One of the successful fashion retailers in Russia, Snow Queen, is the largest and most modern chain of outlets, with 91 stores selling the widest choice of fur and leather clothes in Russia today – with brands from Italy, France, Germany, Greece, and Turkey. They also have several established male and female private label brands. In February 2012, Snow Queen commissioned campbellrigg to propose a new store design concept. Their expansion strategy intended that new shops would open in 2012, and many more over 5 years. The management wanted a less rational, more emotional design – fashionable and modern, but with more personality. It needed to be on budget, workable and inspire the staff as well as customers through implementation at store level.
Design that lifts a brand to higher climes
The plan was for stores bigger than 800m2 to have a larger product range. There would be dedicated categories for menswear and accessories, womenswear, home textiles and footwear. With furs, fur accessories, women’s accessories zones already demanding store space it was our challenge to develop a store concept that would accommodate them all.
We decided that the Snow Queen brand needed to be more prominent at the store entrances. We decided on a single monolithic cash desk with integrated display cases to establish the brand in the interior too, with prominent lighting. In order to create some distinctiveness in the customer journey the individual private label brands would act as more distinctive focal points in-store. So we reinterpreted the brand identities and logos with a new visual identity and applied it more broadly to walls, pillars, the wardrobes and furniture, and textured finishes to complement the garments and use of materials that are a better connection with Snow Queen brand values. We went further by adding small touches like branded fixture rails. The end result would be a more sensual look and feel.
Such was the positive reception to our concept Snow Queen management asked us to design the retail environment for their new flagship store in Moscow. This required us to adapt our concept for a store that was womenswear-only and work under certain merchandising constraints unforeseen.
Making a store concept a reality in less than 8 weeks. The clock was ticking.
Our design concept makes the store much brighter, crisp and clean. There is a confidence in style, reflecting optimism. Space is utlilised much better than at other stores with an expressive plan, inviting customers to explore. The black tiled runway, for instance, evokes style.
At other stores there were immovable archways, and merchandise that tended to engulf the floor area make other stores look too ‘busy’. We found product was out of eye line and brand was limited to small private label signs on walls not allowing for graphics. For the new store we proposed graphic panels expressing the zones more distinctly to create focal points. We made the zones modular, so they could be moved and extended depending on the store format priorities and saved wasted space.
We felt the Snow Queen sign needed to be more prominent at store entrance – we introduced LED lighting to help add a glistening effect – individual letters on carrier rails – graduated 3M vinyl film on glazing. Our interior lighting spotlights the brand zones and illuminates the stock rather than the shell or empty areas. The fitting rooms get a warmer treatment than before – with softer materials, and a classicism that is in keeping with the rest of the store. The customer is bound to feel that this brand has finesse and is heading for success.
What we did
Concept Proposal: To deliver a brand audit, benchmarking, merchandising ideas, zone planning, a creative direction for environments and graphics, and a creative direction for POS.
•To organise the store into 4 zones – women’s, men’s, furs and accessories
•To have a clear division between menswear and womenswear departments
•To create a less visually busy environment
•To create an environment which will showcase more fashion stories
•To allow flexibility to be able to integrate additional departments
Store Design: To design the interior of a new store opening in Europeyskiy shopping centre in Moscow.
•To prepare proposals for the shop front, fascia entrance and window treatment, ceiling, lighting and floor finishes plans, centre floor and perimeter wall system plans, cashier and dressing rooms.
•To execute design intent technical drawings
We sought to:-
…maintain their position as a competitive fashion retailer
…communicate to customers a better retailer brand vision
…induce the right atmosphere, to appeal to women
…inspire with effective graphic design
…develop a bolder language of architecture
…ensure the product ranges are more visible and exciting
…deliver simple, effective merchandising solutions