1976 - High Street Revolution
Television and magazine advertising invests many products with an image of glamorous desirability and likewise, customers want the places where they buy these items to show a similar sense of style. As a result, the design of many shops today reflects not just the customers' material needs, but also the aspirations and expectations evident in their lifestyles. Perceived as being articulate and aware, customers buying The Body Shoe's environmentally friendly skin and hair care products are not easily influenced by high-pressure selling. So the layout of the shops is open and welcoming, inviting customers to look around at the goods on sale and make up their own minds. What differences in attitude to the customer do you detect in various kinds of shop?
The Body Shop. The kind of glamour and style once associated only with big department stores can now be found on most High Streets and, particularly, in the large shopping centres that are now such a significant part of retailing. Stepping inside a branch of The Body Shop is like entering a luxurious bathroom -warm, scented air, rich colours, inviting displays of bottles and tubs. But the marketing policy here is far from superficial. The environmentally-aware philosophy behind the products - the use of naturally-based ingredients, the ban on animal testing, the no-advertising, no-hype policy - extends to every aspect of The Body Shop's operations. Packaging is kept to a minimum - the change to re-usable cages for distribution saves 600,000 cardboard boxes a year, and a refill service is offered in all UK shops. Recycling is encouraged, shops are surveyed for maximum energy efficiency and the use of tropical timbers and other non-renewable materials in their construction is banned. All of this makes an impression on the buying public. Customer expectations today are far higher than those of a previous generation, and much depends on their response to the waya shop presents itself. Atmosphere is important - the customer must feel he or she is in the right place. This ambience can be created bya careful choice of materials, textures, lighting and graphics, but retail design primarily encompasses practical considerations - making effective use of the space available, presenting goods in an imaginative way, ensuring customers (and staff) can move around comfortably. If the store obviously looks and works well, the argument goes, the products seem more desirable. The customer, in other words, likes to think he or she is buying a little bit of the shop's distinctive charisma.
|1967 - Quality Street|