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Top 10 Concept Stores For Staying Ahead of the Game

Mills Display Retail Trends and Tips

Our top 10 concept stores will aid you in the fight against online shopping. In the battle of bricks versus clicks, store retailers are fighting back against the rise of online shopping by creating experimental concept stores.

Inspiration for these innovative concept stores can come from anything from the media to museums and usually involves a clever combination of virtual and physical shopping as well as design elements which play on a more experience-related retail environment.

At Mills Display, we understand your need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to creating attractive and innovative concept stores and we can help you get to grips with everything from general design and layout to the nuts and bolts of signage, presentation and pricing.

So if you’re interested in creating a new “concept” look and experience for your store – or you’re planning a new concept store from scratch, here’s out top-10 Concept Store list to give you an inspirational head start.

Story, Manhattan

We love this idea: the 2000 square foot store is inspired by the story-telling world of magazines. It changes its display and content like an art gallery, but still sells things just like a normal store. In reality that means completely revamping the shop’s design and merchandising every four to eight weeks around a different theme, trend or issue and then building the retail into those styles. This means they have been able to market everything from smartphone controlled air con units to designer dresses! If you want a non-stop gallery of inspiration for your concept stores, you can visit Story’s website here.

Concept Stores

Nestle’s Kit Kat Boutique, Tokyo

If you want to go all out on using a retail space to market a single product you could do worse than looking to this “chocolatey” store in Japan. Kit Kat is apparently a cult product among the Japanese because its name sounds like kitto katsui, which means “you will surely win”. As well as the in-your-face design and overwhelming marketing style, the store also pushes limited edition flavours of the product such as “Sublime Bitter”, “Special Chilli” and “Special Sakura Green Tea”.

Nestle’s Kit Kat Boutique concept store

Club Monaco at Noma, Copenhagen

This is probably the perfect example of teamwork – a pop-up shop for the chic and stylish men’s clothing and accessories store inside the Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant. The combo suits both brands and leads to clever crossovers between hospitality and retail including Nordic materials with smooth timber surfaces, fur rugs and foliage dotted around the store, creating an organic, natural atmosphere for shoppers.

Holland & Barrett, Chester

Pick a theme and run with it … that’s the lesson from UK health food retailer Holland & Barrett, who have just launched their flagship “free-from” store in the leafy north-west UK county town of Chester. The soaring interest in food allergies and intolerance’s has meant a huge leap in the number of mainstream products which are dairy-free, gluten-free etc. etc. and Holland & Barrett have sought to cash in with a concept store devoted to what has previously been seen as a niche market.

Nemika, Tokyo

Treating your retail space like a piece of art creates an environment tailor-made for a specific section of society and helps you tell your “retail story” before the customer even gets to the products. A great example of this is this Nemika store for Japanese high-fashion brand Leilian, which has been designed by artist Kohei Nawa around the concept of a garden (Ne means “root” in Japanese, mi means “fruition” and ka means “flower”). Wooden floors represent earth, sinuous walls evoke flowing water and display shelves and wall mirrors are reminiscent of minerals. Custom-designed furniture is arranged as stones and rocks would be in a Japanese garden and roses are grown in their own flowerbeds.

Nemika Concept Stores

The Petit Bazar, Paris

There’s a non-too-subtle art to selling to children – make it fun for the kids and simple for the parents. This Parisian store is beautifully kitted out with products suitable for both children and parents but also offers a café where families can meet up, a space for nursing young children, and frequent events to keep the kids entertained.

Original Unverpackt, Berlin

Even with a huge concept like trying to change the world, you need to start with the basics. This supermarket in Germany started with the simple idea of having zero waste and not selling anything which came with disposable packaging. In reality this means using bulk bins and inviting people to bring their own containers to fill – a message which is very easy to get across and a concept which is easy to fulfil.

Original unverpackt

The Store, Berlin

Those Germans really get simplicity! Their second entry in our top-10 is The Store in Berlin which uses untreated surfaces and stark, simple display cases to sell everything from fashion to furniture and plants to plates. Their concept stores are even more simple, create a space where people can come to eat, meet and work – even enjoy some entertainment or see some art – and then let them browse and buy things too.

Farmacia Concept Store, Bucharest

Just because that bricks-versus-clicks battle seems to mean everything has to be hi-tech in the world of retail, doesn’t mean that there isn’t still room for great old-fashioned visual marketing. We love this pharmacy in Romania for its honest and simple approach and the way it mixes the clean, modern displays with the more traditional elements of selling pharmaceutical treatments.

Farmacia Concept Stores

Mad Butcher, Mosgiel

The last in our list of concept stores is the good old Mad Butcher proving that “concept” can also work with scale, and doesn’t have to rely on a change of style. The Mosgiel store has just opened and other versions have been mooted for Te Awamutu, Taradale, Havelock North and Palmerstone North in an attempt to push a well-known brand into smaller communities.

Contact Us for more Information about Concept Stores

For more information on how Mills Display can help find the perfect solution to your concept store, contact us online, call us on 09 634 5962 or call in to our Auckland showroom at 327A Neilson Street, Penrose.

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