Enter the retail technology design revolution

Retail technology design is a pivotal part of the business tech revolution. Pioneering solutions that once existed only in the most progressive business minds are now fast becoming commercial necessities to remaining buoyant in the modern climate. Retail technology design innovators are continually crafting emerging tech capabilities that break new ground in business operations, tracking and performance. A shining example of the power retail technology design holds is provided by Decathlon, a major global retailer of sporting goods and equipment.

Decathlon: reimagining customer experience

Technology design is a vanguard of the overall Decathlon business strategy. Decathlon invests significantly in digital capabilities to enhance customer experiences in bold exciting new ways. At Decathlon, retail technology design is much more than just a bid to achieve a more contemporary look and feel to store interiors. Rather, digital capabilities enhance the efficiency of customer pathways and expand service offerings that improve their shopping experiences.

Decathlon is particularly adept at leveraging retail technology at point of sale. Accelerated check-out experiences are one example of this. Here, digital technologies assist in building the Decathlon brand and crafting interactions that customers return to experience again and share with family, friends and others.

Staff empowerment revolutionised by retail technology design

Retail technology design does not just enhance the experience for customers. Staff members also stand to gain plenty, like liberation from low-value tasks and optimum efficiency. In the case of Decathlon, staff members enjoy greater ease and empowerment as enhanced digital capabilities let salespeople:

– access valuable integrated product information

– get current real-time product availability and order statuses

– plan deliveries with far greater efficiency

– tap into the CRM database

– leverage exceptional ease of payment through digital capabilities and self-service options

Retail technology design does not always have to be of Decathlon-style scale. One of Design Clarity’s clients, NRMA, embraces retail technology in their insurance hub. Their brand journey towards an agile, digital-first and customer-led business is just as impressively pioneering in today’s retail space.

No matter what the size, scope and goals of your retail business, Design Clarity specialise is crafting retail technology design to ensure you break new ground. Speak to this leading team today.


Pure Health | Sydney


Pure Health


Best bar designers Australia

When you are searching for the best bar designers Australia has to offer, what are you looking for?

Professional interior designers will provide so much value to your business. Whether you are starting a new Australian bar from scratch or thinking of renovating an existing one, a professional bar designer will help you to not only make it beautiful, but functional and profitable too.

Make sure you consider the following when narrowing down your bar designers Australia search. It’s a short list, but they are all important points to ensure you hire the best bar designer for the job.

1. Have an idea of what you want. Then hire a designer that has done similar work in that style before. Sounds simple because it is!

2. Ask for referrals. There’s nothing better than word of mouth for getting a professional. Ditto for customer testimonials, even if you didn’t know the people. Happy customers are always a good thing.

3. Thoroughly check portfolios. These are an excellent indication as to the type of work and size of clients or projects that the designers have worked on previously. If they have had customers similar to you then there’s a good chance things will work out well.

Look no further than Design Clarity for all your bar design needs. Here is some of our previous work to convince you even further:

 


Bank design: the ultimate rebirth

Inspiring. Welcoming. Pleasurable. Effortless. Not usually words that spring to mind when contemplating a bank. But bank on it: there is radical change afoot and it means great things for progressive banks and their consumers. What is driving this revolution? Bank design of course.

Banks have not traditionally been known for thinking outside the square. Indeed banks are commonly considered to be old battleaxes – outmoded drab institutions that are ‘red tape’ minefields. Enlightened bank designers are changing all this though. Fresh thinking banks are undergoing a marvellous rebirth that sees:

  • Tired old bank brands being replaced by vibrant, exciting, powerfully articulated brand stories
  • Sombre bottle-necked bank interiors giving way to dynamic, user-friendly layouts
  • Regimented and convoluted service areas traded in for responsive, welcoming service zones

Understandably the changes being ushered in by bank design are a breath of fresh air to patrons. But what does all this translate to in terms of the bank’s bottom line? Plenty. While they are busy thrilling patrons, banks themselves can capitalise on the handiwork of talented bank designers including:

