A new trend in homewares retail
Inviting your customer into your home is a bit extreme, isn’t it? What about reversing this, to invite your home to your customer? A homewares retailer that sells their wares in an environment that looks and feels like home?
Recently in Chicago I noticed a homewares retailing fusing music, art, fashion and an aesthetic that relaxed and visually “photographed” the pieces into our home. Across the globe, we are seeing similar retail trends in homewares, and this week we take a look at a Spanish homewares retailer who firmly believes that the, “customer is where the home is”.
The Jaime Beriestain concept store and restaurant in Barcelona, created and owned by the Chilean interior designer, Jaime Beriestain, combines a concept store and a café/restaurant/cocktail bar. The concept store focuses on lifestyle and home decoration products, such as those Jaime would use in his house. The café/restaurant offers traditional Chilean cuisine to Barcelona’s gourmet community in a comfortable setting – all decorated in the designer’s personal style.
Beriestain aimed to create a retail environment where customers can relax and spend time with friends. The store is divided into two areas, each with an entrance from the street, which form a U-shape store to facilitate a fluid walk from one side to the other. On the right side, the concept store offers a wide range of selected designer objects for home decoration and interior design unavailable elsewhere in Barcelona. On the left is the café/restaurant, where customers can enjoy Chilean and Mediterranean food or a coffee in a relaxed setting, as if they were at Beriestain’s designer home.
The café/restaurant and the cocktail bar are both furnished and decorated with items available for purchase at the concept store, providing an opportunity for the designer to work directly with customers in a resonant setting. Customers can explore the furniture before purchasing, sitting in the armchairs or on the sofas, luxuriating in the comfort, or learning how to combine the elements of furniture and other decorative items. Furthermore, the store offers a calendar of instore activities, such as flower arranging, available for customers who wish to explore other products.
The concept reflects a new trend in Barcelona for designers to go into retail, creating interior design stores that offer customers unique, comfortable and homely environments. Casual yet vibrant, these stores blend food with retail services, creating an experience that delights all five senses and gives customers the opportunity to personally meet the designers and experience their brand, ethos and message in person.
Connecting this sense of emotion to the store experience and product, is highly valuable in creating a sustainable, lasting relationship that will not only secure a sale, but spread positive word of mouth and create brand loyalty.
After all long after the price, the experience remains.
Brian Walker is founder and CEO of Retail Doctor Group and can be contacted on (02) 9460 2882 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Vikki Weston, co-author of this column, is part of Retail Doctor Group’s Retail Insights team and can be contacted via email at email@example.com .
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