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Red Awards: Rodd & Gunn and the refinement of classic design

Updating its look while maintaining classic design has helped retailer Rodd & Gunn snag a Red Awards win.

Rodd & Gunn general manager of visual and store design Nik Rush says the retailer wanted to refine and update its concept of a store to be more of a contemporary, New Zealand inspired lodge.

The store, which opened in August 2015, was the International Group Winner at the Red Awards. It also won a Shopfront Excellence Award.

Pennant & Triumph designed the store, while GDM Retail did the shopfitting.

Pennant & Triumph director Justin Roderique says Rodd & Gunn wanted to move away from the previous “older gentleman’s club” look of its stores and towards more of a contemporary look.

This meant retaining the use of masculine, natural materials such as oak and brass, but making the shop lighter, brighter and less intimidating for new customers.

“The major design challenge was creating a New Zealand lodge aesthetic within a mall environment,” Roderique says.

“The key was to use traditional materials and key design elements as found in traditional New Zealand lodges.”

Two eye-catching barn doors were used in the entranceway, while charcoal wood battens were used to frame the entrance and contrast with Rodd & Gunn’s gold signage.

The ceiling of the store was also painted in charcoal, which Rush says this was a controversial decision initially.

“[There were] worries it would close the space in but instead we have found it helps to create the sense of intimacy we were after,” he says.

Rush says his favourite features within the store is an antique wooden trestle table from the early 1900s.

“It’s one of a number of unique finds that help create a magical layer to the interiors.”

Feedback about the store’s brand-new look has been unprecedented, he says.

“Of course you look to your customers first in the retail world, and the response from long-standing customers has been fantastic. But what has been really exciting are the comments from first-time customers who have been drawn to the store’s look and feel.” 

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 746 October / November 2016.