  • Cohesive interiors that provide compelling brand story expression
  • Clear-cut service zones offering utmost ease for both patrons and staff
  • Precise showcase of hero products and key service areas
  • Zero wasted space through innovative shelving, storage and layout
  • Strategic floor blueprint to optimise service efficiency throughout the bank
  • Engaged, productive staff members who are happy in their work environment
  • Loyal clients who spread the word about their refreshing banking experiences

Making such sweeping changes is not always easy for banks and lending institutions. Yet the pay-offs of engaging superlative bank designers are simply too profound to pass up. Design Clarity has a proven track record of reforming banks for the better. This outstanding team of experienced bank designers has already set several banks kicking new goals. All through tailored interiors that offer the best in form and function. Just take a peek at their portfolio of recent bank design projects, including:


Look first to food retail design

Think what’s on the menu is the be all and end all of your food premise success? Think again. Food retail design is where it is at. Breakthrough branding can only be achieved with insightful food retail design as the foundation.

Just what is food retail design? In essence it is the strategic tailoring of your entire premise and dining experience to fit your specific target market. Yes, this means you will need to know your desired patron profile inside out.

Considering food retail design in action can be one of the clearest ways to understand the power of this discipline. Case in point, Morrisons store chain in the UK.

Our story begins with Morrisons having plenty to celebrate. The chain was highly recognised and respected as a leading presence in the out-of-town food chain market. Inspired food retail design was pivotal in achieving such breakthrough branding alongside a clear proven business model.

Having conquered that mountain, Morrisons looked to expand. The next summit in its sights yielded a very different landscape. Morrisons diversified into the high street with several centrally appointed convenience stores.

Success in this endeavor was not to be, though because Morrisons neglected its food retail design. In doing so, Morrisons high street convenience stores fell short in terms of:

  • Exclusivity
  • Intimacy
  • Quality

All of these ingredients are close to high street consumers’ hearts. Had Morrisons conducted its consumer due diligence and customised a new food retail design strategy to match the unique proclivities of high street consumers, their venture may have floated rather than failed.

Unfortunately, Morrisons did not do this and consumer uptake has been immensely sluggish. Now all Morrisons high street convenience stores are shutting up shop and the chain is pulling out of the high street market somewhat shamefaced.

What are the food retail design lessons we can learn from the Morrisons case study? Essentially customisation is key. Every target consumer group has its own specific lifestyle, requirements, preferences and interests. If your food premises is not wholly attuned to these, your patrons will look for greener pastures.

Morrisons simply could not take its mass market out-of-town food store concept and roll out a smaller version of this to discerning high street consumers. The two distinct consumer groups could not be more different if they tried. Failure to recognise such differences and create a new brand story for its high street venture cost Morrisons its diversification success.


The power of now

Where have the days of customer loyalty gone? Our mobile lives have certainly changed the face of ‘old school’ consumerism where customers stay loyal to brands that have earned their trust. Customers are spoilt for choice and speed of satisfaction, now more than ever before. That means modern consumers ‘brand hop’ to whichever business, service or product can give them the best outcome in the shortest possible time. In a previous DC Insights article, we spotlighted Gen Z and how brand loyalty is a rather faint concept for them. In this DC Insights instalment, we look at what this mobile age of choice-spoilt customers means in terms of keeping your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Don’t care how, I want it now

Veruca Salt of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory flew the flag for modern consumers when she sang “don’t care how, I want it now”. Today’s consumer does not want to wait for their orders or their concerns/feedback to be actioned. Just take Amazon as an example. If you are using Amazon and come across a glitch, you can have a real-time chat with a service rep online immediately. Prefer to speak to someone directly on the phone? Simply provide your mobile number and you will receive a call from an Amazon rep, usually within minutes. Now certainly this up-to-the-minute service trouble-shooting means a consumer can get their issue solved asap. But beyond this, instant dialogue with a real person representing the business goes a long way to building consumer trust towards the brand. Moral of the story: look to deliver responsive personal service in the now and keep in touch with your customers on a continual basis.

