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South Korean brand Marie’s Baby Circle has opened a second store designed by Dalziel & Pow, evolving the retail concept that places new and expectant parents centre stage. Located at Starfield Goyang, northwest Seoul, the store creates an even more comfortable and relaxing shopping experience for mums-to-be. The shop floor is 20-30 percent larger than the inaugural Marie’s Baby Circle flagship (which launched in late 2016), yet offers the same range of products. It also boasts an expanded Baby Canteen cafe and seating areas, and introduces a raft of brand new features including a studio for socializing and support.

Marie’s Baby Circle – the nursery brand from South Korea’s retail giant E-mart – welcomes customers through a new statement storefront with bespoke curtain-effect draping. Large digital screens in the heart of the space highlight key services. Always thoughtful of mothers’ needs, there are two changing areas and two feeding rooms in-store, and plenty of seating within the travel section. This enables pregnant women buying a stroller or car seat to sit back while products are brought to them by staff.

The new studio space hosts pre-natal classes, product demos and wellbeing activities such as yoga, transforming into a children’s play area on the weekends when more families visit the store. Another enticing addition is the dedicated pop-up space, taken over once a month by Korean specific brand. Fun for children is also at the heart of this concept. A digital wall invites them to interact with an enchanted landscape, touching the mural to triggering different animations and audio. New enhancements include a soft-play area of foam-covered woodland, soundscaping and gobos projecting leaf patterns on the floor. Additional seating by the digital wall lets parents relax while children are playing.

The brand’s popular snoring bears, which kids can cuddle up to for story time, are back again and now feature honey pot and tree trunk-style chairs. Tapping into the widespread emoji usage in South Korea, the cast of bespoke brand characters is even more prominent in the Seoul store – appearing across environmental graphics, domestic props and push toys throughout the space, as well as sticker and colouring packs to take home or use at the baby canteen. Dalziel & Pow has developed a suite of directional signage and icons to complement the larger space, and provide additional inspiration and information.

Wardrobes punctuating the perimeter deliver high-level navigation, using visual merchandising, tone of voice and ambient brand patterns to help customers shop the edited range – for example, ‘our top 5 bathing products’. Designed with a new generation of aspirational parents in mind, the new store continues Marie’s Baby Circle is fast becoming synonymous with care and credibility. In a country with the world’s lowest birth rate, at just 1.1 per woman, Marie’s Baby Circle answers the need for extra knowledge and reassurance for new parents, building a supportive community for all things baby.

Design: Dalziel & Pow

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