Thursday, January 26, 2012: 10:15:42 PM

Retail Poll Feature

Minimalist designs boosting retail sector

More and more retailers adapting to the new concept influenced by international retailers

The design of a store can influence sales to an extent that no other form of advertisement can. As put by Prof A Ramaswamy Iyengar, faculty – Retail at Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai, the store is the biggest and most effective tool for advertisement for a retailer. An attractive store ensures customer attention and retention and is of immense value to a retailer in the long run.

 
Store designs as a concept came to the forefront after the advent of large-sized organised retailers in the sector and the study of the subject is a rather new phenomenon. Minimalist designs in retail outlets are a newer concept that a lot of stores have adopted to ensure maximum effectiveness of the outlet. Popular stores such as Uni Style Image, Reebok and Nike have created quite a stir with sleek stores where the focus is solely on the product. A recent survey by Retailing360 witnessed respondents unanimously agreeing that minimalist store designs offer the biggest retail advantage.
 
Growing trend
 
The biggest advantages that such stores offer include:
 
  • Optimum utility of space
  • More walking space
  • Soothing to the eyes of the customer
  • Easy to manage display
  • Lesser requirement of staff
 
While many of the international single brand retailers have already adapted to the new designing concept, the theme is yet to take off among majority of domestic retailers. While the smaller players cannot afford to allow space for the customer, the mid-sized players are willing to risk business by not decorating the store. According to Snehangshu Chakraborty, proprietor of Eco-Sylvia Interiors, a small-sized interior design firm in Kolkata, “More and more retailers today are opting for minimalist designs. The biggest reason for this is the influence of international retailers and their store designs.”

In the lesser developed regions of the country, retailers continue to invest more in the decoration and display management of a store. Once the trend of minimalist design of retail store enters these regions, the concept will not take too long to become a norm among retailers.
 
Tias Chakraborty
 

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