NRMA works the now

Service and satisfaction in the now is one of the biggest modern consumer demands. Design Clarity helps businesses respond to this through progressive design and strategic solutions. One shining example is NRMA Insurance hub in Sydney. NRMA Insurance has a diverse client base and as such, must juggle a wide range of client needs and demographics. The focus of the NRMA Insurance hub project was to bring the business closer to its communities. Design Clarity was tasked with crafting a super-flexible fitout that allowed a single space to satisfy a range of different uses and different interactions with customers. There are a range of different service opportunities for customer connection in multiple zones including:

  • Immersive virtual reality customer experience
  • Private meeting and consultation area
  • Assisted consultation precinct
  • Self-service area
  • Education zone
  • Community giveback
  • Meet and greet precinct

Take a closer look at the impressive NRMA Insurance Hub by visiting our Design Clarity portfolio showcase of this project. Or speak with us directly.


Venue features Central Park – Hot in the Kitchen

Central Kitchen:

Central Park, Chippendale NSW

If the kitchen is the ‘heart of the home’, then the gleaming new food court, Central Kitchen, on Level 2 of the $2 billion Central Park development is well and truly in the thick of it.

Officially opened in October, Central Kitchen boasts a sweeping 4000sqm of space and abundant natural light, 13 food tenancies with four anchor units and nine kiosks serving everything from Mexican to hawker and innovative street food. Seating capacity is 651 indoors and 54 spaces on an outside terrace overlooking the very pleasant Chippendale Green.
Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia are behind the ambitious project to transform an area once home to the 165-year-old Carlton & United Breweries in once grungy inner-city Chippendale. Ateliers Jean Nouvel Architects, and PTW are at the helm, leading the design with a jaw-dropping glass and steel cantilever unfold, while stunning vertical gardens designed by French garden guru, Patrick Blanc, cascade down its western facing walls.
Central Park will be home to young professionals and retired downsizers and, with its proximity to UTS, Sydney TAFE and Sydney University, plenty of students. Many more will replace their own kitchens with Central Kitchen as the range, quality and price of eating out usurps traditional student fare.

FOOD FOR COURT

Central Park project director, Mick Caddey, said it was vital that the food court and retail space offer first and foremost a destination that is full of life. With living, working and study spaces blurring, it was also important the space have seating zones able to be used for different occasions as well as free wi-fi and a smooth breakfast-to-dinner vibe.
“We wanted to create a shopping mall unlike the ‘carbon copy’ of shopping centres; one that has natural light, open spaces and a vibrant atmosphere to not only shop, but eat, drink and meet friends… in other words, not a dark food court in a basement. We also wanted the design of each outlet to be different in terms of look and character, to appeal to a broad range of visitors,” he said.
Design Clarity, led by Kristina Hetherington, was the team chosen to realise this brief and transform the cavernous second level space into a global leader in commercial communal dining. The team aimed for a unique, fresh design that complemented the overall architecture and appealed to a demographic of diners where food, fashion, art and technology collide.
“In the past food courts have been very formulaic, with a run of perimeter tenancies and a central seating cluster with ‘captured’ customers,” Kristina explained.
“Calling the space a food court is now very much a faux pas. The term has quite a strong negative connotation; being linked with tired fast food offerings. Now the space needs to demonstrate the unique global mix of food retailers and say something about the flavours and the diversity and the vibrancy of the food to be tasted.”
She says the global trend in food halls is placing more of a focus on provenance and theatre as diners care more about their global footprint, where their food is sourced and want to watch it being made fresh, right before their eyes.

CLARITY OF THOUGHT

Design Clarity kept the plan deliberately minimal, neutral and constrained in material selection, allowing the street food retailers to pop with their own colour and movement. A black and white colour scheme predominates, injected with natural recycled timber and granite floor tiling throughout to add warmth and comfort. The strong focus on the living architecture and the internal herb troughs and large planters keep that link to the façade and the inner atrium below.
She cited one of the biggest challenges was finding a solution for the four wall sections that break up the span of glass (housing the living planting on the exterior).
“We went through so many options including light sculptures and street graffiti before finding the Eboy wall art which hits the right tone for the mall’s attitude,” she explained.
Central Kitchen’s layout also shows one of the most significant trends in food court design; one where the tenancies now live in the centre of the space and visitors mill around and between them, with a variety of seating types to suit diners’ moods and group sizes.
Colour is also used in exciting new ways, with recycled timber strip cladding and multi-coloured highlight slats as a way to differentiate different spaces — be it food, fashion or the global grocer. The food court of the future has arrived.

