and committed to the project. Not only to design but equally to the business requirements. They have a multicultural team with diverse qualifications. They worked closely with our team through the project as also with all the vendors involved in the project. Its been a pleasure working with them and we look forward to a long term engagement.”
Virendra Joshi, Senior Manager of Design and Project for The Arvind Store, was even more effusive in his praise, saying,
“We worked with Restore on a new retail identity for The Arvind Store. Once the design was approved, their team collaborated very closely with ours and our vendors to ensure the store was executed perfectly and in super quick time. The store looked exactly as in the 3D presented which was fantastic because sometimes there is loss of the concept as you go into execution. They have a good team – with projects and design working closely. They are easy to work with, responsive and conscious of time and money.”
The Arvind Store has become a landmark – in terms of design for Restore’s team, in terms of business for Arvind and an in-demand destination for the customers who shop there.