Four Stunning Concepts Every Retailer Needs To See

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Carm McCormick
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Four Stunning Concepts Every Retailer Needs To See

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Carm McCormick
 

A curated list of retail innovations and designs we simply love.

The world’s a vast place full of the most extraordinary ideas and people. Ideas that inspire. People who create remarkable spaces and business ideas.

Yet, most retailers are so focused on their business, their customers, and their local competition that they rarely take a moment to look at what leading retailers a little further afield are doing to push the envelope. 

So if we may, let us share with you four concepts, brands, and retail environments that we absolutely adore.


Parlour X 

What is it?

Founded by Eva Galambos in 2001, Parlour X is one of Australia’s leading multi-brand luxury fashion boutiques.  Through impeccable design sense and an extreme focus on curating the finest collection of luxury ready-to-wear, bags, shoes, and accessories, Parlour X has created an extremely loyal following.

How it works.

While online shopping is available, Parlour X’s 2015 expansion to the historic St. Johns Church in Sydney is remarkable.  Originally built in 1845, ‘The Church’ as it’s come to be known, is a historic landmark that was transformed through an inspired mash-up.  In effect, creating a uniquely one of a kind shopping destination that balances old with the new.

Why we love it.

I mean, come on… just look at that space!  The foundation of extraordinary design is making the most of existing assets and playing them to your advantage.  And ‘The Church’ pulls it off exceptionally well.

  • Embracing the modern and clean retail environment design not only plays into the brand and product well but juxtaposed against the traditional architectural elements of the church – creates a truly one of a kind retail location.
  • Not all building conversions respect the history that’s steeped in the very walls of a location. Usually, in the interests of costs, functionality, or even design aesthetic, existing elements are removed or covered up. But in this case, it’s so tastefully executed you can feel the care put into this design and build.

Take a closer look.

Parlour X Move To Oxford St

Inside Parlour X, the Sydney Hotspot Where Australian Style Stars Buy Balenciaga and Céline

pinterest.com.au/parlourx


Infarm 

What is it?

It’s a micro-greenhouse farming system that allows grocery stores and restaurants to grow herbs, lettuce and other produce onsite.

How it works.

InFarm installs a micro-greenhouse on location.  Each Infarm is a controlled ecosystem giving the plants the light, air & nutrients they need to grow under optimal conditions.

This allows shoppers or chefs to use the freshest produce possible (as it was growing up to the moment they’re harvested), plants have more flavour, and the system uses 95% less water, 75% fewer fertilizers, 99% less space and 90% less transportation than industrial farming practices.

Why we love it.

We love it for the overall freshness of the concept:

  • Well-lit, fresh produce on hand for all shoppers.
  • It creates an environment and shopping experience that feels more interactive and closer to nature.
  • Helps grocers and restaurants stand out and helps national chains move into the “eat local” movement.

Just ask yourself, who will choose to buy pre-cut herbs in a foggy, sweaty plastic container once this takes hold?

Take a closer look.

Infarm raises-170m during pandemic


stackt market

What is it?

It’s an industrial-chic, artsy complex located in downtown Toronto with trendy shops, eclectic eats & drinks, plus live entertainment. 

How it works.

Converting underleveraged urban spaces to create new work/live/play complexes or collectives is nothing new.  But stackt market brings together 20-plus unique local small businesses, plus amazing food and drink, plus live entertainment to create a one of a kind destination-shopping experience.

Why we love it.

We love how ingeniously the team repurposed everything to create a totally unique live/work/play experience: the intentional use of repurposed shipping containers and the conversion of the brownfield land that was otherwise standing vacant.

  • A thoughtfully curated collection of brands and small businesses.
  • A consistent brand and aesthetic throughout the complex that leaves room for each local business to stand out.
  • A destination shopping experience that’s worth travelling to visit (it’s just kind of cool.)

Take a closer look.

instagram.com/stacktmarket

Toronto’s new shipping container market is now open


Vikasa 

What is it?

Vikasa is a yoga retreat centre located on the beaches of Thailand.  So much more than just a hotel with yoga, Vikasa Yoga Re­treat is a transformational, inspiring, and life-changing experience and one of the most reputable places to learn and practice yoga in Thailand.

Vikasa recently commissioned Enter Projects Asia to design and build a series of enclosed studios at its headquarters in Bangkok, and the design and execution are awe-inspiring.

How it works.

Enter Projects Asia chose to mould rattan for the new studios, a local climbing plant with flexible woody stems, into a flowing, organic space where every inch of it is dripping with hand-made, one of a kind flourishes.

Supported on a timber frame, rattan was moulded to create a large partition to split a large space into two public yoga studios and to fully enclose two smaller private areas.

Why we love it.

Wow.  That’s how we feel.  Drawing this in concept would have been the easy part.  But as retail environment design-builders, we truly understand how painstakingly detailed the entire design, manufacturing, and build process would have been.  And they’ve certainly pulled it off. 

  • The studios are paired with a cafe and occupy the first floor of Vikasa’s headquarters.
  • The rattan forms are designed to be visible through the large glass windows that face the street.
  • Every aspect of this design and build “feel right” for the brand and space, but we respect how much vision, courage, and trust this build would have required from all involved.

Take a closer look.

Project Photos

Bangkok yoga studio bends nature into futuristic design


What about your space?

As retail environment design-builders, we’re always looking for the most inspiring (yet still feasible) designs, plans, and builds.  We applaud those who help push our industry forward – those who find new ways to be creative in a world that’s recycling ideas or worse, a time when people are putting a pause on thinking big and dreaming.

So as always, we recommend taking a moment to watch what others are doing, getting inspired, and then getting to work on your own space and brand. If you’d like to talk about your own possibilities, give our retail design team a shout, and we can help you with planning your next noteworthy project.