It should be possible to experience fashion with all of our senses and this is only possible in local retail outlets. This is something Cecil, one of the top five suppliers of ladies’ fashion in Germany, is firmly convinced of. In so-called Retail Laboratories, Cecil is currently testing how customers can be inspired and advised individually in times of increasing online sales. The heart piece of the store in Oberhausen is formed by the central communication desk which has been given a very special attire.
The Retail Laboratories concept is based on desires, needs and even frustrations experienced by customers while shopping in stationary retail outlets. In its sales areas in Lüneburg, Langenhagen and Oberhausen, Cecil now has the possibility to test entirely new approaches with regard to shop-fitting, the consulting process, goods steering, multiple channels, communication and information tools. The ensuing results are then to be used in gradually developing the “store of the future”.
Communication desk as a central element
The Cecil Retail Laboratories focus on competent and individual consulting with the key element in the store in Oberhausen represented by the central communication desk Supported by digital multimedia tools delivering detailed product information, suggestions for outfits and brand-specific aspects, female customers are advised here individually while payment and packing processes are also handled, thereby subtly and elegantly transcending the classic payment transaction – which is often perceived as a barrier.
Designed by Studio Joanna Laajisto, Helsinki, the communication desk presented as an eye-catcher features some special attire: “I was looking for an authentic material which is familiar to customers and something they like to touch. Ultimately, I was won over by ceramic tiles in general and the Craft series by Agrob Buchtal in particular. This unique architectural style evolved from a combination of strip-tile format, glossy glazes and the colour olive green flamed which harmonises wonderfully with the other materials such as natural oak used in the store.”
Tradition meets modernity
Nowadays, ceramic tiles are largely manufactured horizontally by means of rapid firing and in roller kilns. In contrast, the wall tiles in the Craft series are manufactured vertically via long-term firing in a classic tunnel kiln where the natural play of fire creates an earthy archaic appearance while also permitting the production of unique tiles whose high-gloss glaze and impressive optical depth are extremely convincing.
“We took advantage of the creative freedom granted to us by the Craft series and used the strip-tile format in a linear arrangement, both vertically and horizontally. This made it possible to emphasise proportions and transform traditional values in contemporary shapes into a modern interpretation”, explains Joanna Laajisto.
Female customers should receive the very best advice in-store by both: Cecil assistants and multimedia features which can be found in the spacious changing rooms fitted with light functions with individual regulation. The innovative Retail Laboratory concept in Oberhausen is rounded off by changing ranges in the sales areas “curated” (like art exhibitions) by Cecil.
FR/ La mode est une expérience sensorielle complète, qui n'est possible que dans les petites boutiques. Cecil, qui compte parmi les cinq principaux fournisseurs de mode pour femme en Allemagne, en est persuadé. Cecil réalise des tests dans ses Retail Laboratories pour savoir comment attirer l'attention des clients et leur proposer des conseils personnalisés à une époque où le chiffre d'affaires en ligne ne cesse d'augmenter. La pièce centrale du magasin d'Oberhausen est la table de communication. Elle aussi a été habillée d'une manière bien spécifique.
La création des Retail Laboratories cherche à répondre aux souhaits, aux besoins, mais aussi aux frustrations des clients lors de leurs achats dans le commerce traditionnel. Dans ses espaces de vente de Lüneburg, Langenhagen et Oberhausen, Cecil a désormais la possibilité de tester de nouvelles options en matière de conception des magasins, de conseil, de gestion des marchandises, de stratégie multicanal, de communication et d'outils d'informations. Les résultats obtenus devraient permettre de créer petit à petit le « magasin du futur ».
architecture/design: joannalaajisto.com / photo: Agrob Buchtal GmbH / (c) Mikko Ryhänen