Don’t Call It Just a Store
The present retail landscape has been a huge subject in these ever-changing times where the pandemic has had us all reassessing what happens next. A constantly moving market allows brands to find new purposes for their retail spaces in a number of creative ways. Physical shop floors can be used for example as an office, event space, or even for sports.
A great example is eclectic label Off—White and it’s flagship in the Miami Design District, which has been created as a fulfilment centre and a multipurpose events space. Designer Virgil Abloh (in collaboration with architecture firm OMA) designed the store to rethink how physical shops should operate amid the growing popularity of digital shopping. “…I might turn it into an Uber delivery of Off—White – that’s the freedom and the fun.”
Car company Lynk & Co, who opened their first flagship idea on Amsterdam’s Rokin last year, envisioned it as a club, rather than a dealership. The idea behind the space was to create a community for members to hang out in, and engage and connect with different brands and creators. The design added emotion, e.g. the light by the rear entrance installation simulates sunrise and sunset; the moments people most often use their cars. Inside there are movable components made from re-used metal which allow space for future events to be staged. It is possible for the brand to host events which include DJ sets, fashion shows and cocktail parties. Not only are they showing off their new hybrid and plug-in SUVs, everything inside the club can be purchased including the décor! The space isn’t just a function to market their core product… instead it is making a statement for the brand.
Tchai has also played with the idea of translating a retail space into a centre of multiple uses. The retail space concept for the sustainable leather bag brand ‘O My Bag’ is designed in such a way that everything can be flexibly used e.g.: as their retail brand story, photo studio, for brand events and as office space. The brand story is about their Indian heritage and the drive to treat people fairly and improve the environment. “Hold my bag, while I change the world”. They will open their brand new store in September in the famous De 9 Straatjes in the heart of Amsterdam.