Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Evolution Of Luxury Retail Architecture

Evolution Of Luxury Retail Architecture


Johnson Watch Company, New Delhi
                                                                                                                                                      
The renowned Gabrielle Coco Chanel said, ‘Luxury is a necessity which starts where necessities end’ (Karra, 2011). True to its essence, Luxury in fact is a necessity that is linked to individuals with a high profile, and as a tool, luxury products are optimised for high visibility and as specific means of communication. Enhancing Desire more than the mere function of meeting the customers’ needs, Luxury products usually convey a compelling story that is well- presented and packaged to breath-taking perfection.

Retail Stores, typically, operate only as a window to display products; however, in the recent years, with the ever-increasing onslaught of luxury products in the market and the competition, the experience inside a retail store is as crucial as the brand itself. Focusing on the sensory, far beyond the transactional activities, the most important point to keep in mind while designing a luxury retail store is that it should be Future-ready with a next generation design/layout and create a fashion statement.There is an increased focus on lighting, materials, display systems and the decor, and the cost of lighting and sourcing is a vital part of the entire process, therefore being done only through selected vendors. Day and Night Lighting moods and effects are conceived with an exclusive design intent with no compromise on the lighting fixtures.

Working with the adage of ‘Outer beauty pleases the eye, whereas the inner beauty captivates the heart’, the layout of the store is crafted experimentally in order to create dynamic forms within the store. For example, instead of the traditional horizontal or vertical seating arrangement, round arrangements have now become very popular. And then to please the eye, the external façade becomes the highlight, symbolically representing the brand. For example, according to the store’s requirements, the entrance areas are now looked at in detail with additions being made to the immediate external environment such as the stairs, the plants and even clutter-free parking areas are designed exclusively. The façades and the display window have of course seen a major transformation in the past few years. Grandeur and Luxury go hand-in-hand, and store owners are guiltlessly ready to spend more on the façade than on the interiors. Materials with an inherent quality of timelessness such as wood and stones such as Italian marbles are tapped as extensively on the façade as in the interiors.

- Amit Aurora & Rahul Bansal