When given an immersive format and captured by engaging design, brick and mortar retail transcends the traditional perimetres and becomes an effective marketing tool as well. It’s an approach many contemporary brands have used, and the latest one to entice its fanbase in such a manner is cult consumer electronics company Sonos. Opening coming tuesday in New York City’s Soho neighbourhood is the brand’s first ever flagship store. Occupying a spacious 4,200 sq.ft. [390 sqm.]. ground floor unit of a late 19th-century building, it features an interior design that was created in collab with local design practice Partners & Spade.
The store is all about sound experience, and as such seven state-of-the-art Sonos listening rooms – they look more like cutesy cottages with pointed roofs – are at the very core of the design. Each of the rooms has been acoustically designed to replicate a great home listening environment and allow the nifty Sonos electronics to sell themselves. Mind you, the design of the rooms required specific technical expertise to achieve high quality standards. They’re constructed with four layers of acoustic sheet rock and a heavy steel-framed glass door to ensure sounds are contained within.
Also, beveled glass and a parallel wall that alternates absorptive and reflective materials also work together to properly create the ultimate sound quality of each room. Upon entering the sound rooms, shoppers are welcomed with an automated greeting that introduces how the room works, followed by an invitation to take control and choose music from Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, or any other streaming partner. Each room boasts a different design and is fitted out with different product from the current Sonos range, and obviously, the very latest is on display. The aesthetic throughout the premises is actually very much influenced by acoustics.
It incorporates contrasting textures and perforated walls not only to optimize quality, but also to extrapolate the design codes of Sonos products in a matching way. Furnishings comprise of custom-made chairs, tables and sofas, in addition to bookshelves and handwoven rugs. But that’s not all. Strewn across the store, and adding up to an immersive experience, are artworks and props that celebrate music culture. These cherry picked objects include a collection of rare cassette tapes owned by famed rock musician Thurston Moore, a collection of New York Music zines, and at the lofty downstairs lounge, a large-scale working art installation comprised of 297 Sonos speakers.