The Future of Retail Concepts

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Dior, Champs-Elysées | Stores We Like

The fashion house, Dior, has opened a new three-floored flagship boutique on the infamous Champs-Elysées in Paris. Not only a new chapter in the brand’s history but an ode to the original home founded by Christian Dior himself.

With a minimalist colour palette and gold hardware accents, the store exudes the luxe expected of a designer brand. The outer facade takes shape in an immense drape that lifts at the corner, much like a turning page, representing a new chapter for the fashion house.

The in-store experience follows suit of a lot of new exciting flagships, by offering a range of personalisation services including embroidery and screen printing, made possible via the in-house workshop.

Nagatacho Apartment | Places We Like

Designer Nathaniel Furman was presented with a 160 sq m apartment situated in the heart of Tokyo’s governmental district. The client requested a ‘bubble gum’ flat, involving milky pastels and bright accents, the apartment is a hyper-aestheticised paradise. Furman cleverly combined colour, texture, materials and form into everyday domestic-life.

‘The clients had an old property that they have had since the early 1980s, and together with all the new developments going on in Tokyo for the Olympics, wanted to do their place up in an exciting and fun way that matched how Tokyo was changing,’ Furman says. ‘They wanted to avoid the small rooms and corridor of the previous layout, so I developed the idea of this large extended kitchen counter, table and screen, which became like a hearth at the centre of the home.’

The final result illustrates how space can be totally challenged and transformed. Apartments in Japan are typically extremely compact and have uninspiring interiors, the Nagatcho Apartment turns this on its head entirely.

Versace, Beijing Flagship | Stores We Like

The Italian fashion house Versace recently debuted its new concept flagship store in Beijing’s China World Mall. The store design focuses on the brand’s “commitment toward sustainability”, stating “There’s no bigger luxury than our future”. The store is bursting with gold and marble accents, in a nod to Versace’s recognisable aesthetic.

“The LEED-certified boutique has been created with the highest sustainability standards in mind,” said a statement released by Versace. “Dimmable lights with central control have been installed to ensure efficient use of energy over the course of the day.”

It is great to see such a large fashion house continuously creating a focus on sustainable lighting solutions in their store openings. An aspect that is sure to filter down to other retailers thus changing the norms for retail lighting in the future.

Lush, Harajuku | Stores We Like

Prolight’s very own Sophie visited the brand new Lush store in Tokyo’s Harajuku district on her trip to Japan earlier this year. She has written a little piece about her visit below.

As soon as you enter, you are greeted with the classic Lush scent and wall to wall bath bombs. The store is bursting with gradients of colour, as fun and colourful as the fashion hub Harajuku itself. Unlike the stores we see in the UK, there are no blackboards with product descriptions, no sinks for demonstrations, just pure bath bombs. Lush Harajuku offers a new concept in shopping whereby customers can use their smartphones loaded with the Lush App to take a photograph of the product in interest, and the App then shows the product in action, and also details on the scent, ingredients and how they can affect your skin and mood. Arguably the perfect experience for such a renowned tech-forward country.

In addition to the new digital shopping concept, the Harajuku store has a conveyor belt setup packed with a variety of bath bombs as a nod to the ever so popular conveyor belt sushi Japan is known for. The store also features colourful pastel-toned globe lights suspended at varying lengths, almost mimicking the shape of the bath bomb.

The art of bathing is essential in Japanese culture, and this store blends this tradition with the colour and fun of the Harajuku district, this takes the idea of a concept store to a whole new level.

Boots, Covent Garden | Stores We Like

The UK’s leading health and beauty retailer Boots has opened it’s doors to a brand new flagship in London’s Covent Garden. Arguably a much-needed update in order to reinvent its retail experience for the future. With a variety of experiences available such as a large wellness area, an Instagram selfie area, a water bottle refilling station and a waiting area with views over Covent Garden Market.

With a much more contemporary lighting scheme which includes suspended linear luminaires, large spheres suspended at varying lengths above the escalators create a really exciting feel and plenty of visual interest.

Additionally, the lighting for each area of the two-storey store has clearly been designed for that specific area, as opposed to a blanket approach with the lighting. The open ceiling also creates a sense of space and enables the lighting to become a feature within itself.

“We have gone for a more premium feel even though we continue to be the same excellent value as we are across our stores”

Seb James, Boots

It is a truly exciting experience, full of big beauty brands and ideas for living sustainably. This store will act as a blueprint for their 2,500 estate, where they will take elements and roll it out across the country- we can’t wait to see!



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