Research gives Midas touch

huckleberry 1As designers it is critical to be relentless with research.

Expectations of consumers are constantly evolving and they are becoming more savvy, sophisticated and demanding in the big noisy retail world.

It is therefore critical to uncover the emotional and behavioural needs of the people who experience space, and to understand how these needs change over time; whether they are changing by choice or by market forces such as demographics or economy.

When designing a space, the Spaceworks team focuses on the needs of shoppers and ensures that the store reflects current shopper attitudes and behaviours. It is imperative to create environments that motivate people to return after an initial purchase and encourage “talkability” and “shareability”.

Spaceworks not only researches international retail trends by visiting various overseas markets on a yearly basis but it also considers local research as important, if not more. Recently it collaborated with AUT to undertake research of some new fit outs – the first being Huckleberry.

The first new look Huckleberry store opened recently in Mt Eden and the Spaceworks team was tasked with bringing to life the new Huckleberry identity to create a fully cohesive brand experience for existing Huckleberry shoppers and also expanding its market to those who would not ordinarily shop in an organic store.

huckleberry2The revitalised Huckleberry stores are about to become Kiwis local natural grocer – an international trend infiltrating the market. And Spaceworks research with AUT is set to provide some answers around Kiwi’s domestic organic consumption drivers among regular, occasional and non-consumers of organic foods and whether the store design and environment are providing the best cues to match with the motivations of their particular shoppers.

The above is not only crucial data to provide for the Huckleberry but will also become a precursor to future fit outs.

It must also always be remembered that retail design involves more than just bricks and mortar.

Successful retailers are integrating their web presence, social media, and physical stores. Store fixtures and other elements should be flexible enough so that they can be easily changed to reflect information garnered from social media and other marketing activity.

I believe that we do shop differently Down Under and every market has its own idiosyncrasies, whether national or smaller regional areas. Rather than relying on and obsessing over what is happening afar, it is time to get to know what is happening under our own noses.

Lizzie Hines, MD of Spaceworks Design Group

0800 2 FIT OUT



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