Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Designing for Service in Retail

Holeman & Finch has extending their fan base with the opening of Bottle Shop this year (and the eventual acquisition of the illusive liquor license). As expected, the innovative approach of Greg, Andy, Regan, Linton & Gina has elevated our expectations of Atlanta's retail market, in the same way the Public House helped change our bar scene forever.
The Chicago publication Design Bureau recently profiled our friends at H&F Bottle Shop (below), which reminded us of the unique efforts of two of our recent retail clients:  Acru and H&F Bottle Shop.

Our Vision Sessions with the H&F and Acru teams posed a significant question to the ai3 team:
How could design support the desired level of service offered to their customers?

Both Acru and H&F have a caring, passionate, and committed approach to their customers. Their visions focus on Human Interaction and how to build TRUST with customers. They hope to provide a Sense of Community, and are focused on growing their communities and providing a haven. Because, if they are loved by their community, then they will succeed.

Acru provides a large, multi-use space to support community lectures, presentations or live music events.

Gone are crowded product displays and the focus on making a transaction.  Space is being allocated to subtle displays, making room for a genuine experience in the store, a place to listen and to have a conversation.  We are designing for more visibility, more accessibility, and more circulation. There is space for teaching and extending knowledge and transactions are shared privately. Design solutions support an atmosphere that is approachable and where the retailer appears accessible. Different program components consider each customer interaction's length of time, number of people involved, and level of privacy required.

At Acru, ai3 created a "Wisdom Bar" and privacy booths to support different types of interactions. Bottle Shop uses a dining room style table for customer meetings.

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