Telecom's new superstore in Auckland’s CBD, is a dramatic departure from the norm. The new superstore marries high-tech features with convivial approachability—in a space that oozes colour, variety and character.
The new brand direction was led by Designworks with Gascoigne Associates winning the contract to design and deliver the layout and features. This close collaboration between the designers and Telecom focussed on conveying the concept of “our products and services in your world”.
The store breaks the stereotype of what people expect Telecom and technology to be about. Gascoigne Associates' Clark Pritchard, who led the design team, says the aim of the superstore was to “change the traditional customer experience by putting the customer at the centre of the retail interaction”.
“The space has clean, crisp elements to reflect the high-end technology on offer. This is tempered with soft textures to create a comfortable but fun way for customers to interact with the technology, by allowing them to visualise the product in their own environment, at home or on the move. One area resembles a welcoming lounge and there’s an outdoor-style area and lots of useable interactive space” says Pritchard.
Having an intimate knowledge of the changing retail market was a key factor in building the creative and appealing environment. Gascoigne Associates have worked on many Telecom stores in the past. They relished the opportunity to take a fresh approach. Says Pritchard, “enriching the retail space is just part of the story. Our objective is to enhance the consumer's communication with both brand and product. A revitalised approach is important for a telecommunications company that wants to convey its progressive viewpoint to the consumers that look to it for thelatest in technology.”
Another point of difference from other Telecom stores is the type of promotional display in the shop. The new superstore will have very little fixed image materials and focus instead on digital LCD screens. The language of branding and promotion will be softer as the company strives to get away from the corporatisation of the brand. Mark Gascoigne says “we were keen on the whole idea of minimal branding. The biggest sign in the window just says 'shop'.”
The space visually juxtaposes several layers of objects, ranging from an oversized metallic moose head, a gold cuckoo clock and graffiti-covered furniture, to a Mini Cooper displaying the latest in GPS products. As Gascoigne says, “this store has moved away from the traditional immersive retail environment – now the whole idea of 'discovery' is key.”
Gascoigne Associates was established 22 years ago and has grown into a multi-disciplinary design firm with a client base that includes Telecom, Pumpkin Patch, Nosh and Glassons.