Soda Bloc store by TDC&Co. Midrand – South Africa

July 31st, 2016 by retail design blog

Recognising a key need in the market, The Foschini Group (TFG) set out to build a brand for pre teens. Rather than dictating to the target market, we let them speak to us at every step. With workshops and feedback from a junior board of directors, we began to understand more of what made them excited or uneasy and let that define our brief. The store experience needed to serve both parent and pre teen, in ease of shopping experience, with a dynamic product range that was on trend and easy to fit and size. The brand would need to be easy to communicate with and be conversational across in store and online platforms, creating spaces to interact, share and buy. The client wanted to create a brand that would grow the confidence levels of a typically self-conscious consumer, where shopping becomes an exciting expression of the constantly re-evolving personality of the pre-teen consumer. The brand needs to be dynamic, enticing, energetic, approachable, bright & clean with pops of colour.

It became clear that music and interactive online experiences were one of the strongest unifying factors between our target market of guys and girls, so we have focused on both to drive the core of our design thinking. We investigated the idea of a responsive store, where shoppers can communicate with brand via the brand app and free in store WIFI, allowing you to choose the music you want to listen to whilst shopping. In our first five prototype stores, the ceiling feature would respond to your choice of music by flashing in the rhythm of the music’s base. In addition, by introducing more interactive spaces, we ensured that there was enough space in the fitting rooms to have friends join you, and even to allow you to dance to you favourite song playing in the store.

We introduced plywood to the design, with a white ombre stain to soften the crisp interior. The dark ceiling space and perimeter bulkheads draw focus to the product and make the space feel more contained. Tone of voice, consistent to the customer’s natural expression, was applied within the store. The fitting rooms are open onto the floor, making it easy to consult with mom or a friend, with playfully patterned doors to retain privacy and providing sense of security within the space. An iridescent film that constantly changes behind the point of sale as you move through the space also creates a point of interest.

Creative Director: Neville Wills / TDC&Co.
Designer: Olivia Train / TDC&Co.
Photography by Graeme Wyllie

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