One tried-and-tested way to enhance the in-store experience is better store design. Ignaz M Gorischek, vice president-store development, Neiman Marcus, one of the most iconic store concepts in the US, has much more to say on why store design is so important to drive profits. “The experience in a store should be inspirational, and store windows should be intriguing,” says the creative veteran who advises retailers to incorporate a design philosophy as part of their business strategies.
Gorischek lists the factors responsible for the success of Neiman Marcus stores – planning and store design, visual planning and presentation, corporate graphics and the company’s corporate art collection. “All of them are ingredients in a recipe that is critical to the success of our brand. If we omit even one ingredient, the recipe will not be the same, and customers will notice the change,” he points out.
“Employ the most suitable techniques for design and accuracy, whether by hand or computer-assisted rendering. Always design visual hotspots for customer engagement. Work with different styles and concepts to arrive at the best look and experience in the stores,” Gorischek advises.
According to him, one way to do this is by incorporating art into stores and by employing artisans for interior decoration. “Neiman Marcus employs full-time art curators in its stores and sources art work from local and emerging artists,” Gorischek adds.
Neiman Marcus continues to launch new store concepts in its 42 stores, one of them being a new boutique concept and shopping experience called Cusp, which is designed to be cool, edgy and modern. The retailer is also adopting the latest technologies to boost sales by providing its staff with tablet computer and smartphones.
“Modern luxury is about being simple, clean and beautiful. It’s also about paying attention to details. Visual planning and presentation are the most crucial stages in designing a store. Lighting and music are critical in creating the right ambience. Above all, remember that the product should be the first and foremost focus of attention in a store,” Gorischek concludes.