What does future department stores look like? – the big question which underpinned the design brief for new Edgars Fourways store. The brand ambition was largely driven by the need to translate the brand as a modern day retailer relevant and memorable to South African consumers.
Department stores were primarily about entertainment through shopping and socialising. Typically located at the heart of the high street, it was known as retail public square where customers could leisurely shop the latest trends and commodities. This idea of revisiting department store’s original purpose ‘a square as a social retail space’ was our the starting point.
Beyond the brief and list of requirements, we designed for experience and incorporated key pillars to engage shoppers and complement the hybrid nature of retail today. These pillars included the creation of a social public square including a food offering to fuel the customer journey as well as designing a plug and play fixture system – a great departure from the traditional ‘heavily’ shop-fitted stores that takes a great amount of time and investment to change.
The store design ran in parallel with the brand redesign, translating the new tone and business direction into the physical space. While the scale of the store proved to be a challenge, the innovation of the Fourways design is that it is designed for change, enabling Edgars to advocate South African culture through their product, embrace experimentation in store to deliver newness and build on an ever growing Edgars experience.