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The hard work, the blood sweat and tears and the sense of achievement has come to fruition and all behind firmly closed doors. We have completed the design and fit out of the first two, new-look Spark stores – first to open was Sylvia Park and the second in Albany Mall.

Spark has been incredible to work with and it’s been a real collaborative process – just how we like it! The collaboration has meant we can all celebrate in this great accomplishment. The new Spark stores are set to create a new retail experience in NZ. Basically we’ve never been so excited!

To begin with we were tasked with bringing both the tangible and intangible products to life and inspire and engage existing and future customers through clever design. We whole-heartedly believe the design has achieved this in spades. Every square metre of the retail space is fastidiously considered, to guarantee an incredible customer experience. The Spark stores now showcase solutions for the shoppers, rather than simply being a room housing product. This is achieved by taking the product off the walls, cross merchandising and displaying product alongside accessories which in-turns creates a story for the shopper rather than racking and stacking merchandise.

Other exciting characteristics of the new-look Spark stores are the hospitality zones where customers will be offered free Spark Branded water, virtual queuing to allow customers to shop the store, a lockable ‘charge your phone’ cabinet. With mobile payments and a range of self-service payment facilities will be available soon. Other design features are the banquets and café-esk tables for a more casual, consultative sales process. Live accessories such as headphones and Fit-Bits encouraging customers to stay and play, and active waterproof phones dropped in a fish tank.

The Spark intangible home products are displayed ingeniously in and around contemporary cabinetry personifying a home TV wall unit. Curated storage solutions in-store reduces the need for staff to leave customers to retrieve product and the counters are designed to strip away traditional ‘across counter’ transactions enhancing interaction between the customer and staff.
Things such as the POS counters being integrated with display tables brings staff out onto shop-floor and the tables are designed to stand alone, however when pushed together the leg detail imitates an aspect of the Spark logo. The right hand-side of the stores exhibit a timber ceiling feature which mirrors the timber floor below and delineates the customer service area providing drama and weight to the space.

The shop-front has been opened up, making the store more inviting and welcoming with a portion of it dedicated to a framed glass box creating a gallery showcase for a Spark shopfront story.
Lighting is also a key feature and breaks all the rules of traditional telco stores. Steering clear of a prescriptive wash of light by ensuring a plethora of highs and lows within the store. This was achieved by using a combination of linear extrusion, LED spots (for the high points) and pendants at the front of the store to create a warm spectacle.

And the best bit is Spark is happy. Head of Consumer Sales, Greg Clark said “In Spaceworks we found a fantastic partner that really quickly understood what it was that we were trying to achieve and brought some excellent ideas to the table. Creatively they weren’t precious when we wanted to change something but also held really firm on the things that they knew would make a difference. On top of that the whole way through they have just been really responsive, proactive, positive and easy to deal with.”

“We are really happy with how well the trial stores at Sylvia Park & Albany have come to life so closely to the initial concepts, we are currently tracking performance against our five key objectives to feed into a broader national roll-out & the early signs are really positive.”

Design: Spaceworks
Photography: Allen Nicholson

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