See the online version of this article: here


Notable trends in the UK restaurant sector

Restaurant interior trends; stand-out designs, stripped back interiors and retro vibes. The use of monochrome is rather overwhelming at the moment especially when combined with industrial fixtures and finishes therefore bold, bright interiors bring life to the restaurant sector.

Design Clarity’s layout for Din Tai Fung is certainly bold with colour – see picture above!

Stripped back interiors: every burger joint in London (with the exception of Five Guys) has an exposed brick wall, low hanging lightbulb fixtures and a dark wood or concrete floor. It’s sad that a lot of restaurant identities are blurring into the same mould.

When making a restaurant choice, British consumers are becoming less price conscious and instead, desiring an eating out experience. From the first step into a restaurant, consumers want to feel excited and ready for a memorable dining experience.

A twist on stripped back interiors by Design Clarity is Moo Moos (see pictures below). This lovingly designed restaurant interior is modern, bright and with rustic touches. The success of the restaurant speaks volumes, customers keep going back for more.

Retro Vibes- killing this trend is the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn- it’s like being in the 70s except the other customers don’t have sideburns or brightly coloured flairs on! What’s great about this trend is that it is full of life and something new to experience.

Restaurant interiors are a talking point and the main feature of eating out. For example La Bodega Negra- you enter a sex shop (it’s not quite as risqué as it sounds though). When Gaucho first opened, their extensive use of animal print was different but they pushed boundaries and as designers – we are getting more inspired. Each restaurant experience should be memorable and this is down to the interiors, food and customer service.


The art of retail design

Retail design is the force that moulds retail and hospitality venues into experiential spaces. When it comes to crafting visually engaging retail and hospitality venues, art becomes pivotal. Retail design experts like Design Clarity know that art attracts attention and achieves a thematic consumer experience that persuades them to enter, purchase, linger and return.

Retail design can be the closest ally of hospitality or retail operators by increasing patron dwell time and pleasurable socialising within the space. That is why powerful design is imbued with strategically curated art elements.

Design Clarity’s insightful design hand can be experienced in the Nando’s restaurant chain, whereby a thematic art journey is incorporated throughout its many outlets globally. Nando’s artworks are statement pieces that strengthen brand story, captivate consumers and cultivate a unique enticing gathering space.

Full-flavoured design is what makes Design Clarity tick. So when putting retail design flair to work for contemporary sushi joint, Sushi Hon in Barangaroo, this talented retail design team again tapped into artistic forces. Here, Design Clarity collaborated with internationally recognised Sydney artist, Shannon Crees. Ms Crees has given vibrant interpretation to Design Clarity’s Japanese laneway-style bar and eatery concept.

Customised wallpaper depicting international cityscapes was used in Sydney’s shopping mall Central Park. The level 2 food precinct was enlivened with the wallpaper art elements created in collaboration with Eboy. The loud graphics enhance the vibrant colours, the provenance of the ingredients and the theatrics of cooking.

Another eatery that also benefited from a commissioned unique wallpaper designed exclusively for them by Design Clarity in collaboration with Timorous Beasties was Browns Brasserie & Bar. The wallpaper design played a part in an overall thoroughly modern ‘grounded grandeur’ concept, true to the brief, for a client craving a cocktail of ideas; a design refresh that is considered, elegant and quintessentially British.

Would your retail or hospitality establishment relish the potential of ravishing retail design? Or perhaps you would simply like to see more of this force in action. Either way, a great next step is to browse Design Clarity’s recent portfolio of retail design work including projects like the Glue Store in Miranda, Sydney.