Designing for kids (not parents)

We’ve just designed and opened a brand new concept for specialist retailer Florrie in Melbourne. This whimsical and dreamlike store was inspired by what is happening in children’s retail as well as our own imaginations and inspiration from the brand. Meanwhile, we have also been working with ‘Ruby Niks’ on their kids cafe space in Miranda, Sydney.

Back in the 90s, childrenswear stores like Mothercare and Woolworths were designed for parents, so children didn’t used to find shopping fun. Bland store environments, bland branding and nothing aimed at children. Hamley’s first opened the site we know today on Regent Street in 1881. The store is utterly magical; the staff create theatre on Regent St to draw you in, the smell of sugar and huge pyramids of toys within ten feet of the entrance- it’s a child’s dream!

Hamley’s were and are giving children what they want but it’s taken a while for other retailers to follow suit. Everything about a children’s store has to be for the shoppers themselves – and as a consumer, I’d like the stores I shop in to be emotionally engaging. I want to feel valued as a customer. Nothing says ‘We care about our customers’ like brands who has a considered approach to brand communication through all touch points they have with customers.

Florrie allowed our designers to use their imagination- we created with the client – a ferris-wheel that dolls can sit on, this is a huge draw-card for the store as it’s a unique display for the store and shows consumers exactly what to expect when entering the store. The main feature at the back of the store is a floor-to-ceiling tree complete with swings for dolls to be displayed on. The clothing drawers and round pedestal units are low so that children can access the clothing easily. The store also has a patisserie style café and party room with in the store, making waves into become a lifestyle brand. For a first-time concept, the inspiration from the founder and her brand Florrie was remarkable and we patiently wait for her next store to need designing.

Ruby Niks is a cafe for families, where the children can play and the parents can relax – this is a brand new concept for shopping centres worldwide, to be amongst the main shopping areas instead of being tucked away. The chalky hand-built interiors are bright, colourful and fun- perfect for attracting children and keeping them entertained. Keep looking at our website- case study is coming soon!