Introducing a structured process for large retail design projects.

Square44 was briefed to undertake the retail design / retail branding harmonization of Electrolux’ retail environments across Asia. The brand’s retail presence was not competitive with other key market players such as Samsung and LG and a refresh was needed. Since the brand exists across a large variety of store formats and sizes as well as product categories – a scaleable, logically structured and consistent execution was needed that would fit the shopper on their journey through the store and aid the purchase process. In this case study you’ll see how a step-by-step process was followed to develop a pilot store, followed by larger and smaller store template designs that together would become the masters for a large scale roll-out and implementation process across hundreds of stores in the South-East Asia region in which the Electrolux brand exists.

Following the briefing, an in-depth analysis took place where we reviewed several store environments as well as a recently launched flagship space that needed a bit more polishing. Several conclusions were made in a report back to the client and in a working session priorities and directions were agreed to.

A typical shop-in-shop space in one of the larger malls in Bangkok was selected as a trial store and initial concept and design work started alongside the development of a floorplan that outlined the typical way a shopper would navigate the space indicating the placement of various product category departments.

From a commercial point of view, design executions had to take into account 3 levels of communication, each with different functions. At a brand level the task is to draw in shoppers and attract them to the space – clearly marking brand equity elements and branded messages that evoke credibility, trust and quality. At a category level shoppers needed to be able to quickly identify and differentiate product categories and retail executions should aid shoppers to help find their way to the right product quickly. At a product level, clear feature and benefit communication is essential, along side comparative info to help select the right item as well as pricing information.

A pilot space was built to exact scale as a replica within the Electrolux Office – to be able to easily involve all key stakeholders, see exact material, built quality and finish and allowed us to test best practices in an actual simulated environment. The pilot space allowed Electrolux to test various executions throughout the design process, experiment with different materials, finish and lighting executions before agreeing to a final, most optimal solution.

Square44 developed detailed construction drawings and provided material boards to control the translation of design into reality.

And square44 teams worked closely together with builders and production teams, playing a very active role in quality control to ensure the execution of the design concepts were tightly managed.

The final pilot space was very successful – it was not only used as a physical reference at each design review moment, it also allowed local marketing teams from surrounding markets to come in, make their own comments and receive detailed training on the final retail execution.

An approved design was scaled to several size masters, for each picking actual store types for which solutions were developed by us.

A comprehensive POSM toolkit was created that contained all in-store graphics developed in a matching style and we also created an online toolkit for social media use as the shopper journey often involves online touchpoints where shoppers do their initial research.

A comprehensive set of retail guidelines was developed as a tool for various markets and production houses to undertake local roll-outs and do quality control checks.

And a training session took place where local marketing teams were introduced to the final retail concept and trained in how to make use of the guidelines and check critical finish and quality details

To aid markets with local roll-outs we developed a simple and affordable 5-step support process – where square44 teams could come in whenever help was needed on key or critical spaces.

The final result is shown in the above video taken in the pilot store – highlighting some of the key elements