Large Format Retail - No More Boring Stores!
Large format retail stores are often “high on function but low on ambience and excitement,” to quote a recent article in Inside Retail.
Bulky goods centres are often minimal boxes full of, well, bulky goods. Built on a limited budget to hold large amounts of stock, many stores have a utilitarian feel, more of a fulfillment experience than an inspiration.
But why can’t they be both?
Craig Flanders made the case that online retail is cannibalising store sales and reducing foot traffic and thus the opportunities for upselling and cross selling. The key to success is to create a more exciting and engaging experience in store.
Some retailers are starting to venture into mainstream malls. Barbeques Galore has a smaller format store in Warringah Mall in Sydney, and Baby Bunting is showcasing its rebranded stores in Chadstone, Doncaster and Castle Towers. Both have re-considered their store designs and now combine operational efficiency with a highly engaging environment.
Barbeques Galore is now operating with two store formats - the smaller format “Express” store and its bigger cousin the “Explore” store. We designed both of them, literally turning the old format inside out so we can focus on telling strong product stories and emphasising the fun of creative cooking and being in the backyard.
The product is very much the hero and the stores are built for stock intensity.
Crucially, the new fitouts cost no more than the old ones and their success in increased sales has been widely reported.
No more boring stores!