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RCG, Kiwi designers usher in warm fuzzies at Ziera

Shoe designer and exporter Ziera has banished the cold, clinical look of old in favour of a new concept store look that’s been introduced in Auckland’s chic Newmarket shopping precinct.

Ziera commissioned several New Zealand designers to create bespoke fixtures, fittings and furniture for the store, while retail planning, interior design, architecture and property management company RCG created a herringbone carpet pattern based on the Ziera Z and a Missoni-inspired trellis on the store exterior.

The carpet is crafted using four gradients which darken as customers move through the store, a visual device designed to get customers moving around the store and drawing them to the back.

RCG partnered with local designers Tim Webber and UFL to create custom cushioning and furniture. Lasts are used as merchandising tools, at shelf level and in the shop front to authentically represent the hand made, crafted nature of Ziera’s products.

RCG aimed to move away from what it says are traditional plans that ‘fish bowl’ the area for trying on shoes by putting it in the centre of the store, instead creating an area next to the sales counter.

“We realised the most meaningful moment of a shoe purchase for customers occurs at home; when they try their new pair of shoes on in their living room, perhaps showing them off to those close to them,” says John Lenihan, director of spatial design at RCG. “Our ambition was to promote those feelings which led to meaningful sales and create a semi­private ‘try, socialise and reward area’ that is rich with comfortable furnishing and contemporary aesthetics.”

The timber trellis was an opportunity to create a “distinctive brand statement” at street level, RCG says, adding the idea could be used at other Ziera stores in a unique way.

The new store concept will be rolled out nationally in the next 18 months.

Ziera Shoes was founded in 1933 by brother-in?law podiatrists and now exports footwear designed in New Zealand to Australia and the US. It has 22 stores in New Zealand and 25 in Australia.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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